In the News Archive
Below you can find articles that have been published on the web.
What Managers can do to Support Agile Transformation
Agile can be a useful tool for driving collaboration, speed and versatility, and managers should take notice. For agile to be successful managers need to engage employees to ensure that they are willing to collaborate and make changes quickly. To guarantee effective collaboration companies should rely on three principles, feedback, communication and motivation.
InfoQ / June 2013
Business Analysts can Enable Innovation
Business analysts can drive innovation by setting requirements for a project and focusing on the outcome, without stating how to attain or implement it. Defining the requirements properly is the only way to ensure outside the box thinking.
Modern Analyst / May 2013
Executive Conversations: Five Tips to Communicating so the C-Suite Listens
It is not always easy to talk to members of the C-suite or senior management but these five tips can help ease your stress!
LearnPatch / May 2013
Effective Agile Requirements Require User Stories, Use Case
There is a common misconception that Agile replaces the need for use cases with user stories. The question shouldn’t be “Do user stories replace use cases?” Rather, the question should be framed: “How do we leverage the power of use cases with user stories when developing effective Agile requirements?”
Global Delivery Report / February 2013
10 Key Business Analysis Trends of 2013
This year’s top 10 business analysis trends focus on leveraging the power of requirements at all levels through Agile and business architecture to deliver business value to the organization. We also expect to see business analysts being utilized in more robust ways, forcing them to take on new skills to meet a broader job scope.
Modern Analyst / January 2013
Seven Easy Wins for the IT Project Manager
We are taught from a young age to win! Winning is a highly sought after achievement that we are always striving for, in all aspects of our life. If you adopt the following seven principles, expect increased winning in the project arena.
ComputerWeekly.com / January 2013
Agile 101 Collaboration
Agile projects require a constant dialogue with stakeholders and team members. This collaboration relies heavily on three key principles that are the building blocks of an Agile approach, including daily feedback, face-to-face interaction, and an environment of trust that supports motivated individuals.
Projects@Work / December 2012
Finding The Right Blend Pure Agile is Not Always the Way to Go
Only a fraction of organizations will migrate to Agile methods completely and for all projects. There are a multitude of reasons why a complete switch to the Agile method might not be realistic or beneficial. Many types of projects are not well suited for Agile approaches while some organizations have made significant investments in traditional or proprietary methodologies and are not prepared to simply abandon them. For all of these reasons, Agile project managers need to be prepared to work in cooperation with non-Agile project managers.
BA Times / December 2012
ROI Is More Than Justification
In today’s business environment, learning programs that are unable to prove that benefits exceed costs are unlikely to survive. A global ESI study with over 30,000 respondents reveals that the benefits of calculating ROI extend beyond the numbers to include expanded decision-support capabilities and an accountability mindset.
CLO / December 2012
Barking With the Big Dogs Part IV High Impact Interaction
As trusted advisors, business analysts must never forget the value of collaborating with stakeholders at all levels of an organization. The world of Agile has demonstrated this very point and is doing so with great positive impact and effect on the bottom line of many projects. When initiatives and projects are not collaborative, there is always a failing point within the stakeholder community. This article will address how to overcome, leverage and incorporate the fixed ideas of executives.
Modern Analyst / November 2012
Five Essentials to Empower Your Organization for Business Success
Advancing the organization and achieving business success require developing new products, finding new markets, and building enabling systems and infrastructure. Keeping execution aligned with the strategy to accomplish these objectives has always been one of the most difficult challenges in running a business. In today’s economic environment the task of aligning strategy and execution seems more daunting than ever.
PM World Journal / October 2012
The Life Cycle of Change
In today’s fast-moving world, change management is a topic on everyone’s lips. But how do you make sure you involve your employees to ensure success at every stage?
Human Resources Online / October 2012
The Socially Intelligent Project Manager
IT project managers are continually charged with delivering dynamic, highly-complex, time-sensitive, politically-charged and technically cutting-edge projects. The cooperation and faith of your team plays a huge role in the success of your projects. A person’s IQ is not enough to determine project success, it is also based on the project manager’s social intelligence, or their ability to, “act wisely in human relations,” – Edward Lee Thorndike.
Computerweekly.com / October 2012
How to Develop Next-Gen Project Managers
Good project managers can be a key differentiator for a business, so your company's investment in their development and training is essential. Recent studies and industry experts agree that next-generation Project Management Offices that actively engage in helping employees put the skills learned in training to work on the job result in higher levels of maturity and success.
