Becoming Agile for Project Managers

Learn how Project Managers using traditional Waterfall methods are becoming Agile…

becoming_agile_book

(click book to purchase)

TOPICS COVERED

  • Is Agile only for software projects?
  • How and Where to identify areas to leverage Agile
  • How do you move to Agile?
  • How does Agile affect the traditional Project Manager role?
  • and more…

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Agile Release Plan Excel Template downloads

Sometimes we just need a jump start to get going…and using templates that have worked well for others is a great way to do that.  The web has tons of templates to check out….here are just a few:

Sprintometer 1.12

Sprintometer

Main features of Sprintometer: SCRUM & XP projects tracking; Enhanced Burn-down; Support for variable team size; Prediction of deviation from sprint/iteration plan; Export to Microsoft Excel for all charts and spreadsheets; Data in local file or in shared DB on server; Modern and user friendly interface; Numerous reports with all important Agile parameters; XML format support.

Henrik Kniberg’s – Backlog, Story Cards, Wall template

Henrik Kniberg’s blog has a s straightfoward and yet has enough detail to plan with and, the BIG thing, allows you to print off the story cards for the wall.  I can’t believe how many tools ignore this basic need for an Agile team!  Here is our version of the same spreadsheet with a few modifications:

>>For more downloads, click here…

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NEW BOOK – The Scrum Field Guide “Practical Advice for Your First Year”

The Scrum Field Guide  (by Mitch Lacey)  is meant to help you fine-tune your own implementation, navigate some of the unfamiliar terrain, and more easily scale the hurdles we all encounter along the way.

Who Should Read This Book

If you are thinking about getting starting with Scrum or agile, are at the beginning of your journey, or if you have been at it a year or so but feel like you’ve gotten lost along the way, this book is for you. I’m officially targeting companies that are within six months of starting a project to those that are a year into their implementation, an 18-month window.

This is a book for people who are pragmatic. If you want theory and esoteric discussions, grab another of the many excellent books on Scrum and agile. If, on the other hand, you want practical advice and real data based on my experience running projects both at Microsoft and while coaching teams and consulting at large Fortune 100 companies, this book fits the bill.

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PMI-ACP Reference Materials: PMI Agile Certified Practitioner BOOKS

PMI has provided a a list of publications that may be helpful when preparing for the PMI-ACP exam. A few of the books are:

……..…….

 Click here to see the complete list

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FREE eBOOK – Kanban and Scrum: Making the most of Both

This FREE eBOOK DOWNLOAD by Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin is excellent !   It clears up the fog, so you can figure out how Kanban and Scrum might be useful in your own environment. Thanks to InfoQ for posting it.

There isn’t a single “best” way to do things; you have to think for yourself and figure it out – based on your situation !

LEARN ABOUT…

  • the difference between Scrum and Kanban.
  • their strengths and limitations,
  • when to use each
  • how and when to improve upon Scrum, or any other tool you may happen to be using.
  • how to apply them in real life situations
  • and more….

Mary Poppendieck writes:

Henrik Kniberg is one of those rare people who can extract the essence of a complicated situation, sort out the core ideas from the incidental distractions, and provide a crystal clear explanation that is incredibly easy to understand.  He makes it clear that these are just tools, and what you really want to do is have a full toolkit, understand the strengths and limitations of each tool and how to use them all. The important thing is not the tool you start with, but the way you constantly improve your use of that tool and expand your toolset over time.

David Anderson, the founder of Kanban, writes,

Kanban is proving useful to teams doing Agile software development but equally it is gaining traction with teams taking a more traditional approach. Kanban is being introduced as part of a Lean initiative to morph the culture of organizations and encourage continuous improvement.

Click here to LISTEN to Webinar Recording

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Keep up to date on Agile-Lean News with Paper.li

One of the greatest tools I’ve found to stay up to date on what is going on in the Agile/Lean space is Paper.li.  It is a tool that sends you daily emails from all kinds of social media resourcs on the Agile topic – in newspaper format.  So you don’t have to goto twitter, facebook, RSS feeds — it does it for you. Talk about saving you time.

You type in some key words and Paper.li will give you a list of newsletters available to you to subscribe to.

When you subscribe to one – you will get a newsletter emailed to you….

If you don’t see something you want – then create one yourself !   It is super easy.  Enjoy !

 

 

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Glossary of Agile Terms

I found an excellent glossary of Words and Terms common to Agile that is very helpful.  Thanks goes out to DAVISBASE for providing this to ASPE.

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.Terms like:

  • Burn Down Chart
  • Burn Up Chart
  • Velocity
  • Story Points
  • Cadence
  • Persona
  • and much more….

Click here to VIEW Glossary

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Playing Games: Project Management’s Next Innovation

Communication and social dysfunctional relationships are often associated with project teams’ inability to meet their project goals and objectives. This all too often leads to project’s coming in over budget and/or schedule.

The social and emotional skills of a project teams and individuals have been de-emphasized in favor of process and procedural fulfillment on part of the project profession.  In some respects, this is leading towards the commoditization of project management.

There’s a clear need to acknowledge and value of emotional and social intelligence in project teams. Research shows the best way to increase emotional and social intelligence is through experiential processes like ‘serious games’. Serious games provide a powerful, proven new tool for the PM toolkit. They are an engaging, economical way to create respect, trust, appreciation for diversity and ultimately organizational value.

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Ten Lessons for Leading During Crisis

I like to share great articles I find – since we can all learn from each other.   This one from ProjectTimes.com talks about a great book by Linda Henman on ‘Landing in the Executive Chair’ where she talks about what a leader should learn in order to prepare for a crisis and what a leader should do during a crisis.  If you haven’t read the book – get it – but this article will give you the highlights and lessons that you can put into practice right away.

It doesn’t matter if you are using Agile – Lean – Waterfall – or some other practices…Crisis rears it’s ugly head in many projects – and when you least expect it.  Project Managers will find these ten lessons of great value in preparation to minimize the impact to their projects and their organizations.

Lesson 1: Heed the Early Warning Signs

There are often early warning signs that a storm is brewing. Sailors have a saying, ‘Red sails in morning, sailor take warning, Red sails at night, sailors delight.’ Take notice of early warning signs in your project. Be aware of persistent customer, stakeholder or project member complaints, rumors, turnover in the project, and resistance to change due to innovation or technology.  These always seem to start off small and begin to swell. Don’t ignore them and find out exactly if there is the potential of a problem brewing over the horizon.

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Top Ten Agile – Kanban Tools

The Agile Evangelist shares:

Even though Kanban will conjure up images of whiteboards and stickers more than anything else, truth is we also need software tools. If you are anything like me, the only two things you know you’d never lose are your head and the stuff you keep in your computer/online. Also, if you work with teams and people in remote locations, these tools can ease things up. From robust all-around tools such as Hansoft to more personal lightweight application such as Lino, here you have an always convenient list of agile tools, reviewed.

1. Agile Zen

Agile Zen is a simple, pay per month Agile tool that gets extra points for their do-good philosophy. If you work for a not-for profit organisation you get 50% off their already low price. Also, if you are working on a open source project, you get the tool for free.

The only downside to it I find is how, at this time is only offered as a hosted tool. However, if you want to try it out today, you can! Head over to AgileZen today to get started.

2. Flow

3. Pivitol Tracker

4. Hansoft

Click here for the full list of TOP TEN TOOLS…

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