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April 2010

A Peek at Personas

PersonasPersonas get little mention in project management guidelines, yet they can energise the dullest of requirements and remind us of absent stakeholders. So I was pleased we Mike Haden suggested the topic for our next Calgary APLN meeting. Here’s the outline:

Title: "Using Persona to Move Your Project Forward"

The use of personas has received scant attention in project management literature. First utilized in the late '90s as a tool of business analysis, a persona is a detailed description of a fictional end-user including how they use and perceive the product you're delivering. However, personas can have a strong impact on projects by providing a project team with a human face to enhance otherwise abstract data about customers. From streamlining communications, to managing stake-holder expectations, to maintaining the team's alignment with the project goals, personas can engage your team and enhance your capability to move the project forward rapidly.

This presentation touches on the origins and definitions of personas, the benefits and criticisms of their use, and includes a case study of persona implementation on a complex application development effort. Focused on how personas can galvanize a project team into action, it is an engaging, interactive presentation lasting of interest to all members of systems and application development teams.

Mike Haden is an independent consultant with over 20-year's experience in Application Development, Project / Product Management, and Global Product Development. Throughout his career, he has delivered complex data analysis tools to the demanding Canadian oil and gas industry. Mike has experience in bridging the business and technical domains, balancing the communication needs of multiple stake-holders, and aligning project teams to the end-user.

While working in commercial software firms leading development teams that utilize agile project methods, Mike gained valuable experience in delivering application development projects ranging from true R&D through new commercial developments to replacements of “industry-flagship” applications. His current role at EnergyIQ is focused on a new data analysis product for the US oil and gas industry, developing business processes and technology to support distributed product development.

Mike is a Project Management Professional, a Certified ScrumMaster, and a Six Sigma Green Belt. He is presently the VP Communications for the Southern Alberta Chapter of PMI. He dreams of eventually finishing the rejuvenation of a 100-year-old house and having more time for his outdoor pursuits in the mountains near Calgary.

Date: Wednesday April 28, 2010  Noon-1:00pm

Location: Fifth Avenue Place (Conference Room) Map

Register: Attendance is free, but please register in advance to guarantee your spot.