CIO.com / August 2012
Barking With the Big Dogs, Part III—Influence and Manipulation
Influence and persuasion are techniques to be used subtly and cautiously or the results could be disastrous. This article touches on the three-pronged approach to persuasion and influence including: is there a rationale or justification for persuasion and influence? What you need to know about persuasion and influence, and six steps to influential and persuasive conversations.
Modern Analyst / August 2012
How to Prove the Value of your Presentation
Measuring the effectiveness of your presentation through ROI (Return on Investment) is necessary in today’s business environment. To prove that your project is worth it to the organization, proving ROI is essential. It is also one place where trainers can talk the language of business leadership. It helps training teams validate the results of training initiatives.
Examiner.com / August 2012
The Changing Face of Leadership
Leadership has always been about moving an organization from point A to point B. That objective remains, but escalating expectations and declining resources are changing the rules of the leadership development game.
Chief Learning Officer Magazine / July 2012
The Softer Side of Agile: Leading Collaborative Teams to Success
The Agile Manifesto places customer collaboration over contract negotiation with a keen focus on a highly skilled, motivated team in constant interaction with the product and the customer at every phase of the project. As a result of this collaborative, customer-centric view, Agile requires more than the technical expertise needed to gather requirements, and develop and test new product lines. It requires soft skills, leadership competencies and an understanding of how to apply those skills in a more malleable, people-focused setting.
Business Analyst Times / July 2012
The Global State of the PMO 2012: On the Road to the Next-Generation?
The Project or Program Management Office (PMO) has moved up the ranks in most organizations as more than just a warehouse of methodology, tools, and process. In an effort to impact business performance through training, methodology and project guidance, many PMOs seek to support project, program and portfolio management in a more focused, strategic manner. Regardless of its particular position in a given organization, the PMO is prevalent in virtually every industry and many governmental organizations.
Project Accelerator News / June 2012
Barking With the Big Dogs, Part 1: The Process of Care
Business analysts (BA) the world over are challenged with many things. These things can be lumped into loose buckets that include people, processes and tools. Within these categories we could easily compile a long list of challenges we face. They range from selling the value of requirements, our place in an organization, business versus IT, the stereotypical analysis paralysis, gaining management support, the lack of processes to support business analysis activities, lack of tools, difficult stakeholders, time, budget, work life balance and so on. As a business analyst, I often look for a root cause.
Modern Analyst / May 2012
Six Change Questions for IT Project Managers
Change is the only thing one can count on. Mergers, acquisitions, redundancies and other organizational changes often create anxiety and uncertainty because such business changes affect every level of an organization.
Project Manager / May 2012
Better Project Requirements
It will almost always cost more to fix a requirements problem during the execution phase than if the same problem was discovered in the planning phase. And the root cause of these problems is usually people-oriented. Here are four key best practices for writing better project requirements.
Projects at Work / April 2012
Is Your Organization Cyber Smart
Arming employees with adequate knowledge of cyber security is vital to any organization’s survival.
CLO Magazine / April 2012
Moving Beyond the RACI Matrix to Determine Stakeholder Requirements
Do you know what your stakeholders really need? Surprisingly, most business analysts and their managers cannot answer that question. Make sure you understand how to decipher what the real requirement is in your next project.
Gantthead.com / April 2012
Five Tips to Making Coaching More Effective
Coaching aids knowledge transfer from impending retirees to young up-and-comers, enabling companies to remain competitive. Consider this checklist to get your coaching program off the ground or revamp it.
Talent Management Magazine / March 2012
Turning Hope Into Reality
Getting employees to apply training on the job supports company growth.
Training is a rite of passage for many employees and is required for the certifications and knowledge needed to progress in their careers. While organizations may take the time to prepare an employee for training and budget for them to attend a learning course, most organizations still struggle to assess and support the transfer of learning from training programs into the workplace.
E&P Magazine / March 2012
Managing Agile Projects for the End User
With increased transparency and the need for greater compliance, examples of failed projects in the public sector, schedule lapses, technologies becoming obsolete before they are launched as well as cost overruns, are widely known today. And then there are also the IT projects that required years of mammoth investments that never launched at all.
Project Manager / February 2012
Why Good Isn't Good Enough: The Global State of Business Analysis, Part 1
Organizations around the globe are using business analysis (BA) to define requirements and determine courses of action and solutions to help them achieve their goals. BA activities are critical to projects and organizational success, but success requires standards of practice and adherence to the BA discipline. How good are organizations at practicing BA? Are they realizing its full potential?
Business Analyst Times / January 2012
IT Leads the Charge on Project Management
The increasing reliance on technology in the past decades alone has driven the growth and sophistication of project management to what is now a larger enterprize-wide executive management trend.
