Agile Software Development: Best Practices for Project Managers

If you are a Project Manager or desire to be one, you probably expect of countless projects that are lining up on your list waiting to be implemented.

Most of the time, implementing “one project at a time” doesn’t work very well because you have to begin and finish projects as soon as possible.

In software application development, agile software development is a methodology utilized to assess the direction of a project throughout its whole life cycle.

Agile enables adaptive planning, evolutionary development, prompt delivery, constant improvement, and ensures swift responses to needed changes.

Agile Software Development is considered iterative and incremental since it produces prospective “shippable” product increment through consistent steps of work.

When Should You Use Agile?

The agile model will be suitable to the following situations:

  1. When developers need to drop the few days spent to work in order to roll back and implement the project again.
  2. When implementation of current changes should be done, offering a very low cost due to the new increments produced.
  3. When a project should resume without the fear of getting into a sudden stop.
  4. When a limited planning is needed to begin an immediate project.

To see a dramatic improvement of results on your projects, the following are the most common steps that should be taken:

Discovery –

Meetings with the clients should unfold a realistic and visible direction to the new project. The client’s vision, goals, challenges and potential customers should be comprehensively laid and discussed so as to discover what will best fit to meet such needs. Hence, this is the stage where discovery takes place. The entirety of the project is anticipated and discussed to gain a deeper understanding until successful completion.

Product Backlog –

Upon the discovery, the client is then asked to create a prioritized feature list with short descriptions. “User Story” is the format by which this list is documented inclusive of all the features, necessary work assignment and a living document that can be updated or changed until the whole process is done. Basically, this high-level backlog is done to provide a detailed recognition of all the important steps to be taken for the project in order to prevent the team from going astray with the goal.

Iterations –

This approach is consist of various tasks performed at an identified span of time, usually 4 weeks. The agile team and the client meets for a meeting to review the considerations and demands of the project in order to meet the expectations. Mainly, this is set to refine and clarify all details before developing them. The team then begins to perform the tasks. The designers, developers, testers, writers and other roles work hand-in-hand to create outputs which will be checked by the client. This time, the client and the rest of the team will assess the finished tasks, the ones that are to be done and the difficulties that will be encountered along the process. The outcome of this assessment will be subject to the development of the project which in due time when completed will expose a demonstration of the delivered features.

Continuing the Cycle –

When the project is ready, other improvements will rise along the way. Addition of such features and demands will be carried out through the client and the agile team still working together. The cycle takes place again, from discovery, to product backlog and iterations to scrutinize the significance and details of the new features.

Following these steps will inculcate an orientation to the client and the agile team to produce the desired project. Furthermore, this keeps the process systematic and quick since the direction of the project is clear to everyone involved.

Benefits of the incorporating the Agile model to your project:

  1. Connection between the client and the agile team is strengthened inculcating deeper understanding and creation of clear goals for the new project
  2. Consistent, prompt and useful software development services satisfy customers
  3. Quick adaptation to shifting cases
  4. Interactive linkage between the client and developers are regularly exhibited.
  5. Late changes in the demands and backlog of features can be catered.
  6. Working software is delivered regularly

Agile software development is a project management approach that can offer quality and systematic accomplishment of every project assigned to project managers. This enhances connection to clients and provides real-time adaptation to alterations met along the process.

Utilizing this methodology when managing your projects will likely show dramatic improvements and help you and your projecdt perform at its best.

The Most Important Things You Need To Know About New PDU Requirements

As you may have heard by now, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has changed their PDU requirements as of December 1, 2015. Let’s dig in and see what it means to us!

The change may or may not affect you greatly, so let’s take a look at the changes and understand the impacts to the PMP certification renewal process.

1. You Must Earn 24 PDUs/Hours in the “Talent Triangle”

PMI’s Talent Triangle

The PMI has created an entity they are referring to as the “Talent Triangle.” The Triangle is comprised of the following three areas, or legs:

  1. Technical Project Management
  2. Leadership
  3. Strategic and Business Management

At a high level, you must earn 24 of your 60 PDU requirement over three years.

For those 24 hours, you will need to earn 8 PDUs/hours each for each of the three categories in the Talent Triangle.

2. Reduced PDUs/Hours in Other Areas

At the same time, the number of PDUs that you may earn in other areas is now reduced, including PDUs that you can earn for work experience, volunteer service, and self-directed hours.

