Welcome to PMConnection

     

Menu
· Home
· The Project Management Search Engine
· Exclusive Articles

Related Sites

Related Books 1
Agile Practice Guide from PMI  


A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK 5th Edition 2013

 
PMP Exam Prep: Rita's Course
 
  
  
Microsoft Project 2016 for Dummies

   
  
Microsoft Project 2016
  

 
The Ultimate Application Administrators Guide for Project Online

PMConnection: PMConnection Articles

Search on This Topic:   
[ Go to Home | Select a New Topic ]

Project Management: What is Scrum
PMConnection Articles


Scrum is a management and control process that cuts through complexity to focus on building products that meet business needs.  It is also one of the most rigid Agile appraoch in terms of recommended practices and procedures.  Scrum is an implementation of Agile. The process involves performing just enough planning to get started, creating the minimal feature set.  Then we build what was planned, then it is tested and reviewed.  Once this cycle is complete, we end up with a Potentially Shippable Product.  This process usually occurs over a time period of one to three weeks.  This process of Plan, Build, Test and Review is known as a Sprint.  Depending upon what is being built, it may take multiple Sprints before a Shippable Product is complete.

In Scrum, there are three key roles needed in order for the framework to work well.  The Product Owner is responsible for defining the Features that are needed in the product.  The Scrum Master is a servant leader to the team.  Their responsibility is to protect the team and the process, running the meetings and keeping things progressing forward.  The Team is the third role.  It can be made up of Developers, Testers, and anyone else who helps in building the product.  Team members often play multiple roles.  For instance, sometimes Developers may end up doing some testing or Testers may perform some form of development.  Either way the team works collaboratively to get the product done.

There are three artifacts or documents used for Scrum.  First is the Product Backlog.  This is where the Product Owner keeps a list of all the User Stories and then works to prioritize that list.  This list evolves and priorities may change at every sprint.  User Stories are a way of describing a feature set.  A User Story follows the format of "As a _______, I need _______, So that ______." format.  By phrasing the User Story in this way, this allows the Product Owner to specify the right amount of detail for the team to estimate the size of the task.  The highest priority User Stories go into the Sprint Backlog. These are estimated for size and are committed to for the next sprint.  Burn down charts show the progress during a sprint of the completion of tasks in the sprint backlog.  This chart should approach zero points as the work is being completed.

There are three ceremonies that make up Scrum.  Think of these as meetings or discussions.  Sprint Planning is where the Product Owner, Scrum Master and Team meet to discuss the User Stories and estimate their relative sizes.  The Daily Scrum is a brief stand-up meeting where the team discusses what they completed since the previous meeting, what they are working on and anything that might be blocked or need help.  The Sprint Review and retrospective occurs at the end of the Sprint.  This is where the team demonstrates the completed work to the Product Owner.  The team also discusses what they can do to improve the process going forward.

The Scrum workflow looks like Backlog to Sprint Planning to Sprint Backlog and then into the Sprint.  The Sprint is a one to three week time-box where the User Stores committed to during the Sprint Backlog are worked through to completion.  During the Sprint, the Daily Stand-up occurs.  The outcome of the Sprint is a potentially shippable product.  The Product Owner makes the decision if it can ship or if more features are needed.  Finally, at the end of the Sprint, the Sprint Review and Retrospective occurs.  This workflow is repeated for each Sprint until all features for the product are complete.


For more information on this topic, visit Scrum.org



Note: You might find this helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Friday, November 03 @ 00:16:22 CDT (352 reads)
(Read More... | 5451 bytes more | Project Management | Score: 0)

Project Management: What is Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe 4.5?
PMConnection Articles

Scaled Agile Framework (or SAFe) is an agile software development framework consisting of a knowledge-base of integrated patterns intended for enterprise-scale Lean-Agile development.  SAFe is scalable and modular, allowing an organization to apply it in a way that suits its need.

