July 17, 2013

How to bring Agile to other departments; Marketing, Sales, Support, etc.

Category: Management — David @ 6:53 pm

It is a daunting task to convince other departmental executives to coordinate their departments’ projects with the rest of organization using Agile methodology! This was actually a question brought up by a colleague at one of our PMI-SV chapter meetings. Below are some of responses from the leading managers attending our meeting;

  • We shall think in Agile methodology before we buy-in to it! In other words, managers shall think in incremental changes by the team leading to the final product.
  • Expectations of executives must be tuned with Agile mindset.
  • Customers must also be communicated to accept Agile methodology; incremental updates, accepting increments, and proceed this iteration till the end of project / product.
  • Managers need to know that there is no UAT (User Acceptance Test) using Agile methodology.
  • All departments’ team members shall be familiar with Agile methodology.
  • Other departments’ managers and executives must accept that there would be no date commitment for intermediate processes. However, a tentative end-date can be set forth.
  • Drive priorities as set in requirements and proceed with “Stories”.
  • Only commit to what is visible to you (that can be delivered incrementally).
  • Agile is a value-driven process that depends on the value of what is set to be done. The value is known or set by the customers and stakeholders; usually using 20-80 rule (i.e. 20% of requirements will drive 80% of the bulk of the product). These are end user values that are set and delivered incrementally.
  • Agile will use “progressive elaboration” of products and end user results. However, how customers would have end results depends on progressive elaboration and incremental delivery of needs. This is the (Agile) process that shall be clearly communicated to all parties involved.
  • Other time-dependent actions and revenue-recognition event (such as Press Releases) can be addressed depend on the cut-off date set forth at the beginning of the process. However, delivery of requirements shall proceed incrementally till the set-date.
  • Important requirement (within the 20% set) shall be scheduled within the stories and delivered by the set date. All other requirements (within 80% set) are set to be delivered incrementally as the project advances.

More information regarding upcoming classes and trainings in San Jose area:
PMI-ACP Exam Prep Course (3 Days) at PMI – San Francisco Bay Area Chapter:
– Instructor: Anup Deshpande, August 3, 2013 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Anup also offers training for individuals as well as corporate teams.

Please visit PMI- Silicon Valley chapter website for more information about different activities of PMI - Silicon Valley chapter.

Up-ward and On-ward,

July 14, 2013

Installing Sugar Community Edition on Ubuntu server

Category: Technologies — David @ 6:51 pm

This is shortened steps to install Sugar Community Edition on Ubuntu server. This installation assumes a prepare server (Apache, MySQL, PHP, and all other modules) are already installed and configured.

  1. Open a shell access to your server (putty!?) and login with root access.
  2. Got to the domain / directory where you want to install Sugar, create a tmp directory and download it from Sugarforge;
    sudo wget http://www.sugarforge.org/frs/download.php/10551/SugarCE-6.5.14.zip
  3. Unzip the file, move the entire content to the CRM folder of your domain structure, and remove left-over files/folders;
    unzip SugarCE-6.5.14.zip
    mv * /var/www/vhosts/YourDomain.com/public/CRM/
    rmdir SugarCE-Full-6.5.14/
    rm SugarCE-6.5.14.zip and
    rmdir tmp
  4. Open a web browser and go to your SugarCRM folder where you have all files. This will open the web wizard of SugerCE installation process to continue. Accept license agreement and click on next buttons to direct the installation to use installed Apache, MySQL, PHP, and needed modules.
  5. Provide database information and continue
    NOTE: I got an error (The provided database host, username, and/or password is invalid…) then I changed host name to, and continued!
  6. Follow the rest of the installation. For English you do not need to upload any language package. Register the product and finalize installation with date type and SMPT credential, etc.

Congratulation on your new Customer Relationship Management System.

July 8, 2013

Share the collective knowledge

Category: Management — David @ 4:33 pm

Disclaimer: This is a multi-contributor blog and I would like to acknowledge credentials of the contributors . Following my last post, today (July 8th 2013) I attended another meeting of Job Search Breakfast Meeting of PMISV in Sunnyvale (CA). Below is highlights of our today’s discussion.

