Steve Fullmer – Interface Technical Training https://www.interfacett.com Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:26:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Business Analysis Tools as found in PMI PBA Business Analysis and the IIBA CBAP https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/business-analysis-tools-as-found-in-pmi-pba-business-analysis-and-the-iiba-cbap/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/business-analysis-tools-as-found-in-pmi-pba-business-analysis-and-the-iiba-cbap/#respond Wed, 10 May 2017 17:58:43 +0000 https://www.interfacett.com/?post_type=infct_blogpost&p=11295 For more PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification Training see our 5-day course available both in classroom and online with virtual instructor-led training. PMI-PBA: Business Analysis for Project Managers and IT Analysts (PMI-PBA Certification) For more PMI-PBA Videos see: PMI-PBA Business Analysis Common Features The Difference between PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification and IIBA CBAP Certification Business Analysis Tools … Continue reading Business Analysis Tools as found in PMI PBA Business Analysis and the IIBA CBAP

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For more PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification Training see our 5-day course available both in classroom and online with virtual instructor-led training.

PMI-PBA: Business Analysis for Project Managers and IT Analysts (PMI-PBA Certification)

For more PMI-PBA Videos see:


By Steve Fullmer (PMI-PBA and PMP Instructor)

In this video, PMP and Business Analysis Instructor Steve Fulmer presents the toolsets that are available to Business Analysis as found in PMI’s Professional Business Analyst Certification (PMI-PBA) and the IIBA Business Analyst Body of Knowledge (BABOK), the Certified Business courses.

Video Transcription.

Tools are tools. We’re getting a little bit of a preview of the kind of content you’re going to see in the class, if you attend our PMI‑PBA Business Analysis for Professionals, Project Managers, interested parties.

One of the things that I think is important to help people understand is that tools are tools. The tools of business analysis, whether you want to learn from IIBA, through the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge (BABOK), the Certified Business Analyst practice areas, there are 6 of them.

CBAP Practice Areas:

  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
  • Elicitation and Collaboration
  • Requirements Lifecycle Management
  • Strategy Analysis
  • Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
  • Solution Evaluation

I hate to say they’re silo‑centric. It’s more situational, I think would be a better term. These are sets of tools that help apply to meet different needs or characteristics of the Business Analyst profession.

There are 6 practice areas, from planning business analysis to eliciting requirements, collaboration amongst your various stakeholders, your technical and functional personnel versus your customers, your sponsors, process oriented personnel, actors, personas, all kinds of terminology associated with the people that are affecting all of your business practices, not just project related ones.

Identifying requirements and making decision for which requirements is certainly part of Project Management, but it’s a bigger set of tools when we talk about the business analysis arena than it is just under Project Management.

PMI-PBA Practices (Domains):

  • Needs Assessment
  • Business Analysis Planning
  • Requirements Elicitation and Analysis
  • Traceability and Monitoring
  • Solution Evaluation

If we take a look at it simply from a Project Management Institute (PMI) perspective, this is the focus of the course. PMI refers to the practice’s domains, and there are 5 instead of 6. The difference is, as I suggested in a separate video (The Difference between PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification and IIBA CBAP Certification), is there tends to be a sequential approach to helping you identify which tools you might use. It’s just a different way to look at tool selection, tool application.

As an example, we identify whether a business has a need. Not all needs turn into projects; some of them can simply be operational changes, operational improvements. Yes, we can affect those through projects, but sometimes they’re not of such a large scale that demands that.

An example that a Business Analysis might suggest is the concept of “Just in Time.” A customer needs something as quick as you can get it to them, so you’re going to figure out what solution tools you have today to affect the solution that you hand to your customer just in time, like it as fast as possible.

That doesn’t lend itself to the more formal processes that might be used for a Predictive Lifecycle, or an Adaptive Lifecycle, which includes the concepts of Agile methodologies or programming.

We have lots of ways to identify needs, some of which turn into projects, but we don’t need to do customized business analysis planning.

That’s the role of identifying what the business analysis deliverables need to be. Does the Business Analyst need their own communication management plan, or do they simply supplement a project communication plan that would be inside of a Project Management Plan, and who owns which?

In a Project Management Communication Plan, we’re identifying how we’re communicating with the stakeholders as we go through the temporary unique aspects of a project. How do we make sure that stakeholder needs are met?

In PMP Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, you learn about the interest/influence, or interest power grid, depending on which version of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) you learned that from.

That’s how do we interact with people during the project, but a Business Analyst has to be concerned with more communication than just the Project Stakeholders. A Project Management Communication Plan is about the project, but a business analyst communication plan is about how the stakeholders communicate with each other all the time, potentially independent of projects.

If that’s a concern that you’ve got as a Business Analyst, either during the support of a project, or independent of projects, it’s a different approach. Do you need one, or don’t you?

As you go through Business Analysis Planning, you’re identifying which of the different deliverables, the different tool sets, you might need, but that’s based upon the needs assessment of the customer. Is this a long term predictive type of approach? Is this a purely operational approach? Is this an Agile, let’s see, if we can go through this intuitively or cyclic, in order to try get the solution that we need?

It’s the environment and the needs that you identify during needs analysis that help us identify what business analysis deliverables we have, which in turn drive the requirements and elicitation we might use, which in turn drive the traceability and the monitoring of the requirements.

Quite often, we have projects that moves so quickly, we don’t have the ability to take the great detail necessary to do thorough traceability of each of our requirements, so we look at those requirements that are high priority or maybe regulatory in nature.

It’s simply a different focus in terms of how we gather, track and trace requirements in the bigger scheme than rather just a single project. But it is sequential in nature. This is the big difference, I believe, and why I like the idea of providing the PMI‑PBA approach. It gives you a logical approach.

You’re not going to use Agile and adaptive methodologies, unless your approach suggests the need you got are iterative or adaptive in nature.

You’re going to use more specific tools, so we follow this logical approach that says, if we use this kind of, essentially, needs assessment, we’re more likely to use a particular kind of business analysis plan and a different kinds of requirement elicitation.

It’s really about the business analysts thinking and strategizing, regularly and repeatedly. It’s figuring out the best approach to take, while others are trying to scurry off as fast as they can to make specific activities, deliverables, or overall projects meet the multiple needs inside of a business.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom or online.

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMI-PBA: Business Analysis Certification,  PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

 

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The Difference between PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification and IIBA CBAP Certification https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/the-difference-between-pmi-pba-business-analysis-certification-and-iiba-cbap-certification/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/the-difference-between-pmi-pba-business-analysis-certification-and-iiba-cbap-certification/#respond Wed, 03 May 2017 20:12:08 +0000 https://www.interfacett.com/?post_type=infct_blogpost&p=11253 For more PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification Training see our 5-day course available both in classroom and online with virtual instructor-led training. PMI-PBA: Business Analysis for Project Managers and IT Analysts (PMI-PBA Certification) For more PMI-PBA Videos see: PMI-PBA Business Analysis Common Features The Difference between PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification and IIBA CBAP Certification Business Analysis Tools … Continue reading The Difference between PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification and IIBA CBAP Certification

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For more PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification Training see our 5-day course available both in classroom and online with virtual instructor-led training.

