The Friend Disclosure Agreement (FriendDA) – Love it.

notfriendsI believe that any ‘independent consultant’ or type of individual is an entreprenuer. It takes guts, gumption, and desire to go off on your own and build your own brand and take on all the risk. It’s scary and rewarding at the same time. Like driving 140+mph on a motorcycle. It’s scary but thrilling at the same time (not that I’ve ever done that…).

Entrepreneurs also have great ideas… good entrepreneurs share those ideas with others to get feedback. Sometimes though, you need a bit of a Non Disclosure Agreement to keep things kosher. How about a ‘lite’ version?

Found one.

www.friendda.org – Love it. Perfect for using when you have an idea to share with others. Some highlights (italics mine) below:

FriendDA

This agreement is entered into this ___ day of ___ 20__ by and between _____________ (hereinafter “The Advisor”) and _____________ (hereinafter “The Keeper of the Idea” or “I”) regarding information The Keeper of The Idea is choosing to share with The Advisor (hereinafter “The Idea”).

WHEREAS I possess a bright idea that I am choosing to disclose to you, The Advisor, with the mutual understanding that you are my friend and that you will not screw me.

Manners of screwing include, but are not limited to:

  1. Adapting some or all of The Idea for your own purposes.
  2. Choosing to share some or all of The Idea with those who are not bound to this agreement.
  3. Failing to do your best to protect The Idea.

This is a “warm blanket” agreement with which, by requesting your agreement to it, I am helping myself sleep at night by placing a small amount of formality on the sharing of The Idea. I believe The Idea will only improve as a result of having solicited your honest and clear feedback.

Term

The term of this agreement shall continue until The Idea is no longer confidential.

Breach

This agreement has absolutely no legal binding. However, upon breach or violation of the agreement, I will feel free to do any of the following:

  1. Curse you under my breath.
  2. Publicly disclose the manner of your screw-i-tude.
  3. Write about your transgressions in ALL CAPS.
  4. No longer consider you a person with whom I can share my ideas.

Sharing

Sharing of some or all of The Idea with third parties may occur provided that you have cleared this with me and the third parties agree to the principles of the FriendDA.

Termination

Termination of this FriendDA can be executed by either party, but don’t be a douche.

You are acknowledging and agreeing to this disclosure by reading it. If you find any part of this agreement uncomfortable or confusing, don’t sweat it. We’ll talk about something else.

*lol

VersionOne Launches Full Suite of Agile Visualizations in Winter Release

This is pretty interesting stuff. See the video below:

Easy Visualizations Streamline Problem Identification and Collaboration

ATLANTA – January 22, 2013VersionOne, recognized by agile practitioners as the leader in agile project management tools, today launched a comprehensive suite of agile visualizations in its Winter 2013 product release focused on enabling teams to more easily identify problems and collaborate.

“Visualization is becoming increasingly important in better understanding complex relationships.  In the context of agile software development, our suite of visualizations can really help teams understand rapidly changing relationships and dependencies occurring during the software development lifecycle.  With our Winter 2013 release, we’ve taken the next major step in simplifying project collaboration and making sure everyone on the team understands the impact their work is having on the overall program goals,” said Robert Holler, president and CEO of VersionOne. “This makes it much easier for teams to achieve their goals in a more holistic manner.”

VersionOne’s new visualizations help users identify impediments in their agile processes. They make it easier for users to understand and manage complex work item relationships and dependencies. Project dependency diagrams help team members see schedule anomalies, helping them to sequence work within a release. Additional improvements for Enterprise Edition include enhanced cross-project visibility for epics and streamlined epic breakdown, simplifying agile portfolio and program management.

For more information about the Winter 2013 product release, visit here.

