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Feedback on the PMI-DASSM certification training

Author: Martin Härri, PMP, PMI-SP, PMI-ACP, SA

MartinHaerri

I just had 2 intense days of training for the PMI-DASSM certification with Daniel Gagnon. The training was excellent, and I am taking this as an opportunity to recommend to my network to have a closer look at Disciplined Agile. And for dramatical purposes I am exaggerating my statements a bit – but just a little bit. 😊

 

2 thoughts:

  • If you are a practitioner interested in taking a Scrum Master exam, and are not sure if you should take it from any of the usual providers, such as Scrum.org or SAFe, then here’s an analogy: if you take this training from the usual providers you will be like a cook that has learned to cook a great meal (and I really mean that it can be great). But you need the kitchen and the ingredients as per recipe. If you take the training from Disciplined Agile you will be able to create a great meal. You will learn about the types of ingredients, including alternatives (!), about different ways to prepare, cook, and present them, and you will be able to cook it in a kitchen with a wood-fired stove and copper pots, and in a kitchen with high-tech food processing equipment. As per DA principle #5: “Choice is good”. But be warned: the cooking instructions do not fit on the back of a food package, it’s a big book, so plan enough time for the training!

  

  • And if you are a line manager thinking about sending a team member to a training, consider this: if you send them to one of the usual trainings they might come back as what I call “Agile Taliban”. They will see it as part of their mission to “protect the team from the outside”, which means “team = good, company = bad”. And to come back to the cooking analogy from above: you might have to redesign the kitchen, and spend a lot of money on what they perceive as “the right ingredients”. However, the mindset of DA is a more company-friendly, as DA Principle #8 is “Enterprise awareness”. Which means the Scrum Master has the role of maintaining a bridge between the company and the team. “Team = good, company = good”.

 

I hope you liked my analogy. For more information, check out the Disciplined Agile website.

 

Addendum: the standard book on DA is Choose your WoW!, which, by the way, PMI members can get a free electronic copy of. But I do not recommend to start with this one, as it is about as exciting as reading the PMBOK Guide. It is very valuable for learning, and as a reference, but as an introduction into the topic I rather recommend Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery: A Small Agile Team’s Journey from Scrum to Disciplined DevOps. It is the (fictional, but very realistic) story of a software development team which started with Scrum, but then by applying many of the DA principles, evolved their WoW over several iterations. That makes the whole idea of DA much more clear, and wets your appetite for then reading Choose your WoW! About 13$ for the eBook.

Peter Taylor discusses ‘Why Stakeholders Regularly Ignore Your Project Reports and How to Fix That’

Author: Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor NL

Hello PMI Switzerland from The Lazy Project Manager,

  • The #1 way to improve the success probability of your project is to nail stakeholder buy-in - but how do you do that?
  • The #1 way to nail stakeholder buy-in is to give them uncomplicated visual project updates so they actually understand your project - but how do you do that? 

Hello to all of my good friends in the PMI Switzerland chapter (I can’t believe that it has been 15 months since I was last with you, and in fact, my visit to Geneva was my very last trip anywhere!). 

Crazy times indeed.

But I will be with you, remotely at least, on 1st July 2021 and talking all about project reporting and executive stakeholders, and I would really love you all to join me:

https://pmi-switzerland.ch/index.php/events/events-list/why-stakeholders-regularly-ignore-your-project-reports-and-how-to-fix-that

 

The Project Reporting Challenge

When I was leading some very substantial PMOs, global in nature, hundreds of project managers around the world, leading 1,000s of projects on an annual basis, we had this fundamental issue of effectively communicating to a whole range of different stakeholders, but particularly to the executives inside the organisation. All of my project managers were incredibly busy and yet they all had the challenge of how to represent the key aspects of their projects to the business executives, who in turn were busy people who did not have a lot of time and who were overseeing many, many projects at any given time.

Join me

Learn how we overcame this and join me in sharing your thoughts, challenges, and inspirations when it comes to ‘project reporting’ through an interactive presentation. All delivered in my usual fun but insightful way of course.

Book your place today: https://pmi-switzerland.ch/index.php/events/events-list/why-stakeholders-regularly-ignore-your-project-reports-and-how-to-fix-that/individual-registration.

 

About the Author:

Peter Taylor: Speaker, Consultant, Trainer and Coach, Peter is the author of the number 1 bestselling project management book ‘The Lazy Project Manager’. He has built and led some of the largest PMOs in the world with organisations such as Siemens, IBM, and Kronos. In 2020 he was awarded the PMO Global Alliance ‘PMO Influencer of the Year Award’. Visit him here: www.thelazyprojectmanager.com 

Stakeholder and Team Management: An Open Space event this June

Author: Leandro Benda, PMP

Leandro Benda

In order to achieve the set objectives, it is essential to identify and manage the stakeholders of a project and do the team management with the right approach.

StakeholderTeamMgmtArticle


Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is a major challenge for the success of any project. This process is present throughout the project life cycle.

But what exactly is a stakeholder?

It is all the groups of people and all the people who have an interest in or are affected by the project in any way.

This flow starts in the initialization phase of the project with the identification of these people and concludes with the monitoring of their involvement, all the way through the planning and management of them.

Tools like brainstorming, stakeholder analysis, mapping, and meetings are key to the success of these tasks.