SAFe is a framework meant to cover the entire organization.  The current version is SAFe 4.5.  It has 4 levels; Portfolio, Large Solution, Program and Team.  The Team level works very much like standard scrum.  At this level, there is an Agile team which is cross functional and works together to deliver working systems every two weeks which are called iterations.  The content of the iteration is determined by the Product Owner who is in charge of the team backlog.  The iteration starts with a team planning meeting in which the team decides what user stories they can deliver by the end of the iteration.  Each day the team meets in a daily standup meeting to discuss the progress and at the end of the iteration they demo their results to the Product Owner to make sure they have delivered the desired results.  The team then conducts a retrospective to determine what they can improve for the next iteration before starting the cycle again with a new planning meeting.  All of this is guided by a Scrum Master who makes sure the team works smoothly within the process and that it keeps improving.

The Program level is very similar to the Team level.  The Program is comprised of multiple Teams working to deliver a larger system together.  The Program ranges from 50 to 125 people.  This team of teams is called an Agile Release Train or ART.  It will also time-box it’s effort into Program Increments or PI’s which are 5 iterations by default.  The content for each PI is determined by a Product Manager in the Program Backlog in the form of Features.  This will provide most of the content for the Team Backlogs.  The ART is governed by the RTE or Release Train Engineer.  This role acts as the trains Scrum Master ensuring that it runs smoothly and stays on track.  He is somewhat of the Program Manager at the Program Level.  Each PI begins with a planning meeting in which all members of the teams get together to hear the Vision and Roadmap of the train and the features for the upcoming PI.  Each team then plans what objectives they can achieve in this PI.  They also identify dependencies with other teams on the train as well as risks.  The teams commit to these PI objectives as a group providing visibility to Business Owners and Customers of what they can expect to be delivered in this PI.
  
To make sure the train will meet its objectives, we have both a bi-weekly meeting of the Scrum Masters and the Release Train Engineer to ensure all are on the same page and everything is on track.  At the end of the iteration, a system demo is delivered.  This is a demonstration of the integrated system.  This ensures that we don’t have one team running ahead but that the whole train is iterating together.  Adequate architecture and infrastructure is needed to ensure the trains are running as fast as possible.  Each PI serves as a time to lay down the track for what we think we will need in order to achieve our goals in the following PI.  This is called the Architecture Runway and it is facilitated to by the trains System Architect.  
Each PI is 5 iterations long, but only 4 iterations are planned.  The fifth iteration is called the IP iteration or Innovation Planning iteration.  The iteration part is for the team engage in creative ideas like hackathons.  Within the Planning part, three things occur; a) demo our accomplishments, b) maintenance for the train by retrospective on how to improve collaboration, c) plan next PI together.  The IP also serves as an estimating guard-band to make sure the teams deliver on their commitment.

The Large Solution level provides the means to coordinate ARTS who are building even larger solutions in which a single ART can’t deliver by itself.  At this level Solution Management is the content authority.  The Value Stream Engineer is the coach and guide and a Solution Architect to help ensure good architecture is used.  The Value Streams run the same PI cadence as the ARTS and has Planning, Solution Demo, and Inspect and Adapt for cross-ART capabilities.

The Portfolio Level is somewhat different than the other levels.  Portfolio Management helps dictate direction for all underlying Value Streams by deriving Strategic Themes from the Enterprise Strategy and then allocates budgets to Value Streams to support these Themes.  They also manage cross Value Stream initiatives which impact several solutions in the form of Epics.

See interactive SAFe Big Picture from here


Note: You may find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, October 04 @ 15:21:50 CDT (475 reads)
(Read More... | 6755 bytes more | Project Management | Score: 5)

Project Management: What is Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)
PMConnection Articles

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) is a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid agile approach to IT solution delivery. It has a risk-value delivery lifecycle, is goal-driven, is enterprise aware, and is scalable.