PMI-PBA: Business Analysis for Project Managers and IT Analysts (PMI-PBA Certification)

For more PMI-PBA Videos see:


By Steve Fullmer (PMI-PBA and PMP Instructor)

Video Transcription

With the addition of PMI’s Professional Business Analyst Certification (PMI-PBA)  the question arises, do you want to try to get the IIBA, International institute of Business Analyst certification under your belt or do you want to go with the PMI Certification track?

Now there are different organizations that offer aspects of Business Analyst Certification, but these are the two organizations most actively promoting Business Analysts and Business Analysis as a profession, and helping to refine an understanding of the tools, terms, and techniques. But their approaches in the certifications are just a little bit different, so which one is for you?

Here at Interface Technical Training, I’m teaching the PMI, Professional Business Analysis, but I was a founding officer of the Phoenix IIBA Chapter in its founding years 2003, 2005 as some of the first chapters, the concept of IIBA, and the development of the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge (BABOK), were founded.

I chose to focus on project management because that’s my career, but I have a deep passion to help people promote business analysis going either way.

What’s the difference if you’re trying to make a decision for which way you want to go from a certification/career track path? The audiences are quite different.

CBAP or PMI-PBA?

Target Audience: Biggest Difference

CBAP

  • Entire Business Techniques – Approach BROAD
  • Promoting Business Analysis (BA) Field, proposing new standard adoption
  • IIBA membership: 27,000 worldwide
  • IIBA founded 2004, BABOK and first certification 2008

PMI-PBA

  • Integrated with Project, Program and Portfolio Selection
  • Common with modern practice – Before, during and after
  • PMI membership; 480,000 worldwide
  • PMI founded 1969, PMI-PBA handbook and certification 2015

 

That’s one big difference in terms of doing it. That’s why we selected, here, to focus on a PMI‑PBA in addition to the fact that I teach Project Management Professional (PMP) courses.

The CBAP, Certified Business Analyst Professional, is about entire business techniques. The approach is very broad. You’re learning lots of different tools across the domains or the knowledge areas of the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge (BABOK), and you’re learning how to apply the tools in a situational basis, sometimes in a project sometimes not.

It’s a great encyclopedic look at all the tools of business analysis. The challenge that I find with it is a lot of those tools are the leading edge or bleeding edge. They’re proposals to become standards on business analysis across industries, across companies, not all of which are heavily or fully adopted.

Some of them are essentially tools that are being promoted by a single business who created the model, tool and the technology. They’re great solutions, but they’re not necessarily best-practice in current adoption.

PMI tends to, for instance with the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), promote content that is best-practices today, that meet the needs for most people most of the time, rather than leading edge.

It’s just a selection of, do you want to be one of the proponents, often having to sell your ideas and tools and concepts, or do you want to be able to understand how to immediately go and apply current practices?

It’s a personal choice. If you’re in it for the long haul you might want to go to the IIBA, and the BABOK, and the CBAP approach. If you’re like for immediate need recognition, then the PMI‑PBA is better.

Now they’re both, in my mind, equivalent certifications. They require almost equal experience. They both require classroom training and knowledge. You can’t just go and say, “Poof, I want to be one.” You have to pass criteria for both of the exams or certifications before you’re allowed to sit for the exam.

One of the other reasons to consider this is essentially the visibility, the promotability of your certification, particularly if you’re adding this after your name on a document or a resume.

IIBA has approx. 27,000 worldwide members as of the end of 2016/early 2017, and was founded in 2004. The first release of the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge (BABOK) and certification was offered in 2008. We’re currently in the 3rd edition of the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge, and IIBA has just recently changed some of the requirements to sit for their now four certification levels, all associated with Business Analysis.

PMI has integrated the Business Analysis aspect with Projects, Programs and Portfolios.

Portfolios are about the selection of best projects or programs and assets for the business. There is some aspect of Operations and Business Management in the Business Analysis aspect from PMI, because of their focus on portfolios. It’s just a slightly different shift.

PMI-PBA is common with modern practice and PMI has more than 480,000 members worldwide and over 500,000 members who’ve passed at some point their PMP certification. We also have the CAPM, the PgMP and other PMI Certifications, all of which integrate well with the PMI‑PBA approach.

PMI has been around since 1969 and most of PMI standards have been supported by ANSI or ISO, and so they’re internationally recognized as the Standard Approach to affect business, affect projects, etc.

Goal/Focus Comparisons

IIBA

  • Organizational Improvement
  • Promotional/Futuristic
  • Independent/Situational
  • More Associative

 

PMI

  • Portfolio – Program – Project
  • Current Practice
  • Integrated
  • More Sequential

 

What’s the big difference in the certification? Another way to look at it might that IIBA is about organizational improvement. They are about looking at businesses and companies and helping them to improve their processes, their focus. Their operation is not just on a project basis.

PMI does tend to be more portfolio/project/program based. It depends on what your focus is, which way you might best have a certification, an understanding and knowledge, and ultimately mastery to be able to apply what you learn in the classroom.

A lot of the focus of IIBA is very promotional in terms of the current, futuristic and where they hope to take the Business Analyst career and industry. PMI is very much about current practice and current standards. Again, it depends on where your interest lies.

I would say a lot of the tools that are identified in the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge and the approach to certification are situational. Certainly, the test is a situational exam. There are 150 questions on the exam provided by IIBA for the Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP).

You’re going to read a case study or a situation and answer a set of questions related to that specific situation. It really is the approach that IIBA and the BABOK takes to solving business analyst solutions.

PMI is more integrated with practices.

PMI-PBA integrates with Projects and Projects Tools. For example, a Project Manager understanding how to integrate their skills with a Business Analyst, not to essentially have them as one role but two roles that work together as opposed to two roles that work independent of one another and then have to figure out how to integrate their efforts. PMI is integrated by its design, right up front.

Another way to look at it is in terms of thought processes. There are thought processes that are Associative, and that’s the way we solve problems. For example, “I’ve got a problem.” I think of all the things that I know about and find a possible solution that fits in an integrated way, but on a situational basis.

A lot of people like to solve problems in what I call a more sequential fashion. We teach a lot of technology courses here at Interface Technical Training and a lot of IT people in particular, like a more sequential approach. The, “If I find this, then do this,” or “Let’s put together the scientific method to look for a root cause,” and deal with it in a very logical, sequential manner as opposed to an independent situational manner.

That’s a difference between the approach to the contents you need to learn to get certified and the approach taken by the two organizations in deliver of best standards, practices, and tools. Same tools, just a different approach to help you figure out how to best apply them.

If you understand how you think, you understand how you learn, and you understand where you want to apply it, that might be another tool that you use in your selection process to find a great class.

I would not recommend that anybody solely try to prepare for either the CBAP or the PMI‑PBA exam through a boot camp. I know a lot of you do.