Agile 2013 Reading – Agile Estimation at It’s Best

agile-estimation-2013-book-reading

Agile Estimation Like My 2013 Reading Project

I have over 20 books that I need to read (re-read) this year… and I just bought about 7 more (in the mail) that will be hitting my doorstep in the next week. Every year I try to read at least 2 books per month. This year, due to my backlog, I pretty much have my entire reading backlog ready for 2013. While I was putting my book-stack together, something occurred to me… how all this reading… while a good plan… might not get done. And, according to previous experience and history, often it’s not. Sounds like a “failed project” correct? You’re absolutely right. Let’s break it down for a second.

Product Backlog

  • 28 or so books
  • All different sizes and lengths
  • Different material… but some can be grouped into a “theme”
  • The product backlog will change over time (as I add books or even remove book priorities)

Product Goal

  • To complete my total reading of at least 24 books (2 per month) for the year
  • While the goal is set, I know that priorities will change

Planning and Estimation

Let’s be honest for a moment here:

  • I’ve read about 7 of the 28 books or so but I haven’t “recorded” how long it took me to read them (heads down reading)
  • The other books, I have no idea how long it’ll take, with interruptions, flights to catch, quiet hotel nights, etc, etc.
  • I know I need to move towards the goal, but since the majority of the “work” (reading), I’ve never done before, it would be foolish to “estimate” how long it’ll take for each unit (book) of work.
  • I know that I need to just execute. Learn, see how long a book takes, affinity estimate, or compare against other books, inspect, adapt, and review towards the total completion goal.

I know that only through the act of EXECUTION and LEARNING will I truly know or understand my “capacity” for work and ability to complete the work “on time.”

We’re terrible at estimation. You do not “know” because you have never done.

Let me repeat that:

“You do not know (the estimate of anything), because you have not done it (before).”

Consider the massive implications on your work and business:

  1. The business asks you up front for estimates on work you’ve never done before.
  2. You take a guess and hope for the best.

What a terrible existence to have!

We cover this a lot in our workshops and classes, but the main point is: We need to have opportunities to execute, learn, and grow. Only through experience will we be able to better give estimates. Find opportunities to execute, try, and learn. If your company doesn’t allow for experimentation, you will never have innovation.

Have a great kaizen 2013 my friends! Learn learn learn!

 

Project Management Institute (PMI) PMBOK Guide – Fifth edition is now available!

PMI-PMBOKv5

Project Management Institute’s – Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) Guide (Fifth edition) is now available! It’s an exciting an MUCH awaited news for (many) PMI volunteers who volunteered and worked hard on completing this!

I have been a part of this significant project since August 2010. I worked with a distributed, dedicated, talented team of project management practitioners from across the globe as a Content committee member. It’s an inexplicable experience to see your name listed in this Guide referred by worldwide practitioners and PMP aspirants. Thank you PMI and my amazing team for the support and this awesome chance!

The challenges that our team faced were tough but every team member was committed and made sure our work timeline was never impacted and delivered high quality output. There were multiple such teams working in parallel, and leads of those teams synchronizing all the work! I can’t imagine the number of stories rest of the volunteers must have to share.

To everyone who helped create this Guide and volunteered your expertise, time and probably sometimes sacrificed personal time – I personally thank you for your valuable contribution. If you stumble upon this post and have contributed, please share your story, views and journey.

If you have friends, colleagues, bosses  – please spread the word around. (PMI members might already be aware about this). But, surprisingly I found MANY in the community who talk to me regarding PMP certification prep unaware about this. Project Management Professional OR PMP (R) is a world wide respected credential which is not restricted to JUST software development, but is common for non-IT fields and jobs – e.g.: Construction, Oil and Gas, Finance, Non-profits and many other domains.

If you are affiliated to a PMI chapter, make your chapter operations team and members cognizant about it. If you are a PMI-REP (Registered Education Provider), a trainer, consultant, blogger or simply a project management practitioner – this change affects you.

Share the news – by word of mouth, through emails, through twitter, Facebook – whatever media you can. Just help make the people making choice regarding project management as profession be aware about this change.

Check the Newly Updated Standards Availability page on PMI site, specifically:  “Getting Ready for the Exam?” section with Study Recommendation and Updated Exam Schedule sections!