Thank You to Gartner for the Shout-Out!



sized for webpage (v210611) FOR SOCIAL - GARTNER FEATURED ME ASG-squashed

The photo was taken during Gartner VP Cathleen Blanton’s session on IT Governance at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo in Orlando, Florida on October 20, 2019.

The quote on metrics ("If you don’t collect any metrics, you’re flying blind. If you collect and focus on too many, they may be obstructing your field of view.") is from
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions ― Scott M. Graffius, Author; Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, Technical Editors.

The context of the presentation was on governance and decision-making. Cathleen conveyed that the idea for the slide pictured was that if you measure something that matters, you can use those metrics to drive better behavior through visibility and focus.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Scott M. Graffius

ScottGraffius-181024_1000x1000_152KB-lowres-sq

Scott M. Graffius, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, PMP, ITIL, LSSGB is a project management expert, consultant, award-winning author, and international speaker. He is a Principal Consultant and the CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™, a professional services firm, where he helps clients strengthen their project management capabilities and realize their strategic objectives and business initiatives. Before that, he ran and supervised the delivery of projects and programs in public and private companies with businesses ranging from e-commerce to advanced technology, manufacturing, entertainment, and more. Scott is the author of two award-winning books on agile project management, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (ISBN-13: 978-1533370242) and Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change (ISBN-13: 978-1072447962). Scott's content has been used by businesses, governments, and universities—including Gartner, Cisco, RSA, Ford, LITE-ON Technology Corporation, Liberty Mutual Group, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Tufts University, James Madison University, Santa Clara University, Brigham Young University, Texas A&M University, The Open University, and others. He regularly speaks at in-person and virtual online conferences and other events around the world. Additional information is available in Scott’s full bio at https://www.scottgraffius.com.

Follow_ScottGraffius_-_v22020507-SG-BLG-LR-SQ

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions

Scott_M_Graffius_Agile_Scrum_v22123007_LR_1000x1000_sq

Shifting customer needs are common in today's marketplace. Businesses must be adaptive and responsive to change while delivering an exceptional customer experience to be competitive.

There are a variety of frameworks supporting the development of products and services, and most approaches fall into one of two broad categories: traditional or agile. Traditional practices such as waterfall engage sequential development, while agile involves iterative and incremental deliverables. Organizations are increasingly embracing agile to manage projects, and best meet their business needs of rapid response to change, fast delivery speed, and more.

With clear and easy to follow step-by-step instructions,
Scott M. Graffius's award-winning Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions helps the reader:

  • Implement and use the most popular agile framework―Scrum;
  • Deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement; and
  • Support innovation and drive competitive advantage.

Hailed by Literary Titan as “the book highlights the versatility of Scrum beautifully.”

Winner of 17 first place awards.

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change

Scott_M_Graffius_Agile_Transformation_LR_1000x505

Thriving in today's marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits.

Based on actual events,
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change provides a quick (60-90 minute) read about a successful agile transformation at a multinational entertainment and media company, told from the author's perspective as an agile coach.

The award-winning book by
Scott M. Graffius is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Cathleen Blanton

Cathleen Blanton, Vice President at Gartner, is a member of their Public Sector Government team. She focuses on U.S. Federal agencies, covering strategic planning, governance, and ensuring IT enables businesses and mission value. Cathleen specializes in helping CIOs position themselves to partner with executive counterparts on the issues that help their organizations achieve outcomes in both efficiency and mission effectiveness. She takes an approach that is both pragmatic and tailored to organizations’ culture. For more information, visit
https://www.gartner.com.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Gartner IT Symposium│Xpo

The Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo is billed as “the world's most important gathering of CIOs and IT executives.” The conference enables more than 9,000 attendees to shape the future of IT and business strategies. For details, visit
https://www.gartner.com/en/conferences/na/symposium-us.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Gartner


Gartner, Inc. is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. They equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow. To learn more, visit
https://www.gartner.com.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

© Copyright 2020 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.









custom - back to main page of blog


Scott M. Graffius Speaking on Strategic Alignment at Delaware Valley Chapter of Project Management Institute



