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18620099 10154596505297083 4901487093208426342 nClick Here to Listen to the Interview: http://bit.ly/2q6UbXF
Read More: http://bit.ly/2qQzBKe

Are you by any chance thinking of getting your certification as a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®? Great. Because that certification is our topic.

Today you are going to meet Jonathan Hebert (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-hebert-pmp-csm-pmi-acp-0712471) who not only passed his PMI-ACP® Exam, but he also got audited in the process. So he has a story to tell!

As you know, the rules of all Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss Jonathan's overall experience, how he got his PMI-ACP Exam Prep, his general thoughts on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam.

Full disclosure: Jonathan Hebert and Cornelius Fichtner both work for OSP International LLC, makers of The Agile PrepCast and The PMI-ACP Exam Simulator.
Thursday, 01 June 2017 21:27

Was Your Project Successful? Ask Your Sponsor.

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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.01.06

Was Your Project Successful? Ask Your Sponsor.

When a project ends, many project teams struggle with whether they were really successful. Having a project scorecard can help.

Simple Sponsor Survey – Yes or No

Perhaps the simplest way to know if you were successful is to simply ask the sponsor whether the project was a success or not. This is the most direct and the sponsor is usually the person who ultimately must judge success. The sponsor would take into account the budget, deadline, quality, etc., and also make a mental determination of which criteria was most important.

And there you have it - a straight "yes" or "no" from the sponsor to the question of whether or not the project was a success. What can be simpler?

Allow a Range of Survey Answers

The problem with the simple "yes" or "no" answer is that it is black or white (all or nothing) and does not leave any room for shades of gray. Usually the sponsor will be happy about how some things turned out and disappointed in other things.

A method that allows more options is to allow the answer to be expressed in a range. For example, you can ask the sponsor "How satisfied were you with the overall success of the project?" and allow them to express their answer on a one through five scale (or one through ten). Now the sponsor has some discretion. If they are totally satisfied, they can score the project a five out of five. If they were happy about most things, but unhappy about some, they can rate the team a four out of five. This allows the sponsor to provide a little more of a gray area, while still keeping things very simple.

More Comprehensive Survey

You will probably discover that asking one question is just not enough, especially if you want to validate that certain specific behaviors are taking place. To gather more feedback, your survey just needs to have more than one question. For instance, you may have multiple questions that ask, on a scale from one to five, how satisfied the individual was with:

  • How the team communicated
  • Whether the deliverables produced were of high quality
  • Whether the team responded in a timely manner
  • Whether the team was knowledgeable in the business area
  • Etc.
This survey can also be completed by a wider range of people. You could ask the sponsor and a number of other impacted stakeholders to provide feedback.

Summary

Is your project a success or not? If your success is based strictly on your sponsor’s feedback, you can end up in an all-or-nothing situation. The more aspects of the project you take into account, the more comprehensive you are in terms of how the separate criteria get put together for the overall success level. 
TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit www.TenStep.com or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 21:30

Use These Six Elements to Charter a PMO

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This content is from the TenStep weekly "tips" email dated 2017.31.5

Use These Six Elements to Charter a PMO

Before you can start up a PMO, you must first define the purpose of the PMO and the value that the PMO will provide to the organization. Without this foundation, all of the other work you do will be in jeopardy. This helps gain clarity and agreement on what you are doing and why. You can think of this as chartering the PMO. This information is communicated to clients, stakeholders and your own staff so that everyone starts off with a common set of expectations.

The following major components are used to define your PMO.

  • Mission. Describes what the PMO does, how it is done, and for whom. It is a very general statement, usually aligning the PMO to the value it provides to the business. An example of a PMO mission statement is "The Acme Project Management Office (PMO) supports project managers to enable them to deliver projects faster, cheaper, and with higher quality."
  • Sponsor. All organizations do not have a sponsor, but a PMO typically does. The sponsor is the person responsible for the PMO funding, and in many cases the sponsor is the manager that the PMO reports to. Sponsors are important for all initiatives, but they are absolutely critical for a culture change initiative such as this.
  • Customers. Customers are the main individuals or groups that receive the benefits of the products and services your PMO provides. While there may be many stakeholders (below), it is important to recognize who the customers are. They should be the ones the PMO focuses on - to help them meet their project and business objectives. PMO customers typically include the project managers and the organization management team.
  • Stakeholders. These are the specific people or groups who have an interest or a partial stake in the products and services your PMO provides. Internal stakeholders could include organizations you work with, but who are not directly under the PMO umbrella.
  • Products / Services. Products describe tangible items that the PMO produces, and are typically produced as the result of a project. Products include project management processes, templates, training material, PM tools, role definitions, etc. Services provide value by fulfilling the needs of others through people contact and interaction. For a PMO this might include training, coaching, assessments, and more. The PMO achieves its objectives through the creation of products and the delivery of services. An organization assessment is used to determine the right products and services the PMO should offer.
  • Transitional Activities. Transitional activities are the specific activities and projects that are required to implement the PMO. If the PMO is new, these activities describe the work required to build and staff the new organization. Most of this work is designed to build the products and services described previously with input from the organization assessment. 
There are other aspects of the organization that can be defined as well, including the PMO vision, principles, goals, skills, roles and responsibilities.

TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit www.TenStep.com or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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This content is from the Method123 weekly email dated 2017.25.05

Use a Risk Management Plan to Proactively Manage Risks on Your Project

Your Risk Management Plan describes how you will define and manage risk on the project. This document does not actually describe the risks and the responses. This document defines the process and techniques you will use to define the risks and the responses. The information in this plan includes:

·      Purpose. Include a general description of the purpose of this plan to solicit buy-in and the acceptance of proper risk management. You may use this to highlight the importance of your project and describe how this plan will help its success.

·      Risk Identification. This section should describe how the team will identify project risks. Often teams use status meetings to raise and discuss risks. More formal teams can use a Risk Form.

·      Risk Categorization. You may choose to group risks into similar categories. Sample categories include: schedule, budget, scope, vendors, communications, and resources. If desired, list and describe the categories your team will use.

·      Risk Impact Assessment. Your team must assess the impact a risk would have if it were to come true. Describe here how you will assess and measure the impact of each risk. The impact of risk is often measured in likelihood of occurrence and impact.

·      Risk Prioritization. Based on the probability of a risk occurring and its impact on the project, your team should prioritize risks and deal with them appropriately. Use this section to describe your method for prioritizing risks; ensuring risks with a higher priority receive more attention and focus.

·      Risk Response. Describe how your project team will plan a response for each risk.

·      Risk Tracking. Describe how risks will be tracked for this project.

·      Risk Monitoring. Explain how project risks will be monitored during a project.

·      Roles and Responsibilities. Describe the main roles and responsibilities on the team for risk management.

·      Tools & Templates. Describe any software tools and/or templates to be used when analyzing and tracking project risks.

Projects need solid processes to be successful. The processes are very difficult to apply without a corresponding set of templates. 



TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit www.TenStep.com or contact us 
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This content is from the TenStep weekly "tips" email dated 2017.24.5

Use These Six Options When Managing Projects
With Unrealistic Deadlines


If you are a project manager dealing with what you perceive to be an unrealistic deadline, the first thing you will want to do is talk to your sponsor to see if there are any business factors that are driving the deadline. For example, there may be some event occurring that this project needs to support. On the other hand, sometimes managers set arbitrary end-dates just to provide what they consider to be stretch objectives. You may find that by better understanding the reason for the deadline, you may have an easier time getting the team motivated to achieve it.

Once you understand the cause for the deadline date, there are project management techniques that can be utilized to increase the chances of success.

  1. Increase resources. If you find that the deadline is not in alignment with your resources, talk to your manager about increasing the resources that are available for the project. Adding resources to the project may increase the cost, but may allow you to hit the deadline. If the deadline is most important this may be a viable option. 
  2. Reduce scope. Talk to your sponsor about reducing the project scope. See if there are features and functionality that he can live without for now so that you can deliver the project within the deadline specified.
  3. Identify and manage the deadline as a project risk. Utilizing risk management will help better manage expectations early in the project and also be a way to gather input and ideas for ways that you might be able to hit the deadline.
  4. Manage scope with zero tolerance. On many projects, you start with an aggressive delivery date, and then the situation gets worse because you do not effectively manage scope. It is absolutely critical that you manage scope effectively and do not increase scope without an appropriate increase in budget and timeline.
  5. Manage the schedule aggressively. In many projects, you might get a little behind but have confidence that you can make up the time later. However, when you start a project with the deadline at risk, be sure to manage the schedule diligently. You have no margin for error. As you monitor the schedule, treat missed deadlines as problems and work hard to solve the reasons behind the slippage.
  6. Look for process improvement opportunities. Lastly, take a hard look at your schedule and your approach for executing the project. Talk to your team, clients, and manager about any ideas they may have for making the project go faster. This will get everyone thinking about being part of a solution. 
Although it appears that you are being held accountable for events and circumstances that are not within your control, you do have control over the processes you use to manage the project. Use them proactively and wisely.
TenStep-logo-pngAt TenStep we are dedicated to helping organizations achieve their goals and strategies through the successful execution of critical business projects. We provide training, consulting and products for organizations to help them set up an environment where projects are successful. This includes help with strategic planning, portfolio management, program / project management, Project Management Offices (PMOs) and project lifecycles. For more information, visit www.TenStep.com or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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