Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Professional Development

About the KAIP Academy’s Training and Certification classes

Agile, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Information Technology, KAIP Academy, Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Sacramento, Scrum, Technology, Training, Workforce Development

Learn more about the KAIP Academy, northern California’s premiere training and certification resource for professionals looking to advance their career and professional opportunities!

Interested in registering for one of KAIP Academy’s upcoming courses? Start here!

PMP® Certification Bootcamp: Here to Pump…You Up

Corporate Training, KAIP Academy, Learning, PMP Certification Bootcamp, Professional Development, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Sacramento, Training

By Nick Sherrell, MBA, CSM, PMP

With New Year’s resolutions in full swing—or for some of us (looking at myself here), still struggling to get off the ground—the word ‘bootcamp’ is a word often thrown around.

I’d like to talk about a different kind of bootcamp, the PMP® Certification Bootcamp I attended through the KAIP Academy.

The PMP® Certification Bootcamp is a 4-day course that takes you through the newly updated Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide Sixth Edition to prepare you for the ultimate project management fitness test…the PMP® Exam!

With over six years of direct IT project management experience, I eventually hit a point in my career where a PMP® certification was necessary for me to reach the next level. I assumed with all my project management experience, passing an exam should be easy! I went to the PMI website to apply for the exam and stumbled upon a practice exam. I clicked on the ‘Start’ button and haughtily said, “Bring it on.”

Apparently, what I meant by ‘it’ was a heaping dose of humility.

The practice exam chewed me up and spit me out much like the first day of a fitness class after a long winter of watching movies and eating cookies.

Yes, I was DOING project management activities at work, and many of the same words were used. However, the application of these processes and the order and frequency in which to use them wasn’t exactly in alignment. I knew the exercises and a few routines, but I did not know how to arrange them into a whole-body program.

Enter the PMP® Certification Bootcamp course.

The course was led by Doug Johnson, a man with more acronyms after his name than one tweet can hold! On top of the acronyms, he has over 30 years of experience. Through the 4-day course, Doug takes you through the 10 knowledge areas and 49 processes within PMBOK, how to apply them properly, and sprinkles in real-life experiences to highlight how they work well—and sometimes how they don’t work out well and how to adapt as necessary. Another asset of Doug’s experience is his knowledge of the PMP® exam. He has great insight into what processes, terms, and knowledge areas are likely to be highlighted in the PMP® exam.

On the last day of the course, we took a few practice exams. Now humbled from practice exams, I cautiously clicked the start practice exam button, and…Success! I passed the practice exam with flying colors!

With this confidence, I completed the PMI application process and am scheduled to take the PMP® exam soon. I can now say I am appropriately confident that I am ready and able to pass this exam and move to the next chapter of my career in project management.

Now perhaps I can use some of this newfound project management knowledge to help get my New Year’s resolution beyond the Initiation Stage…

Interested in taking KAIP Academy’s PMP® Certification Bootcamp course, or want more information about the class? Click here!

About the Author: Nick Sherrell is a Project Manager with over 10 years of healthcare experience ranging from Quality, Performance Improvement, Technology Implementation, Data Analysis, and Consulting. Nick has worked with organizations ranging from the Sacramento Native American Health Center, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Blue Shield of California, and The Advisory Board Company. He currently works for KAI Partners, Inc as a Project Manager Consultant on a Public contract with the State of California. He received his MBA from UC Davis in 2015 with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior and Innovation. He became a Certified ScrumMaster in 2018 through Scrum Alliance training offered at KAIP Academy. He lives in Sacramento with his wife, two children, and Golden Retriever Emma.  Find Nick on LinkedIn here.

How the Scrum Values can be used on more than just Agile Projects

Agile, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), KAIP Academy, Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Sacramento, Scrum, Training, Workforce Development

By Sumayyah Jackson, CSM

When I decided to attend the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) class through the KAIP Academy, I had knowledge about the Agile / Scrum process. Being a Special Projects Intern for KAI Partners, we discussed these processes frequently. My team and I attend daily sprint meetings every week. It is always on a timed schedule and gives everyone a clear vision of the tasks to be completed for the day.

