Accountability: Creating Winning Teams !

Back by popular demand…Join us at this 1 hour live coaching session where Birgit Zacher Hanson, author of Who Will Do What by When? will reveal how to change the accountability game and make it winnable. Birgit will also answer questions in real-time while coach participants on real-life-issues that relates to getting others to commit and follow-through.

Birgit helps corporations with the following – she can help you too !

  • Strengthen leadership capabilities and help leaders develop coaching skills that lead to sustainable excellence
  • Build collaborative teams and work cultures that enable superior project execution in alignment with business strategy
  • Empower individuals to fulfill on their potential and reach new levels of success

Can you make people do anything they don’t want to do?


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A Process for Managing Risks in Distributed Teams

Distributed teams have become more and more common in today’s global market.   Especially with the mass amount of off-shoring and outsourcing going on at companies in their effort to save money.  But with disstributed and virtual teams come challenges that project teams need to plan for and manage risk around.

Yes, distributed teams add risk to projects – so check out this article that illustrates the nontrivial skills & insight to practice risk management.   It does a comprehensive job of

  • Identifing inherent risks in distributed teams,
  • Sharing techniques to solve them, and
  • Providing Guidelines for applying the techniques.

Eight Risk areas are covered:

* task distribution,
* knowledge management,
* geographical distribution,
* collaboration structure,
* cultural distribution,
* stakeholder relations,
* communication infrastructure, and
* technology setup.

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SUCCESS STORY Audio – Mixing Scrum and Waterfall

Hear about a real world project — Very Large, Complex, Multi-year and Distributed at a market leading financial corporation — where Agile practices were introduced in a very Waterfall traditional environment.

A seasoned PM Consultant, Donnla Nic Gearailt, shares her experience as the Project Manager of a team with responsibilities for the development of NEW software for businesses globally, ranging from tactical bug fixes, to complete system rewrites and re-engineering, to adding new modules to existing systems.

She shares with us in a 30 minute interview:

  • How Waterfall and Scrum fit into her project lifecycle
  • What happened before Scrum Sprints started
  • How Estimating was done with the team and ultimately got management approval
  • What the Team looked like and roles on the team (ie. Project Manager, Product Owner, Stakeholders Business Users, Development, Testing and Release)
  • How her mixed project was integrated with the other waterfall-only projects
  • How dependencies between projects were handled
  • How the Backlog was managed and what was in the backlog
  • What the Scrum Sprints looked like – duration – activities – stand-ups
  • What documentation was used ?
  • How Collaboration was encouraged and achieved with such a distributed team.
  • LOOKING BACK – Donnla also shares what made the project a great success, and key factors any company should consider in mixing Agile & Waterfall when starting to use Agile in their Waterfall world.

SPEAKER: Donnala Nic Gearailt is a Project Management Consultant with CROM Consulting Ltd.  She has been leading and participating in Agile teams for over 4 years and over 8 years in Financial Projects.  She has also played the role of Portfolio Manager, Business Analyst and Developer — and now is the Project Manager of teams.  She has extensive experience in managing projects with many dependencies on other teams and in dealing with the associated issues, such as getting her projects on to the relevant prioritization lists and executed.

Click here to LISTEN to Webinar Recording


WEBINAR – Applying Agile to Multi-Team Projects

Managing software projects when just one team is involved is tricky enough.   After all, apply Agile concepts to large programs or portfolios and the many challenges reveal themselves.

This presentation takes examples of experiences with clients around the world to shed light on best practices as well as avoidable pitfalls when applying Agile to multi-team development projects.  A webinar from Thoughworks.

COST: Free

Webinar Recording is here



WEBINAR – Tools for Distributed Agile Meetings (2 Part Series)

Communication breakdown between remote locations will wreak havoc on a project. As team members struggle to effectively communicate, dysfunctional attitudes and inefficient practices endanger the team’s ability to deliver. Communication over multiple time zones, thousands of miles, and different cultures is not easy. As a result, d elivery risks on distributed projects will always increase.