Scott_M_Graffius_Speaking_on_Strategic_Alignment_at_PMI-DVC_BLG-LR-SQ

Scott M. Graffius will deliver a talk on strategic alignment, “10 Ways to Score and Prioritize Project Proposals Based on Multiple Factors, Including Strategic Alignment,” at an event of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI-DVC). The session will be held on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The PMI-DVC is offering this event at no cost, and it will be conducted online via Zoom. Register at
https://pmi-dvc.org/professional-development/events-prof-dev-menu/chapter-meeting/pmi-dvc-chapter-meeting-january-26-2022.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About "10 Ways to Score and Prioritize Project Proposals Based on Multiple Factors, Including Strategic Alignment"

How does your organization assess proposals for new projects? Is there a well-defined scoring and prioritization process—based on alignment with the business’ strategic objectives and other key factors—to quickly and easily identify the objective value of each proposal? If the answer is “no,” keep reading. If the answer is “yes,” you’re still likely to find practical information and examples in this talk to adapt and adopt to improve the process at your organization.

This session will help you develop and enhance the contributions you make to your organization by being able to:

  • Understand the benefits of scoring and prioritizing project proposals based on strategic alignment and other key factors.
  • Identify selection and prioritization criteria appropriate for your unique organization, leveraging the flexible framework and some or all of the 10 factors presented during the talk.
  • Put the practical, actionable information presented to use. During the session, we will run an example project proposal through the process, step-by-step. And you will receive a summary “cheat sheet” digital download that you can reference as a guide to help implement or improve this process at your organization.

The presentation draws on the speaker’s first-hand, real-world experience, with his guidance supported by related standards, best practices, and recommendations from the Project Management Institute, MIT, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and others.

Scott_M_Graffius_Project_Management_Talk_10_Ways_v-Geo-LR-SQ

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Scott M. Graffius

ScottGraffius-181024_1000x1000_152KB-lowres-sq

Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, ITIL, LSSGB is an agile project management practitioner, consultant, award-winning author, and international speaker. He has generated over 1.75 billion dollars of business value in aggregate for the organizations he has served. Graffius is the founder, CEO, and principal consultant at Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ and subsidiary Exceptional Agility™, based in Los Angeles, California. His expertise spans project, program, portfolio, and PMO leadership inclusive of agile, traditional, and hybrid approaches. Content from his books (Agile Scrum and Agile Transformation), workshops, speaking engagements, and more have been featured and used by businesses, governments, and universities including Gartner, Microsoft, Deloitte, Oracle, Cisco, Ford, Qantas, Atlassian, Bayer, the National Academy of Sciences, the United States Department of Energy, the United States Army, Project Management Institute, the IEEE, the New Zealand Ministry of Education, Tufts University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Waterloo, Loughborough University London, and others. Graffius has spoken at 58 conferences and other events around the world, including Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Thinkers360 named Graffius a global top thought leader and influencer in four domains: Agile, Change Management, Digital Transformation, and GovTech.

His full bio is available
here.

Connect with Scott on:


Follow_ScottGraffius_-_v22020507-SG-BLG-LR-SQ

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions

Scott_M_Graffius_Agile_Scrum_v22123007_LR_1000x1000_sq

Shifting customer needs are common in today's marketplace. Businesses must be adaptive and responsive to change while delivering an exceptional customer experience to be competitive.

There are a variety of frameworks supporting the development of products and services, and most approaches fall into one of two broad categories: traditional or agile. Traditional practices such as waterfall engage sequential development, while agile involves iterative and incremental deliverables. Organizations are increasingly embracing agile to manage projects, and best meet their business needs of rapid response to change, fast delivery speed, and more.

With clear and easy to follow step-by-step instructions,
Scott M. Graffius's award-winning Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions helps the reader:

  • Implement and use the most popular agile framework―Scrum;
  • Deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement; and
  • Support innovation and drive competitive advantage.

Hailed by Literary Titan as “the book highlights the versatility of Scrum beautifully.”

Winner of 17 first place awards.

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change

Scott_M_Graffius_Agile_Transformation_LR_1000x505

Thriving in today's marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits.

Based on actual events,
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change provides a quick (60-90 minute) read about a successful agile transformation at a multinational entertainment and media company, told from the author's perspective as an agile coach.

The award-winning book by
Scott M. Graffius is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Project Management Institute

Chartered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 1979, the Delaware Valley Chapter (PMI-DVC) serves Greater Philadelphia, South Jersey, Delaware, and Eastern Shore Maryland. Its vision, mission, and objectives follow.

