Outsource right people for projects cautiously as freelancers or third party.
When you don’t outsource right people for projects you are bound to fall in trouble.
You need to outsource right people with ample verification done for projects. One wrong member in the team can spoil the complete show. I encountered a real-life example in one of my client’s location. A new overseas project got cleared with no appropriate time left for team composition. It was not a worry point for the management as they had best of the people in the organization. The project was to deploy an existing business app at client’s location along with the customization and requirement finalization taking place there only. The project was on man-month basis. A team was formalized the next day and a project manager was assigned. Logistics like travel, hotel booking etc. was to be worked out within next 2 days. All this had to be done by the customer, therefore, a final list of the team had to be sent to them at the earliest. There were no technical writers available for this particular project and two were required to travel along the team. It was decided to outsource them within a day so that the final list could be sent to the client.
The internal team of technical writers was consulted if anyone had any reference. Two references emerged and both the persons were called the same day for an interview. Since there was no time left for verification of what they told during the interview, both were finalized. The instance followed by two things – one good, and one bad.
One of the technical writers was found far below the expectation level. In fact, the writing skills were missing totally, while the other was exemplary above expectations. Then the expected and unexpected happened as one with no skills was sent back from customer’s location. This guy was not only a pain in the neck for the team but also for the customer. The guy kept boasting about his talent and work but when the actual task was assigned the results were unacceptable. The project head had to sit and correct the documents he produced almost completely. The other guy was giving excellent results.
Two actions were taken immediately. The first guy’s contract was canceled and he was sent back. The other guy’s contract was revised as he was committed and ready to take the extra load. The management initially feared as there was no replacement. But it was found that the replacement was not required.
The key factors ensuring project success must be imbibed well.
Project teams learning faster the key factors ensuring project success, succeed well.
There are many key factors ensuring project success. These factors must be imbibed well in order to attain a consistent success rate. Project teams that focus on learning the key factors ensuring project success faster succeed well in most of their project unless crossed by an unanticipated heavy risk. Let us understand what these keywords are. The post has been written considering overseas projects as well. The factors work equally well for very tight timelines and stringent activities. Here is the list of these key factors ensuring project success:
- Leadership: Leadership has to stay in the picture throughout with a lot of action in their kitty. It will be incredible if the leadership demonstrates their skills relevant to the project so as to keep the momentum alive. Remember that expectations and delivery is a two-way road. What you expect from your people down the line must get delivered for them to survive. At the same time, they also expect the same set of competence at a broader level in you.
- Team Composition: Be clear on what you will need on the journey. Ensure every team member is competent enough to deliver. You need some people with a single critical skill, but at the same time, you need to include some multi-skilled people in the team. Remember that less skilled team members will impact heavily on you. You will be creating a large buffer to cover them up. Better to take more experts able to deliver unfailingly.
- Resources: Be it an on-shore project or off-shore, resources are critical. A cut in resources means wasting skill you are carrying with you. Here you can add as much buffer as you feel necessary.
- Setup: Small things like ambiance, seating, cleanliness, facilities need to be in place in a best possible way.
Investment in Technology Startups is happening worldwide.
There are many fundraising programs helping investment in technology startups.
If one has to learn never to give up and transform with the pace of technology, Intel is the best example. Intel has set an example for others learning investment in technology startups that will never fail. If you are an entrepreneur or an investor, this is something good for you to understand when investment in these technology startups will never fail. These projects can be taken up blindfold as they belong to the present and future with a cutting edge in the field of technology and the Digital world. These are:
- 3D Imaging: NASA has recently launched a 3D printer in space that is a great achievement.
- Automation: Self-sustained and self-controlled automation are in demand from all sectors of industry across the globe. A lot of big organizations are already spending a huge amount on research and development. Gone are the days when a form is completed and you have to press a key (enter) to submit it. This is just a small example to show what the coming generation has in mind in terms of automation. If you have not “mobility” as a must-have factor in your automation project, you are going in a wrong direction.
