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Random Thoughts – New Book, Certifications, Force Check-ins and Agile

BY: Collin Quiring

I always wonder why a blog goes silent.  While it takes great discipline and scheduling to update a blog on a regular basis, there are plenty of folks that do it.  For a long time I was able to do it as well.  However, for a number of personal and professional reasons I have been all but “offline” for a few months now.  I have written a few entries in my head and have some notes about some as well but haven’t been posting anything.  I am hoping to start getting active again now.  This post will be more of a hodgepodge of “little things” of varying interest to you.

  • First, Tanya Foster and I have been working on a book on how to use Microsoft Project Professional and Microsoft Project Server for Resource Management.  This is only concentrating on the Resource Management piece.  The book is currently in review and I will update everybody when it is closer to being published.
  • One tidbit of knowledge that I have recently learned involves the Project Server 2010 “force check-in” background process.  I noticed that when a schedule was forced to check-in it sometimes took a few moments and other times it took significantly longer.  I didn’t understand the difference and just chalked it up to random “stuff” on the server, my connection or whatever.  However, Brian Smith recently explained to me that a force check-in isn’t just a “check-in” but it actually tries to process outstanding status updates as well.  It probably does other things as well and perhaps Brian will one day blog about that but this was a big “ah-ha” moment for me as I know that I was trying to check in some schedules that had outstanding updates – and that is what took them so long to check in when I was forcing it.  Now, as a general rule, you probably should not be force checking-in schedules very often, but that is a different story for another day.
  • This one is of interest to me:  Project Management Institute (PMI) is creating a new Agile Certification pilot program, beginning in May of 2011 (http://www.pmi.org/en/Agile/Agile-Certification-Eligibility-Requirements.aspx).  While I am not necessarily a big proponent of Agile I do understand that it is the “next big thing” and it may have a place in the Project Management world.  I did see at the last PMI Conference that there were lots of Agile presentations and I attended a couple of them.  One of the two that I went to was extremely confusing as I guess the presenters assumed that everybody in attendance was already familiar with Agile.  There are many folks that would debate that Agile is not really its own Project Management methodology and that Agile is actually a software development method (see http://blog.pmtechnix.com/does-agile-project-management-exist/ for a snippet of that debate).  We shall see where this certification and Agile goes in the future.

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