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Fourth Annual Rise Up Luncheon

14991858_1133393133411235_3972250226000046309_nPlaster Group was once again honored to sponsor and attend the fourth annual Rise Up Luncheon for ROOTS Young Adult Shelter. It has been wonderful watching this event grow over the past four years and receive updates on the powerful impact that ROOTS has within our community. At its incorporation in 2000, ROOTS became he first overnight shelter in the city specifically designed to meet the needs of homeless young adults. Since then, it has continued to  increase the breadth of shelter and services it provides to Seattle’s homeless youth.  Read more +

The Problem With Tableau Is It Always Gets Locked Down

blue-door-lock-haalkab-pixabay-2by Colin Carson (Senior Consultant)

While discussing past engagements with one of my coworkers, Tableau came up. I related a story where I overheard somebody asking helpdesk for a Tableau license because her trial key expired. The helpdesk guy was apologetic and explained he couldn’t help because Tableau was “managed by a different team”. When the user asked if there was something she could use that same day, the guy said, “You can try Power BI; anybody can use that.” The frustrated user said she wanted to use Tableau. She was groaning as I walked out of hearing range.

My coworker laughed. She knew exactly what I was talking about. “The problem with Tableau is it always gets locked down,” she said. She meant that only certain people are allowed or encouraged to use Tableau, more akin to a dictatorship than a democracy. Read more +

Upcoming Seattle Agile Events

Check out these two upcoming Seattle Agile Events

plane propeller bw - mark asthoff - unsplashSeptember 1st – BeyondAgile at the Museum of Flight 5-9pm

Plaster Group is sponsoring the event: “Networks of High-Performing Teams Using Known, Stable Interfaces of Human Interaction. Dr. Low from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital, as well as several other speakers, will be presenting. Read more about BeyondAgile’s event and RSVP here.

Schedule:

  • 5:00 Free admission to the Museum of Flight
  • 5:30 South View Lounge Opens
  • 6:30 Food and Social Time
  • 7:00 Main Program
  • 8:25 Retrospective
  • 9:00 Museum of Flight closes

 

Cocktail - Patrick schlopfin - unsplashSeptember 8th – Agile Mixer at Triple Door 4-6pm

The Agile Mixer is a Seattle-based gathering created to provide an informal setting for networking and information sharing between existing or aspiring Agilists. Whether your passion is Scrum, Kanban, Lean, or XP – come share your experiences and benefit from hearing about the experiences of others. We will trade war stories and revel in tales of success. We had a such a great time last month that we will be returning to the Musicquarium Lounge at the Triple door. Join our open group on LinkedIn here – we hope to see you there!

Book Club: Mindset

vacation books - Link Hoang - unsplashOur most recent company-wide read was Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This book is written by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck on the subject of success and learning to fulfill our potential across parenting, business, school and relationships. Dweck stresses that it is not our abilities or talents that gurantee our successes, but our mindsets in approaching our goals.  

One of Plaster Group’s consultants, Shama Bole, weighs in on this read:  Read more +

Top Supply Chain Considerations When Implementing an eCommerce Solution

Credit Card and Computer - Negative Space - Stocksnapby Brian Decker, Supply Chain Practice Director

 

What are the top supply chain considerations when implementing an eCommerce solution?

 

You have a new product, now what? You want to sell online, but there are a lot of marketplaces: eBay, Amazon, Jet, BestBuy, Walmart, etc. Creating a selling account and manually listing all of your products for sale on each site separately could consume you for days. And when the orders come rolling in, how do you consolidate them efficiently across various portals for fulfillment and tracking?? How do you handle same day shipping? Read more +

Agile Projects: Scrum vs. Kanban

Startup Stock Photos

by Aki Namioka, Senior Agile Consultant 

When an organization is deciding how to manage the work of an Agile team, two common paradigms are often considered:  Scrum and Kanban.  This article will discuss each paradigm at a high level, cover the advantages of each, and explain why a team might select one or the other.

Introduction to Scrum

Scrum’s history comes from software development.  It has been around, in some form or another, since 1986 and is the most common Agile paradigm in software development.  The current definition of Scrum was presented in 1995 by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. It is described as “a flexible, holistic product development strategy where a development team works as a unit to reach a common goal.”

At Scrum’s core is the idea of working in iterations or “Sprints”, where a cross-functional delivery team works together to meet a set of goals that are defined by a Product Owner, i.e. somebody who can represent the business interest.  A Sprint is a time box, e.g. 2 weeks.   At the end of each Sprint, the delivery team demonstrates incremental business value to the Product Owner. Read more +

Setting the Stage for Agile Transformation: Product Visioning

glasses book computer - Châu Thông Phan - stocksnapby Plaster Group’s Agile Transformation Team

Challenge

Our client – a regional medical provider – tried to incorporate Agile methods in its IT departments for several years but achieved lackluster results. Waterfall methods performed as poorly or worse. Independent of methodology, project features weren’t meeting business needs, and delivery deadlines were frequently missed.

The on-boarding of new employees and a large scale data warehousing project presented an opportunity to refine Agile techniques and truly make the methodology work for the company. Our client asked Plaster Group to develop a foundation for a more successful transition to Agile. Read more +

Agile in Healthcare

Agile in HealthcareOur Agile practice area had a presence at a meetup co-hosted by Seattle Health Innovators and the Washington Chapter of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The event took place downtown Seattle on June 9 and was of interest to members of our Agile team because of our clients within healthcare. The meet-up focused around the theme: “How has the Agile approach evolved to work within the health and life science industries?” where a panel of local Agile practitioners discussed their first hand experience with Agile in the healthcare industry.