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Discover Agile from a Certified Scrum Trainer!

Maria Matarelli Certified Scrum Trainer

Maria Matarelli is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) and travels the world on one-way tickets to work with organizations across a variety of industries to learn about their project management challenges, drive change, and uncover better ways to work.

Agile is one of the fastest growing project management techniques being used by companies all over the world that gets incredible results. Rather than planning everything out for a project up front and delivering it all at the end, Agile is an iterative development approach that challenges you to look at what can be delivered now to get to market faster, deliver value incrementally, and regularly inspect and adapt to enhance the way you work and ensure that you are delivering the highest value features.

Scrum is the most commonly used Agile approach by organizations around the world. More than 58% of companies that use Agile, use the Scrum Framework according to Version One’s yearly State of Agile survey.

Maria helps companies understand the foundations of Agile while leading Executive Agile workshops, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) classes, and more. After working with companies adopting Agile from Chicago to New York, Panama, Trinidad, London, Shanghai and many other locations, Maria brings a global view to organizational challenges and Agile adoption.

There are only 199 Certified Scrum Trainers (CST) in the world and one of the biggest challenges organizations face is in bridging the gap between traditional project management environments. It can be a great advantage to work with a trainer that has experience first hand working with both traditional projects and also with large enterprise Agile transitions.

If you are looking for training in Agile or Scrum, traditional sourcing methods may not get you to the right person with the right expertise. Come directly to the source and learn from a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST). Maria and her team can provide Agile resources, training, and learning solutions that can help your organization truly transform.

Contact Maria and her team directly at 773-492-1465 or email inspiration@formulaink.com

Tools for Online Collaboration with Distributed Teams

Distributed Teams

It can be challenging to work with a distributed team when planning and working on a project together. Enclosed are some resources that may help you collaborate with geographically separated team members. Please share other resources that you may use to collaborate with a distributed team in the comments.

For Brainstorming, Prioritization, and Retrospectives:

Estimation:

Announcing the Agile Marketing Academy!
It has been really exciting to see the benefits and incredible results of Agile applied to Marketing! While applying Agile frequently in the IT and Software Development arenas, it has been exciting to explore more applications of Agile outside of IT.
 
After seeing great results with clients using Agile in their Marketing efforts, we launched a case study program to pull together the best practices we have seen over the last few years. We have an online program designed specifically for entrepreneurs and a 2 day in-person training course for larger organizations.
Discover more on how you can leverage Agile outside of IT, aligning other areas of the business with common language and terminology. Learn how to begin applying Agile to Marketing at your organization.
 
After pulling together the best practices of Agile applied to Marketing, we are excited to announce the launch of the Agile Marketing Academy!
 
Agile Marketing Academy Home Page Launch
How to Claim PMI Professional Development Units (PDUs)

After completing one of our certification courses such as Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) or Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) or another Agile training class, you are eligible for 14 Professional Development Units (PDUs) from the Project Management Institute (PMI) for 2 day classes, or 7 PDUs for 1 day classes if you have one of PMI’s certifications such as Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) or others.

Below are the instructions for claiming your PDUs.

1. Log into your PMI membership profile at PMI.org

2. Click on “My Profile” and select “Report PDUs”

3. Select “Category B: Continuing Education” and click “Next”

How to Claim PMI PDUs Part 1

4. On the next screen (see image below), fill in the name of the class if it is Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) or Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Executive Agile, Agile for Teams, Agile Marketing, or whatever the name was of the course.

5. Enter the dates of the class.

6. If your class was 2 days in length, enter 14 hours (7 hours per day while removing the hour spent for lunch). If your class was 1 day in length, enter 7 hours.

7. Enter the provider name as “Formula Ink”

8. Enter the phone number, URL, and email address as shown in the example image below.

9. If you are PMP(R) or PgMP(R) certified, enter the PDUs claimed in this box. If you are PMI-ACP certified, you can also enter the PDUs claimed in this box.