Vision

PMI-DVC is a dynamic organization of project management professionals dedicated to serving the business and educational community of the Chapter via the advancement of project management.

Mission

PMI-DVC provides a forum for project management professionals to:

  • Promote the principles of the PMI through networking with project management professionals.
  • Share project experiences.
  • Provide and receive training.
  • Support project management professionals in their certification efforts.

Objectives

PMI-DVC objectives include:

  • Promoting professional project management principles and techniques with local businesses, universities, and professional associations.
  • Creating and delivering an educational program that strengthens local project management professionals' skills and supports the PMI Certification Program.
  • Providing world-class PMI certification and training by hiring the best instructors and by developing and delivering the best training materials.

To learn more about the Chapter, visit
https://pmi-dvc.org.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About the Project Management Institute

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world's leading professional association for a growing community of millions of project professionals and change-makers worldwide. As the leading authority on project management, the PMI empowers people to make ideas a reality. Through global advocacy, networking, collaboration, research, and education, the PMI helps prepare organizations and individuals to work smarter in a dynamic and rapidly changing world.

Building on a prominent legacy dating to 1969, the PMI is a “for-purpose” organization working in nearly every country around the world to advance careers, strengthen organizational success, and enable change-makers with new skills and ways of working to maximize their impact. The PMI provides global standards, certifications, online courses, thought leadership, tools, digital publications, communities, and more.

To learn more about the PMI, visit
https://www.pmi.org/.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

The short link for this article is: https://bit.ly/blog-dvc

The short link for event registration is:
https://bit.ly/pmi-dvc

The event covered by this article appears in the Public Speaker section of the website,
here.



© Copyright 2021 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.




custom - back to main page of blog


Scott M. Graffius Delivered 40 Talks and Workshops Across 17 Countries in 2021



Scott_M_Graffius_Delivered_40_Talks_Across_17_Countries_in_2021_LR-SQ

In 2021, Scott M. Graffius delivered 40 dynamic and engaging talks and workshops across 17 countries. His sessions spanned leadership, technical project management (inclusive of agile, waterfall, and hybrid approaches to project, program, portfolio, and PMO management), and strategic and business management. He incorporated everyday language and vibrant custom visuals to make complex topics clear and understandable, and he provided audiences with practical information they can use. His engagements were highly rated by attendees and event organizers alike.

Here's an abridged list his 40 sessions in 2021 (most recent shown first):

  1. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  2. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  3. 🇺🇸 | DevOps Experience 2021 Conference
  4. 🇦🇲 | Frug'Agile Conference Armenia 2021
  5. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  6. 🇺🇸 | IEEE Day 2021
  7. 🇧🇷 | Private event
  8. 🇬🇧 | BSides Newcastle England 2021 InfoSec Conference
  9. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  10. 🇧🇷 | Agile Trends Gov Conference 2021
  11. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  12. 🇭🇰 | Private event
  13. 🇺🇸 | Florida Suncoast Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  14. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  15. 🇺🇸 | Central Virginia Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  16. 🇸🇪 | Private event
  17. 🇱🇹 | DevOps Pro Europe 2021 Conference
  18. 🇺🇸 | Southwest Virginia Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  19. 🇬🇧 | Private event
  20. 🇱🇺 | Luxembourg Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  21. 🇬🇧 | Private event
  22. 🇺🇸 | Monterey Bay Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  23. 🇦🇺 | Private event
  24. 🇳🇿 | New Zealand Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  25. 🇮🇪 | Private event
  26. 🇺🇸 | Southern Nevada Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  27. 🇺🇸 | California Institute of Advanced Management
  28. 🇦🇺 | Private event
  29. 🇬🇧 | Scottish Summit 2021
  30. 🇫🇮 | Finland Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  31. 🇨🇦 | ConFoo Developer Conference 2021
  32. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  33. 🇨🇿 | DevConf.CZ 2021 Conference
  34. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  35. 🇺🇸 | California Inland Empire Chapter of Project Management Institute
  36. 🇺🇸 | Private event
  37. 🇩🇪 | Private event
  38. 🇺🇸 | Alaska Chapter of the Project Management Institute
  39. 🇺🇸 | North Alabama Chapter of Project Management Institute
  40. 🇳🇱 | Netherlands Chapter of the Project Management Institute

