What we have here is a failure to communicate ( Systems Engineering )

Although the term “Systems Engineering” dates back to the 1940s, and the concept was practiced even earlier than that, there seems to be a growing emphasis on System Engineering, perhaps because Systems have become more complex in recent times.  During my early years of training and practice as an electrical engineer decades ago, I do […]

Although the term “Systems Engineering” dates back to the 1940s, and the concept was practiced even earlier than that, there seems to be a growing emphasis on System Engineering, perhaps because Systems have become more complex in recent times.  During my early years of training and practice as an electrical engineer decades ago, I do not recall hearing or learning much about Systems Engineering, but it seems to have gotten much more well-deserved attention since then.  Feel free to argue these points if you wish, but this has been my observation.

So, what can go wrong if Systems Engineering principles are ignored?  What could possibly go wrong if you have multiple engineers concentrating on their own aspect of the overall design, and no one paying attention to the overall system?    Take a look at this humorous video and see what can happen…

But seriously, though…..

One of the best descriptions of Systems Engineering that I have seen is from INCOSE ( International Council on Systems Engineering ).  It says “Systems engineers are at the heart of creating successful new systems. They are responsible for the system concept, architecture, and design. They analyze and manage complexity and risk. They decide how to measure whether the deployed system actually works as intended. They are responsible for a myriad of other facets of system creation. Systems engineering is the discipline that makes their success possible – their tools, techniques, methods, knowledge, standards, principles, and concepts. The launch of successful systems can invariably be traced to innovative and effective systems engineering.”

So, how can today’s busy and overworked engineer learn more about Systems Engineering?  Or, even if you think you already know everything about Systems Engineering, how can you refresh your knowledge so it is more relevant to the workplace of 2019? 

Applied Technology Institute may have exactly what you are looking for.  ATI recently merged with Honourcode, Inc., and now offers a full line of Systems Engineering courses being taught by original Honourcode instructors, including Eric Honour.

 There is still time to register for our next offering of Applied Systems Engineering, being offered in Columbia, Md starting on September 23, 2019.  This course includes a  hands-on class exercise conducted in small groups. Part A analyzes a system concept and requirements, developing specific test requirements,. Part B creates an effective test program and test procedures for the product system. Part C builds the robotic systems per assembly instructions. Part D implements the test program to evaluate the final robots.  It is a really fun and informative in-class exercise.   Here is a cool video of the System Product built in this class.

Please read more about this opportunity at the following link.

Bombers and Subs and Missiles, oh my!

Speaking for myself, I always considered the nuclear triad to include bombers, submarines, and missiles, but, I was wrong. Sandra Erwin points out in her Space News article, we really need to remember that these three components of the triad could not be effective without two other complimentary components, a competent work force to operate […]

Speaking for myself, I always considered the nuclear triad to include bombers, submarines, and missiles, but, I was wrong. Sandra Erwin points out in her Space News article, we really need to remember that these three components of the triad could not be effective without two other complimentary components, a competent work force to operate them, and a modern and reliable Nuclear Command, Control and Communications ( NC3 ) network.

Lt. Gen Jack Weinstein, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration recently pointed out that nuclear modernization efforts cannot be strictly focused on subs, bombers, and missiles, but must also be concerned about modernizing the NC3 system, causing him to remark “The Triad also means space capability.” The Nuclear Posture Review reported that many of the components of the current NC3 system are antiquated technology which has not been modernized in almost 30 years. 

Sandra Erwin reports that the Air Force does have programs under way to modernize communications and early-warning satellites, but integration of these new systems will be very complex, and highly trained work force will be needed to build the systems.

Interestingly, Lt. Gen Weinstein has confidence in the military’s ability to train their people to operate these systems, but he expresses concern about educating the civilian workforce which will also need to be involved.

Applied Technology Institute (ATI) can play an important role in preparing the workforce which will support the future nuclear Triad since it offers a diverse collection of courses which cover all of the domains where the Triad will need to operate; air, sea, and space. Please consider looking at the current set of course offerings at ATI and consider taking some of our courses to better position yourself to make significant contributions to solving the complex problems associated with Strategic Deterrence in the future.  

 

The Need for Agile in Government

The Need for Agile in Government It’s a balancing act. We all know what we want, capable and effective systems which meet or exceed all requirements, built on smaller budgets and tighter schedules. But, how do we get there? Government work requires using Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) processes, but that can be […]

The Need for Agile in Government

It’s a balancing act. We all know what we want, capable and effective systems which meet or exceed all requirements, built on smaller budgets and tighter schedules. But, how do we get there?

