Creating the best online training is not easy. It requires a unique mix of domain knowledge, tool familiarity and experience in the hands-on implementation. We are proud to put all 3 components into our training materials, which is a guarantee of the best quality of our products. See for yourself and take a look at our experiences with BigPicture implementation.
So where do we get our ideas of different scenarios used in our courses to describe specific cases, configurations and approaches? Of course from our experience. While we do online training, we are also invited to provide live training sessions, which is a valuable experience every time, because every company is different, has their own requirements, perks and environment conditions. Having seen so many instances we are able to deliver in every situation, because we’ve gained the broad knowledge and confidence in our skills.
Here are some of the interesting situations we’ve been challenged with and what we’ve learned from them.
There is still light in a tunnel
During a hot, summer day we’ve been visiting a very unique company making one of the most sophisticated machines in the world: cyclotrons and beamlines. You can imagine our excitement to visit such a place. High security was nothing unexpected here. People were all talking their own, strange language, with lots of variables and constants. We could feel the atmosphere of science inside at every corner. The company was conducting quite a lot of projects during a year (40-50) and needed a good tool to keep them on on track. BigPicture was a way to go! They have been using their Jira instance for quite some time and a simple setup was already in place: Epics were in use, just as versions and components. Also a custom issue type of a Work Package had its place there. Prince2 methodology, modified for agile purposes was implemented. They were struggling with staying up to date on their project progress and controlling the resources. Addressing those points was the main focus of the training.
During the fabulous 2 days we’ve discussed many different approaches to efficient project control and we’ve recommended the best one for their case. For resource management we’ve gone through the proper modules in BigPicture, showing 5 different ways of defining person’s capacity, allowing them to stay flexible and choose the best tool for the job.
We’ve also learned something new, because the custom methodology required some non-standard approaches, allowing to combine both waterfall and agile worlds in one tool. Great people, great training, would definitely do it again!
Money, money money – BigPicture implementation in a bank
Banking industry is using all kinds of tools, project management among them. For this training we’ve been invited to help one of the biggest banks in USA. Again, Jira instance was already in place, but BigPicture implementation was was on its way. The number of projects was 70 in total at one time, and around 20-30 new projects popping up every year. The company was working in a mixed methodology, but focused on the agile aspect of it. The estimates were done in story points, which we don’t see that often. The company was also introducing SAFe methodology slowly, which was supposed to be the focus of our training, since BigPicture has a very unique offering in this particular case, being the absolutely best tool for SAFe in Jira environment.
SAFe is becoming more and more popular in USA, not so much in Europe yet, but it’s growing slowly. We are often approached by companies who are looking for an advice on how to utilize BigPicture in their SAFe endeavor and we are here to help. In this case we have shown our client how to use the tool for Product Increment planning sessions, sprint planning, sprint execution, how to connect features and epics into one clear path understandable for everyone. We’ve also helped with building a roadmap, defining goals and objectives and connecting both IT and business worlds in one tool. In out BigPicture training we have a dedicated module in which we are talking about the SAFe approach and how does BigPicture implementation help with working in this methodology.
Absolutely fabulous experience with a very keen team.
Trading is not a zero sum game
Companies dealing in stock and derivatives markets are also in our portfolio. In this case it was one of the biggest players in global trades delivering their services to almost 200 000 clients around the world. Our job was simple – visit for one day and rock their world!
We did pre-training session to learn more about the problems they are facing, which orbited around proper Gantt management, resources management and a need for reporting. Using the time we’ve had to the maximum we’ve focused only on these parts of the software that were of the most interest. We’ve had a long list of questions to answer like:
- how to work with baselines?
- how to make resources management useful?
- how to use Gantt with custom colors of bars?
- how to best use artificial tasks?
- how to use BigPicture in pre-mobilization, when there are no epics yet?
- how to use the critical path?
- best ways of defining and using quick filters?
- how to add and use dependencies?
- how to view high level tasks in a rolled up view for management?
We’ve answered all of these and many more, that have sprouted during the training, showing the best way to use the tool in specific cases. It was a challenge to fit everything into one working day, but at the end everyone was very happy with delivered value and progress we’ve made. We are sure, that thanks to this one day they are using BigPicture to its fullest now.
Game on! – BigPicture implementation consultancy
One of our favourite industry – gaming. Not so long ago we’ve been helping a big game studio in adjusting their BigPicture instance to better fit their processes and requirements. It was a blast. First of all the company boasted to be one of the best working places in the country, and so, as expected, we’ve seen many great perks of working there, like inside gym for employees, big, fully equipped kitchen and dining space for collaboration, catering with broad choice of food, space setup helping with face to face collaboration but also rooms for working in peace and quiet on sound (fully padded, no echo) or light (no light sources reflecting in the screen). They even had their own big room for motion capture!
Yes, for gaming fans, this was definitely a dream job. You could feel the atmosphere there to be just right for creating something extraordinary. They were mostly young people, eager to learn and try new things, which is always the best environment you can have for introducing new tools. Even though they were in the middle of a 5-year-long project they’ve decided to do both Jira and BigPicture implementation as they go, hoping to reap the fruits of this later. It might seem like a very risky moment, but in reality you will never find a good moment for these kind of changes in an ever busy company. There will always be something important going on, so the best way is to just roll up your sleeves and get it done. The interesting part was how enthusiastic everyone was about new tool set. Usually you will get a group of mixed approaches. There will be innovators, most likely a person or 2-3 people who have initiated the idea, then adopters, who are curious about new possibilities and resistors, who will always claim that what they have right now is better. Here, everyone was an innovator. They were genuinely excited to try new software, keeping an open mind and hoping to make their internal processes better, faster and more efficient.
We didn’t disappoint them. We’ve opened for them the the world of BigPicture functionalities, pointing out which ones would be the most important and most useful in their case. We’ve also given them a lot of tips regarding the best configuration of both Jira and BigPicture for their kind of work. At the end of the training both parties were very happy and hoping to work together again in the future, planning to buy Online BigPicture implementation training approved by SoftwarePlant and maybe conduct another live training for a new group in the future.
Let us put a stop here. With these examples you can see how we are going about gathering the experience. We just put the knowledge to work, interact with companies all around the world, always learning new things. Each training is different, because we always adapt the pace and content of the training to the company. Sometimes we put a lot of focus on certain modules, skipping the others, sometimes we go through everything. During one training we will go slow, digging into every detail, in others we will go faster, because the group already has some experience and normal pace is just too boring. Instead we go for additional exercises. It also happens that we get heavily involved in discussions about internal processes (it is always a good opportunity to change them, while implementing a new tool set) and also about a possible setup of BigPicture environment. When the training is connected with implementation services as well, we even do the setup together with Jira Admin, and train people on real life projects, so that they are self-sufficient after we leave.
How can we not love this? Could you? 🙂