In today’s complex workplace of doing more with less, minimizing the impact of troubled projects is a required and valued core competency and critical success factor for Project Managers. Project failures don’t happen suddenly—typically, projects decline over time. Because of this it is critical project managers understand practical techniques and best practices for assessing and recovering projects that are in trouble as early as possible. Whether or not a project is Challenged, Troubled or Critical, this course provides Project Managers with the tools and techniques to identify project problems, assess their impact and take action to recover or minimize the impacts to the project objectives. This course also covers scenarios where the core root cause for project schedule/cost slippage is so substantial that a project may need to be put on hold for senior management to sort out complex issues such as dysfunction from cultural differences or escalated political roadblocks borne out of self interest, protectionism, hidden agendas or other organizational roadblocks.
Business Process Improvement
While improvements are a necessity in any industry, the flexibility and speed inherent in today’s IT industry makes business process improvement management a critical operational issue. The actual process of making business improvements is your organization’s roadmap for creating any type of change. However, before changes can even be undertaken, your company must take the time to take a hard look at itself to determine where exactly lay the problem areas. In essence, it needs to conduct an organizational self-analysis. For this to be effective, process analysis requires that the business users not only be highly knowledgeable about the company’s workflow but also about modeling techniques. Business process modeling is the systematic representation of an organization’s processes through workflow models and diagrams. There are currently a few types of standard business process models that can be used to effect change management.
Business process modeling is extremely helpful for documenting and managing the changes that will improve your business processes. To maximize upon the power of this particular technique, it is critical that your key players undergo business process training and learn how to properly model the organizational workflow processes. These models will then be used by all business users throughout the life cycle of the process improvement. In fact, proper management is required to control the project life cycle of these changes from the initial identification and documentation of business processes to the eventual development and deployment of improvements.
ACRA has even developed a specialized curriculum that covers the most popular standards for business process modeling:
1) UML 2 (Unified-Modified Language): a wide-spectrum standard that covers the complete IT project lifecycle
2) BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation): a specifically created standard that is gaining widespread popularity.
In this curriculum, our trainees are taught how to use business process diagrams to model both existing and proposed processes, define workflow for business use cases, supplement the documentation of system use cases and define lifecycle rules for business objects.
While business process improvement management may seem like a time-consuming and daunting enterprise, it has actually been proven to eliminate bottlenecks and improve organizational efficiency. For companies like yours who strive to improve their performance objectives, the redesigning of business processes can eliminate inefficiencies and dramatically enhance your organization’s overall performance. Taking the time and money to invest in your employees is extremely beneficial in the long-run. In fact, with the ever-increasing globalization of today’s market, your organization must think ahead about expanding its reach to serve customers (both internally and externally) in a quick and proficient manner. As new systems are introduced into your organization, process improvement techniques can be used on an ongoing basis to help your business operate as smoothly and efficiently as ever.
Keeping all of this in mind, ACRA offers business process training for a variety of IT professionals ranging from business analysts to project managers and technical developers. Our courses are geared to the following categories that span business process management:
∙ Business Analysis ∙ ITIL ∙ Project Management ∙ Software Testing
Projects are inherently complex with a resulting set of chaotic actions and behaviors from stakeholders in response to a problem that often result in an ever-accelerating feedback of the same problem and/or more problems. If you have ever been part of a project that is considered “out of control” this chaos is familiar to you. This course presents how the command and control organizational model of twentieth century industrialization that is reflected in how projects are run, are giving way to newer mainstream learning and application of approaches for how Project Managers and project team members are to deal with complexity and chaos. This draws from current, mainstream approaches in very large and complex projects such as NASA, Fortune 100 organizations as well as from military applications where strategy and execution is built on complexity. For example, models and tactics are studied for the complexity and unpredictability of the battlefield where changing circumstances must be dealt with immediately or the battle, like the schedule and budget, will be lost. Such models and tactics adhere to not forcing a strict and rigid command and control project management approach. Thus you will learn to project manage with an adaption to the chaos, [...]
The has been a shift in how we work due to advances in workplace technology, a focus on work/life balance, and reduced budgets which has resulted in the prevalence of remote or virtual teams. Virtual team members may work from home, in different offices or parts of the company, on a client site or wirelessly while traveling. This shift is creating challenges to the way we work, manage and assess performance. In this course, you will learn new skills and perspectives that will help you effectively manage virtual or remote teams, foster the behaviors of high-performing virtual teams, assess barriers and opportunities for using virtual teams and to maintain and gracefully validate productivity with virtual employees. You will also learn and develop core influence skills to manage the politics of leading virtual teams. With this, you will define communication needs, coordinate and facilitate solutions to accomplish team tasks, and learn best practices that can be immediately applied to your workplace.
