Thursday, May 28, 2009

Join us on LinkedIn and receive an discount to PW&WBCA in June!

We invite you to join us at our ProjectWorld & The World Congress for Business Analysts LinkedIn group to receive an exclusive $600 discount for the ProjectWorld event in Baltimore this June 24-26. This jam-packed three day summit filled with content will challenge you to work smarter and take your company to the next level of productivity. Because we know that taking time out of the office is a challenge, we are offering you the opportunity earn up to 25 PDUs during the summit enabling you to advance your career to the next level. Keynotes include several award winning CIOs.

Join our LinkedIn group by tomorrow, Friday, May 29th, for this exclusive discount!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Project World June Speaker: Linda Jacobs Washington, Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S Department of Transportation

On May 25, 2007, Linda Jacobs Washington was appointed as the Assistant Secretary for Administration. In this capacity, Ms. Washington serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Transportation on all matters relating to the organization and management of the Department and provides leadership in the delivery of centralized services to the Department's 10 operating administrations through a working capital fund. These services include human resources, security, transportation services, printing and graphics, mail, facilities, and procurement and grants programs. She was responsible for the planning and relocation of the Department to its new headquarters building in 2007. Ms. Washington joined the Department in May 2003 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration.

Ms. Washington came to DOT after spending 9 years at the Library of Congress as the Director of Integrated Support Services (ISS). She began her career at the Library of Congress in 1994 as Chief of the Photo duplication Service, which provides microfilming services for the preservation of all of the Library's collections. As Director of ISS, she managed support operations, which included contracts and logistics, printing and mail operations, health and safety services, and facilities operations. She was the Library of Congress Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO) and the Library's Emergency Manager. As the DASHO, Ms. Washington managed critical incidents, including the 9/11 and anthrax emergencies.

In August 1997, she was asked to develop the Library's Internal University (IU) to provide training and education programs for the more than 4,000 employees of the Library of Congress. The IU's mission is to improve the Library's productivity, performance, and service to the Congress and the American public by developing management and work force knowledge and skills that promote individual and organizational excellence in support of the Library's strategic objectives. Since developing the IU, Ms. Washington implemented a Library-wide training program entitled "Facilitative Leadership", a methodology that empowers staff to work together to achieve common goals. She is also a trained facilitator and master trainer.

Prior to joining the Library of Congress, Ms. Washington spent 12 years with Xerox Corporation holding various sales and marketing positions, the last of which was in management with Xerox Business Services where she demonstrated skill at achieving customer satisfaction while meeting business goals. While at Xerox, Ms. Washington also received the President's Club Award and the Par Club Award. The team she led won one of the highest Xerox awards, "Team Excellence".

In 2003, Ms. Washington was appointed by Secretary Ann Veneman of the United States Department of Agriculture to the Board of the Department's Graduate School. Ms. Washington was honored by the Washington, DC, Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS), as the 2005 recipient of their Diversity Award, in Recognition of Outstanding Leadership in Transportation. The WTS, founded in 1977, is an international organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation. Ms. Washington is the Vice Chair of the Local Federal Coordinating Committee for the Combined Federal Campaign’s National Capital Region. Ms. Washington also represents the Secretary of Transportation on the Federal Council on Arts and Humanities.

In October 2007, Linda Washington was selected by the President as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Rank Award for her leadership, professionalism and commitment to excellence in public service.

And most recently in March 2008, Ms. Washington was honored during Women’s History Month with the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Ms. Washington holds a bachelor's and master's degree from Morgan State University and the University of North Texas, respectively. She is a native of Annapolis, Maryland and has been married for 37 years to former Dallas Cowboy defensive back, Mark Washington. The Washington’s have one daughter, Lisa, who is married to David Noguera. They also have two granddaughters: Kaiya Alexis, and Reece Gabriella.

Thank you to the Department of Transportation for their gracious biography.

Find out more about our Project World 2009 June Event.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Innovation Spectrum in IT Project Management

Rick Freedman's post in yesterday on TechRepublic discusses the debate about project management methodologies with the IT world. Freedman writes, "Some project managers advocate following strict Project Management Institute (PMI) principles even for the smallest projects; others insist that qualified technicians should be able to manage their own efforts, and project managers should focus on team leadership and client relationships."

In his article he outlines the key criteria that drives the selection of a project approach: innovation. Innovation can be divided into three separate points, which he outlines on his post.