Visit
here for detailed listings, videos (where available), testimonials, and more.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Scott M. Graffius

ScottGraffius-181024_1000x1000_152KB-lowres-sq

Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, ITIL, LSSGB is an agile project management practitioner, consultant, multi award-winning author, and international speaker. He has generated over 1.75 billion dollars of business value in aggregate for the organizations he has served. His expertise spans project, program, portfolio, and PMO leadership inclusive of agile, traditional, and hybrid approaches. Content from Graffius's books, workshops, speaking engagements, and more have been featured and used by businesses, professional associations, governments, and universities including Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, Gartner, Deloitte, Project Management Institute, IEEE, SANS Institute, Ford, Qantas, Atlassian, Wrike, Bayer, National Academy of Sciences, United States Department of Energy, United States Army, New Zealand Ministry of Education, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Tufts University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Warsaw University of Technology, University of Waterloo, National University of Ireland Galway, Loughborough University London, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, and others. Thinkers360 named Graffius a global top thought leader and influencer in four domains: Agile, Change Management, Digital Transformation, and GovTech.

Graffius is the founder, CEO, and principal consultant at
Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ and subsidiary Exceptional Agility™, based in Los Angeles, California. The professional services firm provides client organizations with advisory, training, speaking, embedded talent, and facilitative consulting services to help them advance their agile project, program, portfolio, and PMO management capabilities to best realize their strategic objectives and business initiatives, making them more competitive and valuable. The company confidently backs its services with a Delighted Client Guarantee™.

A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client organization in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Graffius’s first book,
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (ISBN-13: 9781533370242). It helps technical and non-technical teams develop and deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. The book garnered 17 first place awards from national and international competitions. His second title, Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change (ISBN-13: 9781072447962), was named one of the best Scrum books of all time by BookAuthority. Graffius and his works have been featured by media outlets and publications including Yahoo Finance, Computer Weekly, MobileAppDaily, Innovation Management, the PM World Journal, NASSCOM, Software Quality Management, Nimble Ways, Business Application Monitoring, Learning Solutions, Innovation Ecosystem Metrics, DZone, Innovation Project Management (by Dr. Harold Kerzner), TopDevs, NHD Podcast, and others.

Graffius is a former vice president of project management with a publicly traded provider of diverse consumer products and services over the Internet. Before that, he ran and supervised the delivery of projects and programs in public and private organizations with businesses ranging from e-commerce to advanced technology products and services, retail, manufacturing, entertainment, and more. He has experience with consumer, business, reseller, government, and international markets, as well as experience spanning 20 countries.

Graffius has a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a focus in Human Factors. He holds eight professional certifications: Certified Scrum Professional - ScrumMaster (CSP-SM), Certified Scrum Professional - Product Owner (CSP-PO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Scrum Foundations Educator (SFE), Project Management Professional (PMP), Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB), and IT Service Management Foundation (ITIL). He is a member of the Scrum Alliance, the Project Management Institute (PMI), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

He has been
actively involved with the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the development of professional standards. He was a member of the team which produced the Practice Standard for Work Breakdown Structures—Second Edition. Graffius was a contributor and reviewer of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge—Sixth Edition, The Standard for Program Management—Fourth Edition, and The Practice Standard for Project Estimating—Second Edition. He was also a subject matter expert reviewer of content for the PMI EMEA Congress 2019, and he served as a member of the review team for the Scrum Alliance’s Global Scrum Gathering—New York City 2020.

Graffius delivers dynamic and engaging talks and workshops at public and private/corporate events. His engagements include 59 in-person and online conferences and other events around the world, including Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States. Graffius delights audiences with sessions on technology leadership and project, program, portfolio, and PMO management inclusive of agile, waterfall, and hybrid approaches. He uses everyday language and vibrant custom visuals to make complex topics clear, and he provides audiences with practical information they can use. For details, visit the public speaker section of his website
here.

He resides in Los Angeles, California.

His full bio is available here.

Connect with Scott on:



Follow_ScottGraffius_-_v22020507-SG-BLG-LR-SQ

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions

Scott_M_Graffius_Agile_Scrum_v22123007_LR_1000x1000_sq

Shifting customer needs are common in today's marketplace. Businesses must be adaptive and responsive to change while delivering an exceptional customer experience to be competitive.