If you’ve got great experience and can prove all the hours that you need, then all you’re doing is learning the content that you have to be very proficient at and understand the exact vocabulary for the exam.

But if you’re trying to learn the material, you’re looking for a course where you’re going to get mastery, where we understand the difference in the application and can give you context, not just content that you have to memorize or learn by pure repetition before you take the exam.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom or online.

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMI-PBA: Business Analysis Certification,  PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

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PMI-PBA Business Analysis Common Features https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/pmi-pba-business-analysis-common-features/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/pmi-pba-business-analysis-common-features/#respond Tue, 02 May 2017 20:39:57 +0000 https://www.interfacett.com/?post_type=infct_blogpost&p=11250 For more PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification Training see our 5-day course available both in classroom and online with virtual instructor-led training. PMI-PBA: Business Analysis for Project Managers and IT Analysts (PMI-PBA Certification) For more PMI-PBA Videos see: PMI-PBA Business Analysis Common Features The Difference between PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification and IIBA CBAP Certification Business Analysis Tools … Continue reading PMI-PBA Business Analysis Common Features

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For more PMI-PBA Business Analysis Certification Training see our 5-day course available both in classroom and online with virtual instructor-led training.

PMI-PBA: Business Analysis for Project Managers and IT Analysts (PMI-PBA Certification)

For more PMI-PBA Videos see:


By Steve Fullmer (PMI-PBA and PMP Instructor)

Video Transcription

You’re considering learning more about business analysis. Well, what is business analysis? Consider colleges and universities that teach business administration, or you’re going for business courses, there could be economics, there could be scheduling, understanding, there’s certainly IT based and non‑IT based materials.

The common foundation behind business analysis is a practice in a career, includes the bullets here.

 

 

If you’re thinking about becoming a business analyst and studying business analysis, these are the topics that you want to focus on.

Communicating and Communications

Because we have a lot of students who come to me for project management, let me help you understand the difference.

Inside of a project, you’re identifying stakeholders, and you’re going to figure out how to communicate with each of the stakeholders in your projects based on their needs. Like I talked about a power influence grid, there’s other modules associated with that.

When we get to business analysis, you’re talking about understanding how communication happens between stakeholders because of processes and systems within your business, as well as, an enhanced understanding of communications for projects with project managers, between project managers and business analysts, and the different roles that business analysts, project managers, and stakeholders play in guiding the success of a business, not just the success of a project.

Needs Identification and development (Business asses)

 

You’re also working on needs identification. Now, in a project, someone has typically written a business case that says, “This is the high‑level need of a project.” Well, it’s the business analyst who does that internal rate of return, net present value, cost‑benefit analysis, or other mechanisms, to help you identify that you have a need that might be solved by a project.

We also have other business needs. Process changes, organizational structure changes, organizational management changes, general change, management, HR, and operations kind of questions, that might be analyzed using business analysis tools that are outside the arena of what you would do for a project. They’re operational in nature.

 

Requirements

 

Business Analysts help to do essentially elicitation of requirements and needs using some more tools, but the tool sets broader in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) than it is specifically in Project Management (PMP).

 

Business Analysis: Modeling – Tools – Terms

Other common concepts of business analysis are some of the modeling tools, and terms we use are unique to the industry or the career. We work on that in a classroom to help you understand what those models are.

Such as Unified Modeling Language and Requirements Modeling Language. There’s a new System Modeling Language (SysML) that talks about how systems are integrated with people, hardware, software, process, etc.

This is the bigger picture of what Business Analysts look at. A simple way to look at it is what is our system? As-Is States or Models? We want to be able to change it to make it better, so that’s what will it be? The to‑be or will‑be state. That’s where Business Analysis changes or differs from Project Management.

We’re looking where we are today, what do we need to do to change it, and where will we be tomorrow? Those two end pieces are what help to tie together great projects, but they work outside the scale of projects as well.

 

Verification (testing) and Validation (acceptance – value)

We also talk about verification and testing. Verification is confirming quality and performance, while validation is making sure that customer needs are being met. This is not just in a project, it’s beyond that.

 

Drive Business Value – Before, During and After

The other common concept that’s within the field or the career of business analysis, to make sure that you’re driving business value in all you do.

Not simply meeting a criteria, doing something that’s on a checklist or punch list, but actually making sure that each of the things that you do, each of the decisions that you make provide value. Before projects are even initiated, during projects if that’s the way you choose to approach it, and even after projects have long been completed and the product has been delivered to the customer.

Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) covers all these areas. Most of the Business Analysis courses  at Interface Technical Training either touch this on a broad‑base or dive deep to help you understand specific tools, skillsets, terms, solutions and mechanisms.

The course that we’re teaching or adding today, in PMI-PBA: Business Analysis for Project Managers and IT Analysts (PMI-PBA Certification) is giving you both the broad overview and preparing you to take any of those deep dive courses you might want to take.

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMI-PBA: Business Analysis Certification,  PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

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How to Modify the Win+X Menu in Windows 10 https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/modify-winx-menu-windows-10/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/modify-winx-menu-windows-10/#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:06:30 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/?post_type=infct_blogpost&p=10768 The administrative menu available by Alt-Click (right mouse click) of the Start menu icon is also referred to as the Power-user or WinX menu. The latter naming convention is associated with the ability to launch the menu by using the Windows key + the X key (Win + X). The WinX menu is available in … Continue reading How to Modify the Win+X Menu in Windows 10

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The administrative menu available by Alt-Click (right mouse click) of the Start menu icon is also referred to as the Power-user or WinX menu. The latter naming convention is associated with the ability to launch the menu by using the Windows key + the X key (Win + X). The WinX menu is available in Windows 8, 8.1 and Windows 10.

001-how-to-modify-the-win-x-menu-in-windows-10

Recent students asked for a means to modify the list of options available to users within the WinX Menu prior to deployment of Windows 10.

Tim Fisher wrote an article about replacing the Command Prompt with Windows Power Shell using the control panel in Windows 8.1. You can perform a similar effort within Windows 10, albeit more easily by simply navigating to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar and then selecting the ‘Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell …’ from the list of options.

002-how-to-modify-the-win-x-menu-in-windows-10

This appears to be the only direct customization option for the Win+X menu built into the system interface.

So I conducted some additional research.
Tim Fisher also wrote an article referencing the Registry Location for the Power user settings.

“The Power User Menu can be customized by rearranging or removing shortcuts within the various Group folders contained within the C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\WinX directory.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE is the hive in the Windows Registry where you’ll find the registry keys associated with the Power User Menu shortcuts. The exact location is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ShellCompatibility\InboxApp.”

I found the folders referenced in Tim’s article containing content for the WinX menu.

003-how-to-modify-the-win-x-menu-in-windows-10

The Groups are listed in reverse order such that Group3 items appear at the top of the WinX menu.

It appears that you can manually make changes to the groups by creating custom shortcuts and adding them to the Group(s), or creating a new Group, though caution is advised since more is required than merely adding a shortcut to the folder location.

