KELLSEY: This week we’re happy to have Oracle Platinum Partner and WebCenter subject-matter expert Redstone Content Solutions join us to discuss project management certifications, the Agile process and SCRUM activities/events. Casey Feller from Redstone will discuss how their company manages projects and incorporates the ‘talent triangle’ to deliver successful projects on behalf of our joint customers. Welcome Casey, and thank you for joining us today. CASEY: Thank you for having us Kellsey. I am very excited for the opportunity to discuss something that I am truly passionate about with the audience today.
KELLSEY: What is the key to managing a successful project, and what certifications do you possess?
CASEY: Redstone uses a hybrid project methodology called RedstoneXperience that incorporates Agile principles, 18 years of WebCenter experience and client feedback relating to their own best practices, governance guidelines and mandates. We proactively identify changing requirements and analyze remaining tasks. I have a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute, an ITIL certification, and I am a certified SCRUM Master.
KELLSEY: I am hearing more and more about SCRUM? What does that mean, and why is it important?
CASEY: SCRUM is a Pathway centered on the Empirical Process Control Model used to provide and exercise control thru frequent inspection and adaptation.
KELLSEY: What are the key differences between Agile and Waterfall?
CASEY: The real differences lie in Agile providing working solutions and visible progress on a frequent basis so that stakeholders are better equipped to make informed decisions. Requirements do tend to change – particularly on a project that lasts 8-10 weeks, for example. Agile supports these changing requirements, and actually encourages them.
KELLSEY: In our introduction I mentioned the ‘talent triangle’. What does that mean?
CASEY: Project Management, particularly the PMP certification exam, previously focused quite heavily on what we called the technical skills – specifically the scope, cost and schedule of a project. Today, technical skills, although important, are only one of the three sides of the ‘talent triangle’. You can no longer succeed with just technical skills. Side #2 of the triangle are leadership skills – often called ‘soft’ skills. Examples include: written and verbal communication skills, presentation skills and general leadership skills. Side #3 of the triangle is an understanding of the overall objective/strategy for the project. What are we trying to accomplish? Once we understand the business objective, our teams will be better able to traverse the different layers of the organization and provide value.
KELLSEY: What is the difference between Agile project management and the SCRUM Pathway?
CASEY: That is a good question. Think of Agile project management as an iterative approach to planning and guiding project processes, and the SCRUM pathway uses real-world progress of a project – not a best guess or uninformed forecast – to plan and schedule releases. SCRUM allows for a project’s direction to be adjusted based on completed (and uncompleted) work, not on speculation or predictions.
KELLSEY: What are some of the benefits of SCRUM?
CASEY: Let me name a few: • High visibility of progress • Regular client feedback • Improved and measurable productivity • Incorporate changing requirements • Potential issues are identified earlier on the process
KELLSEY: Are there any disadvantages of SCRUM?
CASEY: If the initial project goals are unclear or lack direction, you may find that the planning and organization of the project may become a challenge. Accountability is also typically higher as the requirement for frequent and scheduled meetings require project team commitment which can lead to stress.
KELLSEY: Can you describe at a high level how SCRUM works?
CASEY: Yes, certainly. SCRUM can be broken down into three major phases:
1. Planning Includes basic project planning and rudimentary design decisions.
2. Sprint Cycle A sprint is one iteration of a specific duration. With basic planning complete, work begins on development thru an iterative cycle. Sprint cycles are a repetitive process, and continue until the development process ends. The sprint cycle may involve a number of meetings to ensure collaboration and encourage communication. A daily scrum meeting may be conducted to encourage communication and make sure that all parties are on the same page. Rules such as team preparedness, punctuality and fixed meeting time and duration govern the daily scrum meeting. 3. Closure Once all required sprint cycles are concluded, the project itself is brought to a closure and the work product is prepared for release.
KELLSEY: Casey – how can clients and prospects learn more RedstoneXperience, Agile and SCRUM?
CASEY: Please call me at 563.549.7966, visit our website at www.redstonecontentsolutions.com/redstonexperience.html, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. We look forward to hearing from you. Kellsey – thanks again for your time!