There are a variety of frameworks supporting the development of products and services, and most approaches fall into one of two broad categories: traditional or agile. Traditional practices such as waterfall engage sequential development, while agile involves iterative and incremental deliverables. Organizations are increasingly embracing agile to manage projects, and best meet their business needs of rapid response to change, fast delivery speed, and more.

With clear and easy to follow step-by-step instructions,
Scott M. Graffius's award-winning Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions helps the reader:

  • Implement and use the most popular agile framework―Scrum;
  • Deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement; and
  • Support innovation and drive competitive advantage.

Hailed by Literary Titan as “the book highlights the versatility of Scrum beautifully.”

Winner of 17 first place awards.

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change

Scott_M_Graffius_Agile_Transformation_LR_1000x505

Thriving in today's marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits.

Based on actual events,
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change provides a quick (60-90 minute) read about a successful agile transformation at a multinational entertainment and media company, told from the author's perspective as an agile coach.

The award-winning book by
Scott M. Graffius is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

The short link for this article is: https://bit.ly/40-in-2021

The short link for a related post on LinkedIn is:
https://bit.ly/21-in



© Copyright 2021 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.




custom - back to main page of blog


AI is a Team Sport: A Confluence of Diverse Technical and Soft Skills are Crucial for Success

BY SCOTT M. GRAFFIUS | ScottGraffius.com

Scott M Graffius - AI is a Team Sport - Creative v23043007B LR BLG

Select here to download this article as a PDF.

This article covers the significance of well-rounded AI teams, including how both soft and technical skills are critical and fuel success. It’s informed by Graffius' work on AI projects as well as research and coverage from DARPA, IBM, IEEE, MIT, Microsoft, Software Engineering Institute, Stanford University, United States Artificial Intelligence Institute, and others (all listed in the bibliography section of this article).

Introduction

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative force across a growing number of industries, revolutionizing how we live, work, and interact. From autonomous vehicles and virtual assistants to personalized recommendations and medical diagnoses, AI systems have become integral to our daily lives. Behind these cutting-edge, life-changing solutions are AI teams that possess a combination of soft skills—also known as core skills, interpersonal skills, people skills, power skills, transferable skills, or transversal skills—and technical expertise.

This article highlights the synergy between soft skills and technical skills in the world of AI. While technical skills provide the general foundation for AI development, it’s the soft skills that elevate AI projects to new heights. From effective communication and critical thinking to leadership and teamwork, soft skills play a pivotal role in translating technical knowledge and capabilities into real-world applications.

The thesis of this article is that the successful development and application of AI requires a combination of soft skills and technical expertise. Technical competencies alone are not enough. Rather, it’s the combination and integration of soft and technical skills that truly unlocks the power of AI.

Next, this article focuses on the importance of soft skills in the AI landscape, highlighting how they complement and enhance technical abilities. The collaboration between these skill sets drives AI innovation.

Understanding Soft Skills in AI Teams

In the realm of AI, technical expertise often takes center stage. However, soft skills advance the successful outcomes of AI projects, as they facilitate effective communication, foster collaboration, and promote critical thinking. Soft skills are powerful facilitators of success.

Soft skills encompass a range of interpersonal and cognitive abilities that enable teams to work harmoniously, adapt to evolving challenges, and solve complex problems. In the AI landscape, where multidisciplinary teams come together to create innovative solutions, these soft skills are essential.

Effective communication stands at the forefront of soft skills in AI. AI teams must articulate complex technical concepts in a manner that is understandable to diverse stakeholders, including non-technical staff and internal or external customers/users. Clear communication promotes collaboration and ensures alignment of purpose and objectives throughout the AI development lifecycle.

Soft skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking are vital as well. AI teams frequently encounter multifaceted challenges, and it is through these soft skills that teams can identify potential bottlenecks, navigate complexities, and devise innovative solutions. By leveraging critical thinking, AI team members can evaluate different approaches, consider ethical implications, and make informed decisions that shape the development and application of AI systems.