Rafael Rivera originally wrote a tool called HashLnk.exe that enabled administrators to create and add a shortcut into the set of Win+X tools for Windows 8. The process was straightforward as discussed in a HowToGeek article based on Windows 8/8.1. Variant searches still lead to the use of the HashLnk tool, though finding a clean version of the tool may be problematic (since it is no longer easily found through Rafael’s site). The tool requires a simple though multi-part sequence that includes the use of the administrative command line and a technical understanding of the possible consequences for each step if performed incorrectly. For instance, the tool requires a restart of Windows Explorer via Task manager for each change.

Alternate search results reference the Win+X Menu Editor Tool, although finding an article the enables a clean or safe download of the tool can be somewhat problematic.

The most comprehensive “how to” article for the Win+X Menu Editor was put together by Bogdan Hosu for Digital Citizen. His article, along with most others reference tool acquisition through Winaero.com.

Winaero provides a clean, GUI interface solution for altering the Win+X menu that can be downloaded here. Although you must be VERY CAREFUL navigating the page to find the correct URL to download the WinXMenuEditorRelease.zip file. The page promotes (temptation, temptation) many other downloadable tools that you do NOT want. Find the link that offers the Download Win+X Menu editor. As a Security+ instructor, I also caution you to scan the zip file and everything you extract manually from the zip file before any installation. Winareo provides a version/feature update page that identifies the WinX Menu editor as a graphic solution based upon the HashLnk source code from Rafael Rivera. The documentation page also has a link to access the download, although this link merely redirects you to the ‘temptation’ page.

How-ToGeek also references the tool and provides a comprehensive overview. The How-To Geek site redirects to Winaero for download as well.

Once I had downloaded (and security scanned) the WinX Menu Editor tool, the process was fairly straight forward. You can see below where I added one of my favorite tools – ZoomIt64 – used during demonstrations.

004-how-to-modify-the-win-x-menu-in-windows-10

Some observations and considerations:

  • Documentation associated with the tool is limited, read the articles before you use the tool.
  • Make a system Restore Point before you install or begin using the tool, just in case you make changes from which you find it difficult to recover.
  • Both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the tool are provided in the zipped download file. Use ONLY the 32-bit version on 32-bit systems and the 64-bit version on 64-bit systems.
  • Perform one addition, group creation, or removal at a time, running the ‘Restart Windows Explorer’ button each time. Test each change before moving on. (I found a couple of legacy applications that did not launch as expected when added to the Win+X menu – likely the nature of the compatibility needed within the shortcut.)
  • The changes appeared only within my user profile. Another of our instructors, Rick Trader, logged into my system to confirm that the changes are user specific by default. This appears consistent with making changes through the Settings > Personalization panel as such changes are intended to be user specific.
  • Some experimentation will be necessary if you are trying to make the changes universal or for the default profile on a Windows 10 system.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

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PMP: Vocabulary – The Intersection of Hard and Soft Skills https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/pmp-vocabulary-intersection-hard-soft-skills/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/pmp-vocabulary-intersection-hard-soft-skills/#respond Wed, 25 Jan 2017 20:52:22 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/?post_type=infct_blogpost&p=10721 “One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” Evelyn Waugh Looking for blog topic ideas when two recent conversations collided and provided this topic. The words that we use set our goals, and put projects – CHANGE – in motion.  Select the wrong words and the goal … Continue reading PMP: Vocabulary – The Intersection of Hard and Soft Skills

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“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.”
Evelyn Waugh

Looking for blog topic ideas when two recent conversations collided and provided this topic.

The words that we use set our goals, and put projects – CHANGE – in motion.  Select the wrong words and the goal escapes us.  Use clear, concise words and the goal is clear, even if the path is unknown.  This concept is true whether we are setting personal goals, or assisting stakeholders to establish project goals.

In our Project Management Professional Certification course, I teach candidates to focus on customer needs.  To effectively peel back the surface of a request often stated as ‘wants’ to get to the core need.  To create objectives from subjective statements.

When we use the wrong vocabulary, we confuse ourselves and others.  Meaning disappears.   Requests for assistance result in limited (or no action), or even unintended resistance.

During a recent conversation, a friend suggested that they wanted to achieve and maintain inertia.  I heard what they said, and I thought I understood their intent, though as the conversation continued my brain became befuddled by their use of vocabulary.  Inertia is a state of immobility.  Given their workload, and alpha personality, my immediate interpretation was their desire to find respite.  Perhaps to enjoy summer activities with family.  To laze at the beach.  To attend a Jimmy Buffett concert.  As the conversation continued, I came to realize that they were speaking about overcoming inertia – breaking the stalemate holding them in place rather than moving toward a goal.  The words associated with their request and their desires where in direct opposition.

I offered some advice.  Pointed them toward a few of my motivational mentors and moved on.  I believed that I had helped my friend further toward their goal.  Until a second conversation slapped me mildly upside the head (metaphorically speaking).

While undergoing therapy for a recent soft tissue injury, I received some semi-solicited metaphysical queries and advice.  $6,000 in western medicine co-pays and no resolution led me to an eastern medicine practitioner and a working solution.   A solution set that uses a different vocabulary than western medicine.  When someone is helping you, it is best to listen and to process the input.  They asked about my 2016 goals.  Given the scenario, I stated “health, wealth, and creativity”, which are the key words for more specific agendas.  They asked for clarification and specifics.  The approach had my attention – project management application has that effect on me – at least relative to helping me with my health goals.

They shifted the topic to wealth, and I responded with another keyword, “abundance”.  Their response was “abundance of what? Money?  Stuff? People? Work?  Projects? Stress?”.   Wow!  They had me.  We get what we ask for and what we set our goals upon.  I had certainly been dealing with an abundance of ‘stuff’.  The wise practitioner suggested I refine my goals for a better outcome.

Choose the correct and concise words.

I looked up ‘abundance’.  A plentiful or over sufficient quantity or supply.  Affluence and wealth also apply, though whoever has been listening to my goals (prayers, affirmations, etc.) may have been hearing a different meaning. I have since refined my goals.

Jim Rohn lessons continue to mentor me.  Amongst them “4 Tips for Setting Powerful Goals”.

  • Evaluate and reflect
  • Define your dreams and goals
  • Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
  • Have accountability

One frequently cited project management tool is S.M.A.R.T.   Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Or if you prefer a modern interpretation of the mnemonic, finish the list with achievable, relevant and time-bound.

Specific – the key concept for this blog – is about your vocabulary.  The term in the mnemonic I have the most difficulty clarifying to students other than through the use of synonyms.  Specific: precise, special, concise, particular, proper, unique.  Yet, how do we apply specific as a concept?  More on that in a moment.

Per Feigenbaum, Demming, and others, if you measure your efforts toward the goal you will more successfully reach it.   Find a metric – a measurement system – and apply a starting number as a goal, then continuously improve your efforts using the system to refine your approach toward the goal.