One of my favorite parts of the CSM class were learning the Scrum Values: Respect, Openness, Courage, Focus, and Commitment. Here’s how I’ve seen the Scrum Values at work in my life:

Respect: To me, respect in the workplace means encouraging your team to express their opinions and ideas. At KAI Partners, my opinions and ideas were always respected. It allowed me to be comfortable expressing my thoughts when executing any project with my fellow team members. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Listening patiently to others’ discussion allows me to respond with insight and earn their respect.

Openness: I look at openness as being willing to open your mind to different ideas and change. Openness promotes trust. Trusting your team to uphold the company values will promote a friendly working environment. Accepting that people have different backgrounds will allow us to get past any perceived differences and realize that we are all people with similar goals.

Courage: Having the courage to overcome your fears can provide you with a sense of security to gain self-confidence and focus your energy on strengthening the organization through improved productivity and innovation. Moving across the country was one of my fears that I quickly got over. It took courage to leave behind everything I knew and start over in a new city. Because of courage, I have discovered new opportunities that have been positively life changing.

Focus: I think focus is an essential tool for success and can help you deliver the most efficient results. The ability to block out distractions is paramount and key to being successful. Being focused is a skill that has to be mastered.

Commitment: Commitment is to show effort and motivation and to recognize that sometimes satisfaction means going beyond the bare minimum expectations which takes discipline. I am committed to self-improvement by continuing to self-reflect and being open to change and growth. Ultimately, mistakes can be the best teacher.

Now that I am officially a Certified Scrum Master®, I look forward to applying the skills I learned to enhance my career, as well as provide a structure for my studies as a college student. These skills are not only applicable in the workplace, but they also play a role in day-to-day life.

Interested in learning more about how the Scrum Values can help in your career and life? Register for our next CSM session! Click here for all our KAIP Academy course information!

About the Author: Sumayyah Jackson works at KAI Partners as a Special Projects Intern. She recently moved to Sacramento from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attends Sacramento City College, majoring in Psychology. Sumayyah is committed to her education & tackling her career goals. After she obtains her Associates degree, she plans on attending a 4-year university and acquiring a PhD in Psychology. She has previously worked in customer service, time and expense coordinating, and social media coordinating. On her free time, she enjoys reading, volunteering for non-profit organizations, graphic design, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.

StateScoop’s California Innovation Summit Event Recap

Agile, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Digital Transformation, Event Recap, Government, Information Technology, Innovation, IT Modernization, KAI Partners, Lean Six Sigma, Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Public Sector, Sacramento, Technology, Training, Workforce Development

Photo Credit: StateScoop

By Lucie-Anne Radimsky, CSPO

The ballroom at the Kimpton Sawyer hotel was lit in neon pinks and purples; stylish tulip chairs graced the stage and large screens sprouted up from each side of the stage. This was not your typical public sector event—you could feel a sense of energy and possibility usually reserved for private sector sales events.

The event was StateScoop’s California Innovation Summit, which brought together agency CIOs, technology vendors, consultants, and public sector employees who filled the room to capacity (exemplified by the crowd of latecomers who lined the back of the room two rows deep).

We can safely assume that this event benefited greatly from the new Governor’s recent pronouncements and Executive Order, which clearly sent a signal as to his priorities for a more innovative and dynamic public sector.

Speakers included a formidable group of CIOs—some who are innovating locally, such as Ann Dunkin of the City of Santa Clara, and some who come from agencies where innovation and technology are critical to provide lifesaving services, such as Carla Simmons from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

I’ve attempted to summarize the highlights and calls to action that I took away from the event, including:

  • The public sector needs to focus on solutions that are citizen-first.
  • Trending technologies in the government sector include players like Smart Communities, AI, Digital ID, Blockchain, NIST/IO, and Gartner’s Digital Government Framework.
  • Hybrid IT is the new normal.
  • Collaboration is paramount, i.e., sharing information and resources like templates and best practices.
  • Exploring the potential of Sacramento as a Public Sector IT Hub.
  • Technology procurement demands improvement to keep up with technology advancements and collective bargaining opportunities.
  • Workforce gaps are real due to the speed of technology innovation.
  • A cultural shift is needed to support innovation.

From KAI Partners’ perspective, this is an incredible opportunity to address the multitude of challenges facing the public sector and help ensure a seamless, secure, and efficient delivery system where citizens are considered from the onset in developing strategic plans and programs.

