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May 2016

Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence Tool Evaluations

by Debbie Shapiro, Senior Business Intelligence Consultant  At some point, most organizations find themselves evaluating new tools to improve and modernize their data processing. The approach taken when making these decisions is incredibly important because it will affect many aspects of the organization including budgets, the development processes while implementing the tool, the operational processes to monitor the tool once it is moved to a production system, and (most importantly) the business users and/or customers. I have witnessed a number of different approaches to performing tool evaluations — some more effective than others.

Starbucks Chorus @ Benaroya Hall Benefit

On May 1st, Plaster Group Agile Consultant Aki Namioki, a member of the Starbucks Chorus, performed in their benefit concert at Benaroya Hall. The benefit had a great turnout in support of organizations including Saw Horse Revolution, Downtown Emergency Service Center, Pike Market Senior Center, and Real Change. Read more about the concert on the site Starbucks Melody, and check out this great clip of Street Requiem!  

PMI & Agile

by Shama Bole, Agile Consultant What grew as a creeping sort of dissonance over the past few years, in my role as project manager using Agile methodologies, has now coalesced into full blown discomfort around the question of whether the Project Management Institute (PMI) can relate to Agile. Recent readings, events and classes have featured the PMI attempting to play a central role in herding Agile into the fold of PMI-sanctioned methodologies. This article is based on my understanding of the PMI’s stance as viewed through these classes and readings. The PMI’s pitch is that Agile does not address ‘macro-level’ challenges for project management, and that this gap is covered by the PMI. The PMI claims that every Agile framework is missing two critical elements: sophisticated scheduling tools and account cost management. My take on this is that the PMI is struggling with a methodology that is outside of its paradigm and understanding.

Plaster Group Read: The Go Giver

Plaster Group’s consultants all got on the same page and received a copy of The Go-Giver, A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann. A quick read, this novel shares the lessons learned by the main character, Joe, as he engages with a massively successful (but mysterious) mentor. The mentor passes to Joe his “Five Laws of Stratospheric Success”…