Attainable or achievable.  If we see the goal as attainable or achievable, either because we see the path or we find examples set by others, then we have a means to break the barriers that prevent us from adopting change.  If we see neither the path nor examples, then we break the effort into smaller, achievable steps.  (Watch my video about Agile methodologies for a better understanding of the project life cycle and possible approaches to planning projects with less readily visible goals.)

Realistic or relevant. I prefer the words believable and contextual.  Can the goal be achieved? Do the steps help you toward your ultimate goal?  Paint a picture that fits the science, sociology, and environment within which you are attempting to achieve the goal.  Much like a puzzle, if the vision or the picture is presented first, snapping the pieces together is less daunting.

Timely or time-bound.  The concept behind a project includes a temporary effort and associated state.  Humans can endure almost any effort within a fixed timeframe.  Setting a timeframe and sticking to the schedule enables the mind and the process to overcome even large barriers to change.

Back to specific.  The vocabulary that we utilize.  If the words are equally clear to the customer, to the team, and to you, then everyone is pulling in the same direction toward the goal.  Specific is now more apparently about the words that we use, and how they are interpreted by the entire stakeholder audience.

The words we share are clearly the intersection between setting goals and achieving support.

Use that thesaurus and look up the words you are using.  Provide clarification and meaning for yourself and for others.  Specificity includes assuring that everyone is on the same page.

So I looked up inertia. noun uncaring attitude, lack of interest. Synonyms: indifference, insensitivity, lethargy, aloofness, coldness, coolness, detachment, disinterest, dispassion, disregard, dullness, emotionlessness, heedlessness, insensibility, insouciance, lassitude, listlessness, passiveness, passivity, stoicism, unconcern, unresponsiveness, half-heartedness.   He absolutely did not want to achieve and maintain any of those states.  None of these words match my friend or their goals.

I felt compelled to share my insight.  My friend changed the wording of their goal, and shared it with his core support team.  He called me back a few days later and shared that help was appearing from multiple venues once everyone understood the goal and the barriers.

Progress.

Have you checked the wording of your goals?  The words being used in your project specifications?  Are they clear and understood by the customer and the team?

Keep refining your words – your specifications – until they have clear meaning for you and are understandable by those from whom you desire support.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

“Right!”
“Right!”
“You can get there!”
“I can get there!”
“You’re a natural at counting to two!”
“I’m a nat’ral at counting to two!”
“If you can count to two, you can count to anything!”
“If I can count to two, I can count to anything!”
“And then the world is your mollusc!”
“My mollusc! What’s a mollusc?”
Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms: The Play

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld comic fantasy series satirize political, cultural and scientific issues often by applying parodies to classic literature.  Vocabulary is critical to the message.

 

 

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CompTIA Security+ What Motivates People to Take Your Intellectual Property? https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/comptia-security-what-motivates-people-to-take-your-intellectual-property/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/comptia-security-what-motivates-people-to-take-your-intellectual-property/#respond Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:31:48 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=23711 CompTIA Instructor Steve Fullmer describes the importance of getting Security+ Certified. Security is no longer about the “haves” and the “have nots” a small group of people who are trying to take advantage of your possessions and intellectual property (IP). In the book ‘Tribal Leadership’ by Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright, they discuss the stages of … Continue reading CompTIA Security+ What Motivates People to Take Your Intellectual Property?

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CompTIA Instructor Steve Fullmer describes the importance of getting Security+ Certified.

Security is no longer about the “haves” and the “have nots” a small group of people who are trying to take advantage of your possessions and intellectual property (IP).

001-comptia-security-triable-leadership

In the book ‘Tribal Leadership’ by Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright, they discuss the stages of a tribal culture and the global concept behind this is that 2% of the population the population of the tribe or the planet by extension of all tribes in aggregate live in this undermining mindset of “All Life Sucks” they are disbanding people banding together to go towards a violent end. These are the people who vandalize your content – intellectual property.

We have 25% of the tribe who operate in a mindset of being apathetic victims. They’re looking for more. When you think about the technology that you utilize every day such as your telephone and texts, a large percentage of the world doesn’t have this technology and want it. The way they can acquire this technology is to take it away from you.

What does this represent in terms of numbers?

002-comptia-security-triable-leadership

We have a global population of over 7 billion people. 2% represents a 148 million people who want to vandalize content to make their lives to what they perceive as “better” or “best as they can get it”.

We have almost 2 billion people that are the “apathetic victim”.

You need to have not only the knowledge of what they’re approach is to try to take you intellectual property or assets away, what you need to do is have a layered approach. You need to have determents in place that hold these people away and you need to prevent them from getting into the inter layers and you need to be able to detect, prevent and lock down your important assets.

It’s not just good enough to understand these possible threats. In our CompTIA Security + Certification class you need to learn more than just the vocabulary to pass the certification, you need to learn more.

003-comptia-security-triable-leadership

Security amongst the fifteen top paying IT jobs ranks six of them. From Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) etc. CompTIA Security + Certification is just below these fifteen professional certifications as the entry level certification you need to get started in the IT Security Industry.

In CompTIA Security + you understand the basic tools set and vocabulary you need to be able to prepare yourself to defend your intellectual property, employees and systems.

004-comptia-security-triable-leadership

Security + is considered an Intermediate CompTIA certification. You will need basic CompTIA A+ skills as it’s the prerequisite to take the Security+ class.

Here it is determined to be an intermediate skill-set.

054-comptia-security-triable-leadership

There are additional more advanced Certification such as CISSP, CEH etc. that are on the track as you move forward but you will need to obtain the certificate of Security+’s basic skills before you can move on.

It’s not good enough for example if you’re protecting you house to just put a sign up that says “Beware of Dog” as a security monitoring system that will stop an intruder. There are too large a number of people who are just casually trying to make their lives better by taking advantage of what you have or what you know. This is what CompTIA Security+ is about.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

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CompTIA Series: A Technology Timeline https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/comptia-series-a-technology-timeline/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/comptia-series-a-technology-timeline/#respond Tue, 18 Oct 2016 16:40:19 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=23612 After receiving yet another reference to the DoYouRemember? web site, and a question about my ability to identify a Commodore 64 workstation sitting in a co-worker’s office, I have decided to defend my age.  (Please stop baiting my memory … one day I actually will start forgetting details … and blaming the problem on random … Continue reading CompTIA Series: A Technology Timeline

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After receiving yet another reference to the DoYouRemember? web site, and a question about my ability to identify a Commodore 64 workstation sitting in a co-worker’s office, I have decided to defend my age.  (Please stop baiting my memory … one day I actually will start forgetting details … and blaming the problem on random people that I do recall.)

01-commodore-64-comptia-series-a-technology-time-line

The technology timeline has become a common issue in the CompTIA A+ and Security+ courses that I deliver.  Although CompTIA objectives do not include any ‘history’ requirements, candidates are expected to recognize the evolutionary sequence of operating systems.  I have actually had students suggest that Windows XP was introduced in 1981 along with the first personal computer.  Ouch!  I also regularly provide a brief history of Internet evolution and encryption systems as a means to describe the growing complexity we face as information technology professionals.

