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Archive for December, 2010

Setting your 2011 resolutions

The time has come to make your new year resolutions, but how to make a correct resolutions? Correct resolutions? I thought any resolutions would do. They are my resolutions anyway.

Is that right?

In actual fact, your resolutions are no different than any goals you set, except you have already set the time frame to be achieved; in a year. Anyhow, have you set, specifically when would you want to achieve the resolutions? In what month, on what day?

Furthermore, would you be able to track the progress of your resolutions?

If you have not set your resolutions, I will share some tips how to set yours.

Firstly, your resolutions should be Specific. When you draft your resolutions, make sure you specify them into enough detail. For instance, you can set one of your resolution as ‘I want to visit the city of love, Paris’. A more specific resolution would be ‘I want to visit the interesting places in Paris and shop for designer items’. You should also set a specific date when you want to achieve the resolutions. One more important thing, you should have resolutions for different category. What are you resolutions for your personal development, family, career and so on. By putting into different categories it would be easier for you to list the action items later.

Secondly, your resolutions should be Measurable. Taking the ‘Paris’ example, how would you measure the resolution? Ask yourself questions to gather the pre-requisites to achieve it. For example, on the date you board the plane to Paris, how much money would you need? That is the measurement for you to achieve your resolution. If you are 2 months into going to Paris, but there’s only few dollars in your bank account then you know you have to work harder to achieve it.

Thirdly, your resolutions should be Achieveable. This is quite straight forward. If your 2011 resolution is to be the next Malaysian astronaut, but you are not even selected in the ‘Angkasawan Kedua’ list, then you know your resolution is not achievable.

Fourthly, your resolutions should be Realistic. When you are planning for your resolutions, think whether you have the capabilities to achieve them. For instance, if you are currently a Software Engineer and your 2011 resolution is to write a book about ‘Creating A Solar Energy Panel’ and you do not even have knowledge about the subject, it is very unlikely you can achieve the resolution. In contrary, writing a book about ‘Setting Up Your Own Commerce Site’, would be a more ‘realistic’ target.

Lastly, your resolutions should have Time Frame. You already complied to this since you want to achieve all your resolutions within 2011. You just need to put a specific date for each them.

The next step is to list down all the actions that you need to execute to achieve each of your resolutions. For instance, if you set to visit Paris on 26 November 2011 and you would need RM10,000, you better start saving RM1,000 a month from January 2011.

Finally, put everything into writing, paste/put your resolutions where you can see it everyday and from time to time review back your current status against your resolutions. Put the actions items into action. If necessary, take corrective actions to align back your status to your resolutions.

Feel free to share your thoughts.
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SCRUM in Under 10 Minutes

Forget the disaster, but don’t forget the lessons

As human beings we are tend to make mistakes. Some mistakes are just easily forgotten and less impacts to you or other people surrounding you. Some turned into disasters. These are not easily forgotten. We feel ashamed of the mistakes and it might gave births to hatred from the others.

We should learn to learn from the mistakes. We should reflect and asks the 5W and 1H questions. What went wrong, why it went wrong, when the mistakes were triggered, who were involved, where it went wrong and how in the first place things turned into disaster. And ultimately, we should find the answer, ‘How to avoid making the same mistake again’.

This is the process where we identified the lessons learned. After identifying the lessons, we should remember not to commit the same mistake twice.

Preparing for PMP Examination

Next month, Jan 4, 2011 I will the sitting for the PMP® examination. The date is actually after I reschedule from earlier date on Dec 16, 2010. Since I am not prepared yet, I tought it would be best that I reschedule (lots of work currently, 1 project just started and 1 closing this month).

I will finish reading the text book soon. After this will do all the test questions, as suggested by my instructor, Mr Nan Phin (http://www.asiaictpm.org/). My strategy to pass the exam:

1. Read the text book by chapter.
2. Do the questions at the end of each chapters.
3. If I score less than 70% for any chapters, then I will reread that chapter.
4. Do the online exam prep questions at http://www.headfirstlabs.com/PMP/free_exam/. The questions are designed according to the chapters in PMBOK®.
5. If I score less than 80% for any of the chapters, revise those chapters.

With those strategies, hopefully on Jan 4, 2011, I can put PMP at then of my name in my name card. 😀

Note: For the exam, I am using Project Management Professional Exam: Study Guide, written by Kim Heldman. I found th book is quite easy to understand and use vertical approach, going thru each processes groups, instead of the knowledge area.