Disciplined Agile Delivery is one part of the overall Disciplined Agile Framework.  It provides the foundation for the rest of the framework, focusing on Agile Solution Delivery from beginning to end.  The layers of the Disciplined Agile Framework move from DAD to Disciplined DevOps to Disciplined Agile IT and finally Disciplined Agile Enterprise.

The key characteristics of DAD are:

• People oriented – People come first.  Individuals and interactions as well as the way we collaborate are the primary determinates for success.

• Goal Driven – It takes a goal driven approach that gives people choices.  It is not prescriptive.  A very lightweight approach to making better decisions

• Hybrid Agile – Takes ideas from a large range of sources

• Learning Oriented – Contains many aspects of Lean

• Full Delivery Lifecycle – All the way from idea to completion

• Solution Focused – Not just software development focused.  Includes hardware, organization structure changes, supporting documentation as well as business processes

• Risk Value Lifecycle - The focus is on enabling teams, not monitoring and controlling them

• Enterprise Aware – Appreciates larger organization and other groups

DAD is a hybrid framework that leverages proven strategies from several sources, providing a decision framework to guide your adoption and tailoring of them in a context driven manner.  Sources include; Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Extreme Programming, Unified Process, Agile Modeling, Outside in Dev., Traditional, Agile Data, SAFe, DevOps and more.  By leveraging the different sources, it allows the user to best parts of different sources and build a modular approach for developing a delivering a solution that delights the customer.

Because DAD focuses on delivery end to end and scales up through the entire organization, it has more roles that Scrum.  

Primary Roles:

• Team Lead (Scrum Master)

• Product Owner (from Scrum) – Must represent all stakeholders, not just customer

• Architecture Owner (from Agile Modeling) – guides team through important architecture decisions

• Team Member

• Stakeholder – Customers, End Users, Auditors, Financial Analyst, Support, Operations, etc.

Secondary Roles (Usually appear as DAD scales up or out through the organization):

• Independent Testers (not actually part of the development team)

• Specialist – Enterprise Architect, Program Manager, Financial Analyst

• Domain  Expert – Share knowledge or guidance in a particular area

• Technical Expert – Share expert technical knowledge or skills

• Integrator – Used during large program.  Used to focus on overall integration of various components of the solution.

DAD supports multiple lifecycles including Agile, Exploratory (Lean Startup), Lean, Continuous Delivery; Lean and Continuous Delivery: Agile.  This means that if the organization is already using one of these lifecycles, DAD can be leveraged.  Or if there are multiple groups within the organization and a few groups are using Agile and a few are using Lean, DAD can be adapted to accommodate both lifecycles and all groups.

With respect to the process domain, DAD focuses on providing choices.  They call these process choices Goals and group them into various stages that they term Timing:

• Inception

o Form Initial Team

o Develop Common Vision

o Align with Enterprise Direction

o Explore Initial Scope

o Identify Initial Technical Strategy

o Develop Initial Release Plan

o Secure Funding

o Form Work Environment

o Identify Risks

o Develop Initial Test Strategy

• Construction

o Produce a Potentially Consumable Solution

o Address Changing Stakeholder Needs

o Move Closer to a Deployable Release

o Improve Quality

o Prove Architecture Early

• Transition

o Ensure the Solution is Consumable

o Deploy the Solution

• Ongoing

o Grow Team Members

o Govern Delivery Team

o Leverage and Enhance Existing Infrastructure

o Address Risk

o Improve Team Process and Environment

o Coordinate Activities


Because DAD is not prescriptive, it allows for an organization to adapt these 23 Goals to align with how the various teams work.