Bummer, huh?

3. Why Did PMI Make the Change?

The Project Management Organization (PMI) performs a Role Delineation Study (RDS) every few years to analyze changes in the profession and the demands of employers.

The most recent RDS showed that there has been some gap in these skill areas listed in the Talent Triangle. Employers are also demanding more of these skills.

The PMI has deemed these skill areas important enough to require ongoing increased focus and training in these areas.

4. Leadership is the Most Important Skill

leadership
(Image by psd via Flickr)

In the “PMI’s Pulse of the Profession In-Depth Report: Navigating Complexity,” PMI discussed the Leadership skill, one of the three legs of the Talent Triangle.

In that study, PMI asserted that “75% of organizations rank leadership skills as the most important for successful navigation of complexity in projects.”

Leadership has many aspects. PMI lists the following as the most relevant aspects of leadership:

  •     Brainstorming
  •     Coaching and mentoring
  •     Conflict management
  •     Emotional intelligence
  •     Influencing
  •     Interpersonal skills
  •     Listening
  •     Negotiation
  •     Problem solving
  •     Team building

These aspects of leadership, defined by the PMI, are topic areas that will fulfill the PDU requirements for the Leadership leg of the PMI Talent Triangle.

What Do You Think?

Do you agree or disagree with what PMI’s changes to promote more focused training in the Talent Triangle? I invite you to please share your perspective on what skills managers will need to be successful in the future.

Thanks for tuning in! Cheers.

Attributions via 12-09-2015 – PMI PDU requirements have changed as of Dec 1

4 Must-Have Skills That Project Managers Need to Best Adapt to Future Trends

This morning while sipping on my coffee, I came across an insightful article about some of the top skills that project managers are going to need to have to succeed in the next ten years, and it got me to thinking.

Circumstances and cultures have changed, and our tools and other resources have changed. The way we communicate with each other has changed.

For example, I know in our organization, our employees telework at least once a week, and sometimes two or three days a week. We use virtual teaming and rely heavily on telephone, webinar, instant messaging, and other electronic ways of sharing information and collaborating. What are the challenges we face? Well, it’s hard to be engaged, and listening and talking on the conference calls is not very effective. What can we do to improve our skills to be successful in the coming years?

Simple: you take emerging work trends and extend them forward a few years, predicting which ones have the strongest chance of sticking around. Then you figure out what skills you will need to navigate work within those trends.

Below is the list of the author’s suggested four skills that project managers will need to learn in the next ten years:

1. Project Managers Will Need Cross-Cultural Intelligence

TREND: Workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse. Companies of all sizes continue to expand to overseas locations, or engage in offshore outsourcing.

SKILL NEEDED: Project managers are being called not just to understand cultural differences, but also be able to switch to different behaviors as the situation dictates.

Cultural intelligence (CQ), like emotional intelligence (EQ), is a relatively new method of understanding ourselves and, in turn, our teammates. Author Julia Middleton explains in her book Cultural Intelligence, that CQ can be broken down into two parts: our core (the behaviors we will not change for anyone) and our flex (those behaviors we can change when needed).

Project managers will need to learn to use their flex side in a concept called cultural code-switching, being able to blend with a culture as needed, and even engage in behaviors that may conflict with the culture they grew up with. For example: giving feedback directly as opposed to covering it with humor, or being a more present boss as opposed to letting the team self-organize. The project manager’s aim should be to focus on the result and think about altering your behavior as a means to meeting your team’s end.

2. Project Managers Will Need Virtual Collaboration Skills

TREND: As organizations source talent from across the globe, remote workforces increase. According to Wrike’s Remote Work survey of 1,000 employees, 80% of respondents deal with remote workers on a daily basis, either working with distributed colleagues, or as remote workers themselves.

SKILL NEEDED: Project managers must be able to lead their teams and engage with individuals effectively — no matter where in the world they may be stationed.

Team Collaboration
Image by HckySo via Flickr

While face-to-face meetings may remain the norm for companies that exist in only one brick-and-mortar location, it’s becoming increasingly common to hold meetings online or in shared virtual spaces. This means managers can no longer assume that attendees are all on the same page, and communication skills must be updated to ensure no misunderstandings happen. Plus, this entails learning the technology needed to communicate effectively.

3. Project Managers Must Adapt to New Technologies

TREND: New inventions appear everyday, including technologies that make work easier or that fundamentally change the way we work.