If you plan on a successful career within the IT industry, it might help to recognize some history.   Context might also help you to understand the technology rather than merely memorizing test answers.

In that light, here are some dates and references that might serve you well, along with several totally random dates and factoids associated with the evolution of computer technology merely for your reading pleasure.

~80 BC Julius Caesar’s use of substitution ciphers is one of the first recorded uses of symmetric cryptography (although it is known that other ciphers preceded this time period, this is the first documented use.)

February 23, 1918 Arthur Scherbius patents a mechanical cipher machine based on rotating wired wheels.  This becomes the basis for the German ‘enigma’ machine.

December 1932 The Polish Cipher bureau reverse engineers the Enigma machine using theoretical mathematics and components provided by French intelligence.  Marian Rejewski creates the ‘cryptologic bomb’ for breaking ciphers.

1936 Alan Turing invents the Turing machine, the general principle behind a Central Processing Unit – an automaton capable of enumerating a language or code.

June 5, 1943 Secret “Project PX” initiated in US to create first ‘Turing complete digital’ computer which ultimately resulted in ENIAC.

August 6 and August 9, 1945 nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.  Awareness that an electromagnetic pulse would restrict prevalent military communication methods inspires research that leads toward development of ARPANET.

February 15, 1946 Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) dedicated at University of Pennsylvania (for US Army Ballistic Research Laboratory).

July 29. 1947 ENIAC moved to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.  ENIAC remained in continuous operation, with component additions ongoing, through October 2, 1955.

1951  The Day the Earth Stood Still released by 20th Century Fox.  Gort, Klaatu barada nikto.

October 4, 1957 Russia launches Sputnik.

February 1958 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to insure US military technology would be more advanced than the nation’s potential enemies.

The following graph provides an ARPANET timeline.

02-arpnet-comptia-series-a-technology-time-line

April 19, 1965 Gordon E. Moore predicted that the number of components per integrated circuit would double approximately every two years.  Referred to as ‘Moore’s law’, this prediction has held true for almost 50 years.  Current (2016) studies in physics identify that Moore’s law, which is more of an observation anyway, is breaking down due to the laws of physics associated with silicon technology.

September 8, 1966 The first episode of Star Trek: The Original Series airs.

July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 lands on the moon.

October 29, 1969 First ARPANET transmission from UCLA to Stanford (4 hosts total)

1973 Clifford Cocks develops the first asymmetric cryptography system while working for the UK intelligence agency GCHQ  (does “Q” sound familiar to anyone?) , although it was not declassified until 1997.

1973 TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol) developed by Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn working for DARPA at Stanford.

1975 The MITS Altair 8800 is introduced as the first personal computer, available as a kit, using the Intel 8080 CPU.

1975 Xerox files Ethernet patent based upon work inspired by Robert Metcalfe and his 1973 ALOHAnet PhD dissertation.

1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak introduce the Apple I personal computer kit.

May 1977 Star Wars theatrical release.

1977 Rivest, Shamir, and Adlemanpublicly reveal asymmetric (public-private key) cryptography.

1980  Carl Sagan hosts Cosmos: A Personal Voyage on PBS, fostering science based television programming.

1980 Commodore VIC-20 available for $299 creates the home computing market.

1981 The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds the Computer Science Network (CSNET) to link to ARPANET and create a network of networks (the foundation of the Internet).  The combined network eventually called NSFNET.

April 12, 1981 Space shuttle STS-1 Columbia launch.

August 12, 1981 – IBM introduces the IBM PC based on the Intel 8080, a 16 bit CPU on an 8 bit bus with five expansion slots, 16 KB of RAM, and two 5.25” drive bays.

1982 Term Internet used for the first time.

1984 Apple Lisa introduced the first graphical user interface and computer mouse.

1985 Microsoft ships Windows 1.0

1986 NSFNET establishes supercomputing centers by connecting several universities (the Internet infrastructure is finally just being built.)  This leads to the decommissioning of ARPANET in 1990.

1986 First 80386 processor shipped in a Compaq PC – 16 MHz speed.

1987 Apple Mac II with 128 MB RAM; IBM introduces PS/2; IBM & Microsoft release OS/2 and Windows 1.01.

1988 First Internet worm infects 6,000 Unix computers.

1990 Macintosh IIfx introduces 40 MHz processor and first accelerated video card trumping Windows 3.0 on 80486 33 MHz computers.

1990 Tim- Berners Lee and CERN create hypertext.

1992 Microsoft ships Windows 3.1, now capable of supporting faster hardware platforms.

1992 World Wide Web definition released by CERN

1993 Intel introduces the 60 MHz Pentium (released with a math bug that required a later recall), and Apple discontinues the Apple II line.

1993 Marc Anderson creates Mosaic- first web browser; estimates suggest ~2,000,000 computers connected to Internet.

1993 Banking industry establishes first commercial use of Internet for business-to-business use.

1996 Internet celebrates official 25th anniversary;  40,000,000 people connected via12,000,000 hosts

1997 56K modems and cable modems become commercially available.

1997 dot-com bubble begins (lasting to a peak on March 10, 2000)

1998  Windows 98 ships.  The Apple iMac introduces the USB port, eventual successor to parallel and serial ports.

1999 Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon introduced, escalating the MHz war between the two manufacturers.

2000 Athlon first to reach 1 GHz processor speed.

2000 Internet status: 185 countries, 70K computer networks, 300,000,000 people worldwide

2001-2002  dot-com bubble collapses.    Only a few companies, most notably eBay and Amazon, recovered to exceed dot-com peaks.

2001 Intel reaches 2 GHz with the Pentium 4, and introduces the Itanium as the first 64-bit CPU.

2001 Windows XP launch.

2002 Verizon launches first 3G cellular network.

2004  Facebook launch.

2007  Twitter launch.  Windows Vista launch.   iPhone introduces mobile web.

2009 Windows 7 launch.

2009 Avatar cinematic release.  2nd highest grossing film of all time.

2012  Windows 8 launch.  Replaced by Windows 8.1 in October 2013.

2015  Windows 10 launch.

03-arpnet-comptia-series-a-technology-time-line

For a media and Internet business perspective, I borrowed a marketing perspective from Malone Media Group that yields a great visual of major Internet product offerings.

My short review should get you up to speed.  Maybe you can create the next major entry?