Government work requires using Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) processes, but that can be slow and cumbersome.   Non-Government work often uses Agile processes which are typically more streamlined and produce results in more timely manner.   So, are JCIDS and Agile processing diametrically opposed, or are they processes that can be used together in order to take advantage of the benefits of each?

Elbridge Colby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development, expressed his frustration recently at the annual Directed Energy Summit, co-sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. As reported by Paul McLeary in the Breaking Defense Blog, Mr. Colby said that for the past two decades, Americans have used overpowering might to fight wars, but “the Chinese and the Russians have been working to undermine that model,” Mr. McLeary believes that by spending billions on modernizing their militaries and fielding new technologies like artificial intelligence and hypersonic missiles at a faster clip than the Americans, the two countries have changed the way the United States must approach future conflict.

Mr. McLeary states that Colby underscored the view that Washington has entered an era of “long-term strategic competition” with Moscow and Beijing, and Colby used his remarks to lay down a series of challenges for defense industry types in the audience.

The traditional method of slowly testing and evaluating new technologies for year, or even decades, “ain’t gonna work any more…we need to change,” Colby said. He then went on to say that Chinese and Russian defense officials don’t keep such long development schedules, and the U.S. tech industry has scoffed at working with the Pentagon thanks in part to the cautious, time-consuming schedules so anathema to tech Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Taking decades to field aircraft like the F-35 or Ford-class carriers might provide long-term stability, but “it doesn’t matter if we’re stronger in the global context if we lose in the Pacific or Europe” tomorrow, Colby warned.

To the defense industry, Colby said bluntly, “we’re not interested in something that’s kind of a whiz-bang thing that’s not connected to a plausible deployment or not nestled within operational concepts. We do want to encourage breakthrough and creative, kind of, activity and investment in technology, but it’s got to be something that we can actually use.”

 So, how do we deliver on the challenges proposed by Mr. Colby. This author believes that the JCIDS process is an effective one, and that it should continue to be used.   In fact, such an assertion is essential because there are no signs that the JCIDS process requirements are going anywhere soon.   We must, however, smartly integrate Agile Processes within the JCIDS methods, so that the JCID timeline can be shortened so that we are producing technology for the fleet that “they can actually use.” 

The U.S. Federal TechFAR Handbook highlights six key reasons why government should adopt agile for IT project management and development. They are as follows.

  1. Improvement in investment manageability and budgetary feasibility
  2. Reduction of overall risk
  3. Frequent delivery of usable capabilities that provide value to customers more rapidly
  4. Increased flexibility
  5. Creation of new opportunities for small businesses
  6. Greater visibility into contractor performance 

To learn more about how you might incorporate Agile Processes into your government projects, consider taking ATI courses found at the following link.

Advantages Of LinkedIn For Professionals in Engineering, Science Fields and Technical Training

LinkedIn Overview LinkedIn is a professionally focused social networking service that connects business professionals with their colleagues, clients, suppliers, and others. It is a great place for people of similar or different backgrounds to connect, problem solve, and find jobs. It also serves as a fantastic forum for making new connections with some common interest, […]

LinkedIn Overview

LinkedIn is a professionally focused social networking service that connects business professionals with their colleagues, clients, suppliers, and others. It is a great place for people of similar or different backgrounds to connect, problem solve, and find jobs. It also serves as a fantastic forum for making new connections with some common interest, locally or globally. LinkedIn allows members to create, manage, and share their professional identity online, engage with and build their professional network, access shared knowledge and insights, and find business opportunities. Its platform also provides members with applications and tools to search, connect, and communicate with business contacts, learn about career opportunities, join industry groups, research organizations, and share information. You can use it for free, which works well for most people, or buy an enhanced membership, which is better if you are actively searching for a job or if you are a recruiter. LinkedIn is an excellent source for information on work-related issues and professional development. It is even a convenient way to keep in touch with people that work in your current company or that you know through professional associations or common interest groups. It also provides a convenient way to find websites and blogs that interest you. LinkedIn had its initial public stock offering in May 2011 at $45 per share and its price doubled to $92 on the offering date. It sold for $186 per share (April 2013) and $160 per share in July 2014.. LI’s market cap value of $19.3 Billion (July 2014) certainly is impressive. LI has over 250+ million members and is still growing. The financial results and investor gains are impressive. It is a lot better than my stock index funds have done since May 2011. http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=LNKD LinkedIn Is a valuable tool for engineering and scientific fields, and technical training professionals to meet others in the field, to learn from LinkedIn groups and to optimize a search for job opportunities(even before you are looking for a future job). It is a reference that I use several times per week.

ATIcourses Contacts

If you find this write-up useful and want to build a network of scientific, engineering, or training contacts on LinkedIn, send an invitation to both Lisa, Val and me. Mention the ATI LI Paper so we know the source of the request. We will accept your invitation. You will jump start your network and gain 2000+ LI second level connections.  