- Big Data: Irrespective of the size of an organization, it has to move in this direction to stay alive in the business. Awareness about the customer and other stakeholders is quite important to capture. It is not possible that everything will be said or happen in your presence. A lot happens otherwise. Social media mentions about your product or service, customer feedback, complaints, negative vibes, positive vibes, everything matters these days. If you are not vigilant about it, your competitor is definitely on the job. One negative trend, if goes viral, could impact heavily on your business. Every bit on anywhere in the cyber world that makes sense need to be captured and converted to useful information. Big data is already on the top of the charts of many organizations.
- Analytics: All your business apps and useful information collected from social media and other sources in structured or unstructured form have to be used for business analytics. The more inflow of data will produce much useful analytics for making better business decisions. If your data collection and analytics are not automated to an extent of 70%, it is a waste of time and resources. And the information will not reach at your desk in time. There is no point in wasting time on analytics if you get today’s information after three days. It has to be with you in a real-time environment.
- Communication: Communication is the real backbone of any organization. It has to happen at lightening speed. A delayed communication means left with no other option than conducting a postmortem.
Improvement in Quality of effective project managers is a never ending process.
Quality of effective project managers makes a big difference in leadership and project management.
To become an effective project manager you need to imbibe and inculcate some unique quality of effective project managers. The foremost is to build a strong team keeping in mind that every member of your team would have a lot of expectations from you. These are the expectations in terms of leadership, mentoring, coaching, training and growth. When you think of developing members of your team, start with the weakest link upward but without losing an eye over the others. This does not require declaring someone in the team as the weakest link. You will have to do it smartly. A strong team always help in keeping a healthy business intact and improving it further.
There would be two set of people in your team – dreamers and executioners. Some members would be having brilliant and executable ideas but would be lacking the depth of practical know-how to execute it. Another set of team members would be the real executioners. The former lot can be called as strategists and the latter, warriors. You need both kinds of guys in the team so that generate brilliant ideas and successfully execute them. Think of this scenario while making new recruitments and see which slot the person fits into, if qualifies. But ensure to recruit the right person. If you have an abundance of executioners, don’t take more. Rather look for the other qualities in the person. This is the quality of effective project managers.
In today’s scenario of tight budgets, high risks, shrank timelines, and least resources; build your team having capabilities of fighting with high-stress levels. We would be talking about in next few posts about some key qualities required in project managers for this purpose, and otherwise.
It is very important to identify top performers in the business.
Business and Top performers in business grow hand in hand.
Top performers are the need of every business. They are the essential pillars for the growth of the organization. It is very important to identify them. The faster they grow, the better it is for the business. It is critical to retain top performers for a longer tenure in the organization. A regular employee turnout is a different story and does not impact on business to a larger extent. But it is the exit of a top performer that could put severe dent marks on the organization. It is always better to grow performance index within the organization among the existing employees rather than hunting them outside. A business or organization that is not able to identify the people that have that zeal or fire within to excel and become top performers is like having jewels like assets but treating them like dust.
It all depends on the size of the organization. In a large sized organization, it is important to find a number of talented top performers or those who can be grown to this cadre easily. The quicker you find them, the easier it will be for the business to groom and sustain them. Give them key positions in the organization and let them have space for taking key decisions. A large organization is in trouble only if one or two top performers leave the organization at any moment of time. But in a smaller organization is it the reverse. It is difficult to find them within the organization and it is equally difficult to sustain them. They will always be highly ambitious and having a dream of serving a large organization. Even the exit of a single top performer in a smaller organization can impact to a larger extent.
An excellent habit in top performers is that they can’t tolerate dumb teams. They would expect all team members to perform in alignment to their pace so as to get quicker results.
Metrics and Key Performance Indicators in Cloud Business help you to ascertain Quality of Service.
Without metrics and KPIs in place your Cloud Business may go haywire.
While you are running cloud business, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be in place to avoid business go haywire. With these in place, you are sure to bring the quality of service (QoS) and timely delivery as per the customer expectation. It takes a lot of efforts to design right set of metrics and KPIs. But this is a one-time effort. Once these are in place, nothing can stop you to succeed in the cloud business. Definitely, you need to review and evaluate from time to time in the changing dynamics of technology and customer expectations. If you don’t keep doing it, some other vendor will cross you with a faster speed and you will be lagging behind. Two things are very important in today’s business. One, to sustain existing customers. Two, to acquire a new customer base. Both are quite difficult in this competitive environment. You need to keep a competitive edge over competitors to stay ahead in the race.