“Can you hear me now?  Good . . .” is a two-part webinar series put on by ThoughtWorks designed to address those concerns and risks. The goal of this series is to provide immediate support and detailed suggestions to project teams struggling to work in this distributed environment.

Part 1: Tools for Distributed Agile Meetings

In Part 1 of this series will review and rate the best of breed tools that are available in the market to address the key communication challenges faced with distributed development. We will evaluate a variety of tools and what they do for your project, including: Instant Messenger/Chat Tools, Desktop Sharing, VOIP, Web Conferencing, Wiki/Collaboration Tools, Issue/Task Tracking Tools, and Application Lifecycle Management.  View Webinar  here

Part 2: Facilitating Distributed Agile Meetings

Part 2 of builds on the tool recommendations from Part 1 to focus on process and innovations used by effective project teams to facilitate four typical Agile meetings between remote locations: Distributed Release Planning Sessions, Distributed Iteration Planning Meetings, Distributed Stand Ups, and Distributed Retrospectives.  View Webinar here

mark rickmeierMark Rickmeier has over 9 years’ experience in the IT industry. As a project manager for many years, Mark specialized in Agile transformation and project governance with a focus on metrics and measurement. He has extensive distributed development experience working with project teams in Australia, India, China, Canada, the UK, and the US. His industry background includes equipment leasing, retail, insurance, healthcare and retail banking. He is currently a Client Principal at ThoughtWorks.



WEBINAR – Globally Distributed Agile

Learn about choosing Agile practices for your software development project.   And learn what happens when the offshore value proposition comes along with the fact that the delivery team is spread over several locations.  This webinar is by Thoughworks.

COST: Free

Webinar Recording can be listened to click here



2010 Trends in Project Management

2010 brings with it multiple trends for Project Management.   It is not surprising that many of these trends will help mature the world of project management as we know it today.  Just as businesses must be flexible with market conditions – Project Management professionals and organizations must also adapt accordingly.

In talking to industry leaders in Project Management – several trends stand out.

Economic conditions have changed – Companies are changing – and project managers must understand these changes to be the leaders needed in 2010.

Trend 1 – Enterprises continue to look for Efficiencies in Process & Technology

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Virtual Teams bring Savings & Efficiency – If you do it Right

virtual teamsAs the World we know becomes a Smaller Place….

Teams are more and more dispersed and yet required to communicate just as they did when they were side by side or face to face.  If you are located over 90 feet from a team mate, then you are dispersed. We all have challenges that need to be addressed, such as: doing more with less, having faster turnaround in all that we do, cost cutting and bring more value to our customers.

VIRTUAL TEAMS are Growing at an Extraordinary Rate

Business environments are consistently changing.  Changes are fuelled by international competition, technological advancements and alternative work practices.   Organizations are embracing virtual team structures at an unprecedented rate.

VIRTUAL TEAMS have their Challenges & Require skills…

Creating virtual teams is not challenge-free. Why? Imagine trying to communicate effectively with people you have never met and whose personalities you are not familiar with. If this hurdle is not overcome, establishing successful virtual teams can be extremely frustrating.

According to Dr. Tom Allen, author of “Managing the Flow of Technology,” people are not likely to communicate or collaborate very often if they are more than 50 feet apart.   How then, do we foster communication and collaboration when people are geographically dispersed?

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“Virtual Teams” are the future…How to keep them on track !

virtualteam3It is said that “Virtual Teams are the Future“. With gas prices soaring and the economy in a slump – it is critical for organizations to take advantage of the best talent “where they are at” and not limit their resources to local ones only. If you could leverage an excellent DBA from Oklahoma, a Developer from Alabama, a PM from California, etc…. — then you could form teams of the “best people” possible.   Why would you not want to do that?

If you are worried about keeping them on-track, then you need to understand that virtual teams will more frequently have relationship problems that can derail things. Problems with remote colleagues are significantly more difficult to solve and last longer than those with on-site colleagues.   They will either ignore the person, gossip about them, or criticize them…destroying productivity if not dealt with.

What’s the solution?

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