written by: Traci Lester on November 12th, 2013
Congratulations to Wendi Stewart of San Antonio, TX for winning the first of two Xbox One consoles!
You still have one more chance to win! Enter NOW to win an Xbox One from ASPE. The final winner will be chosen on December 13th.
Do you want the newest features available in a gaming system? Wouldn’t you like to talk to your TV instead of always trying to keep track of your remote? Have no fear, Xbox One is here. With all-new features like voice recognition commands, an ultra-powerful core processor, the ability to watch live TV, and built in Skype client, this new gaming system would be the perfect present for the holidays. The only catch: they are difficult to find. I know you are already picturing it in your living room, so how do you make this dream a reality?
The final drawing will be made on December 13th. Simply fill out your name and email address. No purchase is necessary to win, and one entry gives you a chance to win on both dates.
Enter to WIN an Xbox One
written by: Mary Repetto on November 27th, 2013
When working with your business partners, do you ever find they object to anything at all that you say? Of course they do, all the time. Then try this approach and see if it helps you at all.
First, don’t get defensive and try to over talk them. Good listening is critical to let them know that you really hear them.
Second, ask questions to get a solid understanding of what underlies their resistance. The questions also show that you genuinely care about their perspective.
Finally, restate their issue in your words to demonstrate you get it and take the opportunity to now offer some alternatives.
written by: Natalie Morgan on November 25th, 2013
On October 22, Eric King led a fantastic web seminar on forming the Agile team. Below are the two remaining questions that were not addressed during the Q&A session:
Q: Since Agile focuses on continuous improvement, is Six Sigma or ITIL methodologies used for continuous improvement in conjunction with Agile?
A. I would not say that Six Sigma or ITIL methodologies are in conjunction with Agile. There are some similar aspects between the three approaches, but I would consider Agile to be its own approach. You can find some great information on Agile at these sites:
Q: Are there times where a hybrid Agile / Waterfall approach may work well for project delivery?
A: There is a term that is used in the Agile community called, “WAgile” and it is when Waterfall and Agile are used together for project delivery. Personally, I’ve been a part of a projects where the team’s attempted to combine Waterfall and Agile together. In my case, the aspect of Waterfall was found in the extremely detailed and elongated documentation cycle. The development teams attempted to used Agile in order to create and deliver working software on a periodic basis. The conflict between the two approaches became very apparent when “discovery” was made during the development cycles as well as when paying customers changed their requirements. In these two cases, all of the documentation needed to be updated before the teams could proceed forward. As a result, the development teams were forced to move onto less important product features while these documentation updates took place; which is very counter productive to what Agile is all about. Based on this personal experience, I would not recommend that Agile and Waterfall be used together unless the team or teams take the time in order to agree upon all of the inherit risks for taking such an approach. The majority of Agile Coaches and Trainers would say that these two approaches are fundamentally at odds with one another. However, there may be some cases where teams have seen some success in joining the best parts of the two, but I’m not aware of any success stories that I can share at this time.
You may listen to this web seminar recording an other past web seminars by visiting our Web Seminar Archives.
written by: Mary Repetto on November 19th, 2013
Admittedly, this is a strange question. Your ability to focus and reach project objectives must be balanced with a good dose of empathy when working with business partners.
If you are “over-focused” you give the impression it doesn’t matter what the client needs, because it is all about you.
If you are too empathetic, the objectives you established will never be reached as you can get lost in trying to satisfy every whim the client might have and totally losing sight of the project goals.
Balance is the key, and it is much easier to say than it is to do.
written by: Tom McGraw on November 13th, 2013
More than a decade after the ‘Agile Manifesto’ was written, the methodology has taken its place as a widely-accepted approach to project management. Still, confusion and misunderstanding surround Agile.
What is Agile?
Before we try to tackle where your team falls on the Agile spectrum, let’s take a look at what Agile is. The simplest answer would be to point you to the manifesto itself:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
While the above provides a fantastic set of core values that can help align your project management approach more closely with Agile, it doesn’t exactly provide a step-by-step on how to effectively manage a project using Agile. So what are the specific processes or ‘step-by-step’ instructions for being Agile? Are they Scrum, Kanban , Lean, or Iterative?
written by: Natalie Morgan on November 8th, 2013
A brief comparison of the PMI-ACP and Scrum Master Certifications
For more information on training options, please visit ASPEs PMI-ACP training and ScrumMaster Certification training pages.
In today’s world there seems to be a whirlwind of certifications. It’s no wonder professionals find themselves feeling so lost and confused! The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) and the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certifications are both valuable certifications in the Agile industry. Below are some of the key differences between the PMI-ACP and CSM certifications.
PMI-ACP: understanding agile as a whole. The PMI-ACP certification demonstrates understanding in Agile practices of project management and what “agile means across different organizations and industries.
CSM: the CSM certification is only a first step. The purpose is to gain an understanding and promote Scrum practices.
PMI-ACP: various practices and techniques used across various agile methodologies such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, lean, ATDD etc.
CSM : Scrum Terminology, Practices and Principles
PMI-ACP: the PMI-ACP certification is not meant to focus on a specific industry, but rather an understanding of agile as a whole.
CSM: the Scrum Master certification is focused specifically on the Software industry. Click to continue »
written by: Traci Lester on November 6th, 2013
There are numerous difficulties related to requirements, and whether you work in a plan-driven, change-driven, or hybrid environment you need an effective approach to overcome these common problems.
On Thursday, October 31st ASPE’s own VP of Business Analysis training, Kelley Bruns, presented the free seminar, “Common Problems with Requirements.” In this one-hour presentation Kelley focused on the common problems associated with eliciting and analyzing requirements, introduced participants to the 5 most common difficulties that arise when drawing out requirements from stakeholders, as well as strategies to overcome these problems. Also covered were the 5 most common requirements analysis problems and the tactics needed to conquer the negative effects in order to effectively deliver what your customer wants.
You can listen to a complete recording of this presentation at aspeevents.webex.com. Select “View Event Recordings” in the top right corner. You can also download the slides from this presentation by visiting our Web Seminar Archives.
Check out some of the questions and answers from the seminars Q&A session:
Q: The mechanism of compiling the requirements is relatively clear when determining a baseline and during that point of a project you have access to the stakeholders, but when conditions change during the project lifecycle, how can you determine how the requirements will be impacted without going through another round of compiling requirements? Click to continue »