PMP Certification

I passed my PMP exam this month.

I read the PMBoK, I did the virtual led training courses offered by the company I work and I did a lot of exams, reviewing concepts and learning the details of the exam reviewing answers and explanations.

There is a good bunch of exams on the internet, and the more similar ones I found to the exam I did were:

http://www.oliverlehmann.com/pmp-self-test/75-free-questions.htm

http://www.oliverlehmann.com/contents/free-downloads/175_PMP_Sample_Questions.pdf

PMP Exam Prep Questions, Answers, & Explanations: 1000+ PMP Practice Questions with Detailed Solutions by Christopher Scordo (4-Nov-2009)– 1600 questions by Christopher Scordo.

Now thinking about the next certification or training course to take. Any suggestion?

From mess to an organized environment

The work on organizations can be sometimes a completely mess.

I’m working on an initiative to turn this “mess” into a more organized and efficient delivery.

The basic approach we are following is:

  1. To have a clear, complete and detailed organizational chart.
  2. Understand what are the governance rules defined by contract with the customer.
  3. Define role and responsibilities for the different players (using a RACI).
  4. Communicate the roles, expectations and a defined reporting templates.
  5. Promote escalations on specific conflicts that could arise, work on these aspects and refine the RACI.
  6. Prioritize the focus on the major, critical hurdles.
  7. Work always on practical scenarios, avoid just to define theory.
  8. Lead by example.
  9. Promote ITIL, PMI, Six Sigma best practices.
  10. Repeat the process again and again.

After 1 month of work, results start to show green signals, but we are still RED 🙁

15 minutes call, rules

You organize daily calls and you try to make them effective and efficient. Define the purpose and clear ground rules help to complete them on these 15 minutes.

Objective: What did we do yesterday/today, What will we do today/tomorrow, what is blocking us?

Agenda: We will use the action list to drive our agenda.

Ground-rules:

  • All feedback and comments are welcome.
  • We must not go off topic.
  • We must not discuss at length these actions, but focus on the 3 questions.
  • We will confirm support and awareness of the action list.
  • We will attend all the calls, or as many as possible.
  • If we cannot attend a call we will send a short update.
  • We will be sensitive to other priorities.
  • We will hold the call at a mutually agreeable time of day.
  • Please accept my apologies if I missed a key contributor from the list.

Attendees: limited to people who has to work on the action list or are directly involved on the project.

POLDAT should be POLDATE

POLDAT contains the basic aspects of a contract, independently of the nature, environment or magnitude.

It’s an useful tool to enable everybody to work on all aspects of the initiative. For major initiatives, all is included and nobody forgets any of these aspects. For small initiatives, the use of POLDAT as guidance for the definition of an initiative force the person writing it to think about all aspects of the customer needs.

By this reason and others, I would add “E” from experience to the POLDAT. This will enable to have on the first level of requirements the need to understand the “experience” expected by the user or by any stakeholder. These questions need to be done in the beginning of all these processes. This is key value in the Digital Transformation shift we are working on. And “E” should be always in our minds.

You probably will argue that “experience” should be defined as part of the “P” process. But to me, right now this is a limitation that does not give the importance of the experience for the customer.

We should be asking things as:

  • When a customer reach you, how should s/he interact with you?
  • How is the experience today? how should it be tomorrow?
  • Do you know when your customer needs you? How can we make you to be there?

P3M3, what is the priority

This maturity model is very well known by the project/program/portfolio community and one of the questions I would like to ask, is: once we have done an assessment of the situation we have in our project, program or portfolio, where should I start with? We all have limited resources and we cannot fix all.

The classical view of the assessment summarizes the situation with this view:

P3M3-classic-assessmentThe immediate answer that comes to my mind is to start with the less matured aspects. But is this the right criteria? Am I taking into account all relevant aspects?

If we organize the report taking into account the value for the cutomer (which could be a customer, the steering committee or the PMO) we could have a situation as this:

P3M3-value-chain-chart

Our goal is to increase the maturity of the execution of these areas, so the black lines just mark the desired trend we want to give to it. We have limited resources, and to set the right priority is key to maximize the improvement.

  • The vertical position of each area represents the priority of our customer.
  • The horizontal position represents the level of maturity of each area.
  • The blue lines represents the latest desired trends or “urgent” priorities marked by the customer.
  • I have highlighted in red, yellow, green the initial priorities we should take into account for the actions to be done.
  • Special attention of risk management, that, even do that it is more mature of others, it has a high relevance on the benefits management of the program. The improvement on this area will improve the benefits management and the stakeholder engagement.
  • Special attention to Financial Management: initially it’s not a high relevance topic, but the fact that we are closing a fiscal year, makes it important to understand how we are.

Now the difficult side of our real life: Define the actions by area to be launched, performed, measured and communicated.

The importance of projects delivered on time for future sales

You can repeat and repeat to your teams:

Good delivery and good project performance is the most important thing to retain our customer to continue working with us!

But in some cases they will not understand you, some other times they are so focused on their stuff and some others they just don’t care…

So well, IDC in one of the their analysis they highlight that the factor with more contribution to the customer to buy your consulting services again is the projects delivered on time.

Factors-impacting-repeating-buys-Nice! now I can tell them: It’s not me, it’s IDC saying it.

Workday HCM implementation

Read IT projects related to public organizations is useful, the fact that they are public makes that they are a little bit more transparent than private companies. In some cases they add interesting data related to the projects that are a little bit complex to find.

In this case the high-level implementation project for an HCM solution of Workday.

Workday-Implementation-Timeline

Attask

I found this SaaS company, and watching their videos, I wanted to dig into more details.

  • They are in the “Marketing Resource Management” magic quadrant.
  • Clear pricing tables.
  • Task management, resource management, capacity management, Gantt charts, agile project management, workflow automation…
  • The solution looks for the major productivity at all levels: in the requirement, design, tasks, plan, quality of the delivery, delays… there is an excellent combination of the Six Sigma principles, combined with SDLC and productivity best practices.
  • Look at the list of companies using it.
  • Magic quadrant: Cloud-Based IT Project and Portfolio Management Services: leaders.

Attask-joapen

Kick-off meeting, a day to rest

Today we conducted the kick-off meeting for a project.

This SAP technical upgrade starts next week after an assessment process and the feeling has been: how beautiful calm we have experienced Today in comparison with the assessment process, where the stress was present in almost all the areas of evaluation.

Will do have a please project execution as calm as Today? For sure not, but we feel confident with the challenge, the team built for it and the approach we have for it.

Let’s see how it works.