You need to create a metric-driven culture in your business. Here are the important metrics and key performance indicators that you need to keep in mind while managing cloud business:
- Customer Satisfaction: New customer acquisition and existing customer sustenance happen only when your existing customer base is satisfied to a larger extent. Every customer requires close attention. You need to build certain score sheets. These scoring sheets must focus on improving response time. Customer voice, attaining concern, processing of information, reaction to a problem reported by the customer, and finally closure of issue – all needs to be factorized on a time scale metrics. Every function in the organization needs to be a component of this metrics for evaluation purposes.
- Time to Value: The metric emphasized on the value of time and deliverables. When a problem is reported the response has to be carrying a lot of value instead of just a set of commitments. The customer always needs quick closures, deliverables as per commitment, and substantial & object based response.
- Commercials: Every new delivery and support are associated with a monetary value. The delay in deliverables or call closure might result in customer dissatisfaction. Focus on the new cloud business is as important as retaining an existing customer for a longer period. The more business you get on the cloud, the more benefits business will draw out of it.
- Employees: Give importance to people working in the organization. Build a creative mix of people so as to keep complementing and supplementing each other in mind. Better to stay away from substituting.
- Mobility: Whenever building a new solution for external or internal customers, keep mobility in mind.
Cloud Strategy can be directly linked to revenue.
Purchase and deployment are not two separate processes in Cloud Strategy.
The pace at which people were moving to cloud few years back has increased tremendously. Cloud strategy is on the platter of almost every organization in the world. It is happening for all kind of organizations. In fact, the startups are more inclined to adopt cloud since the beginning. Issues like security, privacy and integrity have vanished. A right level of confidence has been provided by cloud service providers. The organizations dared to move faster to the cloud are in much beneficial position as compared to those still thinking about it. Cloud Strategy can be directly linked to revenue. Buying and deploying are not two separate processes when we talk of the cloud. There used to be a two-phased process in case of perpetual license world. The first step was to buy the solution, the second step was to deploy it. In the case of the cloud, these two phases are inseparable. The faster results help in gaining more customers.
For a cloud vendor, every solution has to be customer-centric. When you decide to move from on-premise to cloud, you need to build certain metrics to measure the success of transformation. The metrics must talk very clearly about phase wise movement. Each phase has to be clearly defined. The timelines for each phase has to be strictly adhered to. There would be quite a few powerful but invisible pressures like mindset change. This can be reduced to a larger extent by increasing employee engagement. The higher is the engagement, the lower will be resistance. Bind engagement with responsibilities and some kind of accountability. Transformation of any kind is never a straight path. It always demands a number of changes in the system. And changes always bring pain and resistance.
Overall if you are clear about your cloud strategy with a clear vision and an overall willingness of all team members, it becomes easier to execute and get quick results.
Most of the businesses prefer to go for Cloud computing today.
If you don’t make your software purchases today that are cloud-based, you are not thinking of cloud computing.
The world is moving to cloud computing. When you think of moving to cloud computing, you need to have a firm strategy in place. Whatever software purchases you are making today, if those are not cloud-based software, you probably are leading to a weak base in technology in your organization. There are humungous pressures mounting on the technology for cost and resource optimization.This is one thing that can help you in achieving a major chunk of your targets. Whatever software you plan to purchase or are building in-house, ensure those to be cloud-based. If you do that, you are getting yourself prepared well for your tomorrow.
When you choose a cloud service provider few things are to be kept in mind that are as follows:
- Check the active customers on their cloud portfolio.
- Get their customer’s feedback about their services.
- Check their response level to the customer’s requests.
- Check the user interface they provide.
- The interface has to be flexible to cater to your needs.
- The interface has also to be able to provide you a high level of intuitive user experience.
While deciding your cloud computing strategies, don’t overlook the service provider. You jointly need to define your roadmap for the pace of transformation. There has to be a clear-cut timeline for cloud adoption for which you need to move from licensed on-premise apps and software. Never impose or force this migration as per your vendor’s demand. Definitely, there will be a lot of resistance from various ends for initiation of this transition. From licensed and on-premise apps and software transition to the cloud-based system is always a winning proposition. The transition will help you in cutting down deployment, space, maintenance, management, licensing, and many other costs. The Cloud computing strategy has to cross this first barrier swiftly.
