April 2013 Goals

Leadership

Prepping for Leading for Change

My 2013 training proposal for our leadership group was approved; this included another round of Everyone Communicates, Few Connect with a new facilitator while I’ll be taking the 2012 group through Leading Change by John P Kotter. I’ll spend most of April reviewing and revising the session plans, transitioning Everyone Communicates, Few Connect to the new facilitator and organizing all of the logistics.

Department Training Pilot

Last year I spent some time looking for a decent set of instructor led basic business skills training  courses without much success so I decided to shift focus to online offerings and found CoursePark, a subscription based service with a large set of on demand classes. It looks like a great service, has everything we need from an administration perspective and hopefully the classes themselves will prove valuable, unfortunately they do not give you the ability to audit them. I’d like to define a standard set of required classes for every new employee and perhaps even a learning progression for folks as they move up within our organization. Fingers crossed this will get us there.

Mentoring

As part of my 2013 training proposals, I scoped out a mentoring process for new managers. And when I say scoped I really mean I did a process diagram so not entirely defined. Now that I’ve had some time to ponder this one further, I’m working on fleshing out my reasoning along with how I think we can effectively and perhaps more importantly efficiently implement this type of program this year. I’m hoping to do some type of pilot over the summer.

PMO

The PMO Implementation is off to a rocky start, more from a focus perspective than the tools or process, I’ve had some difficulty getting information from other project leads and finding the time to compile everything I am able to get. This month I’ve carved out an hour each week to devote to streamlining this for myself, in the hopes that I can get caught up.

Management

Agile Training & Support

I’ve spent the last couple of months focusing on my duties as an Agile lead; we’ve gotten two additional  started with basic SCRUM methods, will be finishing the planning training this month and will finalize the rest of the implementation plan to move both teams to Agile completely  by the end of this year. I favor this slow progressive method because it is helps with morale and because it is an Agile project in itself, we’re able to make adjustments as we go to better serve the teams.

Our Agile Process

This month marks our eleventh Agile iteration!  I have to say that as complicated and scary as change and managing change can be, getting to this point in our process has been nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be and I am so happy that we are now fully implemented.  In April I’ll be focusing on tightening up our reporting, testing out Team Foundation Server to see if that makes our daily management easier and we will also be changing up our meeting schedules/ agendas to effectively include our customers and product owners as well as from putting together some ideas for implementing formal code review and ensuring that were meeting standards across the board.

Projects

April will kick off the redesign of three of our warehouses complete with business logic changes, new processes and who knows how many report conversions. We’ll also be plunging head on into a flurry of new Lotus Notes to SharePoint conversions, wrapping up two major report migrations and starting the 2013 common review season.

Personal

I am fortunate enough to have been given the go ahead to pursue my PMI-ACP certification as well as renewing my PMP certification this year. In doing some of the prep work I discovered that the PMP test is going to be changed in January so I’ll focus on the PMI-AC P exam and tackle the PMP towards the end of the year.  I’ve attending a three day PMI-ACP exam class to get the full scoop on what I’m in for and get an idea of how long it’ll take for me to prepare.  I’ve also submit my request to take the exam with PMI and after running up against some challenges with the way we manage projects at my company and how the PMI organization views the world, I am now approved to proceed. I predict loads of flash cards in my future.

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