SKILL NEEDED: The speed with which new technologies appear requires managers who are flexible enough to learn new tools and incorporate them into daily use.

For example: marketing is an industry where tools are created at the speed of need. While jumping on the bandwagon isn’t a formula I’d suggest, it does pay to experiment with new tech. Find out what works. Test which ones make your time more productive. Assemble your toolbox of essential tools and keep it updated.

4. Project Managers Will Need to Handle Information Overload

TREND: Information overload is a very real thing, especially in our modern workplace. There is a limit to the amount of stuff our minds can process, a.k.a. our cognitive load.

SKILL NEEDED: Project managers who want to succeed in the next decade must be able to manage this deluge of data and extract the useful bits from the noise.

For example: PMs will have to distinguish emergencies amidst the massive influx of messages in their email inboxes. They will have to prioritize work that delivers the most value, even with a huge number of mixed signals from stakeholders. They will have to be strategic despite all the pings and notifications that will have them running to “put out fires.” They will need to be masters at prioritizing, time management, and focus if they intend to be successful at work and at life.

What Do You Think?

The author sees the unifying theme is constant learning and flexibility.

If you’re flexible enough to take what comes and willing to educate yourself on how best to adapt, then the future holds no insurmountable surprises for you.

The post 4 Skills Managers Will Need to Learn in the Next Decade appeared first on Wrike Blog.

via: 4 Skills Managers Will Need to Learn in the Next Decade

Do you agree or disagree with the author’s list of top must-have project management skills? Do you spot a critical skill missing from the list that you think will be absolutely necessary? I invite you to please share your perspective on what skills managers will need to be successful in the future.

Thanks for tuning in!

Cheers,
PMSpotlight

Top 3 management certification programs considered best in the industry

These are tough times. And many of us are feeling it in our wallets. But .. No matter how tough times are, we can’t forget the basics. And project management professional (pmp) training definitely is one of the basics. And, without the basics taken care of, how can you get started?
Below is one of the best articles we have ever read on the subject. It lays everything out nicely, it’s easy to read, and, understand, it touches on all of the key issues, and, best of all, when you have finished reading it, you will definitely know which is a very good direction to take given your circumstances.

PMI?s PMP training & certification

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is one of the management programs which is always on demand, valued and given a high consideration during recruitment. By enrolling for a PMP certification program, a professional learns to manage various phases of a project such as Initiation, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing. It follows the methodology as per management norms like ISO 9000 and is based on the guidelines of Project Management Body of Knowledge, also known as PMBOK Guide, formulated by Project Management Institute (PMI).

APMG-International?s ITIL Certification

APMG-International?s ITIL– Information Technology Infrastructure Library ? UK, is a technology management certification program. Its content is structured to impart knowledge to the professionals with which they can identify the missing key technological elements and incorporate them in the existing project to propel a project?s output to the greater heights.

As per a report, professionals having ITIL certification received $122,000, on an average. On the other hand, on an average, Service Manager with ITIL certification got $125,000, in US.

Various ITIL® Training and certifications programs are:

1. ITIL® Foundation certification 2. ITIL® Managing across the Lifecycle (MALC) certification 3. ITSM certification 4. ITIL® Intermediate RCV certification 5. ITIL® Expert certification 6. ITIL® Intermediate CSI certification 7. ITIL® Intermediate SS certification 8. ITIL® Intermediate SO certification 9. ITIL® Intermediate OSA certification 10. ITIL® Intermediate SD certification 11. ITIL® Intermediate SOA certification 12. ITIL® Intermediate PPO certification 13. ITIL® Intermediate ST certification

Microsoft Professional 2013

Microsoft Professional 2013 is a product of Microsoft Corporation ? USA. It has been designed to render professionals with the knowledge and competence to explore all aspects and processes of a project right from resources to investment cost to deadline to progress track.

Overview: Features of Microsoft Professional 2013

1. Interoperability: Allows different projects to communicate with Project Server database on the Internet or common resource pool. 2. Allows to schedule and manage projects 3. Schedule Project Timeline 4. SharePoint 2013 synchronization 5. Allows to conducts what-if analysis 6. Track resource?s progress and spot problems in the project 7. Project Graphical Reports 8. Allows to track path of different tasks 9. Allows easy sharing

Due to its ability to offer a host of useful features to manage a project, it is one of the commonly used products and hence certified Training in MS Project 2013 will help professionals to stand out from the crowd and stand a better chance to get promoted or land with a lucrative managerial job.

