The new age of innovation!

“The new age of innovation” by C.K Prahlad and M.S Krishnan, talks about the paradigm shift ” N=1 and R=G”.  Products are sold as integral component of the service offering to the ‘single customer’ by leveraging global networks. This is a value for money book, for any business. It really challenges the conventional wisdom. A must read!.

Published in India by Tata McGRAW-HILL, Price – less than Rs.750/-

Key potential impediments to be taken care of before SPRINT#1

Here are a set of impediments, which normally gets ignored, resulting in the failure of the first sprint planning meeting itself;

  • In real life, the SCRUM master is reporting to the product owner, hence becomes very submissive. This can prevent the SCRUM master from performing her roles and responsibilities.  As far as possible avoid direct reporting of the SCRUM master to the Product owner. If it is inevitable, ensure that they are wearing the product owner and scrum master hats, not the Boss and Subordinate hats. A scrum coach should be able to help here.
  • The  product owner is not ready with the product backlog. The product backlog should have enough entries to feed into the initial few sprints, so that the first sprint planning meeting will have enough options for dependency management.
  • Team should know what is story points and the poker game.
  • Very often the key scarce resources like architects, GUI designers will be playing a consulting role and will be handling multiple projects at the same time. Their commitment levels to the project on hand should be ensured and should be non-negotiable.
  • Very often, the theme of the first sprint is ‘Architecture’, and the ‘Consulting’ architect is a key resource during the first sprint. Ensure the availability and commitment levels. She is a ‘Pig’ and a ‘Chicken’ :-).
  • Do not try to manage failure into success. The essence of scrum itself is to fail fast. If a key resource is not available during the first sprint planning meeting, please reschedule the meeting, than trying to manage 🙂
  • Especially while moving from ‘Waterfall’ to ‘Agile’, there is a tendency to waterfall within agile, resulting in ‘scrum falling’. This has to be consciously avoided.  Very often the ‘team’ try to create a low level design phase within a sprint. The evolutionary design concept takes time to sink in. This anxiety is normal, and dont try to manage it by creating a low level design stage, within a sprint.
  • The normal managerial skills like meeting management, time management, agenda, output / outcome, participation norms are really important and do not take them for granted.
  • Sometimes teams think too much about the ‘accuracy’ of estimates. Accuracy of estimates increases over a couple of sprints.
  • As a product owner, before committing the release date to any stakeholder, please be aware of the number of story points / sprint and the total number of story points (at the product backlog level). These initial story points may not be very accurate, which is okay, and will get fine tuned over a couple of sprints.
  • What about the team location, sprint board, stand ups …anything can go wrong (murphy’s law).

List is incomplete….will be evolving further 🙂

PMdistilled e-learning with 35 contact hours

The PMdistilled e-learning with 35 contact hours is designed for the busy professional like you in mind, who do not have access to my 3 day PMdistilled workshops. Sometimes, professionals who do not want to wait untill the next PMdistilled classroom training, start with the PMdistilled e-learning and if required come for the 3 day classroom workshop, just by paying the difference in fees.

Study Plan

PMdistilled e-learning is an instructor led e-learning program, which will take approximately 35 hours of effort from your side to complete it successfully. That means, if you can devote approximately 1 hour, every working day (1×5) and another 5 hours during the weekends, you will be able to complete the program in 4 weeks time. If you are able to spend more time, then the course duration will reduce, accordingly.

To be successful in the PMP(r) certification, knowledge of project management as per PMBOK(r) and exam practice (the final exam comprises of a 4 hour online test, where you will have to answer 200 questions – that means approximately 1 question per minute) is a must, irrespective of your present experience level and knowledge of project management. So let us start with an open mind, assuming that we are here to understand project management as per PMBOK(r).

The course is logically divided into two sections;

The Phase-1 introduces you to key best practices of professional project management.