  • The broad spectrum
  • The various approaches to innovation
  • The application of project management oversight

We encourage you to check out his article and let us know your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Project management courses to be taught in Baghdad

Students in Iraq have graduated from the first Management, Projects, and Project Managements course offered in Iraq. As the projects get larger and larger in Iraq, citizens need to know how to manage the projects that come about in the growing country.

Robert Dorsey, MTDC infrastructure professor, stated “will help Iraq develop the capability to build large infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals, water & electric facilities which will benefit the new Iraq.”

Read the full story here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The key to success is excellent project management

The Franchise Magazine's article, "The key to success is excellent project management" reports that, first-rate organisational skills and an entrepreneurial spirit are the key attributes needed to become a successful franchise owner.

But knowing how to handle these skills and spirit are the keys to actually moving forward with the franchise. Successful implementation of processes and best practices will help the fledgling business become successful.

The article in The Franchise Magazine, tells the success story of Yannis Nicolaidis who joined a franchise and succeeded, we encourage you to read his story.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What Is the Main Benefit of Writing Test Cases?

Blogger Pawel Brodzinski writes in his post today, test cases for application functionality are the same as unit tests for application code. Except of one thing: it is way harder to write good and complete list of test cases. You may safely assume that’s impossible. This means the main value of test cases isn’t in covering full application functionality because you simply won’t achieve that, no matter how hard you try.

Read the rest of his post here.

What do you think are the benefits of writing test cases with project management? Do they waste time or save time? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Operational management versus project management

Alex Chompoff recently wrote an article on his blog about the differences between operational management and project management. He states that operational management decisions are something that the manager and team has to live with forever, while those working in project management only have to deal with it for a short period of time, as many of the projects are completed and they move on to new projects. How do you feel about this? What are the differences?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Webinar Recording Available: Agile Requirements (Not an Oxymoron)

Complimentary webinar recording of, ‘Agile Requirements (Not an Oxymoron)’ with Ellen Gottesdiener, Principal Consultant and Founder of EBG Consulting is now available online:

In this Webinar, requirements expert and agile coach Ellen Gottesdiener will describe how agile and requirements combine to form a sound and sensible union. You will learn how business analysis and requirements practices really work on agile projects; ways agile teams represent, verify and validate requirements; and how effective agile teams collaborate around requirements. Join us to learn how agile requirements provide the engine that drives successful delivery of business value.

What you will learn:
•Understand the agile method of developing requirements
•Describe business analysis and requirements practices that change on agile projects
•Understand agile adaptations to “traditional” requirements practices •Appreciate the value of requirements analysis on agile projects
•Enumerate the ways requirements form the basis for planning on agile projects

Monday, May 4, 2009

Five clues that your project is headed for trouble

Paul Glen of, analyzes the five early warning signs that your project may be in trouble of cancellation. According to Glen, in these tough financial times its easy to blame the economy on the cancellation of so many projects; however, if you take proactive steps to make sure that your project solid and properly executed, you and your team may avoid getting your work axed.

Glen writes,

Here are five early warning signs that your project is in trouble:

1. Management direction is inconsistent or missing. If project leadership has gone AWOL, chances are that things are starting to go in a bad direction. Or, even worse, if the directives you get from management (or feel compelled to give if you are management) change frequently, there's a problem. If a project either lacks direction or can't maintain a reasonably consistent course, it's unlikely to get to any desirable destination.

2. Project management and business management seem disconnected. Even if a project does get consistent direction, if that direction seems to be at odds with business management's desires, there's a problem brewing. In political battles between IT and business management, business management usually wins, even if it takes a while. I don't hear too many stories about the great political triumphs of IT managers over their users or clients.

3. The team lacks a commitment to clearly articulated and commonly understood goals. Every project has a goal or two. They may be clearly stated or only vaguely discussed, but it's rare for any business to shell out lots of money for something that genuinely has no purpose. That said, it's common to presume that the purpose of a project is so obvious as to not be worth articulating. That's unfortunate. It typically leads to misunderstandings and inconsistent presumptions about priorities. Eventually, poor and inconsistent tactical decisions undermine project progress.

4. Team members don't listen to one another. Even when teams get along personally, team members don't always listen well to one another. This tends to lead to chaos as people fail to coordinate activities and make the compromises necessary to enable projects to move ahead.

5. The team is in a state of discord. Teams sometimes break into competing camps. These can form around honest-to-goodness differences over project direction. They can also form over petty loyalties and personality clashes. Sometimes teams just descend into chaos, with multiple factions or an every-person-for-himself ethos. The state of discord is destructive to progress. It needs to be rooted out. Sometimes, as a manager, you can engineer a reconciliation. Other times, you need to pick winners and losers.