In the 21st century, corporations achieve strategic objectives through projects that are planned and implemented in a connected global and diverse workplace. A premium is now placed on a Project Managers’ ability to navigate and adapt to differences while leading and influencing project team members to get the work done on time and on budget. The Project Manager who can recognize differences in culture and bridge such differences to align everyone to the performing organization objectives is a highly valued skill set in today’s organization. This course is designed to provide tools and techniques that will enable Participants with Cultural Intelligence — a person’s ability to adapt successfully to different cultures. Through varied personal assessments, activities, case studies, discussion, theory and application and reflection, this course creates strong awareness of oneself relative to others such that differences can be recognized, respected and aligned to the needs of the project. This course also provides tools and techniques to Project Managers so they understand how cultures differ, how these differences constrain communication and with this knowledge proactively create a more collaborative environment. By arming people with awareness and strategies on the more intangible people dimensions of teams – the Cultural dimensions – [...]
Senior and successful project managers are well versed at the importance of leveraging and maintaining political ties throughout their organization as a manner for achieving project success. Like the wireless network, politics can’t be seen, however it is there and one need only to plug into it to be far more effective in their work. Project Managers must be willing to employ appropriate political tactics to further project goals to manage risk or risk being sidelined by politics. This course is an in depth look at various political tools and techniques people employ in projects to further their success. As most project managers have enormous responsibility but not enough formal authority, this course is an insightful view into how increasing one’s own personal power in the organization to influence stakeholders. Participants will discover methods for increasing your personal power while learning practical guidelines for successfully influencing without formal authority. By creating awareness and arming Project Managers and Stakeholders with strategies to identify, assess and execute on the intangible people and political dimensions of projects, projects have greater probability of meeting their objectives.
In this course, students will apply the generally recognized practices of project management acknowledged by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) to successfully manage projects.
This course provides test engineers and test team leaders with the main ideas, processes, tools and skills they need in order to set themselves on a path for true testing professionalism. This hands-on course covers the major test design techniques with lecture and exercises. The course provides the methodology behind the testing and covers issues both individual testers related as well as the whole testing team related. The testing process is presented through theory and hands-on exercises that follow an example project (which was developed for the purpose of presenting this course, and is adjusted to current technology), including the challenging tasks of tracking, analyzing and presenting tests results. Test environment and test automation issues are also covered, along with system development relevant lifecycles and how they affect testing. Class solutions are presented for the exercises performed in the class. This course is aimed at test engineers and test team leaders preparing for ISTQB foundation level certification. It is based on the International Software Testing Qualifications Board Foundation Syllabus (www.istqb.org),
This is a practical course for testers who find themselves on an agile team, test and quality assurance managers in organizations transitioning to agile development, and agile teams learning how to approach testing. The course starts with an introduction to agile testing, how it’s different from testing on a traditional team, and what makes agile testers different. The course contains dozens of stories from real people on real agile teams about the various testing-related issues they faced and how they resolved them. A section on organizational challenges covers cultural issues that agile testers face, team logistics, metrics, defect tracking and test planning. One central part of the course uses agile testing matrix to go through all the different types of testing needed on an agile project, who does it, how to approach each type, and what tools might help. The test automation portion of the course looks at barriers to successful test automation, ways to overcome them, and how to develop a sound test automation strategy. Another core section of the course takes the reader through an iteration, and more, in the life of an agile testing, from release planning to successful delivery. This course presents many testing challenges faced by real agile teams and explains how those teams solved their problems. You’ll learn how [...]
How can you ensure that you are on the path to developing the “right” software that will guarantee your project’s success? You must first be sure to acquire the proper techniques for writing the user requirements. Next, you need to identify the set of tests that will appropriately cover those requirements. Only then can you determine whether your software innovation is functioning as planned. Sometimes, the biggest challenge in a project’s requirements phase can lie in simply trying to comprehend the testing requirements. If the particular requirements are not adequately written, then the testing will not accurately measure those requirements. Our course will help you better gauge this delicate process by providing you with the tools for: Designing and executing tests that confirm what the software is intended to do Developing software that meets the needs and expectations of your clients and users In the first part, pertaining to writing testable requirements, you will learn: What are testing requirements? How to design well written requirements so that they are written in a testable manner? How to identify poorly written requirements? What is the impact of incorrect and/or missing requirements in the software development process? In the second part, relating to [...]