The Phase-2 gets you ready for the PM certification exam

Upon successful completion of these phases you will receive the certificate from The Project Management Research Institute indicating your successful completion of the 35 contact hours of instructor led training.

Total course effort – 35 hours

Phase-1 – Understanding project management as per the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK)

The following is the study plan

PMessentials (Time required – 8 hours)

This section explains the basic workflow and definitions of project management. This section comprises of 8 modules. Each module comprises of self reading material, videos and online tests. You are allowed to take the online tests multiple times, till you are satisfied with your scores. Once you are happy with your scores, you can submit it for evaluation by the instructor. Then, the instructor evlauates your progress and provides credits against the module.

PMdistilled guide lesson tests

Module-1 Programs, Projects and Subprojects ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test

Module-2 Investing in the right projects ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module-3 The project management life cycle ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module-4 The project management knowledge areas ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module-5 Initiating a project

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Complete the first scheduled online discussion with the instructor before this stage.

Module-6 Planning a project

* Read the course material

Module 6.1 Scope elaboration ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.2 Decomposing the detailed scope into a work breakdown structure (WBS) ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Complete the second scheduled online discussion with the instructor before this stage.

Module 6.3 Quality planning ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Sumbit it for evaluation

Module 6.4 Human resource planning ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.5 Communications planning ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.6 Risk management planning ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.7 Plan purchases and acquisitions ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Complete the third scheduled online discussion with the instructor before this stage.

Module 6.8 Activity definition ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.9 Activity sequencing ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.10 Activity resource estimation ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.11 Activity duration estimation ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.12 Schedule development ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.13 Cost estimation and budgeting ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 6.14 Document project management plan ( 1 hour)

* View the video
* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module-7 Executing a project ( 1 hour)

* Read the course material
* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 7.1 Perform quality assurance and quality control ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Module 7.2 Acquire and develop project team ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Module 7.3 Information distribution ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Module 7.4 Request seller responses ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Module 7.5 Select sellers ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Module – 8 Monitoring and controlling ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Module-9 Closing a project ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Module-10 Professional responsibility of a project manager ( 1 hour)
# View the video
# Read the course material
# Take the online test
# Submit it for evaluation
Complete the fourth scheduled online discussion with the instructor before this stage.
Phase-2 Exam readiness module (knowledge area wise)
Module -11 Strategy for preparing for the exam ( 1 hour)

* Watch the video
* Read the reference material (experience sharing)

Module 12 – Project integration management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 13 – Project scope management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 14 – Project time management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 15 – Project cost management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 16 – Project quality management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

Modue 17 – Project human resource management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online tests
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 18 – Project communications management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online tests
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 19 – Project risk management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online tests
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 20 – Project procurement management ( 1 hour)

* Take the online tests
* Submit it for evaluation

Module 21 – Simulation test (4 hours)

* Take the online test
* Submit it for evaluation

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Comparing PMBOK V3 to V4 – Post#1

Very often during training, I get this question these days;

“If I prepare for the exam based on PMBOK V3, and write the current exam, will I pass?”. Yes, still you can pass. For that matter, even if you prepare based on V2, still you may pass, as the crux of the body of knowledge have not changed much, and it cannot change as well. The key changes are in the structuring of the document, and it there are some deletions and additions to improve clarity. For the benefit of all, who is looking forward to bridge the gap between V3 and V4, quickly, I am planning a series of posts in this blog. Hope it will benefit some one, some where.

Here we go!

PMBOK v3 had 44 processes, where as PMBOK v4 has only 42 processes. The 9 knowledge areas remain the same as;

* Integration management
* Time management
* Cost management
* Scope management
* Quality management
* Risk management
* Human resource management
* Communications management
* Procurement management

The process groups remain the same as;

* Initiation
* Planning
* Execution
* Monitoring and controlling
* Closing

Under Initiation, as per V3, we had two processes;

* Develop project charter
* Define high level scope

In V4, this is changed to;

* Develop project charter
* Identify stakeholders