KAI Partners has the privilege of working with complex systems and diverse projects across the public sector, where we can apply best practices and technology solutions through our network of partners and subject matter experts.

We also work hard to address the technical skill gaps in the region through our KAIP Academy. Our training courses include Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, and Agile/Scrum—these courses empower everyone from beginners to those more advanced in their careers to build their professional skills and respond to the needs of the market.

Amy Tong, CIO of the State of California, closed the event by reiterating the importance of a culture of innovation and encouraged attendees to be bold in developing new and creative ways to address problems, even if there is a risk of making mistakes or failures.

It’s clear the new normal that is beginning to envelop the public sector is a step in the right direction. KAI Partners is excited to continue to do our part to encourage and support public sector leaders to ring in this innovative chapter of government.

About the Author: Lucie-Anne has over 15 years’ experience in communications and business development in the U.S. and Europe, on behalf of start-ups and non-profits. She has signed and represented clients within the technology, energy, and telecommunications sectors to government agencies, journalists, and industry analysts throughout the world. Lucie-Anne has both American and E.U. citizenship. She is fluent in English and French. Lucie-Anne is an active community volunteer and has served on numerous non-profit boards and led alumni groups in Paris, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. She currently resides in Sacramento with her Brazilian husband and two boys.

How Agile Can Provide Value on any kind of Project

Agile, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Communications, Corporate Training, Information Technology, IT Modernization, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Sacramento, Scrum, Training, Workforce Development

By Lucie-Anne Radimsky, CSPO

Agile knocked and I *sprinted* through the door.

I recently participated in a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training through the KAIP Academy.

In my role as a Business Development Lead with KAI Partners, I serve as a connector between my organization’s service delivery team and public sector, non-profit, and private sector clients who need and would benefit from our services. I also help to bring individuals through our workforce development training programs.

Why is this important? Well, as you may notice, I don’t work on IT projects directly and I certainly don’t manufacture anything but opportunities. Agile isn’t necessarily a methodology that fits neatly into my role—or does it?

Prior to working with KAI Partners, my understanding of Agile was limited. I believed it to be a language or mindset that only IT departments, consultants, and the manufacturing industry would use.

Entering my CSPO training recently, I felt a mix of excitement and apprehension. Having spent the last 17 years as an entrepreneur in communications, I was used to making it up as I went along.

My apprehension quickly faded to comprehension and total awe of the simple framework that Agile provides.

As specific as some of the processes are, what I gained from this experience is a greater understanding of how to navigate a project more effectively—piece by piece, sprint by sprint.

This understanding of how to navigate projects of any kind—not just IT projects—gives me a sense of accomplishment, keeps my stakeholders and team apprised of my progress via daily updates, and allows me to deliver a valuable end-product.

As I learned in the CSPO class, Agile provides an excellent structure for developing a project/product by assisting in the following:

  1. Identifying key objectives—the why that should drive all projects.
  2. Defining clear and simple goals that are realistic.
  3. Encouraging constant interaction with the team/stakeholders to ensure progress and buy-in.
  4. Prioritizing tasks so you can focus on the essentials needed to deliver a valuable product to the stakeholder(s) in a timely fashion.

Now think about this for a minute—where wouldn’t Agile apply?

Which reminds me, I need to stop by the store to buy whole milk so my stakeholder children can eat their cereal in the morning which meets my primary objective to ensure they are healthy and well fed. But first I’ll check in with my husband to make sure he hasn’t already done so and doesn’t have any additional items to add to my shopping list.

Interested in expanding your knowledge, efficiency, and skills and learning more about Agile? Register for our next CSPO session! Click here for all our KAIP Academy Agile courses!

About the Author: Lucie-Anne has over 15 years’ experience in communications and business development in the U.S. and Europe, on behalf of start-ups and non-profits. She has signed and represented clients within the technology, energy, and telecommunications sectors to government agencies, journalists, and industry analysts throughout the world. Lucie-Anne has both American and E.U. citizenship. She is fluent in English and French. Lucie-Anne is an active community volunteer and has served on numerous non-profit boards and led alumni groups in Paris, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. She currently resides in Sacramento with her Brazilian husband and two boys.

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