More advantages of LinkedIn (LI) for the technical professionals are listed below.

  • Great Networking Capability:
  • LinkedIn is a business-networking powerhouse. The number of people using it is staggering. LI has over 135 million members in over 200 countries. A new member joins LI approximately every second.
  • Executives from most Fortune 500 companies are LI members.
  • LI works by allowing you to connect with people. LI can search through your Outlook and Gmail email addresses and check whether your existing contacts are on LI and easily invite them all to connect with you.
  • LI can search through your profile details, and match possible contacts that went to University with you, or worked at the same company as you. Their choices are good matches.
  • Most importantly, LI allows you to see who your contacts are connected to, and to ask them to provide a warm introduction to interesting people on their connection lists. This increases your networking capability exponentially. The more direct connections you have, the larger is your network.
  • You Can Seek Information Or Advice On Work-Related Issues:
  • The Questions section on LI enables you to pose questions or seek information that will help you in your business.
  • You can choose to restrict your questions to selected connections, or you can open them up to the wider LI network.
  • Professional Development:
  • LI has many discussion Groups on a wide variety of subjects that you can join. These Groups are a great way of connecting with other professionals and true experts in your area of work or local geographic area, and discussing issues and trends.
  • There are several groups dedicated specifically to Aerospace, Defense, Radar, Sonar, Unmanned Vehicles and Systems Engineering
  • There are groups from professional societies including IEEE, AIAA, ASA, INCOSE , and often subgroups from the local chapters
  • There are groups dedicated to Learning & Educational Professionals, Society for Training & Development, Human Resources Career Networking,
  • You can carry out surveys and polls on LI.
  • Linkedin Is Wonderful For A Job Search:
  • LI is a wonderful source for a job search or even being approached for a new job where you have a great fit.
  • Recruiters heavily use LI to find and make offers to employees who are not actively looking, but who would welcome the right growth opportunity. Over 70% of all vacancies are hidden and are never advertised.
  • Be careful that your resume and LI profile are consistent and support your job aspirations in a professional way.
  • It Allows A Respectful And Intelligent Approach:
  • You can use the LI to research your target company or client, so that you have all the information necessary to craft a respectful and intelligent introductory email.
  • Your prospect’s LI profile may reveal that you have interests in common, helping to break the ice when you do make your first call or have that first meeting. Perhaps you went to the same University, or grew up in the same area? Perhaps you’re both interested in fishing, sky-diving or collecting vintage wine? LI is much more effective than a mailing list or generic Internet research.
  • You Can Create A Compelling Profile That You Control:
  • A compelling profile page on LI helps you to stand out from the competition. It is your face to the online world, and the key to winning work and contacts online.
  • You can control and optimize your profile so that when people search for a job candidate or an expert in your field, your name appears near the top of the list.
  • You can craft your profile in such a way that when people read it, they are encouraged to get in touch.
  • You Can Showcase Your Expertise:
  • First impressions count – you can use the introductory message you send to your prospective connections to position yourself as an expert.
  • You can use your profile to highlight the depth of your knowledge and experience.
  • You can display recommendations from colleagues or clients praising your expertise.
  • You can contribute to the Answers section of LI, where you can demonstrate your expertise by providing answers to questions from other members.
  • You Can Offer Thought Leadership in Groups:
  • LI’s many discussion Groups are perfect for demonstrating knowledge and offering insights into the market. There are some in-depth discussions, with tens of contributors to topics, in the group’s area of specialty.
  • You can initiate discussions, giving your thoughts on areas of interest to you. Members often forward thoughtful comments onto their connections, ‘virally’ raising the profile of the contributor.
  • If there is no Group for your specialist subject, you can start one and invite others to join.
  • You Can Promote Your Personal Or Company Brand:
  • Using any aspect of LI, including the personal profile, discussion Groups and LI Answers, helps to raise your profile and promote your brand.
  • You can create a detailed LI profile for your company, including a description of what your company does, how many employees it has, and where you are located.
  • Your profile can publicize your web and blog pages.
  • This profile can be helpful in establishing an employer or personal online brand.
  • You can promote this profile in a similar way to your personal profile by including the URL in your email signature, on your business cards, or on your blog.
  • You Can Use Linkedin To Run Alumni Programs:
  • Alumni programs allow current and former employees to keep in touch with each other, and are a natural fit with a networking website like LI.
  • Such programs can create a sense of community, improve your employer brand and encourage old employees to keep you in mind when business opportunities come along.
  • You Can Increase Your Internet Presence:
  • Creating a profile on LI will increase your presence on Google, as LI pages generally have a high Google ranking.
  • To get the full benefit from this, select the ‘Full View’ option on your public profile, and also customize its URL to include your name, or your company name for a company profile.
  • You can also use your contributions to Group discussions, or in LI Answers, to drive traffic to your website.
  • It Is Target-Rich:
  • LI can be used to identify potential clients, suppliers, employees, employers, or even the best people to invite to a forthcoming event.
  • You can search for and connect with people in a specific position within a company in the industry that you are interested in – or even in a particular geographic area.
  • It is much easier than using mailing lists, which very quickly become out of date and must be cleaned-up at great expense and time before using them.
  • It Is Cost Effective:
  • Creating an account on LI is free, unless you choose to upgrade to a premium account.
  • It is also very straightforward to create an account and develop your profile.
Caution – Be careful whom you invite to connect on LI. If 5 people reply “I don’t know you (IDK)” LI will require you to already know the email address of all people that you want to contact. There are “LinkedIn Open Networkers” (LIONs) who are happy to connect with a wide range of people and who accept most requests to connect. Some LIONs have 2,000 – 30,000 connections. Connecting with a few LIONs in your industry (including Mark and me) helps you add quality and depth to your network rapidly.