Key elements such as the approach, needs, influence and interest of these stakeholders are essential for this analysis.

The more stakeholders are involved, the more value they can bring to the project, support it, and increase the likelihood of achieving the goals set beforehand.

The risk of not performing these activities in an optimal way is that the stakeholders will oppose the project and consequently put the project at risk.

 

Team Management

The constitution, management, development and monitoring of the project team are equally important factors in maximizing the chances of success of the project.

At the beginning of a project, the project manager is often faced with a heterogeneous set of people. The task and challenge of the project manager is to weld this primary team together to form a developed and committed project team.

In order to carry out these processes in the best possible way, the project manager must have strong skills in negotiation, conflict management, listening skills, empathy, delegation, communication, integrated vision and teamwork.

The availability of resources, especially in matrix project organizations, is critical. Ensuring this throughout the project is essential because it can delay or even cause the project to fail, especially since the priority level of the project can change at any time in the various organizations.

It is common for changes to occur during the project lifecycle, managing these changes can be tricky. The project manager has a key role to play in this process with the team and stakeholders in order to find the best possible compromises, and also to maintain credibility with the team.

Project teams can have different levels of maturity and autonomy, so the project manager will have to choose the right management style depending on whether he/she is result-oriented or relationship-oriented, as well as his/her desired level of involvement.

The compatibility of the management style with the team and the context will be decisive for the success of the project.

Given everyone is different and these areas are so close to the so called ‘soft skills’ we hope to engage you in our Open Space, to give you the opportunity to participate and share experiences. So whether you want to approach this from the classic PMP areas, or an Agile approach, (e.g. we’d love to hear from some new DASM/DASSMs given some of you have taken advantage of PMI Switzerland’s offers for these trainings),  you’ll be welcome at our Open Space. Furthermore, Open Spaces are also about learning this unconventional yet powerful facilitation format. Like last time, we’d also like to hear your ideas to fuel topics for further themes to these cyclical drop-in interactive events made by PMI Switzerland for you, around classic PMP or Agile PM topics. 

So join us on the 15th June, Tuesday at  6:30 - 8:00 p.m. (CET) and make sure you attend with 2-3 things (questions/issues) you would like to discuss on Stakeholder and Team Management. We trust you’ll come out with solutions, inspiration and connections. 

Sources:

  • PMBOK® Guide - Sixth Edition 
  • Book  “Gestion de projet - Les étapes vers le succès du projet”, Beat Guntern, Ute G. Blasche and Thierry Bonjour, 2020

Empowering Each Other When Working Remotely

The workshop was prepared and conducted by Luisa Colombo from InsideOut People consulting and María Cortés Astudillo from Agile For Life consulting. 

 We started by defining the challenges in working remotely. To do so we were divided into several breakout rooms of 3-4 people and wrote our findings on the sticky notes on a Miro board. Some of the main challenges were : building trust, lack of social interactions, active collaboration, isolation.

 Next step was discussion on competences to develop to face remote working. Again we went into breakout rooms and placed our sticky notes on another Miro board. Some of the competences that were noted are : respect, discipline, moderation skills, patience.

 With these findings we moved to the next activity, self-regulation.. Luisa explained the brain in the hand model for Self Regulation and Emotional intelligence. It is in fact a hand model of the brain that helps us to see how the brain functions. When we can see what the brain does only then we can change what it does.

Empowering Pictures 1 Adi Muslic

Picture 1

Next to come was the Listening activity. The context was a Team Lead who is announcing the problem to the project manager. There were 3 different role plays – not listening, listening and effective listening. It was easy to see the difference between effective and ineffective listening. While effective listening was full of empathy, providing options of working together, ineffective listening was quite opposite. 

Empowering Pictures 2 Adi Muslic

Picture 2

 

The last activity was the Feedback activity. The context was a 1-2-1 conversation in a work environment where your project manager / manager was going to give you some feedback. Maria facilitated role plays showing the difference between empowering and discouraging feedback. We could see what it looked like not receiving any support or when no solution was offered as opposed to supportive, encouraging feedback.

Empowering Pictures 3 Adi Muslic

 Picture 3

Empowering People with respect and dignity, through:

  • connection and self-regulation
  • listening and compassion
  • respect in relationships and empowering feedback

Important components are self awareness, awareness of others and ability to cooperate. Become a servant leader by being firm and kind.

We ended the session by placing our sticky notes on the Takeaways board. Here are some examples :

  • Make time in meetings to talk about other things than work.
  • Make myself more available/supportive to my teammates.
  • Be aware of people’s emotional state.
  • Take distance to observe.

I personally liked the rôle plays as they made the differences so obvious making an immediate effect on all participants. If you have a chance, I suggest you attend one of the workshops that Luisa and Maria are facilitating. 

Disciplined Agile - the best fit for your approach

In the last PMI Switzerland's Open Spaces event we were discussing PM tools. Some of the discussions were about Agile tools but we were really discussing the unfitted agile approaches. Each example was unique and each approach different. 

Disciplined Agile helps you choose the best strategy that is fit-for-purpose given your current situation. You will find a wide range of techniques that will help you be an effective and learning organization. 

However, being Agile means also knowing Agile. Here is an introduction to Disciplined Agile.

YouTube link

 If you like it you may want to learn more about it. It is the right time to do so. To find more about the upcoming PMI Switzerland DASM and DASSM certification training click here: