2014 USENIX LISA Mini-Tutorial: Establishing IT Project Management Culture: Nerdherding on the Frontier

Here are my mini-tutorial description and slides from the USENIX LISA Conference, November 14.

Description: 

Some IT organizations have well-established project management cultures; other organizations are on the frontier, either without project management culture or experiencing rapid change. The application of appropriate IT project management principles in such organizations can be challenging, but some basic techniques can allow IT teams to be more efficient and effective.

Daunting projects can be accomplished as you foster project management culture, and this tutorial will give you the tools you need to enjoy life on the frontier.

Attendees: 

Anyone either coordinating or participating in IT projects within groups or organizations without a well-established project management culture.

Take back to work: 

Attendees will learn techniques to better understand and define projects, and how to apply appropriate and effective management techniques within organizations where project management culture is rapidly changing or being newly-created.

Topics include: 
  • Understanding basic differences between well-established environments and launching toward the frontier.
  • Management techniques for organizing projects.
  • Frontier questions to select appropriate project management techniques, covering Governance, Scope, Time, Costs, People, Communication & Visualization.
  • Advanced Nerdherding: improving visibility and celebrating progress.

Slides: Nerdherding On The Frontier

Handouts: Nerdherding On The Frontier

2014 USENIX LISA Workshop: Warp-Speed Project Wrangling

Here are my workshop description and slides from the USENIX LISA Conference, November 9. Workshops are small, hands-on collaborative sessions.

Description:

Bring your wildest projects to this workshop, facilitated by an experienced technical project manager, and let’s wrangle them together!

Some basic project management techniques can quickly allow IT teams to be more efficient and effective. The big question is “What are we trying to do?” and a short list of the most useful follow-up questions can help all involved to better understand and define a project’s scope, time, cost, stakeholders, governance, and communications needs.

This collaborative session will allow participants to speedily apply appropriate and effective management techniques to their own real-world projects.

Slides: Warp-Speed Project Wrangling

2014 Velocity Tutorial: The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills

Here are my tutorial slides from the Velocity Santa Clara Conference, June 24.  There were lots of great questions from the audience, and discussion continued… I have an Office Hour tomorrow as well, in case folks think of questions they didn’t ask today!

The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills

Emergency drills must be planned within a broad context of emergency response, emergency operations, business continuity planning/resiliency, disaster recovery, and information technology architecture. This tutorial will give that broader context, first providing some perspective on goals and personnel involved in the following:

  • Emergency response: “Respond”
  • Emergency operations: “Assess, Report, Recover”
  • Business continuity planning and resiliency: Business Impact Analysis, Threat and Risk Analysis, Recovery Point Objectives, and Recovery Time Objectives
  • Disaster recovery and information technology architecture

That will be followed by key concepts in emergency operations center and incident headquarters design, methods of introducing such concepts to attendee’s organizations, and a sequence of basic-to-advanced drill designs.

The emergency drill design portion begins with a typical life-safety drill, progresses through basic and advanced IT emergency operations drills, and concludes with guru-level additions to drill design. The more advanced drill designs will allow attendees to build upon and include the features and components of earlier basic drills without overburdening their teams with too many simulations.

Keeping a large group of intelligent IT folks engaged in a drill simulation can be very challenging. Attendees will leave this tutorial ready to design effective drills to better prepare their organizations for likely emergencies and realistic function failures.

Slides: The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills

 

Upcoming in June 2014: Tutorial and Office Hour, Velocity Santa Clara

If you’re interested in attending The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills in California, there are still a few seats available in my tutorial at the Velocity Santa Clara conference on June 24.

The Velocity Santa Clara conference has all kinds of other great presentations and tutorials, too, of course.

And I’ll also be hosting an office hour to follow up on the tutorial, and to welcome random IT emergency drills planning questions, on June 25.  I’m in fairly illustrious company, so if you’re attending Velocity in Santa Clara, check out the rest of the office hours lineup as well.

 

2014 CascadiaIT Tutorial: The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operation Drills

Seattle

I gave a tutorial in Seattle, at the CascadiaIT 2014 Conference, March 7-8.

Tutorial: The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operation Drills

Keeping IT folks engaged in a drill simulation can be very challenging. The skills necessary to design, execute and facilitate IT emergency drills are practical, perfectly suited to the hands-on, participatory environment of a technical tutorial.

Become a gamemaster worthy of designing and executing drills on likely emergency scenarios and realistic function failures for your organization.