Useful LinkedIn Hints

  1. Take the time to 100 % completely fill out your LI profile and add a good picture.
  2. Some good advice is to first connect with people you know well, and then also add a few LIONs so that you can extend your network reach.
  3. Join industry Groups on LI as well, as your college alumni group and other groups that are of interest to you. Join five or six that match your interests or profession.
  4. Search for other web pages that discuss “LinkedIn Profile Optimization” for more advice.
  5. Always personalize your request to connect so that the potential connection understands why you are a good connection for them.
  6. Backup and download your network as a back-up periodically.
Here are a few links that I thought were useful to get started. I hope to expand this list as I am connect to a number of LinkedIn experts. Let me know if you have any questions. I find LinkedIn useful for many professional networking tasks and think that you will also find an extended career network useful in many ways. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/23454/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Mastering-LinkedIn.aspx http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/linkedin-profile/ http://internsover40.blogspot.com/2010/01/feeln-like-needle-in-haystack-5-minutes.html http://www.fastcompany.com/3026793/lessons-learned/how-to-nab-a-job-using-linkedins-whos-viewed-your-profile Overall we have found LinkedIn to be a positive way of meeting people and exchanging information. Please feel free to email us with comments or questions. Connect with us on LI or email us directly. Jim Jenkins Jim.Jenkins@ATIcourses.com Jackie Battin Jackie.Battin@ATIcourses.com  

Attend Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days)

My name is Zane Scott and I teach the Model-Based Systems Engineering courses for Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses).  I want to invite you the ATI’s Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days). The Model-Based Systems Engineering Fundamentals course includes discussion of real-life benefits from this approach versus the traditional […]
My name is Zane Scott and I teach the Model-Based Systems Engineering courses for Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses).  I want to invite you the ATI’s Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) Fundamentals (1-day) and the follow-on MBSE Applications courses (2-days). The Model-Based Systems Engineering Fundamentals course includes discussion of real-life benefits from this approach versus the traditional document-centric systems design methodology. The two-day follow-on class provides in-depth practical advice and case studies based on specific satellite and defense systems case studies.
Model-based Systems Engineering Fundamentals Aug 11, 2015 Columbia, MD
Model-based Systems Engineering (2 day) Aug 12-13, 2015 Columbia, MD
 
The benefits of MBSE from a program manager/sponsor perspective are emphasized in day 1, which is available as a stand-along course for Program Managers and other non-technical sponsors. The two-day follow-on class provides in-depth knowledge for the working systems engineer. These courses are practical and useful in managing complex systems design projects utilizing MBSE which promises to impact projects positively by improving communication among the team, promoting reuse (and associated cost/risk reduction), and maintaining traceability from the requirements through validation and verification. But are these promises fulfilled and results documented? Case studies are used to illustrate the practical benefits of MBSE.  MBSE was recently used on a student project at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. The student team was so impressed by the effectiveness of this approach that they recorded a 2014 case study webinar. This success story is especially beneficial for Systems Engineering Managers seeking to clearly understand the Return on Investment from MBSE. Systems Engineering practitioners will appreciate the in-depth practical system design process outlined in day 2 and 3 of this course with reference to the CubeSat program case study. The Embry-Riddle EagleSat program took off in 2012 as part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative. The student-run, professor-guided organization has a goal of flying Embry-Riddle’s first satellite, a fully functioning 10-centimeter cube focused on analyzing the susceptibility of computer memory to solar radiation, while also mapping the body’s orbital decay over time.   The systems engineering effort, undertaken through the use of MBSE, has played a critical role in requirements management and maintaining design traceability throughout the development process and across all six subsystems. The choice to use MBSE comes from the approach’s inherent ability to document complex element relationships while easily and fully communicating these to other team members through generated reports and descriptive diagrams. Please consider attending either the 1-day Fundamentals class if you need an overview, or the full 3-day class to learn how to effectively apply MBSE to real-world, complex systems engineering projects.
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Doing Business with DoD and All of Fed Government- Post-Sequestration