10. Check the box to confirm the information is accurate.

11. Hit “submit”.

How to Claim PMI PDUs Part 2

 

You can find more information on PMI Professional Development Units (PDUs) at the link below:
https://www.pmi.org/Certification/~/media/PDF/Certifications/PDU-Category-Structure-6-pager-FINAL-Aug-2013.ashx

 

 

About Formula Ink

Formula Ink is an international consulting and training company based in Chicago, IL, though we travel all over the world from Sweden to Vancouver, Morocco to Istanbul, working with companies across all industries to discover a better way to work. In today’s dynamic market, it is more important than ever before to streamline your processes, increase your efficiency, and get results. We’ve worked with some of the largest companies in the world, and over the years, we have seen companies at all levels struggling with delivering projects on time and within budget. We’ve helped organizations increase their speed to market by more than 80% using cutting edge Agile techniques. Discover how you can get an edge in your market. Contact us today and learn more.

Discover Why You Need Agile

Have you heard of Agile? Its one of the fastest growing project management techniques being used by companies all over the world that gets incredible results.

Whether you’re developing new products, looking to streamline existing processes, or looking to increase your effectiveness in sales and marketing, we can show you how applying Agile in any of these areas to enhance the way you work.

Rather than planning everything out for a project up front and delivering it all at the end, Agile is an iterative development approach that challenges you to look at what can be delivered now to get to market faster, deliver value incrementally, and regularly inspect and adapt to enhance the way you work and ensure that you are delivering the highest value features. Agile gets results. We’ve helped start up companies increase sales by more than 300% in less than 6 months, we’ve helped organizations increase their speed to market by more than 80%, and Fortune 100 clients streamline processes and reduce budgets by more than 50% on multi-million dollar projects.

Contact us today and speak with one of our experienced consultants to see how we can help you and your team achieve a higher level of performance. We help businesses achieve organizational transformation for breakthrough performance results.

formulaink.com

Get a Glimpse of our Interactive Agile Training

Discover the benefits of Agile and learn by doing through hands-on, experiential training. Learn techniques to cut through extra process and get results. At Formula Ink, we offer 2-Day Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), 2-Day Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) Certification training, Agile for Executives, Agile for Teams, Release Planning and User Story Writing Workshops, Agile Assessments and much more.

Learn more about our Agile solutions and discover key elements for increasing your speed to market that you can begin to immediately apply in your work environment.

Agile Immersion

If you’ve wanted to learn about Agile or if you are currently using Agile and would like to sharpen your skills, join us on Saturday, April 4, 2015 in downtown Chicago for an Immersive Lab as we walk through a simulated project. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to experience a project in action.

We will have Alistair Cockburn, co-creator of the Agile Manifesto and Agile thought leader, Aakash Srinivasan, an Agile Coach and Trainer from Washington, D.C. who has worked with NASA, Freddie Mac, Capital One, and several other Fortune 100 companies, and Larry Suda from New York who has developed an immersive simulation to walk people through an Agile project while dissecting the people-side and leadership aspects necessary to lead in this servant leadership driven environment.

This is a FREE event!! Space is limited, so reserve your spot now if you would like to attend!

RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1bN0zaP

How to get Started in Project Management

I’ve been asked this question multiple times recently so I wanted to share some guidance on how one can get started in the Project Management field. Other comments and insights welcome, so please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences or questions in the comments below.

Where Can I Start?

There’s always that bitter catch 22 that you need experience to get the job, but how can you get the job if you don’t have experience. I believe that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it. You have to choose to make it happen. There are many opportunities to get the experience you need, but you have to be willing to put forth the effort and you may need to get a little creative.

Find an Opportunity to Get Experience at Work – Go Above and Beyond

The first step would be looking at your current role to see if there is opportunity for you to take on additional responsibility to either manage a team or if there is any project that may need to be completed. These opportunities for growth may mean that you will have to take on this new responsibility or opportunity in addition to your current job with no additional pay or incentive other than gaining the experience. A project is defined as a temporary endeavor with a specific start and end date. You will need to identify the people and resources needed to complete the work, document the goals and objectives of the project (often referred to as measures of success) and plan out how you intend to accomplish the work by the target finish date (you may identify a list of tasks necessary to complete the project), then begin execution of the work. As you lead the project, you will need to collect status from your team to track your progress and assess what work remains.

