Live Online Summer BOGO!

written by: Melissa Monroe on June 11th, 2015

Buy one class scheduled in July or August and receive a second seat in the same class for free!

BOGO Summer!

Furthering your career doesn’t have to mean giving up your vacation this summer.

That’s why we’re offering summer BOGO for live online sessions! Register with code BOGO2015 for one seat in a July or August live online training session and get a second seat in the same session free.

The convenience and flexibility of our live online training helps you and your team gain the skills and knowledge you need without having to give up the vacation you want.

Find the right course path for you. Where will this summer take you?

 

*Offer cannot be combined with any other offers. The offer is valid between July 1 and August 31. First registration must be made at full price. Free seat is for the same session. Use code BOGO2015 at checkout to receive discount. Some course exclusions may apply. These terms and conditions are subject to change at any time.

 

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The Cadence of Collaboration

written by: Delaney Galvin on July 27th, 2015

Scrum ceremonies foster collaboration. The touch points at the beginning and end of a sprint serve as guardrails as the team moves through their backlog. Even though the meetings are time boxed, they can run for long periods of time.

Help your teams collaborate more effectively with a few of these suggestions:

When new teams are beginning their Agile journey it will take some time to get used to all of the meetings. If you schedule the meetings on a regular cadence- same time and location, it will allow the team to transition more easily. The time of day is important. If most of the members of your team are morning people then honor this by having meetings that require creativity in the morning. Regular times also allow team members to anticipate the schedule, meaning they are more likely to attend and be prepared. Prepared team members make meetings significantly more productive.

daily-scrum-meeting

For meetings such as backlog refinement it’s helpful if the product owner can prepare objectives for the meeting. Let the team know ahead of time what user stories you’ll be looking at or what you’re trying to accomplish in the meeting. This will help keep the meeting on track and let everyone know when you’ve met the goal for the meeting.

Scrum meetings can get lengthy so remember to check in with team members and monitor their energy level. Make sure you’re asking open ended questions in order to keep ideas flowing and try to solicit responses from everyone in the group. If you’re working on prototypes, or in backlog refinement meetings, using facilitation techniques like an affinity diagram can help organize brainstorming into actionable ideas.

Even if your teams are not co-located you can use technology to make everyone feel included. Have you tried using web cameras for video chats? It may feel a little weird being on camera at first, but it is especially helpful when collaborating and building team rapport.

Collaboration helps build team morale, but most importantly it is fun. It feels great to walk away from a collaboration meeting where you just made progress. Collaboration should naturally fit into the teams’ workflow and the best way to do this is through preparation and a regular cadence.

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Pitfalls to Avoid When Looking at Something Qualitatively

written by: Dave Caccamo on July 22nd, 2015

Certainly most Project Managers know the differences between qualitative and quantitative analysis, the pros and cons of each; but are you inadvertently giving others on your team the wrong impression of what a qualitative assessment actually is based upon a “numerical” assessment?

Here are some pitfalls to avoid when looking at something qualitatively

Do not assess things on a scale that is too wide.  If you have a rating scale of 1 to 10, you may know that a score of “3” is qualitative, but invariably someone on your team will probably make a “30%” out of that “3”, a quantitate assessment.  Stay with smaller numbers of categories (say, 1-4) where it is easier to stress the qualitative nature of what you are doing.

Make sure your team knows what a qualitative score actually is.  A “4” is not twice a “2”, nor is a “1” ½ of a “2”.  A score of “2” simply means that it is higher than a “1” and less than a “3”.

Use an even number of categories in your scale.  Let’s say you ask your team to qualitatively assess the impact of a risk on a scale of 1-3, just where do you suppose most of your answers are going to be?  Give people a fence to sit on, and more times than not, that’s exactly where you will find them.

Do not average qualitative scores.  I was provided with three impact assessments (by three different team members) of 5 different risks.  The numbers had been averaged for each risk and I was looking at a Risk Ranking that had 3.67, 1.67, 3.00, 2.33, and 1.33.  As attractive as that approach seems, remember back to when you were in high school chemistry class and learned about “significant figures.”  Carrying out a calculation like this gives the reader a false sense of precision and, since many people confuse precision with accuracy, a false sense of accuracy as well.

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Free Agile eLearning Just for Attending Agile2015

written by: Melissa Monroe on July 17th, 2015

Final-PDF-1Agile2015 is an annual conference dedicated to furthering Agile principles and giving you the tools you need to make your Agile initiative a success. Taking place in Washington, D.C. August 3-7th, Agile2015 is expected to be the largest international gathering of Agilists.

If you’re attending Agile2015, we will be offering a FREE eLearning class to every attendee! Simply visit us at booth 423 and bring the ticket found in your registration bag to claim your course.

In addition we’ll be raffling off four certificates for an entire year of free training!

If you see one of these faces make sure ot tell them you want your free eLearning class and to be entered for your chance to win free training for a year:

AgileAlliance2015

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this premiere event. Register here for Agile2015.

Have any questions about Agile2015 or how ASPE can help you improve your organization with Agile training? Contact Kinzie Wyche today at (919) 816-1711 or kwyche@aspeinc.com.