DAD is Goal oriented so you can take one of the Goals and answer questions or make decisions about that goal to ensure the best decision is made for the organization.  For example; if you take the Goal of “Form the Initial Team”, then you can answer distinct questions like; Source, Evolution Strategy, Size, Structure, Member skills, Completeness, Longevity, Geographic distribution, Support the team and Availability.  One makes a decision on these items.  For instance with respect to Geographic Distribution, we could choose from Co-located, Partially dispersed, Distributed sub-teams and Fully dispersed.  We would then define the Advantages and Disadvantages of each option.  Now the best decision can be made; thus making smarter decisions and being more effective and more agile.  Every team will have their own process and own that process and over time, their process may change.  Figure 1 below demonstrates how the Goals, Decision Points and Options decompose.

Figure 1: Goals and Decision Points

DAD teams are enterprise aware.  In other words each team is doing what is best for the company as a whole.  An example would be that all teams are working towards a common business goal.  DAD teams strive to leverage and enhance the existing eco system wherever possible.  DAD teams work closely with other enterprise groups, they follow existing roadmaps where appropriate, leverage existing assets and enhance existing assets.

Governance is built into DAD.  There needs to be some governance for agile and lean teams.  Rather than a deliverables based approach, DAD leverages a Risk value lifecycle.  The focus is on enabling teams, not monitoring and controlling them.  There should be light-weight milestone reviews, standard opportunities for increased visibility and to steer the team.

The benefits of the DAD is that it scales Agile tactically.  It allows the agile approach to be more mature and robust.  This would mean working with larger teams, or working with geographically disbursed team.  This also means taking compliance, domain complexity and technical complexity into consideration.  Or finally it could simply mean distributing various aspects of DAD across the organization.

Solution delivery requires discipline.  DAD can provide that discipline, but at the same time allows the organization to make choices to best build an approach that aligns with their contextual needs.  DAD is a good middle ground that is a step above Agile development that will allow an organization to evolve or mature over time to scale agile tactically across an organization.



Note: You may find this useful:

Posted by webadmin on Sunday, September 03 @ 11:38:55 CDT (510 reads)
(Read More... | 10076 bytes more | Project Management | Score: 0)

MS Project Server: 10 Benefits of Project Online
PMConnection Articles


1.  Always Current - As an online service hosted by Microsoft you will always have the latest tools, features, and updates.

2.  Always Available - 99.9% uptime guarantee, as well as continuous data back-up, best-in-class disaster recovery, and data centers around the world.

3.  24/7 Support - Quick access to the most knowledgeable support team at any time.  Free up internal support to work on other things.

4.  Low Cost - No upfront infrastructure costs.  Flexible subscription plans.

5.  Near Instant Access - Accessed via Office 365, the system can be available for configuring within minutes as opposed to months!

6.  World-class Compliance - Complies with various industry-specific standards, including ISO 27001, EU Model Clauses, HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA), and FISMA.

7.  Part of Office 365 Platform - Offers native integration with familiar tools such as Microsoft Project, Office, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, and Skype for Business for better collaboration and social capabilities.

8.  Scales to Maturity - Project Online can be configured* for very lightweight Project Management to a full Project and Portfolio Management solution.

9.  Improved / Integrated Reporting - Out of the box Project Online provides; Project Overview Dashboard, Project Overview and Resource Overview Reports. The Project Portfolio Dashboard web app is now available via Office 365 for other instant reporting.  Finally, there is the Project Online content pack for Power BI.

10.  Active Directory Sync - Resources can be added quickly with the enhanced Active Directory synchronization.


Source: http://www.pcubed.com/about/news_and_press/10-benefits-project-online






Note: You may find this useful:

Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, July 05 @ 22:16:45 CDT (909 reads)
(Read More... | 4051 bytes more | MS Project Server | Score: 0)

Project Management: How to Create a Kanban Board in 5 Clicks
PMConnection Articles

How to create a Kanban Board in 5 clicks

Note: This article assumes you have Office 365 and have already created a project with tasks within Planner.


1.      Login to Office 365


2.      Click on Planner


3.      Click on one of your projects


4.      Click on the dropdown for “Group by” and select Progress


5.      Ta Da:




Note: You might find this book helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Sunday, March 05 @ 01:25:03 CST (3038 reads)
(Read More... | 5375 bytes more | Project Management | Score: 5)

Project Management: What is Scaled Agile Framework or SAFe?
PMConnection Articles

What is Scaled Agile Framework® or SAFe®?