Myntra work culture has been able to attract people from global companies of repute.
Myntra work culture works on some unique concepts. Myntra is a fashion lifestyle online portal. It is an e-commerce fashion lifestyle company. Myntra work culture has been able to attract people from global companies of repute. It is headquartered in Bangalore, India. It was launched in 2007 and started as a personalized gift items company initially. But soon it got focused on branded apparel online portal by the year 2010. Myntra has emerged as a unique and innovative portal. It went app-only for some time. But there are waves around that it will again launch its web-based app back in action so as to attract the web and mobile users.
Let us look at the mantras of Myntra’s work culture that has evolved this brand as a most admired brand by its employees. It works on open communication model. There is no one-on-one communication. Communication is very transparent here. All employees are equal stakeholders in decision making. A thread in the running communication can be added by anyone. There are real-time discussions. These discussions are open to every employee in the organization. In fact, any discussion can be initiated from any level. There are no restrictions. For instance, a neighbor of an employee made a purchase through Myntra app. The delivery got delayed. The neighbor reported this delay verbally to the Myntra employee living next door. The employee can immediately start a discussion on the corporate portal depicting the same. And then the relevant stakeholders from any department having any position can chip in. The customer is prime here.
A design-bot Artie is a complete solution provider with no manual intervention. A customer can use this module to get its dress ready as suggested by Artie. It is quite successful. High preference is given to automation. Some of the automated features are auto-pricer, auto-buyer, auto-designer and so on. Fashion incubator is another remarkable concept adopted by Myntra.
Gone are the times when the business requirement was finalized in the first phase of a project.
The requirement now evolves during the product development.
Gone are the times when the business requirement was finalized in the first phase of a project. The business requirement now evolves during the product development. The earlier project management phases have gone obsolete in terms of freezing the requirements right in the beginning. The requirements evolve as the project progresses. It is no more the ball game limited to project initiation phase. The current phenomenon is to run a project in smaller slots. Build your timelines accordingly. Adhere to timelines and conduct daily or maybe hourly backlog status update meeting. Backlogs are now not entertained in a good way. Backlogs, when created, have to be addressed in a shorter life span. The longer life span of a backlog could have an overall negative impact on the project’s growth.
The definition of the project manager is also changing. A project manager has to be stronger in product knowledge. Merely a strength in project management with insufficient knowledge of the product or service will not suffice the purpose. That is where the product managers are replacing project managers in a big way, on a global scale. Disruptions in business, economy and customer behavior are the major keyholders in any product development. That is why business or product requirement is bound to change as the project progresses. You can’t rely on a single sign-off from your customer at the end of a project for project closure. There have to be multiple sign-offs.
Capture requirements in smaller chunks. Build those chunks and handover to the customer for testing once internal processes of development and testing are done. Get customer sign-off for each chunk built. Each build successfully signed-off will create a better success story leading to a timely closure of the project.
It is the time for a Product Manager to replace a project manager.
It is the time for a product manager to replace a project manager. The team sizes are shrinking. There is a demand for higher productivity from each team member. A project manager with strong project management capabilities but lesser product knowledge will be obsolete soon. It is already happening in many organizations across the globe. On the other hand, a project manager with superb product insights and lesser project management capabilities will have a higher preference than a project manager. The disruption has already begun. It is important for a project manager to equip with ample product knowledge to survive. Else, soon project managers will start vanishing. The slot will be replaced with a manager having higher product knowledge.
In today’s dynamics speed, accuracy, budgets and timelines matter most. There is a paradigm shift happening in major organizations. Teams are getting stronger. Processes are getting enhanced. Automation is the key of the businesses today. In such circumstances requirement of a strong project manager is not that important. More important is to have a driver who has better product knowledge. When I say product replace it is service if you are a service-centric organization. The said phenomenon stays true for both. Whether it is product or service, the person with in-depth knowledge will be the driving force of any project in the organization.