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Web Seminar Recap: Fundamentals of Lean Startup and How it Works in Large or Small Enterprises

written by: Delaney Galvin on July 15th, 2015

Agile is a way of working that is based on core value and principles. From those core values and principles, practices are developed. Most people know Agile from specific practices like daily stand up, story points, user stories, etc, but the foundation of Agile is its fundamental values and principles. Because of this Agile is very extendable, meaning new flavors of Agile can be developed as well as new practices.

One of those new flavors of Agile is the Lean Startup. Lean Startup or LSU, is a flavor of Agile dealing with Product Development and Launch. It can tie in marketing / sales, but at its core, it is a way of enabling your organization to test early and often and from there use what you learned to successful scale new products with much less long term risk.

Even though “Startup” is in the name of this flavor of Agile, it isn’t just for small organizations or entrepreneur based organizations. One of the big trends for large enterprise organizations is the concept of Intre-preneurship. Which is basically incubating new products using entrepreneur tactics while working in a larger organization. The same can be done with Lean Startup.

In this presentation we looked at what Lean Startup is and techniques used to successfully take advantage of its practices and activities. From that point, we looked at some practical real-world examples of how Lean Startup can be executed within any organization type. With real-world examples, this seminar explained the theory of Lean Startup, how it can be executed to significantly reduce the risks involved in new product development, and how it allows the market to help you make decisions over trying to plan where you think the market will end up.

Fundamentals of Lean Startup and How it Works in Large or Small Enterprises was presented by ASPE President, David Mantica, on July 14th.

Missed this seminar? Catch up by downloading the slides and recording here.

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Certified Professional in Training Management

written by: Delaney Galvin on July 10th, 2015

Are you looking for the next step to advance your training career? Earn a specialized credential that focuses on the role of the training leader and the business skills needed to manage performance improvement efficiently and effectively.

The Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) credential empowers you with the business tools necessary to push your career in training and development to new heights by preparing you for the future of your role.

This course will teach participants how to:

  • Create strategic alignment leveraging business-centric and demand-based training models
  • Maximize the use of internal and external resources
  • Optimize your organization’s training processes
  • Leverage technology to enhance organizational learning
  • Develop solutions based on needs analysis and business acumen
  • Choose development and delivery strategies that drive performance
  • Assess business and training performance for better outcomes
  • Lead a high performing training organization

CPTM is for anyone looking to further their career through developing strategic practices focused on the business of learning. Preferred candidates hold a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of two years of experience in a professional training role.

Check out ASPE-SDLC’s Certified Professional in Training Management for more information about the course, including the outline and scheduled sessions.

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10 Reasons You Should Be Excited for SharePoint Engage

written by: Delaney Galvin on July 8th, 2015

sharepoint-engage-footer-banner

SharePoint Institute’s inaugural SharePoint Engage conference is coming up October 20th, and we are jumping out of our seats.

Unlike any other conference out there, SharePoint Engage is a conference targeted specifically towards the everyday users of SharePoint, not just the experts and IT gurus. It is the perfect place for power users, developers, information architects, business analysts, project managers, and administrators like you to take your SharePoint knowledge to the next level.

Why did ASPE jump on the opportunity to sponsor this event? Why should you jump on the opportunity to attend?

  1. Christian Buckley, a Top 10 SharePoint and Office 365 influencer, was snagged as the keynote speaker.
  2. Over 30 total sessions are split up into 3 tracks to suit everyone’s needs.
  3. Opportunities to network, collaborate, and engage with your real-world SharePoint peers.
  4. Hear multiple ASPE instructors speak on SharePoint.
  5. The chance to mix and match a variety of topics and issues applicable to your unique needs.
  6. Learn practical SharePoint tips and tricks you can immediately leverage in your environment.
  7. Have all your SharePoint questions answered by experts.
  8. Sessions are taught by SharePoint experts, Microsoft Certified Trainers and Microsoft MVPs.
  9. Over 25 different speakers to learn from and network with.
  10. See how SharePoint is constantly evolving and what future releases may hold.

Don’t miss this ground-breaking event. Register here before August 1st and receive the early-bird discount!

 

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Important Information You Need to Know Before the PMI-ACP Exam

written by: Dave Caccamo on July 7th, 2015

If you are considering taking the PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) examination in the next few months, here are a few things you should be aware of:

  • PMI uses a Role Delineation Study (RDS) as the basis for the creation of the ACP examination.  According to PMI, this allows them to use “knowledge and task-driven guidelines to assess the practitioners’ competence…” as well as “determine the level of salience, criticality, and frequency of each of the knowledge, tasks, and skills required to perform to the industry-wide standard in the role of an agile practitioner…”
  • The new examination, based on the latest RDS, begins in July.  July 14th is the last day to take the “old” form of the PMI-ACP exam.
  • The pilot period for the new exam will be from July 15th through October 15th.  If you schedule your exam for the pilot period, you will receive 20% rebate on the exam fee.
  • If you take the new exam during the pilot period (July 15th through October 14th) the exam score might not be delivered until as late as October 22nd.
  • Exams administered after the pilot period (starting October 15th) will provide the exam score immediately after testing.

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