I hope this article has given you new insight on the subject and given you some things to think about. Although there is nothing new under the sun, the information that you have just finished reading is presented in a fresh and interesting way.

One thing is for sure, information on this subject is available all over the Internet and this article is one of many articles available on the subject. We love writing on this subject and have presented our point of view. Feel free to look around and explore our site for more project management professional (pmp) training information.

PMP is the Most Respected Project Management Certification Globally

It’s not surprising many people are looking for information on project management certification when it’s such a common issue for so many, yet, good information is hard to find. That’s why we have gathered everything you need to know, right here.

The article below goes directly to the heart of the matter and explains all sides of the issue. We hope it answers your particular questions.

We strive to keep our information up-to-date so that you can find everything you need to know, right here, on our website. Our researchers probe all the key media wires and inside sources to bring you the news while it is happening. Find it here and be the first to know.

PMP is the Most Respected Project Management Certification Globally

Submitted by: Bookmy Training

PMI is also known to be the largest service provider to offer substantial amount of knowledge worldwide. Project Management Institute (PMI) was founded in the year 1969. This organization is also called as a membership community that entirely focuses on the subject of Project Management and its advancement in the long run.

An Insight of PMI:

? Currently PMI is offering five programs, which help in developing of diverse skill sets and making individuals into full-fledged professionals. With this certification you become proficient and competent enough to meet the global market standards.

? PMI?s Project Management Professional (PMP)® is today the most popular body in setting the body of standard professionals. It also assures to provide a growing and successful path of career for the people aspiring to become project managers.

? It also helps to maintain professional credentials that are also globally-transferable.

? They help in the progress of advocacy mission along with critical projects and programs in the form of updating as well as creating global standards, university program accreditation and the credential development process.

Role of PMI (Project Management Institute):

? It transforms a novice into a professional and a professional into an expert.

? With different training courses and PMI events it ensures that you attain different sorts of skill sets.

? PMI plays vital role in making the professionals realize where they stand in the market.

American National Standards Institute have accepted and recognized Project Management Institute as one of the organization with progressive development of standards. It is solely due to the reason that PMI today works to develop and maintain distinct and exclusive standards for the professionals. These professional standard holders are then valued not only by their members but also at the global marketplace as well as by the stakeholders. Through this PMI has widely achieved the target of global excellence while offering a project management practice by applying standards that are recognized and are applied worldwide consistently.

Management institutes too have felt the need for soft skill training for their students appearing in placement sessions for more positive results. They are arranging special training sessions on soft skills, etiquette, motivation, anchoring, group discussion, interview and team work etc to be provided by Best Training provider in the market.

In fact, It has really become need of the hour to address soft skill issue. Many students come from small towns to cities to make their career and they face this problem due to improper schooling. Though educational institutes try their level best to help them to overcome this problem with the available resources, no one can give training as effective as the Best Training provider.

There have been cases where even the brightest student fails to pass through the interview because of poor command over soft skills. It is this situation that has given rise to the concept for courses or training workshops on soft skills by Best Training institutes and colleges to make students more eligible.

BookMyTrainings.com is India’s #1 training marketplace that provides a platform for training seekers and training providers to come together. The portal lists all the upcoming training programs across cities along with the necessary details of a training session.

Upcoming programs of Project Management Professional (PMP).

About the Author: Bookmytrainings is a India’s #1 training marketplace and qualified Project Management Professional – Institute provides a platform for Training Seekers and Training Providers to come together. More Information: http://www.bookmytrainings.com

Source: www.isnare.com

Permanent Link: http://www.isnare.com/?aid=1178160&ca=PetsDo you feel that the information that you have just read satisfies your curiosity about project management certification? If so, send us a message of affirmation. However, if you feel that there is a need for improvement, please also let us know where we can add more details. It is our goal to make this site the best resource for project management certification. Your feedback will be highly appreciated!

Microsoft Project Management Tools Are the Key to Success

by: Schew Maker

Have you ever wondered how project management tools works? Doesn’t it baffle your mind a bit? Doesn’t it spark your curious mind, and make you think incessantly about it? Are you interested in learning facts, trivia and other interesting information about it? You have come to the right place because every so often we update this site with various information about project management tools.