Computer Weekly / January 2012
Are Business Analysts In Danger of Becoming Extinct? (Part 1)
Nowadays the focus on business aspect largely prevailing in business analysis is rapidly becoming not enough. What a good and sought-after business analyst needs is a balanced portfolio of both technical and business skills.
Executive Brief / January 2012
ESI Announces Top 10 Project Management Trends for 2012 - Collaboration Gains Importance as Project Complexity Grows
As the project environment grows in complexity, project management will require team, stakeholder and executive collaboration in 2012 like never before. On-the-job application of training, custom-made project approaches, innovative project tools and smarter resource management will be essential for driving the greatest business impact.
PM World Today / January 2012
Canadian Study Reveals Lack of Team Collaboration Despite Its Positive Business Impact
A new study conducted by ESI International, shows that while the majority of organizations value high-impact team collaboration, less than one out of three organizations actually provide the proper framework for it. As a result, the skill gap widens while business performance suffers.
New Trends in Learning Reflect a Changing Workforce
Learning programs need to be more agile, adaptive and occur as quickly as possible to maximize the productivity of employees and adjust to a tech-savvy, global workforce with different learning styles.
Plan for Staffing Success
A CIO has to be able to "sell" investment in training to the bean counters and take steps to ensure that learning is applied to the company's benefit. The article, "Applying Training and Transferring Learning in the Workplace: How to Turn Hope into Reality," based on the ESI International global study, offers good advice on making that happen.
Get the Most out of Training
Training can be an asset to an IT organization, but there are any number of failure points that can reduce its value. To maximize the impact of training, CIOs should avoid common mistakes in design, execution and application, writes Raed Haddad, senior vice president at the training firm ESI International.
A CIO’s Guide to Maximizing the Training Investment
Training is more important than ever to maximize the workforce, but determining the business impact of training must be measurable in terms of value of investment. Drawing from over 20 years experience and a 2011 study on the transfer of learning, conducted by ESI International, I’ve outlined ways that CIOs can get the most out of training.
Top Skills for IT Managers – Part 6: Change Management
Change is the only thing one can count on. Armed with savvy change agents, smart organizations leverage their project managers' skills to manage the inevitable shifts in the business landscape. IT change agents need to call on their other essentials business skills we have talked about in the previous articles.
Are Business Analysts in Danger of Becoming Extinct Part 2
The response to the Part 1 article has been overwhelming to say the least. There was genuine interest and passion in support of the role and profession of the business analyst. The many differing viewpoints in and of themselves tell a very interesting story and have spurred Part 2 of this article.
How to Handle Difficult Project Team Members
Project teams come with a variety of personalities — and not all of them are easy to work with. How you handle those difficult team members can not only make or break a project, it can also affect your career.
New Trends in Learning Reflect a Changing Workforce
The economy continues to create uncertainty in commercial and government organizations with sluggish growth, reduced resources and tightening budgets being the order of the day. As a result, human resource professionals must operate with a leaner workforce where employees, regardless of level, must have the capability to lead and execute work across cross-functional teams.
Agile in Government: Can Agencies Make it Work?
Major IT projects within the government continue to be blamed for billions of wasted taxpayer dollars. With increased transparency in government, examples of failed projects, schedule lapses, technologies becoming obsolete before they are launched and cost overruns are more widely known. In order to counteract these problems, Vivek Kundra, former US CIO, made modular development one of the building blocks of his 25-point IT management reform plan.
Leveraging the PMO for a Changing Power Grid
A changing power grid means a changing workforce. Establishing and nurturing a PMO can be a strategic step toward providing the coaching and mentoring, along with other soft skills training, needed to invest in tomorrow’s leaders today.
Are Business Analysts in Danger of Becoming Extinct? Part 1
In the first part of this two part article, we’ll take a closer look at how organizations have an understanding about the value of business analysis and requirements and yet why emerging conditions have the potential to undermine the position of the business analyst to the extinction point.
Don't Assume Your Training Program is Worth the Effort
In order to have training that is worthwhile, there needs to be a clear set of expectations and success criteria from its conception. Additionally, quantifying the training needs of the organization at the outset of the training program creates an environment that encourages new practices learned in training to be used on the job.
Global Study Shows Innovation in Learning Drives Workforce Productivity
Three years of global economic stress have pushed organizations to maximize employee productivity, and to make strategic decisions on cutting spending in a way that does not compromise future growth as budgets tighten, according to a new study by ESI International.
New Trends in Learning Reflect a Changing Workforce
An aging and changing workforce means that organizations must plan for a wave of retiring employees while building new talent.
