Program as a Collection of ...
I invite meditation on the Agile manifesto today: http://agilemanifesto.org/
Let's discuss a word that is safely tucked away in the management lexicon.
It means: a collection of projects. Even a series of tv shows on a channel, could be considered a program. Why not? A bunch of tv show episodes are unique projects that are produced and aired according to a TV outlet's programming schedule and criteria.
As you do more projects, you learn more, you re-plan, both at the project level, and at the program level. Planning is a focal aspect of project work. It's even a continual improvement endeavor. Plans improve the future work, especially when they observe variance between "planned and actual" work. Work is a circular game with twists, checkpoints, stoppages, and some work calves off projects and becomes a full-fledged project in its own right.
Would you consider features to be projects, or too small to be a project? I don't think it matters. But, you might agree "feature" sounds smaller than "project". What about a "program", is that equivalent to a collection of similar features, that are developed for a product / program, what about a set of "epics".
Responding to change over following a plan.
Agile liberates managers from the anxiety or security of knowing everything ahead of time, and plan most of the work ahead of time. Perhaps there is a misconception about the current body of knowledge in project management. The need to re-plan comes up a lot, updates are a natural update of the management process.
I would like to ask Agile managers, at the start, aren't you doing most of the planning the deliverable ahead of time, following the plan in some cases, at least to deliver what you are trying to deliver?
The learning is valuable, but the essential qualities of the deliverables, that is the work they perform nary changes, though the code and structure envisioned for that code may not look the same as it did from the outset. Perhaps there is no code at all!
I'd like to invite our attention back to this statement, Responding to change over following a plan.
Let's not forget about the value of planning, which is an interactive process, valuing people's ideas, attention, and the integrity of what the team is trying to deliver. We plan for change, not for compliance to a plan!
What School Would I Create?
A school that values people before standards, curricula, time, metrics and other numbers designed to make kids conform.
A school that values self-exploration before pre-determined roles.
A school that is an un-school, which lets kids devote as much time as they need to subjects of their interests. Over time they will learn the lesson that there is a trade-off between time spent on many things versus the depth you gain when you focus on one thing or goal.
Where would this school be that keeps kids learning safely, under a model that we are seeing work for kids and adults alike, whether in ground-breaking new schools or re-imagined workplaces.
My Path to Passing the PMP Exam
Planning my study sessions, using memorization best practices, and recalling my bootcamp instructor Sandy's advice gave me nerves of steel for the exam questions that left me split between two or more questions. I received an "above target" passing grade on the PMP exam, yesterday, and I marked nearly a quarter of the questions to review at the end. One mantra I took with me is if you don't know it (for sure), "Mark it and move on."
I would not have had the discipline to study for the exam without the combination of the PMISFBAC bootcamp + forming a study habit, of one hour per day in the weekday mornings.
PMP Study Timeline
January-July: Master of Project materials used during 3-4 months. Took the quizzes at end of each section. Online videos were somewhat laborious to get through, and I'd say this was not the most impactful study over the course of 2017. I kept my subscription for 5-6 months.
September: 4-day PMIBAC PMP bootcamp and accompanying Andy Crowe Pass on Your First Try book materials
October: Having reached my exam eligibility, I scheduled my exam for December, a Monday at 1pm, when I figured I'd be most refreshed.
November: I took most timed practice tests in this month
December: purchased Practice Test B through Velociteach
ON THE REAL EXAM
What's next? I want to learn and grow more, and make a better working world. am also keen to finish a few more episodes of Westworld and getting back to practicing guitar and learning music.
Preparing for PMP and Moving On
Simply choosing to undertake the study required to prepare for this test is a milestone for me,. I embraced the hours of study that helped me to reverse an abhorrence of tests, or the practice of affixing letters to my name. I am excited for the formalization and advancement of my work over the past several years
I feel my experience and memorized concepts are aiding me to deliver the best score possible and I accept the result at the end, good or bad.
Whatever happens, I know what will come out of this is usage and practice of the PMP concepts and techniques in my career. There is no single test that grades my performance as a project leader in day-to-day life. I think the test is a practical means of prescribing best practices, and the certification is a contract to do the work right. The PMP is only a trophy as far as passing the test goes, the other side of it is a responsibility: a contract to do work according to the standard.
Fire in the Morning
Fire, is so elemental to our everyday lives. I don't ask it why it heats our homes, our food, or why it ignites the bulbs that light our path through dark. I don't ask it to justify its existence.
I do ask why we don't do more to prepare for climate disasters, as we know their nature, we understand human nature to cause these willingly and unwillingly.
Our habits get in the way of common sense, even if these habits help move us toward safety in a different way, earning money at a safe office job., couldn't that too get in the way of being safe at home?
Write, post, publish, prophet!