Teams working on a project are well equipped with the project management tools. Project plans are concrete. Teams working on the project work on a daily task basis. They update the centralized portal with the individual plan, tasks completed, tasks not done and the reasons for the backlog. Backlogs are getting smaller in size. The highest amount of energies is put in finishing tasks in time. In such a scenario it is the crisp product (or service) insights that will be required by any team member working on a project. Hence, a product manager will fit the bill better than a project manager.
Digital Enterprise roadmap is to be measured correctly to check your progress.
Do you know the constituents of a digital enterprise? When do you call an enterprise digital? What are the criteria to measure its progress towards going digital? How to measure the loss for not going digital? How to measure opportunities lost because of competitors running ahead in the digital race? Have you ever done an impact analysis? These are some of the important questions that any enterprise must introspect. If you find no concrete answers to any of the above then you are existing in your own dream world. In this rapidly changing dynamics, there has to be a mirror to see where we stand and how we appear to others. What if you are investing in your organization but in a wasteful manner? To draw out a right path towards becoming a digital enterprise you need to check the following pointers in your organization.
- Culture: If you have not built a culture you have not taken the first step. There has to be a digital mindset of each and every employee of the organization towards product and service you offer. Speed and transparency are the two factors that you must focus upon.
- Data: If you are not capturing all relevant data, it is a suicide. If you are capturing and are not measuring anything out of it, it is a double suicide. It is important to measure everything. You have to have right data models to predict your tomorrow. Review your data and act speedily to set it according to your goals and vision. Automate as much as possible. If any of your employees is doing what a machine can do, it is a wastage of man and machine both.
- Platform: Your service and product must be fully catered by the platform you build. It can’t be partial.
Digital economy has the power to build a digital enterprise.
Digital Economy is an economy in which the business thrives on digital computing technologies. There is a difference between digital and internet economy. Although former might be drawn as a subset of internet economy or web economy. The world is moving towards the digital. The businesses that still don’t believe in the power of digital have started facing problems. It has the power to build a digital enterprise. Sooner or later every business has to become a digital enterprise. No matter what is the size of your organization, what kind of business you are into, or who your customers are. You have to jump into the ocean sooner or later. The sooner the better.
Here are 3 milestones of your important journey towards a digital enterprise.
- Customer Digital: Your customer has to be a part of your journey. If he is not a part of your journey, your will never be able to achieve your targets. You have to carry common goals. A parallel plan is always better. There is no need to go in a sequential manner in this case. Let your enterprise and your customer go hand in hand towards your goals of a digital enterprise. Let your customer be understood well to do all business transactions in a digital way.
- Communication Digital: This means that you have to equip your customer to communicate with you as and when he requires. With digital transformation, there can’t be limited hours, limited days for your customer to communicate with you. It has to be online, 24×7 and non-disruptive.
- Automation: Automation is the key achieving your dream of becoming a digital enterprise. Go for an automation to such an extent that it becomes your business decision-making power. If that does not happen, all your energies and efforts can go waste.
Here are the digital trends 2016 and beyond – to watch.
Every item discussed below in the digital trends has brought a disruption to the technology and market. But then every threat opens up many opportunities. The same has happened in this case. Here are the digital trends to watch in 2016 and beyond.
- Mobile Internet: The desktop and laptop internet is left behind the mobile internet. Users want flexibility and freedom. They want to access the internet on the move. In this disruptive environment, the user wants to access the internet without any disruption. The young generation is the highest proportion of internet users on a global spectrum. Smartphones, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and lowering data roaming charges are the factors helping the promotion of mobile internet.
- IoT: Internet of Things (IoT) will stay on the top agenda in next decade. Every day a large number of devices are getting connected. The new devices and gadgets are coming with their unique identity. IPV6 has to come in any case in a big way. Your home devices like the washing machine, smartphones, smart television, plasmas, tablets, laptops, desktops, refrigerators, cooking devices, are just a few to mention that will be part of your IoT ecosystem. Basically, each and every device that you want to manage and control remotely will get connected.
- 3D Printing: We are not far from the day when every home and office will have a 3D printer. In case you require a spare for your laptop, you will not be placing an order on the internet to get the component to your doorstep through courier after waiting for a few days. It will be a matter of few seconds or minutes to get it through your 3D Printer.
- Bluetooth Beacons: Bluetooth beacons would be replacing RFID in a big way wherever it is used for tracking purposes.
