Three Signs Your Project Might Fail

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We’ve all been there – a few weeks or months into a project and things just don’t seem right. You can’t get the information you need, your team isn’t gelling, and no one seems happy. You aren’t sure what’s happening, but you have a nagging worry that your project could fail.

 

Even worse: it might have already failed.

 

At this point you might be asking yourself, how did we get here? What clues, signals, or signs did you miss along the way? It’s been said that up to 30% of all IT projects are canceled before they are completed. How can you avoid falling into that pattern?

Best DC IT Events for April

April showers bring…more snow? We hope not!

 

Here are the IT events we are looking forward to attending this month around Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Hope to see you there!

 

Agile Leadership Network (DC Chapter)

The Role of Customer Engagement in Successful Organizations

Thursday, April 3, 2014

6:30 to 8:30 PM

Vienna, VA

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Can I Create Powerful Data Visualizations Using Open Source Tools?

Data visualization is a great way to help customers understand important information by telling a compelling visual story. It can be a powerful business intelligence tool for your team or project.

 

But you probably need fancy, expensive tools to do it well, right? Maybe not!

 

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How To Model Agile Requirements Using Examples

Agile Requirements are lightweight by design, so what can you do as the BA to convey requirements in a concise yet comprehensive way? How can you include real examples in your requirements to increase clarity and reduce ambiguity when working with your team?

 

In this presentation, Rebecca Halstead, Principal Consultant and Business Analysis Center of Excellence Lead, shares how to incorporate examples in your requirements as a way to encourage collaboration and build a shared understanding about the acceptance criteria.

 

 

Rebecca delivered this presentation on Agile Requirements at the International Institute of Business Analysis, Washington, D.C. Chapter, meeting on March 20, 2014.

 

How to Establish an Information Culture in Your Organization

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Business Intelligence (BI) projects and programs are called many things – data analytics, big data, or data-driven decision making. Regardless of how you frame it, BI is a critical part of every business and understanding the needs and expectations of your customers, colleagues and C-suite is essential to running a successful BI effort.

 

One great way to ensure your BI project gets results is to promote an environment within your organization that prepares everyone involved for success. We like to call this aninformation culture.” An information culture promotes the regular use of accurate data to make decisions by creating an environment where everyone uses a common language to describe (and measure) success.

 

Easier said than done, right?

Tips for Better Hallway Usability Tests

Hallway testing can be a fast, inexpensive and easy way to conduct usability testing for your website or application. But, you still have to do it right to get the best results!

 

Our team at USAJOBS recently helped write a great post for DigitalGov on the best ways to conduct hallway testing. Here are their 10 Tips for Better Hallway Usability Testing:

 

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What is Usability Testing?

How many times have you seen a website or application stumble or crash once it gets to production, despite meeting the requirements perfectly? Have you felt like there was something missing in the development process?

 

In the following presentation, Norm Sun talks about what usability testing is, why you should be doing it, and how you can start incorporating it into your development process right now!

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How to Be an Agile BA

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When I started working on my first Agile project in 2008, I remember hearing a lot about “developers” and little-to-no mention of project managers, testers or business analysts (BAs). With years of experience in the waterfall method, I started to wonder how I could fit into an Agile team. Did BA’s fit into the Agile method? If so, where?

 

I soon learned that the Agile Manifesto was written from a developer’s perspective and while it could be interpreted literally, most Agile teams saw the value that the other roles brought to the table and continued to include them on their teams. Developers still wanted to write code, testers still wanted to validate, and managers still wanted a successful delivery of the solution. So I got my CSM, and jumped into the world of Agile Software Development. A world that I think we can all agree helps reduce waste and uncertainty on complex or novel projects.

 

Since then, I have been a part of many successful Agile delivery teams. As Agile becomes the “new normal” for software delivery, I often think back to my early concerns. I drafted this post with my top 5 lessons learned in becoming an Agile BA. Read on to see if this helps you!

 

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