Leadership and teamwork skills are also paramount. AI projects involve team members from diverse backgrounds, including data scientists, engineers, domain experts, designers, and others. Effective leadership enables the coordination of efforts and guides the project towards success. Similarly, teamwork skills foster an environment of trust and respect, promoting synergy among team members and enhancing overall productivity.

Recognizing the importance of soft skills in AI is crucial for fostering a balanced and effective team dynamic. It ensures that AI teams possess the interpersonal and cognitive abilities necessary to bring AI projects to fruition. The integration of soft skills alongside technical expertise sets the stage for a cohesive team capable of tackling complex AI challenges with agility and innovation.

The role of technical skills—including how they intersect with soft skills to create a powerful combination that drives success—are covered next.

The Role of Technical Skills in AI Teams

Technical skills provide the tools and knowledge required to design, build, and implement AI systems. This section explores the role that technical skills play in AI and their specific applications in various stages of AI projects.

  • Programming Languages and Algorithms: Proficiency in programming languages such as Python, Java, or R is essential. These languages enable team members to write efficient code, manipulate and analyze data, and implement machine learning algorithms. Understanding algorithms, from classic ones like linear regression to cutting-edge deep learning models, empowers AI professionals to leverage mathematical principles and statistical techniques to train and optimize AI systems.
  • Data Analysis and Management: AI relies on data, making data analysis and management skills crucial. AI team members need to be adept at collecting, cleaning, and preprocessing data, ensuring its quality and relevance. They must possess the knowledge of statistical methods, data visualization techniques, and data engineering practices to extract insights from complex datasets and prepare them for AI model training.
  • Machine Learning and Neural Networks: Technical skills in machine learning are at the heart of AI systems. Understanding machine learning algorithms, such as decision trees, support vector machines, or convolutional neural networks, enables AI team members to create models that can learn from data and make intelligent predictions or decisions. Expertise in neural networks and deep learning architectures equips professionals with the ability to develop complex models capable of handling tasks like image recognition, natural language processing, and reinforcement learning.
  • AI Frameworks and Tools: Proficiency in AI frameworks and tools (such as TensorFlow, Keras, PyTorch, Caffe, Scikit-learn, and others) are essential for building AI systems efficiently. These frameworks provide pre-built modules, libraries, and APIs that simplify the implementation of AI algorithms and models. Technical skills in utilizing these tools effectively enable AI team members to accelerate the development process, streamline model training, and optimize system performance.
  • Domain Knowledge and Application-Specific Skills: Technical skills also encompass domain knowledge and application-specific expertise. Understanding the nuances of the industry or problem domain in which AI is being applied allows professionals to tailor AI solutions to meet specific requirements. For example, healthcare-focused AI projects may require knowledge of medical terminologies and regulatory considerations, while AI solutions for financial services may demand expertise in risk assessment and fraud detection.

Technical skills are essential for AI projects. They enable team members to translate concepts, theories, and algorithms into practical applications. However, technical skills alone are not sufficient for success. The collaborative nature of AI development and the need for a well-rounded AI team—including the synergy between technical skills and soft skills—is covered next.

The Power of Synergy: Soft Skills and Technical Skills in AI Teams

The convergence of soft skills and technical skills is where true innovation and breakthroughs occur. The successful development and application of AI systems rely not only on technical expertise but also on the harmonious integration of soft skills. Here’s some examples of the power of synergy between these skill sets, including how they work together to drive AI advancement:

  • Effective Communication and Technical Expertise: Communication bridges the gap between AI professionals and others who may not possess technical backgrounds. AI experts with strong communication skills can articulate complex technical concepts in plain English, ensuring that everyone involved understands the goals, challenges, and progress of the project. By effectively conveying ideas, AI professionals foster collaboration, gather valuable insights, and create a shared vision for AI initiatives.
  • Collaboration and Problem-Solving: Collaboration is at the core of AI development, and soft skills such as teamwork, empathy, and active listening facilitate effective collaboration among diverse team members. AI teams with strong collaboration skills can effectively pool their technical expertise, brainstorm ideas, and solve complex problems together. By leveraging their collective intelligence and diverse perspectives, AI teams can overcome challenges, refine AI models, and optimize the performance of AI solutions.
  • Critical Thinking and Technical Innovation: Critical thinking, coupled with technical expertise, leads to innovative AI solutions. AI professionals with strong critical thinking skills can evaluate different approaches, challenge assumptions, and identify potential shortcomings or biases in AI models. They can think creatively to address issues such as data biases or fairness concerns, ensuring that AI systems are developed responsibly and ethically.
  • Leadership and Team Empowerment: Effective leadership in AI projects involves establishing and maintaining a collaborative and inclusive environment, empowering team members, and harnessing their full potential. AI leaders with exceptional interpersonal abilities can inspire and motivate their team, foster a culture of continuous learning, and provide guidance in navigating complex technical challenges. They encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, respect diverse perspectives, and drive the team towards achieving AI objectives.

