Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Step by Step Guide: Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2015 with Visual Studio Community 2015 for Agile DevOps

Summary: In my previous post on Team Foundation Server 2015, I had outlined how you can install, set-up and run the Team Foundation Server 2015 software, in a step by step way. Also, I had created a Scrum Collection there. In this post, we will extend on that to create a Scrum Project with few Iterations and User Stories in the Iterations.

Note that this post is in continuation with the previous post on Team Foundation Server: 

Step by Step Guide: Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) for Agile Development

For this installation, set-up and run, I’m using the following software. 

1) Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2015 (TFS 2015) with Update 1.

2) Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2015 with Update 1

3) Operating System: Windows 10 x64.

With Visual Studio Community and TFS 2015 Update 1:

1. We will first install the Visual Studio. 
2. Connect to the Team Foundation Server.
3. Create our Project, i.e., Scrum Project in Visual Studio 2015.

With the later updates of TFS, you can directly create a project in the server, i.e., the TFS. But, I wanted to have this way - so as to check on both the TFS and Visual Studio Community.

All of these have been outlined in the embedded document. To see the document in a separate window, click on the arrow mark on the top right corner of the below embedded screen. 

Now comes the interesting part. Creating the Iterations, Stories etc. for your project. The project has already been created (outlined in the above embedded document).

Next, log into the Team Foundation Server 2015. You get the below screen. 

All your collections and projects will be listed. Select “My Scrum Project” that has been created. Click on Navigate.

It will open the My Scrum Project dashboard. Click on Work – Backlog on Top Right, as shown below. 

Next, we will add Features, Iterations and User Stories. When you open the backlog, the current iteration and few other iterations are available to you. You can add other iterations as you like.

I am going to take the current iteration and add a few stories into it. To add a story simply select stories and click on add - as shown above.
After addition of stories into the backlog, it comes as below. You can see in both Backlog format or Scrum Board format. This is shown below - the backlog view.

Now you have your backlog with iteration one with a few samples stories. They belong to your Scrum Project.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PMP Protein: How To Prepare And Submit PMP Application

By Manas Das, PMP

What is PMP Certification?
The Project Management Professional (PMP®) is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers. One can find PMPs leading projects in nearly every country and, unlike other certifications that focus on a particular geography or domain, the PMP credential is truly global.

The reach of this certification can be gauged from the fact that there are over 770,000 certified PMPs worldwide as of April, 2017. The main reference guide, the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) guide, has over 5.5 million copies in circulation.

Figure – PMI Fact File, Source - PMI

Why Take the PMP Exam?
Preparing to take the PMP exam is a journey which can help someone expand himself and his abilities. In preparing for the exam, you have an opportunity to become a better project manager, not just pass the exam. This opportunity to learn is one of the best reasons to get the PMP certification. 

Requirements for PMP Certification
To take the exam, one must meet the requirement outlined by PMI®. The requirements are described in the below table.

Applying to take the Exam
  • Following are the steps to fill up your application. 
  • One must submit an application to PMI to take the exam. 
  • Applications may be submitted by mail or online. Suggest to submit online if possible since PMI’s response time is faster for e-submission. In addition, the online application process makes it easier to document the Project Management hours and experience while adhering to the application guidelines. 
  • While filling up application form, be careful and sincere in your filing. Pay close attention to what will be considered as project. Many confuse it with operations.
  • It is a good practice to check a few sample applications from successful PMPs and then fill up your own application. 
  • Before filling up online, take your time to do it locally – may be a spreadsheet, to have your experience notes with respect to the performance domains or the process groups. 
  • Once submitted it takes about a week time for the application to be approved. Sometimes, few applications require audit from PMI for more inputs for validating and approving the application. 
  • Post approval one will receive a notice authorizing to make an appointment to take the exam. 
  • There will be one year time from the date the authorization is received from PMI.

Membership and Exam Fee
PMI Membership Fee – $140 (PMI offers free PMBOK guide to members)
Exam Fee - $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-PMI members

PMP Certification credentials are valid for 3years from the data of passing the exam. One need 60 PDUs (Professional Development Units) to renew the credentials for next 3 years.

1 PDU is equivalent to 1hour time spent towards Project management contribution in form of writing blogs (like this one), attending or conducting training session etc.

What is the PMP Exam Like?
PMP exam includes 200 multiple choice questions with four answer choices per question. Table below breaks out the percentage of scored questions in the exam.

PMI has not published what it considers to be a passing score. But I would suggest that target to score above 80% to successfully get through. The questions are randomly generated from PMI database containing hundreds of questions. The questions may jump from topic to topic. There is no penalty for wrong answers. Hence, it’s advisable to answer all the questions.

Written by Manas Das: 
Manas Das is a Project Manager with Infosys Technologies Ltd, India. He can be contacted at manasdas82@gmail.com. His linkedin profile is at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/manas-das-0670a02b/ 

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

RMP Success Story: Go for It and Enjoy The Journey

By Hendro Hadiwinoto, PMP, ACP, RMP

I’m happy share my RMP® examination experience with you. I did my contact hour learning from Udemy’s Risk Management Professional by Fahad Sahaad. This course was really cheap and thanks to the provider that! 

Below is the list of material I referred for my RMP exam. 

Materials Referred
  • The PMBOK® Guide, 5th Edition by Project Management Institute (PMI®). It is a must read. 
  • Practice Standard Project Risk Management. It is a must read and specifically Appendix D.
  • Book “I Want To Be A RMP” by Satya Narayan Dash. 
  • Other than that, I also referred couple of other books. 
  • You can also refer some statistics book if you have time. 
  • Videos on risk management, Monte Carlo analysis, LHS, AHP from YouTube 

I gave the following mock exams.
  • Two mock exams from “I Want To Be A RMP”. The mock exam questions are tougher than the real exam. 
  • Ucertify.com - Free trial version.
  • Pmvision.ca, which has over 700+ questions.

I had also joined the Linked in Study Group“RMP Study Group”.

Satya’s eBook – "I Want To Be A RMP"
Perhaps, I was one of the fortunate ones who has the access to review Satya's book - "I Want to be a RMP". I had purchased it from Satya and got a good discount from him. Now it is my part to give back my review about this e-book.

In my view, the key points from this book are noted below. 
  • Inputs, Tools & Techniques and Outputs (ITTOs) are extremely important from the RMP exam standpoint. These are explained well with process flow diagrams. Need to remember all. 
  • Other than ITTOs for the RM processes, if you have time, grasp the ITTOs in Communication management and Stakeholder management knowledge area.
  • There are two full length mock exams in the book, other than the practice questions at the end of every chapter. They are difficult enough and bit difficult than the actual exam. 
  • The book uses Primavera Risk Analysis tool as a reference to give practical understanding. If you don’t have or have not used Privamera Risk analysis, you can substitute by Companion Minitab, @Risk or other Risk Management software. Trying Monte Carlo simulation (this book uses Primavera Risk Analysis to explain) by using software would be give you better understanding.  
  • The book is a bit pricey, considering it is accessible (one year access). However, I got a very good discount on it. Maybe some options needed to rent this book for a few months (depending on your need) to reduce the cost.

In additional to the materials referred, I would like to note the following points who are aspiring to be RMP.

Exam Key Points
  • Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP), relative comparison.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_hierarchy_process, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHoPEbfnLOE&spfreload=10
  • NLP - approach to communication, personal development, psychotherapy. 
  • Critical Success Factors in Risk Management 
  • Probability x Impact x Urgency x Manageability – Read Chapter 7, "I Want To Be A RMP"
  • Monte Carlo/LHS, got 5-6 question on S-curve and they should be easy if your concepts are clear. Read Chapter - 8, "I Want To Be A RMP".  
  • Situational questions on what will happen next - a lot question as usual typical PMI exam.
  • Statistics - scatter, coefficient correlation, probability.
  • Risk Attitude, Threshold, Utility Theory related with Risk Attitude - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCreeXzCNRc
  • Crawford Slip Model- http://creatingminds.org/tools/crawford.htm. Some people have got questions on it.

Brief Profile: I am Hendro Hadiwinoto and working as a Project Manager, PT Datacomm Diangraha, Indonesia.