Keep it Basic

This may appear to be an overly simplified description of what managing a project entails for those that have worked on many projects in their time as there are a vast number of methodologies and approaches for Project Management and countless valuable training courses with great techniques and ways to effectively manage project work. However you have to start somewhere, so if you can find an opportunity where you can begin to gain experience running projects, breaking it down to the basics and not over complicating will give you an opportunity to gain that first ounce of experience you need to get started.

Once you have an opportunity to work on projects, talk with your current boss to see if you can lead more project teams or see if there is a Project Manager role within your current organization that you could work towards. If they have career development opportunities, you may be able to work with them to further develop your skills and begin leading more projects.

Get Involved in the Industry and in the Project Management Community

Get more involved in the Project Management community. You can join your local Project Management Institute (PMI) chapter and learn more by attending their monthly chapter meetings. You could also volunteer as a Project Manager for one of their projects to gain more Project Management experience. This would be great on your resume if you are looking at different companies or if you are looking for more experience to show your current employer.

Get Paid in Experience, not Cash

Other volunteer opportunities exist with Not for Profit groups in your area. Many groups are always looking for volunteers and people to help them with developing their organization. If you identify an area of need for a local Not for Profit group, you could volunteer to lead a project for them using a basic Project Management approach and documenting your work on that project. You can gain references from the people you work with and the organization leaders.

Read, Study, Learn

There are many resources available to learn the basics of Project Management and advance resources to take your skills to the next level as a Project Manager. You could take a training class in Project Management to help you learn the fundamentals or there are self study opportunities and webinars available online.

These learning resources can include:

  • Read books
  • Read articles online
  • Follow and participate in discussion forums
  • Take a training course
  • Attend industry conferences
  • Get certified

Getting Certified

Some people question whether a certification can actually guarantee whether a person knows what they are doing. Regardless, when a certification is widely recognized by hiring managers, you may want to show that you understand the fundamentals or advance concepts in a particular field and sometimes, it can set you apart from your competition or at minimum, level the playing field if enough people have the certification that it is expected as foundational level understanding. It does demonstrate a certain level of understanding and dedication in taking the time to pursue a particular designation.

In Project Management, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is widely accepted and often a prerequisite by hiring managers. You can prepare for this exam by studying the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). It also requires that you have a minimum number of experience hours to qualify in the application for the exam. Working on more projects at work or volunteer projects in your community will help you build this experience. There are many training preparation classes and study guides available to assist you in preparing for the exam.

Setting Goals and Taking Actionable Steps

Take a look at where you are and identify where it is that you want to be. It may seem overwhelming to try to figure out how you get from your current state to the end desired state, so this is where you should set incremental goals. Break down the large task at hand into smaller, more manageable steps that you can focus on and set target goals that are achievable. Be sure to revisit your goals and regularly re-assess your progress and next steps as some things may change or new opportunities for growth may arise.

The Value of a Mentor

It is a good idea for any endeavor that you are seriously aspiring toward that you get a coach or mentor that can guide you in achieving your goals. It helps to find someone knowledgeable and experienced in the field you are working toward that can assist in guiding you toward good actionable steps toward achieving your goal. Accountability is important in propelling yourself out of your comfort zone and taking on new challenges. Finding someone respected in the field you are working toward can be a valuable resource as you begin your journey toward acquiring those skills. Building a relationship of trust can be a good foundation for assessing where you are and getting honest feedback on what you may need to work on to become a great Project Manager.

Be Determined, Never Stop Learning

Don’t give up. Keep at it. Believe in yourself and celebrate your successes. Be patient. Not everything will happen overnight. Steadily build your portfolio, network and resume and little by little, you will begin taking great steps toward your new desired position. Find encouragement from those around you and surround yourself with others that are already in the role you are pursuing. Be open to feedback and input and don’t think you know it all. After years of leading training classes, I still find myself amazed at what I learn from my students. Be open. You can learn from your environment and from your surroundings everywhere that you go.