The synergy between soft skills and technical skills is the catalyst that drives AI projects towards success. It enables AI teams to go beyond technical expertise and develop AI systems that address real-world problems effectively. By embracing a holistic approach that values both soft skills and technical skills, organizations can foster an environment where AI thrives, resulting in innovative solutions that have a positive impact on society.

Strategies for developing and nurturing soft skills are covered next.

Developing and Advancing Soft Skills in AI Teams

AI teams need soft skills to be successful. Organizations and teams should prioritize the development and advancement of these skills. Here are some strategies to enhance soft skills and foster a well-rounded AI workforce:

  • Training Programs and Workshops: Implement specialized training programs and workshops focused on enhancing soft skills. Offer courses in effective communication, leadership (including how to navigate the phases of team development), problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. These programs can provide AI professionals with the necessary tools and techniques to effectively apply soft skills in their work.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: Encourage interdisciplinary collaboration by creating opportunities for AI team members to work alongside experts from diverse fields such as psychology, design, ethics, and business. This collaboration allows for cross-pollination of ideas, encourages different perspectives, and broadens the skill set of AI teams. Foster a culture of knowledge sharing, where professionals can learn from each other and leverage their collective experiences and expertise.
  • Real-World Project Engagement: Provide AI team members with opportunities to work on (other) real-world projects, allowing them to apply their soft skills in practical scenarios. Engaging in projects that involve interaction with clients, end-users, and stakeholders helps AI team members develop effective communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.
  • Continuous Learning and Professional Development: Encourage AI team members to engage in continuous learning and professional development activities. This can include attending conferences, participating in webinars, reading industry publications, and pursuing certifications in relevant areas. Promote a growth mindset among AI team members, emphasizing the importance of lifelong learning and staying current with the latest developments in both technical and soft skills domains.
  • Mentorship and Coaching: Establish mentorship and coaching programs where experienced AI professionals guide and support individuals with less experience. Mentors can provide valuable insights, share their experiences, and offer guidance on developing skills. Regular feedback and coaching sessions help AI professionals identify areas for improvement and provide targeted development opportunities.

By implementing these strategies, organizations can cultivate a workforce that excels not only in technical skills but also in the essential soft skills required for AI success. Nurturing well-rounded AI professionals creates a collaborative and adaptive environment, where AI teams can effectively address complex challenges, drive innovation, and deliver impactful solutions.

The next section wraps up this exploration.

Conclusion

The successful development and application of AI systems rely on the synergy between soft skills and technical skills. While technical expertise forms the foundation, it's the integration of soft skills that elevates AI projects to new heights. Effective communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and leadership are among the key soft skills that enable AI teams to excel.

This article explored the significance of soft skills in AI, emphasizing their role in fostering effective teamwork, problem-solving, and innovation. It also acknowledged the indispensable role of technical skills in AI development, including programming languages, algorithms, data analysis, domain knowledge, and more.

Organizations can create well-rounded AI teams with a holistic set of abilities by embracing the power of synergy between soft skills and technical skills. AI team members with strong soft skills can effectively communicate their ideas, collaborate seamlessly, think critically, and provide leadership that empowers their teams.

To advance soft skills among AI professionals, organizations should invest in training programs, promote interdisciplinary collaboration, encourage continuous learning, and foster mentorship and coaching relationships. These efforts will help AI professionals develop the interpersonal and cognitive abilities necessary to thrive in the dynamic and collaborative AI landscape.

AI is a team sport that thrives on the confluence of soft skills and technical skills. By recognizing and embracing this synergy, organizations can unlock the full potential of AI, delivering innovative solutions that address real-world challenges and have a positive impact on the world.

Bibliography

All of the supplied links were functional when this article was published.

