Microsoft Solutions Framework Practitioner

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Consistently delivering high-quality technology solutions on time and on budget can be a challenge. Today’s business environment places increasing demands on technology departments. Effectively integrating project management skills with technology delivery minimizes the unwelcome surprises these demands sometimes bring. Responding to rapid change, working under increased budget constraints and meeting the expanding needs of a wide variety of stakeholders are all challenges IT professionals regularly face. Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF) provides the necessary guidance to meet these demands and challenges and has proven to be successful in delivering quality technology solutions on time and on budget. MSF directly addresses the most common causes of IT project failure, such as poor resource allocation, inaccurate forecasting and ineffective change management.

Unique in the information technology industry, the newest Microsoft endorsement, Microsoft Solutions Framework Practitioner, unites project-, risk- and team-management skills with software development and deployment knowledge, focusing on the people and process aspects of technology projects rather than on technology skills alone. As a result, MSF Practitioners know how to successfully organize people, manage risk and develop and deploy a variety of business-driven technology solutions. MSF is Microsoft’s response to the market’s need for Microsoft-focused IT project management guidelines, and the MSF Practitioner program is a vehicle for fulfilling that need.

The primary audience for the MSF Practitioner program is the IT professional responsible for planning, building and deploying Microsoft solutions. These professionals include IT and IS managers, developers, project managers, technology consultants and business analysts—as well as teams involved with software design and development, infrastructure deployment, package application installation and customization or complex projects combining these elements. All of these professionals could and should use MSF.

The endorsed MSF Practitioner is someone who can participate on a team using MSF principles for large-scale software development or infrastructure deployment projects. MSF Practitioners’ core competencies include the ability to explain how technological strategies align with business goals, to identify and evaluate project risks throughout a project life cycle and to respond proactively to change in order to maximize project success. These IT professionals can also describe the team’s plans and articulate the tasks involved in testing and piloting a solution through deployment to a production environment. The MSF Practitioner program is made up of a community of such professionals who have proven their MSF proficiency by passing the MSF Practitioner exam.

The MSF Practitioner exam (#074-100) was created through Prometric, a part of The Thomson Corp., in partnership with Microsoft. The development and test analysis of the MSF Practitioner exam included contributions from industry experts in project management and the deployment of Microsoft solutions. The MSF Practitioner exam was released in January 2003 and is available globally only through authorized Prometric testing centers.

The MSF Practitioner program was highlighted at the Microsoft TechEd conference held June 1 to 6, 2003, in Dallas, Texas. The IT professionals participating in the MSF workshop all believed that they or others like them needed further instruction in MSF principles and were excited about the availability of such a program.

IT hiring managers recognize that MSF Practitioners possess the knowledge and skills needed to lead or actively participate in a team project that uses MSF principles. When they see the MSF Practitioner title on your resume, they are confident that you are well versed in the essential requirements of today’s business environment.

Before pursuing your accreditation as a MSF Practitioner, Microsoft recommends that you attend a three-day training workshop on the essential features of MSF available through Microsoft Services and Microsoft Certified Technical Education Centers. The MSF Essentials course syllabus is available for preview at www.microsoft.com/traincert/syllabi/1846Afinal.asp. In addition, Microsoft recommends you have a minimum of six months of experience on a technology project regularly applying MSF principles to planning, building and deploying one or more technology solutions into a production environment. Visit www.microsoft.com/msf for more information and to download MSF white papers.

Registration for the MSF Practitioner exam is available online at www.prometric.com/microsoft.

Holly Dyas is the product manager for Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), Microsoft’s collection of proven practices for software development and deployment. Holly is dedicated to helping customers learn and implement the “people & process” skills essential for IT project success.

 

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