Who should attend:  Technical IT staff, IT supervisors, managers, directors, business continuity/resiliency project managers and IT emergency planners – anyone who may be tasked with planning or facilitating an IT emergency drill for an IT department, business unit or organization. Prior experience in IT disaster recovery or any kind of emergency response will be helpful but is not required.

Take back to work: Practical experience identifying critical business functions, designing emergency operations centers and incident headquarters, and designing, executing and facilitating IT emergency drills.

Outline: Within a broad context of emergency response, emergency operations, business continuity planning/resiliency, disaster recovery and information technology architecture, this tutorial will provide participants with hands-on experience to design and execute IT emergency drills.

Participants will collaboratively identify critical business functions and continuity/resiliency objectives for two fictional example organizations, and catalog IT services involved in supporting those business functions. We will then design an appropriate emergency operations center incident headquarters for those organizations. Along the way, we will discuss and brainstorm methods of introducing such concepts to participants’ actual organizations.

During the latter part of this tutorial, participants will walk through a first a basic life-safety and IT emergency operations drill, and then an advanced IT emergency operations drill. We will also evaluate quantifiable success factors for each drill, collect lessons learned, and discuss guru-level additions to advanced drill design.

Slides: Adele Shakal CascadiaIT 2014 Gamemaster Tutorial

New website for 2014, upcoming CascadiaIT conference and LOPSA local meetings

I’ve finally admitted to myself that I need a single place to archive online all of my conference presentations, workshops, tutorial materials and such.  So here I am.

And here you are!  Thanks for stopping by!

I have a few upcoming invited talks and a tutorial coming up…

Baltimore

I’ll be speaking remotely in Baltimore, at the CrabbyAdmins Local LOPSA Chapter Meeting, March 5: The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills.

Seattle

I’ll be giving a talk and a tutorial in Seattle, at the CascadiaIT 2014 Conference, March 7-8.

Invited Talk: Establishing IT Project Management Culture

Some IT organizations have well-established project management cultures; other organizations are on the frontier, either without a project management culture or experiencing rapid change. The application of appropriate IT project management principles in such organizations can be challenging, but you will benefit from the experiences of a frontier project-herder, covering basic techniques to allow IT teams to be more efficient and effective, and tips for establishing and fostering project management culture within rapidly changing and growing organizations.

Tutorial: The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operation Drills

Keeping IT folks engaged in a drill simulation can be very challenging. The skills necessary to design, execute and facilitate IT emergency drills are practical, perfectly suited to the hands-on, participatory environment of a technical tutorial.

Become a gamemaster worthy of designing and executing drills on likely emergency scenarios and realistic function failures for your organization.

Who should attend:  Technical IT staff, IT supervisors, managers, directors, business continuity/resiliency project managers and IT emergency planners – anyone who may be tasked with planning or facilitating an IT emergency drill for an IT department, business unit or organization. Prior experience in IT disaster recovery or any kind of emergency response will be helpful but is not required.

Take back to work: Practical experience identifying critical business functions, designing emergency operations centers and incident headquarters, and designing, executing and facilitating IT emergency drills.

Outline: Within a broad context of emergency response, emergency operations, business continuity planning/resiliency, disaster recovery and information technology architecture, this tutorial will provide participants with hands-on experience to design and execute IT emergency drills.

Participants will collaboratively identify critical business functions and continuity/resiliency objectives for two fictional example organizations, and catalog IT services involved in supporting those business functions. We will then design an appropriate emergency operations center incident headquarters for those organizations. Along the way, we will discuss and brainstorm methods of introducing such concepts to participants’ actual organizations.

During the latter part of this tutorial, participants will walk through a first a basic life-safety and IT emergency operations drill, and then an advanced IT emergency operations drill. We will also evaluate quantifiable success factors for each drill, collect lessons learned, and discuss guru-level additions to advanced drill design.

Boston

And I’ll be speaking in Boston, at the Back Bay Large Installation System Administration (BBLISA) Local LOPSA Chapter Meeting, April 9: The Practical Gamemaster: Design & Execution of IT Emergency Operations Drills.

Other Places?

If you would like for me to speak at your conference or meeting, about IT emergency planning and drill design, project management, advancing women in computing … please let me know (especially if your organization has a real Code of Conduct/Anti-Harassment Policy #CoCPledge — I value and support your efforts to include more diversity in IT).  I’m starting to polish up some additional content around cloud computing concepts as well.