Think Agile is a fad? Think again

Think Agile is a fad? Think again

What’s in your wallet? At Cap One plenty since they started using agile! In 2011, Capital One (the “what’s in your wallet? ” company) delivered only 1% of its development projects using agile. Today, it’s 85%. Here are some facts to get your (or your executives’) attention. Using an agile development methodology Capital One has 400 product releases per month 95% of products meet expectations on the first release delivery times have been cut by 3-6 months they have decreased costs significantly While you might think that Capital One has a pilot test of agile going on the fact is they have trained more than 3,000 developers and business users on this innovative development approach. This is no small feat.

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What makes a perfect Project Initiation Document (PID)?

What makes a perfect Project Initiation Document (PID)?

The Project Initiation Document (PID) – or the Definition Document – is one of the most important artifacts in project management because it provides a foundation for the project. It specifies why the project is important, what will be delivered, when it will be delivered and how. It’s the contract between the project management team and the steering committee – or sponsor – if you like. Unfortunately many project managers don’t take the time to write a proper PID. They write a document which is far too generic and therefore doesn’t bear any real meaning. The purpose of writing a PID is not to tick a box so that you can say you have done it, but to ensure that everybody understands the premise of the project.

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PM training through MOOCs? It’s just a matter of time

PM training through MOOCs? It’s just a matter of time

Coursera , one of the relatively new companies offering MOOCs (Massive Open On-line Courses) recently announced a couple of very interesting bits of news. First, the former President of Yale University, Richard C. Levin, who stepped down this past June, will become its chief executive next month. And, second, the company recently introduced what it calls “specializations” where an individual who completes several related courses will earn a certificate, all for the low price of between $250-$500! I’m sure Levin had his choice of jobs upon leaving Yale; most ex-presidents of Yale do. And yet, he chose to jump headfirst into this rapidly evolving, and somewhat controversial,  form of on-line learning.  Coursera sees rapid growth, especially in China, and Levin, with a great deal of experience in working with Chinese universities throughout his career, can help spur that growth, and grow his compensation as well. As regards certificates, this is another interesting development.

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As a PM are you on the human hamster wheel?

As a PM are you on the human hamster wheel?

We’ve all witnessed the poor hamster on his hamster wheel running furiously and literally going nowhere. Many people I’ve known through the years use this as an analogy for how they feel about certain projects they’ve worked on. Obviously, the message is that there is a lot of energy expended but ultimately it all leads nowhere. Well, I’d like to show you (literally) a different perspective of the human hamster wheel. In the Boiler Gallery in Brooklyn, New York there are two performance artists who are living on a 25-foot wheel made from wood, steel, and furniture. This 10-day event features Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder who are sharing two living unites arrayed over the hamster-wheel-like sculpture. Shelley’s on top and Schweder is on the bottom.

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IT Project Managers, the insurance industry, and fear

IT Project Managers, the insurance industry, and fear

Many have heard of the famous remark by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” Well, that quote just took on a new twist in the global insurance industry when executives surveyed in that sector say they fear their current systems will not be able to handle the regulatory and financial challenges of their business. In fact, in a survey conducted by Northern Trust , 70% of the senior investment managers surveyed admit they are concerned about the future. What’s going on? Well, in the U.S. there’s increasing business and systems complexity related to the Dodd-Frank Act; and, in Europe, the sector has to comply with the Solvency II directives.

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