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

 

 

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Planned Value – A simple explanation for an Earned Value concept https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/planned-value-a-simple-explanation-for-an-earned-value-concept/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/planned-value-a-simple-explanation-for-an-earned-value-concept/#respond Thu, 06 Oct 2016 17:30:02 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=22839 One of my students regularly applies Project Management topics as a means to reinforce the lessons. Earned Value Management (EVM) is a simple and powerful tool, albeit seldom applied. EVM is most often applied to large, complex projects particularly with a technology focus.  An overview of EVM was published in the first edition of the … Continue reading Planned Value – A simple explanation for an Earned Value concept

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One of my students regularly applies Project Management topics as a means to reinforce the lessons. Earned Value Management (EVM) is a simple and powerful tool, albeit seldom applied. EVM is most often applied to large, complex projects particularly with a technology focus.  An overview of EVM was published in the first edition of the PMBOK® in 1987. EVM rose to prominence during the 1990’s when applied to highly publicized U.S. Government procurement efforts by the Department of Defense, NASA, Department of Energy.  EVM earned additional visibility with the passage of the Sarbanes- Oxley Act of 2002.  EVM is regularly applied to development or procurement projects within industrialized nations.

Though as I teach in the classroom (and PMP Project Management videos) you can apply the basic principles of EVM to projects of any scale.

The question that prompted this blog:

‘There is simply no better way for me to understand the results and the process then for me to just put it into practice and do it. Therefore, I have a question. I understand what planned value (PV) is – from the books we got from Interface TT “What you expect to spend on the work that you completed at this time. Also – What you expected to earn if the project was executed precisely to plan.” While the definition seems very straight forward, I am trying to figure out how to get that information and that doesn’t seem so straight forward. Meaning…………..

I could just take the mathematical approach using SV = EV – PV and using algebra come up with PV? (PV = EV-SV) – simple enough.

But, if I don’t do that and I use project data….how do I really get PV? it seems as though this could be a value that you could obtain from the project data uniquely, but because it has EV in the calculation, I am not so sure. This is what I am curious about. Do you have any suggestions?’

And my answer:

PV is actually the very easiest value to determine for a project – if you have planned well.

For each dollar you PLAN to spend, you PLAN to acquire one dollar of Value. So planned spending over time is also planned value over time. The planned VALUE is nothing more than a point exactly on the S-curve at each point in time (T). PV is ALWAYS just a point on the S-curve. If you didn’t create an S-Curve for your project, then you cannot calculate PV, and you cannot use Earned Value Management as a monitor and control tool.

001-PMP-Planned-Value-A-simple-explanation-for-an-Earned-Value

Just like the exercise in class, you merge knowledge about the PLANNED schedule and the PLANNED budget to estimate or PLAN spending relative to time.

Let’s say you determine an annual food budget of $6,000.  That’s just $500 per month.

Your project Schedule would look like this:

002-PMP-Planned-Value-A-simple-explanation-for-an-Earned-Value-concept.gif

Your line item budget might look like this:

003-PMP-Planned-Value-A-simple-explanation-for-an-Earned-Value-concept

To develop the S-Curve, you plot the spending on the time line, recognizing that from a planning perspective you can only allocate money when you PLAN to do the work, and will PLAN to get the same VALUE for each dollar you spend. The shape of the spending pattern per time period needs to match the shape of the Precedence diagram you created in the schedule.

004-PMP-Planned-Value-A-simple-explanation-for-an-Earned-Value-concept

And from the Total Cumulative cost you plot the S-Curve.

005-PMP-Planned-Value-A-simple-explanation-for-an-Earned-Value-concept

The S-curve looks like a straight line unless you calculate more for holiday months (Nov-Dec), birthday celebrations, etc. But for the sake of discussion, let’s say an even $500/month. Therefore PV for January would be $500. PV for February would be $1,000. You would add $500 per month to create the curve.

The money you actually SPEND may be higher or lower. That is called the ACTUAL COST (AC).

So you compare each month, any day of the month what you actually spent versus what you planned to spend at that point it time. PV is planned. It’s what you planned to spend up to a point in time. It does not change unless you throw away your entire plan and re-plan the entire project (not a good measurement approach to identify successful effort.)

We would be comparing our planned (PV) versus actual dollars expended (AC), if all we did was compare against the line item budget. We NEVER do this for a well-managed project. You need to know whether you acquired the groceries you actually NEED to serve your monthly food requirements.  So Earned Value might be the dollar value of your purchase, but it might just as easily occur that you used a coupon so that Actual Cost is lower than the value you Earned for the period. Or the price of milk and bread might increase one month, or your typical brands aren’t available and you need to purchase a higher cost option one month – that would be higher than your Plan, but you get to recognize the Value you associated with the purchase as EV, and the Actual Cost you spent for the higher cost milk and bread as AC.  The AC you spent would then be more than your Plan (PV) but you would recognize the value relative to your Need as Earned (EV).

Through all of this AC and EV may fluctuate, but PV NEVER changes once you have a time based spending plan – called the Cumulative Cost or S-Curve.

It really is that simple. PV is your plan. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Hope this helps!

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

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BitLocker to Go READER in Windows 10 https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/bitlocker-to-go-reader-in-windows-10/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/bitlocker-to-go-reader-in-windows-10/#respond Tue, 20 Sep 2016 19:46:02 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=23338 Microsoft has provided BitLocker since the Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. The Vista release could only encrypt operating system partitions (with some extended capability through the command line tool). Windows 7 inclusion extended whole drive encryption capabilities to additional partitions and to removable drives. Encryption of removable drives was labeled … Continue reading BitLocker to Go READER in Windows 10

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Microsoft has provided BitLocker since the Enterprise and Ultimate versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7. The Vista release could only encrypt operating system partitions (with some extended capability through the command line tool). Windows 7 inclusion extended whole drive encryption capabilities to additional partitions and to removable drives. Encryption of removable drives was labeled BitLocker to Go. BitLocker has also been included within both professional and enterprise versions of Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. The ability to encrypt removable drives is included within all versions of BitLocker since Windows 7 Enterprise.

The BitLocker to Go reader was created simultaneous to the Windows 7 release to enable customers with Windows XP or Windows Vista systems to read removable drives protected with BitLocker technology. This blog provides some BitLocker to Go reader background and directions for acquiring the reader for your use.

BitLocker to Go is enabled by clicking the alternate mouse button (right-clicking) on the drive within File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer/File Manager) and selecting Turn on BitLocker. A BitLocker encrypted removable drive may be read (or modified) on the system used to encrypt the removable drive since the encryption key is stored on the system. The encryption/decryption key will be stored in association with a TPM 1.2 (Trusted Platform Module 1.2) or newer OR a removable USB device (flash drive).

For more details regarding BitLocker requirements, options and functionality check out the newest Microsoft Technet Article “What’s new in BitLocker? updated by Brian Lich on 5/23/2016.

You can also receive a Windows 10 BitLocker update that includes a hands-on lab in our 20697-1 Installing and Configuring Windows 10 course. Make certain that you understand the robust options for BitLocker management through the Control Panel>BitLocker Management Tool or Group Policy. Pay particular attention to BitLocker Recovery Agents and recover using a BitLocker recovery password.

In Windows 10, BitLocker capabilities are extended to encrypt data drives formatted with exFAT, FAT, FAT32 or NTFS. The one requirement is that the drive have at least 64MB of available disk space.