Scaled Agile Framework® or SAFe® is an online, freely revealed knowledge base of proven success patterns for implementing Lean-Agile software and systems development at enterprise scale.[1]

SAFe®, as the name indicates can be applied or scaled to various levels of an organization.  Its principles can be applied to the Team, Program, Value Stream or the Portfolio level.

 

There are Nine Principles of SAFe[2]

1.       Take an economic view

2.       Apply systems thinking

3.       Assume variability; preserve options

4.       Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles

5.       Base milestones on objective evaluation of working systems

6.       Visualize and limit WIP, reduce batch sizes and manage queue lengths

7.       Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning

8.       Unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers

9.       Decentralize decision-making

These principles are built off the Agile Manifesto Principles (http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html )

 

Organizations who have implemented SAFe are getting outstanding business benefits[3]:

·         20 – 50% increase in productivity

·         50%+ increases in quality

·         30 – 75% faster time to market

·         Measurable increases in employee engagement and job satisfaction

Their website is really cool!  Here is a screenshot from the homepage:

But, on their site it's not just a picture.  It is very dynamic!  Each icon or image contains a hyperlink that will allow you to drill into more information about the item.  Just like the definition states; "an online, freely revealed knowledge base."  Give it a try: http://www.scaledagileframework.com

 

Regardless of the type of product you are delivering here are a few tips for implementing SAFe:[4]

·         Have the business engaged the whole way.

·         Tailor your agile process to the culture. 

·         If Agile doesn’t fit a particular type of work, don’t force it.

·         Quickly agree on the initial level of process, tools and governance required for your organization. Agree that these processes must and will change. Learn to fail fast, learn from the mistakes, and relentlessly improve.

·         Automate everything you can such as build, deployment, testing and release. The more you automate the smaller your teams and the documentation of yesterday is now in code.

For more information on Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), visit this link.

 

 

 



Note: You may find this book helpful:


Posted by webadmin on Wednesday, January 25 @ 08:42:00 CST (2923 reads)
(Read More... | 8645 bytes more | Project Management | Score: 4.5)

Program and PMO: Top 5 of 2016
PMConnection Articles

Below are the top 5 most visited items from each category within our Research Center for 2016. 

If you missed any previous newsletters, this is a great way to catch up!!


Project Management

1. Project Assumptions - Podcast 

2. 21 PM Templates for $20

3. Don't Mind Failure: An Interview with the Scientist behind the Mars Rovers

4. Skilling Up for a Project Management Career

5. Scaled Agile Framework White Paper

 

 

Microsoft Project

1. Microsoft Project 2016 Preview: Multiple Timelines

2. Mastering Formulas in Microsoft Project

3. Postponing a Microsoft Project Schedule

4. Using Budget Resources - video

5a. Using the Ribbon in Microsoft Project - Video

5b. 30 Second Report - video

 

 

Microsoft Project Templates

1. Commercial construction project plan

2. Project Management Plan

3. Engineering project Plan

4. Website Development

5. Agile Project Management

 

 

PMP

1. How to prepare for your PMP Exam. Step 7: What to Expect on Your PMP Exam Day - Video

2. The Complete Guide to PMP 35 Contact Hours of Project Management Education

3. How to prepare for your PMP Exam. Step 5: Study Tips and Techniques - video

4. Getting Recertified and Earning PDUs - video

5. What you need to know about the upcoming PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition

 

 

Program Management and PMO

1. A Five-Phase Approach to Launching a PMO

2. How to Set Up Project Management Office - Video

3. Building a PMO that Helps Vendors Work Together

4. Using Project Management Office (PMO) To Improve Project Management Abilities

5. Measuring your way to failure?

 