ATI has many customers who work for the government in defense or aerospace. We thought that this article was interesting and timely about working with agencies that are subject to sequester. Doing Business with DoD and All of Fed Government- Post-Sequestration July 3, 2013 By ChrisScott http://ctovision.com/2013/07/doing-business-with-government-post-sequestration/?goback=%2Egde_1979445_member_255336659 Do you interact with government professionals in DoD […]
ATI has many customers who work for the government in defense or aerospace. We thought that this article was interesting and timely about working with agencies that are subject to sequester. Doing Business with DoD and All of Fed Government- Post-Sequestration July 3, 2013 By ChrisScott http://ctovision.com/2013/07/doing-business-with-government-post-sequestration/?goback=%2Egde_1979445_member_255336659 Do you interact with government professionals in DoD or elsewhere in the federal government? This post may give you some important insights that may help. Next time you make an appointment to meet with your DoD counterpart, you will most likely notice some very unpleasant changes. As you are well aware, sequestration has forced DoD to make some arbitrary cuts in ways that make no contribution towards meeting DoD goals and missions. By design, the sequestration is devoid of logic and planning, and it is breeding a sense of helplessness into an organization that prides itself on mission accomplishment. First off: the furloughs themselves. Civil service employees in DoD are mandated to take 11 unpaid days off between now and 1 October, the end of the Fiscal Year. I have observed very few exemptions to the mandate. It appears that unless you are directly working in a combat zone, you will have to comply. In the Navy, even the working capital employees of SPAWAR are required to furlough. Since these working capital employees are paid directly by the funds received for the projects they are working on, not paying them for these days does nothing to save USN money, and makes the programs at risk for having unobligated funds at the end of the year. I have talked to numerous civil servants who are suffering the effects of this unanticipated 20% pay cut. You should know that when they do the math, they do NOT call it a 20% pay cut, but more than that. They have fixed expenses for their health care, insurance, retirement, etc. When the resulting 20% comes off the remainder, it is felt as more than 20% of the whole. Secondly: the psychological effect. I have worked in DoD for many years, and I usually encounter the best and the brightest. These folks come to work with only one thing on their mind: doing the BEST job they can. They have always known that they have traded a lower income for a sense of National pride and a direct impact on the US defense mission. Now they are being directed to work less hours and chastised that they must NOT work the full 40 hours. Their normal inclination is to suck it up and accomplish their job anyways. In fact, many of these employees are being told that there must be some pain to this policy. Some things must fall apart. For a force that prides itself on getting things done, this is having a very debilitating psychological impact. As these employees sit back and watch their work go undone, it is only natural that they feel a sense of shame and frustration. They are being asked to do less. They are being told that their work is not important. They are being told that completing their work successfully is no longer a requirement. I have always known that the most motivated employees are those that clearly understand their mission and have the tools and authorities to accomplish the goals. No amount of bonuses, time off, promotions, etc. can compete with the sense of well being achieved by doing a hard job well. How this will unfold for next year is still unknown. A few organizations have obtained approval for reduction in forces (RIF). (Commander Naval Installations just announced that 745 civilian positions will be eliminated by 2014 ). It is clearly more effective to trim forces by 20%, vice rendering 100% of the forces 80% (or less) effective through furloughs. Meanwhile, as you try to line up your meetings with DoD, some things you should know. Most commands are furloughing on Fridays. Some are bundling their Fridays with a Monday, to give them four-day weekends. During their furlough days, they are not reading/answering any emails or taking any phone calls. When they return, their emails and voice mails are backed up. If you time your request wrong, you will get lost in the backlog. Things that were always hard are now a lot harder. DoD has not standardized their visitor requirements across the department. We all know that “boutique” solutions exist from organization to organization, usually a combination of Visitor Requests, JPAS submissions, etc. Making sure that all these t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted usually requires someone from within to connect the dots. On my recent swing through the PACOM AOR, I experienced two such disconnects. I usually bat 100%. Finally, the meeting itself is subject to coordination across the participant organizations to find a time/date where all players are at work. With all the catching up that they are doing from their days off, and with the overwhelming sense of failure that comes from not completing your work, it’s increasingly difficult to line up productive sessions. I have found that one-on-one meetings are much more likely to be successful. In conclusion, you will need to pay special attention to the above as you work with DoD this year. No matter how frustrated you are at the results, please remember to give a few words of encouragement. We are all in this together, whether we like it or not.