When it comes to “elevator pitch” at a job interview, it is recommended that we keep three things in mind and talk about them. Regarding technology for instance, touching on development, process, and delivery would be a good opening to attract attention.

A good conversation-provoking is when asked about one’s background, talk about strength, passion, hobbies, and what would be a good matching point for job seeker to fit to the culture of the organization. A recruiter for instance, may seek technical competency in interview. However, trying to find a common point of interest, one may talk about a common interest or hobby. “Eric Johnson” said in an interview with Cisco, he noticed a real guitar on the wall of the hiring manager and he used his musical talent and background and that was the connecting topic. Hence, observing the person across the table and finding a shared interest would take the communication to its natural next step. Showing your interest and knowledge about a common interest would show that because you are well rounded, you would be a better match, probably compare to the rest of candidates. It also gives the interviewer a chance to talk about something that interests him / her.

Another good point is to find a chance to ask the interviewer a question at the beginning of the interview as well as at the end. For instance, what keeps you concerned about this position? Is the position a new one, or replacing an available rank? If replacing, why previous person left? If a new position, what gap you are filling - or what would be the most pressing tasks expected? What are the challenges, difficulties, or opportunities associated with the position? What would you expect to be done systematically? How better can I perform to meet and exceed expectations? When people leave, what opportunities are unsealed? “Terry Archuleta” added that a good practice is to ask for the follow up of the interview; I am very much interested in the position and I wonder when I could hear about your decision! In other words, without showing desperation, interviewer shall have a strong sense of your interest in the position.

Remember that in any interview, you want as much information about that organization as the interviewer is seeking from you! In other words, you want to make sure that you would fairly fit into your new position. You want to know about the culture of your company, dress code (if any), financial and marketing challenges the organization is facing. And you want to make sure that you can get the job done with the highest satisfaction possible.

We had an hour of very interesting conversation. I tried to capture a glance of what we talked about. I also would like to provide this space to our team members to add their points by inserting their comments. Please note that if comments made by our attendees will carry a link to their LinkedIn profile.

Rise and Shine,

Following are attendants of Job Search Breakfast Meeting (July 8, 2013) of PMISV in Sunnyvale (CA).

Skip La Fetra, Scott E Petersen, Scott Spetter, Terry Archuleta, David Bakhtnia

My goal is to convey bulk of our discussion to public. I think the combined knowledge and experience of attendees carry so much value that our job seekers can benefit from every point made in our meetings. I also would like to provide a space to our attendees to elaborate on their points so that their point of view are transparently expressed.

July 1, 2013

Claim Your Online Profile and Credentials

Category: Management — David @ 3:01 pm

Being discovered and found online is very important for technical professionals! This matter is very important, especially for those trying to get the right professional position, or a consulting contract. A hiring team member (manager, HR, etc.) would search for our name online - to find a reasonable link to qualify our credential. We may lose the first step of an opportunity if one of our not-so-exciting link appears on the top of the search results!

I have been attending breakfast meeting of our PMI group - Silicon Valley chapter for the past year. I can proudly write that attendees are among the best technical managers I have ever met. Their technical knowledge, professional analysis of topics, broad examination of the subject-matter, and detailed description of their point-view, each deserves its own blog entry! As an example, in our today’s meeting (July 1st, 2013) we briefly talked about a few topics regarding job search such as how and what kind of keywords to use in our resume to bring it to the top of resume banks (like in LinkedIn)? Below are samples of what was suggested:

  1. Update your online profiles frequently
  2. A few of your accomplishments (of last position) shall be the first entries of resume
  3. Organize resume in one page – if possible
  4. Have your own blogs, or comments on others’ blogs so that your name pops on search results
  5. Add a professional picture to your profile
  6. Visit other online job search websites and participate in their system
  7. Get control of your online profile – Ah did I mention this before?

Yes, the first-and-last entries are about updated online profile. As one of attendees mentioned, if we do not own and control our online profile, someone else might!

I would like to reserve the chance to add to these topics on my next few entries as I have to go back to attend a client’s technical issue now! However, I would like to invite attendees of our network breakfast group of PMI-Silicon Valley chapter (and other viewers alike) to insert their voice as well! I am hoping to have a dynamic conversation to help each other in our networking efforts.