There was a time when Microsoft project management tools were somewhat cumbersome to use, but times have changed and now they are the preferred means by which businesses large and small manage all types of projects. If you are a project manager or a business owner, you will appreciate all the various functions of this now very easy-to-use software.

What Do Microsoft Project Management Tools Do?

With this software, you will be able to manage and track all functions of any given project from anywhere in the world. To your eyes, it will appear that all of your employees, consultants, and freelancers are all working in the same office when they may be in different countries altogether. You can also better manage all of your teams so that they have a better chance of being highly productive, and that means profitability.

What Will It Show You?

Microsoft project management tools will show you everything from scheduling to cost management and time management to workflow and governance. In other words, every aspect of a project will be able to be maintained, reported on, and viewed in an instant from wherever you are. This is highly important for companies that have multiple offices or use various sources for completing a project.

Is It Affordable?

In addition to being affordable, this type of software will also help you to reach a level of profitability that you just couldn’t reach any other way. You will get the most out of all of your assets, including your employees? and consultants? time, and that means that you will finish each and every project within budget and within the time allotted. Whether you are dealing with the biggest project your company has ever seen or a smaller one, using project management software will always help you become more profitable and streamlined.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of this software to any company is that it helps every project take off quicker and find its way to fruition at the least cost possible. There is no room for wasted hours or assets in today?s business world, and proper project management will make sure that there is none in your business. For employees, consultants, and freelancers who are all working on a project, this is an ideal way to all work together with the least amount of frustration. Whether you are working on a small project or a worldwide one, you will save money and reach the goal line quicker.

In addition to being affordable, this type of software will also help you to reach a level of profitability that you just couldn’t reach any other way. You will get the most out of all of your assets, including your employees? and consultants? time, and that means that you will finish each and every project within budget and within the time allotted. Whether you are dealing with the biggest project your company has ever seen or a smaller one, using project management software will always help you become more profitable and streamlined.

Because this is a Microsoft-based project, the reporting is done in a style to which you are already accustomed and uses Microsoft Sharepoint as a means of delivery. It is rich with components that you can use to track and manage the entire cycle of any project, and portfolio management tools that will help to make sure that you are always using the best of all of your tools. All in all, whether you are running a big, long-term project or a smaller, short-term one, you will have all the tools that you need to achieve your final goals of your project.

About the Author: Microsoft project management tools will show you everything from scheduling to cost management and time management to workflow and governance. Visit – http://epmlive.com/products/projectengine/ | Source: www.isnare.com

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Duties of a Project Manager

by: Tobby Hedges

Before listing down the series of duties and responsibilities of a project manager, let’s start with the basic definition of a project manager.

Who is a project manager? A project manager is a professional in the field of a project management. He or she is solely responsible for the complete project life-cycle (i.e. from planning, to the execution, to managing the risks involved, and the closure of the any given project, etc.).

The position of a project manager exists in many different disciplines. For example, an engineer or an architect will be responsible from managing the designs to the approval of the design and to the final structure which will be produced. Likewise, with the project managers in the field of IT, they will be responsible from developing and testing information networks to the final financial systems.

Regardless of the subject matter area involved, the project manager function is characterized by a common set of duties and responsibilities. A project manager generally applies all of these duties to meet project requirements, as follows:

  • Ascertain appropriate products, services and plans with clients or customers in order to define project scope, requirements, and deliverables;
  • Develop, modify and put in high level of inputs to make sure that the project plan is carried out smoothly;
  • Effectively implement the project plans in order to meet the objectives of the clients and attain the organizational goals;
  • Coordinate and integrate various project activities among the team members and make sure the communication level is at the peak;
  • Manage, lead, and administer various project resources so that the assignment gets complete perfectly in the stipulated period of time;
  • Monitor the right functioning of all the project activities and must be up to date with necessary resources to mitigate the risks;
  • Implement or maintain quality;
  • Provide expertise in making improvements in the project,
  • Provide problem solving ability and take corrective actions when problem arises.

Above mentioned are some of duties and tasks that a project manager should perform. However, to perform these diverse duties and responsibilities at the same time, one requires professional project manager training. Training may include various project management programs and courses that will enhance skills and grow your career as a project manager.

For further details on the course log onto: http://www.ti2.ae | Source: www.isnare.com