Training budgets: Smaller is not an option

  The debate on the budgets for the government organizations is pretty toxic in the US. Both US Navy and US Army alongside other organizations have declared budget shortfalls which effect many areas including training. Without commitment to training and learning new skills there can be no continuous improvement, which is one of the prime […]
  The debate on the budgets for the government organizations is pretty toxic in the US. Both US Navy and US Army alongside other organizations have declared budget shortfalls which effect many areas including training. Without commitment to training and learning new skills there can be no continuous improvement, which is one of the prime directives of any government or company. The Applied Technology Institute (ATI) specializes in short course technical training in space, communications, defense, sonar, radar, systems engineering and signal processing. Since 1984 ATI has provided leading-edge public courses and on-site technical training to defense and NASA facilities, as well as DOD and aerospace contractors. The courses provide a clear understanding of the fundamental principles and a working knowledge of current technology and applications.   When your company does not want to pay for the training you really want, as an alternative, you can:
  • Spent your own personal money and funds; if you believe in it and then you will do it
  • Find a user group who are practicing the skills you desire
  • Don’t accept the classic answer from the boss, “How does X help the business?”. If the training is relevant to you achieving a goal of being a much better employee then of course it is relevant.
  • Find another organization to work for
A training manager with a good team can:
  • Fight for your team and their training; fight for your team’s budget and don’t let the senior management take it away
  • Give up your personal training for the entire year and suggest that they allocate the extra budget to training for your team members
  • Perhaps, it is time to evaluate the relationship with the preferred supplier of training. Has your firm been getting decent value from the PSL (preferred supplier list)?
  • Find alternatives to training like brown bag lunches and/or collaborate with other businesses
Everybody needs training and self-improvement. Please share your opinion with us by commenting below.
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Agile Boot Camp: Practitioner’s Real-World Solutions

Video Clip: Click to Watch Practitioner’s Workshop to Pragmatic Real-World Adoption Iteration Planning, Product Roadmap and Backlog, Estimating Practices, User Story Development and Iteration Execution Presented by the Applied Technology Institute (ATI) While not a silver bullet, Agile Methodologies are quickly becoming the most practical way to create outstanding software. Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean, Dynamic Systems […]
Agile is a wonderful springboard for team building & learning
Video Clip: Click to Watch
Presented by the Applied Technology Institute (ATI)
While not a silver bullet, Agile Methodologies are quickly becoming the most practical way to create outstanding software. Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean, Dynamic Systems Development Method, Feature Driven Development and other methods each have their strengths. While there are significant similarities that have brought them together under the Agile umbrella, each method brings unique strengths that can be utilized for your team success. Rarely do organizations adopt one methodology in its pure form. Rather success is achieved by combining the best practices, creating a hybrid approach. The only way to Agile success is practice. Agile is an art more than a science. The art of Agile must be practiced and finely tuned over multiple iterations. In this three-day Agile Boot Camp you will put the knowledge, skills, tools and techniques taught to work. The classroom will be broken up into Agile teams and your expert instructor will drive each team through the Agile process from Vision down to Daily planning and execution. Your instructor will answer questions with real world experience, as all of our instructors have Agile experience “in the trenches.” This three-day class is set up in pods/teams. Each team looks like a real-world development unit in Agile with Project Manager/Scrum Master, Business Analyst, Tester and Development. The teams will work through the Agile process including Iteration planning, Product road mapping and backlogging, estimating, user story development iteration execution, and retrospectives by working off of real work scenarios. Specifically, you will: • Practice how to be and develop a self-organized team • Create and communicate a Product Vision • Understand your customer and develop customer roles and personas • Initiate the requirements process by developing user stories and your product backlog • Put together product themes from your user stories and establish a desired product roadmap • Conduct story point estimating to determine effort needed for user stories to ultimately determine iteration(s) length • Take into consideration assumed team velocity with story point estimates and user story priorities to come up with you release plan • Engage the planning and execution of your iteration(s) • Conduct retrospectives after each iteration • Run a course retrospective to enable an individual plan of execution on how to conduct Agile in your environment Who Should Attend? Because this is an immersion course and the intent is to engage in the practices every Agile team will employ, this course is recommended for all team members responsible for delivering outstanding software. That includes, but is not limited to, the following roles:
Business Analyst, Technical Analyst, Project Manager Software Engineer/Programmer, Development Manager, Product Manager Product Analyst, Tester, QA Engineer, Documentation Specialist
What You Will Learn • Practice and maintain a regular cadence when delivering working software each iteration • Follow the team approach; start as a team, finish as a team • Gain knowledge and understanding of Agile principles with context on why they are so important for each team • Embrace planning from Vision down to Daily level, recognizing the value of continuous planning over following a plan • Build a backlog of prioritized stories that provides emergent requirements for analysis that also fosters customer engagement and understanding • Engage in more effective estimating (story points) and become more accurate by being less precise • Pull together Agile release plans that connect you back to business expectations – including hard date commitments and fixed price models • Apply Agile testing strategies based on unit and acceptance testing, which creates a bottom up confirmation that your software works • Avoid the top mistakes made when rolling out Agile practices and how to craft an adoption strategy that will work in your organizational culture Dates and Locations For the dates and locations of these short courses, please see below: 5/2-4/2012, San Diego, CA 5/9-11/2012, Philadelphia, PA 5/14-16/2023, Phoenix, AZ 5/16-18/2012, Washington, DC 5/23-25/2012, Houston, TX 6/6-8/2012, Cleveland, OH 6/13-15/2012, Chicago, IL 6/18-20/2012, Columbia, MD 6/25-27/2012, Baltimore, MD 6/27-29/2012, Kansas City, MO 7/23-25/2012, Boston, MA 7/30-1/2012, Reston, VA 8/8-10/2012, San Diego, CA 8/27-29/2012, St Louis, MO The Agile Boot Camp is a perfect place for cross functional “teams” to become familiar with Agile methods and learn the basics together. It’s also a wonderful springboard for team building & learning. Bring your project detail to work on in class.

