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Training Days

On Monday I started three days of training. When my alarm went off earlier than usual I rubbed my bleary eyes, dragged myself into a shower, put on clothes, made quick oatmeal, and headed out the door. I got on the 174 by Blair. That was a mistake. Traffic was slow-moving and all of the lanes were packed. Eventually I reached my destination, which had a tight parking garage ramp as evidenced by the paint scrapings on the walls of the ramps.

Training consisted of applying some project management techniques I knew the theory of, but did not have experience applying. There were four of us from my company in the training, so we're hoping to be able to make some improvements at work.

We learned to schedule projects from the end date rather than the beginning. This leads to less missing of tasks and starting at the correct task. That's the first pass and it's done manually with post-its. On the second pass we go from the start to the end, load resources in, and adjust as necessary. This is a good time to enter the plan into MS Project or whatever scheduling tool you use. On the 3rd pass we take costs into consideration. This means the budget doesn't matter until this point because we can't know it all until this point anyway. It's a bit more complicated than all of this as discipline is involved to prevent the group from getting off track.

It was challenging thinking backwards to forwards as we've always done plans the opposite way, but the thing about that is that we've likely started projects on the wrong task because we've been doing arbitrary, non-logical relationships rather than necessary, logical ones. We also tend to try to optimize the plan as we're doing the first pass and that is bad practice.

On the second day, I took the scenic route and avoided the highway altogether. This was longer, but at least I was actually moving. For the most part, it was less stressful of a drive. For the third day, I waited to get onto the highway until Vanier, and that was the quickest.

The third day of training marked my two year anniversary of being a citizen of Ottawa. A lot has happened in such a short time and the future looks bright.

Ciao,
R~

Psst... One more sleep until Comiccon :D

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