  • Graffius, Scott M. (2023, April 26). The Science of High-Performance Teams [Presentation]. Talk delivered at the DevOps Institute’s SKILup Day 2023 Conference. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.15888.28169. DOI link: https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.15888.28169.
  • Graffius, Scott M. (2023, January 9). Use the Phases of Team Development (Based on Bruce W. Tuckman's Model of Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning) to Help Teams Grow and Advance: 2023 Update. Available at: https://scottgraffius.com. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.10720.35846. DOI link: https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.10720.35846.
  • Graffius, Scott M. (2022, May 13). Want Happier and More Productive DevOps Teams? [Presentation]. Talk delivered at DevOpsDays Geneva, Switzerland 2022 Conference. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.22252.85127. DOI link: https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.22252.85127.
  • Graffius, Scott M. (2021, October 5). Navigate the Phases of Team Development with Speed and Agility for Happier and More Productive Teams [Presentation]. Talk delivered at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers IEEE Day 2021 Conference. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.20055.19365. DOI link: https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.20055.19365.

How to Cite This Article

Graffius, Scott M. (2023, May 1). AI is a Team Sport: A Confluence of Diverse Technical and Soft Skills are Crucial for Success. Available at:
https://scottgraffius.com/blog/files/successful-ai-teams.html. Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.13140/RG.2.2.20321.79200. DOI link: https://dx.doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.20321.79200.

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Scott M. Graffius


Scott-M-Graffius---SA---v23050207-LR

Scott M. Graffius, PMP, SA, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, ITIL, LSSGB is an agile project management practitioner, consultant, multi-award-winning author, and international keynote speaker. He is the Founder of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ and subsidiary Exceptional Agility™. He has generated over $1.9 billion of business value in aggregate for Global Fortune 500 businesses and other organizations he has served. Graffius and content from his books, talks, workshops, and more have been featured and used by businesses, professional associations, governments, and universities. Examples include Microsoft, Oracle, Broadcom, Cisco, Gartner, Project Management Institute, IEEE, Qantas, National Academy of Sciences, United States Department of Energy, New Zealand Ministry of Education, Yale University, Tufts University, and others. He has delighted audiences with dynamic and engaging talks and workshops on agile, project management, and technology leadership at 85 conferences and other events across 25 countries.

His full bio is available
here.

Connect with Scott on:


follow-scott-m-graffius-on-twitter---v22122107-1000x1000-lr---sq

black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions

scott_m_graffius_agile_scrum_v22123007_lr_1000x1000_sq

Shifting customer needs are common in today's marketplace. Businesses must be adaptive and responsive to change while delivering an exceptional customer experience to be competitive.

There are a variety of frameworks supporting the development of products and services, and most approaches fall into one of two broad categories: traditional or agile. Traditional practices such as waterfall engage sequential development, while agile involves iterative and incremental deliverables. Organizations are increasingly embracing agile to manage projects, and best meet their business needs of rapid response to change, fast delivery speed, and more.

With clear and easy to follow instructions, the multi award-winning
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions book by Scott M. Graffius (Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, Technical Editors) helps the reader:

  • Implement and use the most popular agile framework―Scrum;
  • Deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement; and
  • Support innovation and drive competitive advantage.

Hailed by Literary Titan as “the book highlights the versatility of Scrum beautifully.”

Winner of 17 first place awards.

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

About
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change

scott_m_graffius_agile_transformation_lr_1000x505

Thriving in today's marketplace frequently depends on making a transformation to become more agile. Those successful in the transition enjoy faster delivery speed and ROI, higher satisfaction, continuous improvement, and additional benefits.

Based on actual events,
Agile Transformation: A Brief Story of How an Entertainment Company Developed New Capabilities and Unlocked Business Agility to Thrive in an Era of Rapid Change provides a quick (60-90 minute) read about a successful agile transformation at a multinational entertainment and media company, told from the author's perspective as an agile coach.

The award-winning book by
Scott M. Graffius is available in paperback and ebook/Kindle in the United States and around the world. Some links by country follow.



black_spacer_lr_sq_v3

The short URL for this article is:
https://bit.ly/ai-teams





© Copyright 2023 Scott M. Graffius. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the express written permission of Scott M. Graffius.





custom - back to main page of blog