Agile Project Management Certification Workshop (PMI-ACP)

Video Clip: Click to Watch More than a Methodology Agile Project Management Embraces a Set of Principles AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP (PMI-ACP) Prepare for your Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification while learning to lead Agile software projects that adapt to change, drive innovation and deliver on-time business value in this Agile PM training course Agile […]
You Need a Very Different Set of Tools to Manage Your IT Projects
Video Clip: Click to Watch
More than a Methodology Agile Project Management Embraces a Set of Principles
Prepare for your Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification while learning to lead Agile software projects that adapt to change, drive innovation and deliver on-time business value in this Agile PM training course Agile has made its way into the mainstream — it’s no longer a grassroots movement to change software development. Today, more organizations and companies are adopting this approach over a more traditional waterfall methodology, and more are working every day to make the transition. To stay relevant in the competitive, changing world of project management, it’s increasingly important that project management professionals can demonstrate true leadership ability on today’s software projects. The Project Management Institute’s Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification clearly illustrates to colleagues, organizations or even potential employers that you’re ready and able to lead in this new age of product development, management and delivery. This class not only prepares you to lead your next Agile project effort, but ensures that you’re prepared to pass the PMI-ACP certification exam. Acquiring this certification now will make you one of the first software professionals to achieve this valuable industry designation from PMI. Who Should Attend: This Agile project management training course is designed for anyone who is considering the use of an Agile methodology for software development, including:
Project Managers, Analysts, Developers, Programmers, Testers IT Managers/Directors, Software Engineers, Software Architects Software Managers, Testing Managers, Team Leaders, Customers.
What You Will Learn: • Embrace a model of continuous planning over simply following a plan • Transform your Agile project management style from “command and control” to “empower and inspire” with your team • Create a cadence for the team and eliminate process distractions for a dramatic boost in efficiency • Establish credible and achievable estimates using Agile project management estimating techniques • Communicate more transparently and reduce interruptions to your team • Rapidly build trust with your customers through frequent and effective collaboration Dates and Locations For the dates and locations of this course, please see below: 5/2/2012-4/2012 Milwaukee, WI 5/9/2012-11/2012 Tampa, FL 5/9/2012-11/2012 Tampa, FL 5/22/2012-25/2012 VIRTUAL TRAINING 5/23/2012-25/2012 Columbia, MD 5/30/2012-1/2012 Raleigh, NC 6/6/2012-8/2012 Boston, MA 6/13/2012-15/2012 Washington, DC 6/18/2012-20/2012 Houston, TX 6/20/2012-22/2012 Denver, CO 6/27/2012-29/2012 Sacramento, CA 7/16/2012-18/2012 Baltimore, MD 7/18/2012-20/2012 St Louis, MO 7/24/2012-27/2012 VIRTUAL TRAINING 7/25/2012-27/2012 Oklahoma City, OK 7/25/2012-27/2012 Philadelphia, PA 7/30/2012-1/2012 Chicago, IL 8/6/2012-8/2012 Washington, DC 8/8/2012-10/2012 Kansas City, MO 8/20/2012-22/2012 Dallas, TX 8/27/2012-29/2012 Minneapolis, MN 8/29/2012-31/2012 Boston, MA 9/5/2012-7/2012 Vancouver, British Columbia 9/19/2012-21/2012 Toronto, Ontario 10/10/2012-12/2012 Calgary, Alberta 10/17/2012-19/2012 Toronto, Ontario 11/14/2012-16/2012 Toronto, Ontario 11/27/2012-29/2012 Vancouver British, Columbia 12/12/2012-14/2012 Toronto, Ontario