One Step You Can Take to Dramatically Improve Training
Training’s the best way to improve performance, but most contact center leaders skip this one step that can maximize effectiveness.
Three Hassle-Free Ways to Make Agent Training More Effective
One short, small step can make agent training better – and only 23% of contact center leaders do it.
Top skills for IT Managers - Part 5: Coaching and Mentoring
In this six-part series, Joseph R. Czarnecki, project management specialist and senior consultant at ESI International, identifies six top business skills at which every IT project managers needs to excel. The trend to adopt coaching and mentoring programs is on the rise as organizations seek to ensure that organizational knowledge is not lost.
Ask the Trainer: Roadblocks to Coaching Programs
BLR asks Matthew Ferguson, practice manager, Consulting Services at ESI International, “What are the roadblocks that organizations encounter when adopting coaching programs, and how can those roadblocks be avoided?”
'Surround Sound' IT training: A multi-dimensional learning approach
IT professionals are well acquainted with the traditional paradigm of training; the training experience is comprised of the learner, his or her needs and availability, and a straightforward training class (see figure 1, above). While this seems fairly simple, the reality is actually more complex.
Why Training Fails in Manufacturing
A broad-based study of manufacturer training reveals some big holes; a study conducted by ESI International surveying over 3,000 training assessed the strengths and weaknesses of their training programs.
Training and the Bottom Line: Realigning Efforts
While organizations may take the time to prepare an employee for training and budget for them to attend a learning course, most organizations still struggle to assess and support the transfer of learning from training programs into the workplace
Exploring New Trends in Project Management
Increasingly, today's leading companies require specialists, such as project managers, to deliver mission-critical work on time and on budget. A global panel assembled by ESI, has identified key trends and themes within project management for 2011.
Study Shows Where Training Falls Short
Recent research shows three areas in which many companies would receive “needs-to-improve” marks for employee training. How does your safety training program stack up?
Training is Failing in the Workplace
On-the-job application of learning has several weaknesses, according to a global study by ESI International. Areas for improvement include manager support, trainee preparation, incentives, and design and measurement processes.
More Talent Management Facts #18
Another addition of leadership and talent management “facts” from all over the world. Some intuitive and some not….what do you think?
IT Workers With Heart
For these companies, employee volunteerism means improved collaboration and productivity on the job.
What Do They Expect?
If perception is reality, a project client’s perceived value of what you deliver will be even more important that the actual delivered value. And yet unmet expectations are a common occurrence that frustrates project leaders who feel they have executed according to plan. So how do you close the gap between expectations and perceived value?
Are Your Employees Learning What You're Teaching Them?
According to a survey of 3,000 managers by ESI International, most employees use only a portion of the content they learn in training on the job, and most organizations have no organized process to measure what their employees are learning and how they can/should use it. As a result, these training opportunities (which are both critical and expensive) fall short of their full potential, and can create a hesitance to direct more funds there year after year.
Study: On Job Training Tactics Need to be Improved
Training can be a problem for agents in the title industry for a few reasons — systems get updated, processes streamline, employees cross-train, new staff comes on board during a boom, etc. With the rise in claims the last few years, it is to everyone’s benefit that employees are performing at their best.
Top 10 Trends in Project Management
A 10 part video series that highlights current trends in the field of project management.
Top 10 Qualities of a Project Manager
What qualities are most important for a project leader to be effective? Over the past few years, the people at ESI International, world leaders in Project Management Training, have looked in to what makes an effective project leader.
PMOs-The Custodial of Project Management Training?
ESI International, the professional development group for project management, recently released the results of a new survey focused on the value of PMOs within organizations across the globe. The resulting report, report focused on the question of value gained from a PMO; how effective PMOs actually are in organizations and challenged the perceptions of the PMO as a center of excellence which amongst other things is responsible for the training and development of project management across an organization or department.
The Key Components For Successful Contract Management
More and more companies are focusing on what they do best and buying-in goods and services that can be provided by outside sources quicker, at lower cost and better quality. However, the methods used to acquire goods and services at the best price and under the best terms needs to follow a structured process with careful planning and managed by experienced people.
Top Skills for IT Managers Part 1: Establishing a Business Mindset
In this six-part series, Joseph R. Czarnecki, project management specialist and senior consultant at ESI International, identifies six top business skills at which every IT project managers needs to excel.
Top 10 Business Analysis Trends for 2011
To achieve organizational goals within the fast paced, highly demanding business environment of 2011, requirements management and development (RMD) — also known as business analysis — a better balance between technical and soft skills will separate the leaders from the rest of the pack.