Microsoft continues to provide the BitLocker to Go Reader with Windows 10 for platforms running Windows Vista or Windows 7 (and Windows XP even though support has expired). Windows 7 support pages provide an overview that is referenced within Windows 10 online support.

You can still find and download the BitLocker to Go reader (bitlockertogo.exe) although it is supposed to be installed onto an external USB drive that has been encrypted with BitLocker to Go by default.

Download the BitLocker to Go Reader directly from Microsoft  or use the search box on Windows 10 which took me directly to the download site.)

The original promotion for the BitLocker to Go reader stated: “The BitLocker To Go Reader is an application that provides users read-only access to BitLocker-protected FAT-formatted drives on computers running Windows XP or Windows Vista”. The reader continues to support FAT, FAT32, and reportedly exFAT and NTFS drives, although I have not attempted to use it personally on the latter two formats.

You will still need a copy of the key used to encrypt the drive, preferably delivered via a separate medium than the encrypted device.

It should also be noted that the BitLocker to Go reader merely allows you to read the contents of the encrypted drive by converting it from ciphertext to cleartext as you open the files. You will need to copy or write the files to a partition available to the local device in order to modify them. In other words, BitLockerToGo reader is NOT an encryption tool; it serves read only decryption of BitLocker encrypted drives on systems that do not directly support BitLocker.

Now go have some fun with those encrypted portable drives.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

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PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements Leadership PDU’s – How to Claim Them https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/pmis-continuing-certification-requirements-leadership-pdus-how-to-claim-them/ https://www.interfacett.com/blogs/pmis-continuing-certification-requirements-leadership-pdus-how-to-claim-them/#respond Wed, 07 Sep 2016 20:32:03 +0000 http://www.interfacett.com/blogs/?p=?p=23298 I have found Leadership PDU’s amongst the most enjoyable to explore and obtain.  With the changes to PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program, the ability to discover and report exemplary personal development options is both expanded and easier to fulfill. If you haven’t explored the re-certification process recently, you should start with a quick review … Continue reading PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements Leadership PDU’s – How to Claim Them

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I have found Leadership PDU’s amongst the most enjoyable to explore and obtain.  With the changes to PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) Program, the ability to discover and report exemplary personal development options is both expanded and easier to fulfill.

If you haven’t explored the re-certification process recently, you should start with a quick review of the PMI Talent Triangle.  Renewal of your PMP requires 60 professional development units each three years, including at least 10 hours within each of the three Talent Triangle areas of expertise: Leadership, Strategic and Business Management, and Technical Project Management.  The focus aligns well with the changing public and executive perception of project management roles.  We are no longer merely managing tasks (technical project management), we are now coaching and guiding both people, project, programs, portfolios and processes (strategic and business management); as well as developing the vision and setting the example as leaders (leadership).

PMP-talent-triangle

As you visit the Talent Triangle overview, you will be directed to an ever changing and expanding set of PMI reports, webinars, and training opportunities that will assist with your self-development efforts.

You might even wish to visit the Continuing Certification Requirements System (CCRS) Claim site for a quick review of the many formats through which you can earn qualifying education units.   The following screen shot, representing the ‘Report PDUs’ section of the site, guides you through a vastly simplified reporting process.  Perhaps more importantly, reviewing the site before you start your search for training may inspire a more creative process.  (You are always welcome to schedule a course at Interface Technical Training, watch one of our video series, or replay one of our many recorded webinars.)

PMP-learning

I have several preferred mentors that have guided my Project Management career, some living and some of whom are only available as recorded or written content. (With a tip of the hat to my mentor Ed O’Connor who authored several Project Management courses and encouraged me to teach in the field of project management and leadership.)

PMI serves as the final validation for your PDUs, though the following suggestions have been my mentors and availed me of both PDUs and course materials through the past decade.  You can find current and relevant one hour webinars, teleconferences, live events, and recorded training.  Whichever mode and venue serve your preferences, availability, and budgets.  Each of the mentors that I list have offerings that range from free to thousands of dollars – depending on your time, focus, and interest.  Explore their free content, and then move to additional content when you find the mentors that match your taste and interest.

Offerings effectively match the categories offered on the CCRS site: courses and training, organizational meetings, online or digital media, reading, and informal learning.  Once you select a mentor and take advantage of their resources, you need only match the media to the CCRS category and report the number of hours per category based on the mentor and the topic content being reported.

PMP-pdu-claim

  • Jim RohnAmerica’s Foremost Business Philosopher
    • A wealth of leadership, technical, and strategic business knowledge in every format imaginable.
  • Success Magazine
    • Originally founded in 1897 with such noteworthy publishers and editors as Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, the magazine was acquired and re-established in 2008 with Darren Hardy as the publisher. You can subscribe to the magazine in printed or digital formats, sign-up for weekly webcasts and frequent webinars, or join the weekly Podcasts (through iTunes or online) to gain an hour of useful content each week.
  • Darren Hardy
    • More than the publisher of Success Magazine, Darren has access to most of the successful business people and leadership development gurus on the planet. You can read his three bestselling books, attend his courses in person or on-line, or subscribe to his daily feeds and occasional podcasts.
  • John Maxwell
    • An author, professional speaker, and pastor whose primary focus is on leadership and leaders developing leaders. Books, blogs, courses, and a wealth of additional resources as well as redirection to other thought leaders.
  • Tony Robbins
    • One of the world’s most recognized life coaches. As Jim Rohn suggests, success leaves clues.  If you want to learn about creativity and motivation, then Tony is your source.
  • Seth Godin ]
    • Author of a dozen top selling books that challenge to status quo. Just what a project manager needs to inspire creativity and affect change.
  • Guy Kawasaki
    • Not to be confused with Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) – a mistake some might make… Guy was the original marketing evangelist for Apple Computers. Guy is a highly recognized evangelist, author, and speaker on the topic of innovation.
  • Jim Collins
    • Author of Built to Last, Great by Choice, Good to Great, and more. Check out his audios and videos for some poignant and relevant quick learn sessions.
  • Ted Talks
    • Okay, so I am cheating somewhat with this one. Just search for leadership, or any of the leaders listed above and provided as alternatives below.  If you can find several relevant videos on topics you enjoy to fill several hours of viewing and self-education, then you don’t really want easy PDUs.  Just be certain that you fairly report your time for these, and reference the URL in each instance, since there are shortened versions for many of them scattered across the Internet.

Want to dig more deeply on your own?

Launch Jeff Haden’s article “Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts”  on Inc.com.   There are several on Jeff’s list that I reference in my courses and speeches that provide excellent content, though whose media might not lend themselves as easily to PDU reporting – amongst them the likes of Malcolm Gladwell, Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson, Tom Peters, Kenneth Blanchard, and Stephen R. Covey whose books fill my shelves.

Filling the ten required hours should be simple at this point.  In fact, you can probably fill many of the required PDUs beyond the 30 mandated for the Talent Triangle if you watch videos, and take a short course of two.

Once you get started, I bet you’ll be hooked on a greater path of self-development.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom, or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional Certification, Windows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

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