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GEN-YS NEED SPECIAL HANDLING WHEN FIRST ENTERING THE WORKFORCE – PART 1

If your company is hiring Gen-Ys (aka Millennials) fresh out of college, you will be eager to get them folded into your operation and feeling part of the team. But you will need to handle this cohort of youngsters differently than any other generations entering the Western workforce. At first glance, you might ask “So […]
If your company is hiring Gen-Ys (aka Millennials) fresh out of college, you will be eager to get them folded into your operation and feeling part of the team. But you will need to handle this cohort of youngsters differently than any other generations entering the Western workforce. At first glance, you might ask “So what is different? After all, Gen-Ys are doing the same thing other generations have done before them: Leaving college friends and lovers, settling into new job and meeting new people.” And that is true and the typical corporate socialization techniques designed to ease the transition of new employees from college to work – – – social mixers, assignment of mentors, integrated product teams, etc. – – – will also be useful for incorporating Gen-Ys into your organization. But it will not be enough because there are other, much more complex dynamics at work in the recently-employed Gen Y community. We know this because we teach courses in Project Management and we have had some eye-popping, private conversations with Gen Y attendees about their job environment, their stress levels, their egos, expectations and fears. Gen-Ys have an additional layer of issues affecting their mindsets and, hence, their job performance. More than any previous generation, Gen-Ys: – Have grown up with iPods and near-constant music. This is the first 100% iPod â„¢ generation and music has been a near-constant companion for them while driving, walking, jogging and even while studying or working. – Are accustomed to very frequent social contact with friends via texting, IM and Skype. Boomers snicker at the typical Gen-Y texting with friends every few minutes and are amazed when they first see Gen-Ys on their phones while watching movies and sporting events. Tweeting their remote friends about the movie or ballgame, and even Tweeting with friends right there in the crowd with them, is commonplace for Gen Ys. – Believe in a “flat” equalitarian culture, where levels of organization do not exist. As a freshman in college a Gen Y could email (or call or visit) the President of the university, on almost any subject, and the President would discuss the subject, and thank the student for being straightforward and for bringing the problem to light. “Chain of Command” is usually an alien concept to any Gen Ys who are at their first jobs and who lack military experience. – Have developed comparatively fragile egos and rely on frequent feedback on how they are doing in each class and with their friendships. So the next time a Gen Y, new to your workplace, behaves strangely or does something you as a Gen-X or Baby Boomer might consider odd put yourself in their shoes: – The comfortable, predictable college world they have known for 4+ years is completely gone. Professors with whom they could negotiate grades and arrange for “extra credit” work when needed have been replaced by a boss who is part of an entirely different culture, and embedded in a more rigid hierarchy of departments/divisions run by anonymous bureaucrats. – The social fabric that held their lives together is missing. The face-to-face contact with college friends and professors is gone; only a poor electronic substitute is now available to them remotely through texts, Facebook, Twitter and cell phone calls. – A music-rich college world has been replaced at work by endless meetings, discussions and conference calls. Colleagues and bosses constantly pop by the cubicle for chats, causing the iPod â„¢ ear buds to be constantly popping in and out as well. – They are functioning in this new world very much “in the blind”, without the comfort of frequent homework assignment and class quizzes to confirm their understanding of a subject and their comparative standing among peers. Now there is no paper graded “B” to show the Gen-Y where they can improve performance. In a new job, just when they desperately seek feedback, they get little or none from their bosses until a scheduled performance review occurs (once or twice a year, quarterly if they are lucky). There are some simple things we can do to fix this disconnect between realities of the workplace and the expectations of our Gen Y colleagues. In the next post we’ll learn what bosses, and Gen-y workers themselves, can do to ease the college-to-work transition. And we’ll recommend a new frame of mind for Gen-X and Boomers to help fold-in the Gen-Ys who, if the rest of us are ever going to retire, must take their place in the workforce. Until then, what are YOUR thoughts? PS: The author of this post teaches a short technical training course, Technical CONOPS & Concepts, which will be presented in Laurel, MD  on April 3-5, 2012.  Register now!
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