 

Microsoft Project Server or Project Online

1. 3 new enhancements to Project Online

2. Understanding security in Project Online and Project Server 2013 - Slides 

3. Project Portfolio Dashboard App

4. The Power of Resource Engagements – Project Online

5. Project Online: Server Settings - Missing Security Options

 

 

Portfolio Management

1. Project Portfolio Management defined

2. Project Portfolio Management (PPM) - Video

3. 2016 Project Portfolio Management Trends 

4. Top 10 Reasons for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Failure

5. Project Evaluation Template         

               

 

Innovation Management

1. Global Dynamics of Innovation and Project Management

2. 10 Rules for Managing Global Innovation

3. How to Get Buy-in and Resources for Enterprise Innovation

4. Innovating vs. Operating

5. Seven Strengths for Innovative Leaders and Teams - Videos

 

 

Great Websites

1. Project Management PrepCast 

2. PM Study Coach

3. Certified PMO Director 

4. Online PM Courses

5. 4PMTI



Note:
You may find this helpful:


Posted by webadmin on Thursday, December 29 @ 10:13:41 CST (2946 reads)
(Read More... | 10934 bytes more | Program and PMO | Score: 0)

MS Project Server: What is Project Online?
PMConnection Articles


Project Online is the name or branding that Microsoft has created for their cloud based instance of Microsoft Project Server (hosted by Microsoft).

If you believe Microsoft Project Server is right for your organization, but are uncertain whether Project Online or Project On-Premise is the best choice; you might want to work with an expert.  

There are many pluses and minuses of either approach.  Some things to factor in; the size of your organization, your current project management maturity, how you intend to leverage the solution today as well as in the future (including custom reports), and in addition to this, one would need to understand the current capabilities of Project Online versus Project On-Premise.  At the time of this article; there are a number of features Microsoft has been able to quickly implement into their Project Online solution, but have yet to incorporate into Project On-Premise.

Additional information on Project Online from these links:


Note: You may find this helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Sunday, October 30 @ 11:31:55 CDT (3281 reads)
(Read More... | 3230 bytes more | MS Project Server | Score: 0)

Project Management: Agile Project Management
PMConnection Articles


Tons of Articles, Videos, Podcasts and Templates related to Agile Project Management can be found in our ever growing database.  They can be sorted alphabetically, by date added, by rating or by popularity.  See the full list here.



Note:

You may find this book helpful:

Agile Project Management


Posted by webadmin on Thursday, August 11 @ 12:07:13 CDT (3943 reads)
(Read More... | 2214 bytes more | Project Management | Score: 0)

Project Management: What is Microsoft Planner?
PMConnection Articles

Note: You may find this item helpful:

Posted by webadmin on Tuesday, July 05 @ 17:23:24 CDT (4945 reads)
(Read More... | 2457 bytes more | Project Management | Score: 4.5)

Feature Product



Website Sponsors
"Study for your PMP exam on your phone, tablet or PC"

Survey
Do you hold any Agile certification?

a) Yes
b) No
c) I plan to someday


Answer here, then see results from your peers.

Search This Site
Use Google technology to search the entire PMConnection website here.

Buzzword


Event Calendar

PDU's via the Web here

Total Hits
We received
26528697
page views since January 2006

Looking for Books?
Try this link!!

Need a Template?
Free Project Management and Microsoft Project Schedule Templates here!

The Project Management Mall - Now Open!

Latest Exclusive Articles
1. Project Management

2. Microsoft Project

3. PMP

4. PMO and Program Management

5. Microsoft Project Server

6. Portfolio Management

All Exclusive Articles...



Copyright 2005-2017 PMConnection.com. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.pmconnection.com a
PHP-Nuke Copyright © 2005 by Francisco Burzi. This is free software, and you may redistribute it under the GPL. PHP-Nuke comes with absolutely no warranty, for details, see the license.
Page Generation: 0.27 Seconds