A group of researchers at Queen’s University, Canada, have developed a fully flexible smartphone.
ReFlex flexible smartphone has been developed by a group of researchers at Queen’s University. These scientists are part of a specific wing of the university known as Human Media Lab. Canada has become the first country to innovate and develop a fully operative flexible smartphone. This is a big disruption in the global smartphone market. It will be a complete paradigm shift in the technology, experience and the way we use smartphones. IT will bring a different kind of experience in e-reading and gaming. The experience will be something like real-life. Technology is closing the gap between experience and reality.
When ReFlex flexible smartphone is bent on the left or right it will give a different kind of experience. If you bend it right while reading an e-book on your flexible smartphone, you will experience flipping of pages. The more bend will produce faster flipping. Your hand will experience the flipping as if holding a real physical book. Your ears will experience the sound of flipping. That is the beauty of this flexible smartphone. It will give you sensation, a real-life feeling, and experience. When these pages flip, the phone actually creates vibrations that cause this wonderful experience. The extent of the bend will decide the speed of vibration.
The eye-free navigation will let you bookmark your desired page while reading an e-book on your flexible smartphone. Keeping a track of your progress while reading an e-book will be much easier and interesting. This innovation will bring a big leap in smartphone technology. Now you can imagine a folding smartphone, a virtual smartphone, something working on the cognitive technology. The device will be in production soon and its launch is not too far from reality. The prototype was launched recently on February 17 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Get ready to buy your first flexible smartphone.
Software Testing Economics is facing a major threat – Disruptions.
Software Testing Economics is facing a major threat called disruptions. Disruptive models of business and commerce put together have put its impact on every stakeholder of the business. The whole ecosystem has got disturbed. Many startups have emerged as a winner and many established businesses have to shut down. This game of disruptions is a global phenomenon. It is a pain for some established game players while it emerged as a profit for some newcomers in the market. What makes or breaks in software testing economics ecosystem that is facing a challenge of disruptions. The disruptive forces are demanding change. Change needs flexibility. Flexibility comes from refined processes. Refined processes come with maturity. Maturity comes with age and experience. Experience goes waste if it is not encashed against profits.
A recent example of coping up with disruptive business and commerce conditions is AirBnB and Uber. Both the business leaders disclosed their secrets in TED 2016 Talk. On the same lines when we talk of software testing Economics disruptions, there are a number of pointers that can be transformed to advantageous if handled well. First and foremost would be to share the economies. A common pool of diversified skilled testers can play a role in this. If your pool has testers having varied skillsets, you can control the number of testers in the organization. Similarly, if you have talent that can be utilized in development as well as testing without compromising with either, it can not only boost your productivity but also help in the manpower count game.
If you are a group of companies, consolidating isolated testing team to centralized one can also help you in this regard. You can play well during the disruptive Software Testing Economics. Removing barriers to fixed timing and on-location testing are another areas you can look into. Automation is another area to introspect.
Application Security is a major concern inviting a series of multichannel risks.
Application security is a major concern that needs to be addressed in a systematic and disciplined manner. There has to be a defined process to do so. It can never be done on an ad-hoc basis. With increasing trends of enterprise mobility and web-based solutions, application security has become a critical matter for the product, quality and operations. Application security is, in fact, a major concern that can open multiple doors for a chain of risks. That is why it becomes more important to focus on the issue. The process and procedure might be same for web and mobile based applications on a broader scale. But at the micro level, there would be a number of specific pointers to add for each category separately.
When there is a leakage found in any application, the first place to question is not production or development but testing. It is the prime responsibility of quality and testing department to ensure no leakages. In fact, if this leakage is related to security, it might head to a severe action. These days, there have to be security experts in quality department for building specific test cases, test bed, testing environment and use cases in order to ensure a foolproof testing mechanism. There is always a need of this. A saying is quite popular in this regard. It says the more postmortems required to be done indicate a poor shield of quality. It increases your losses to manifold if the hole in the bucket is found at a later stage. The higher is the loss, the later it is identified.
You must follow the following three levels of security testing for apps:
- Pure Blackbox: Here you test the outside and visible environment created by the app. You need to test, for instance, user types – end users, administrators, super users and so on.)
- Greybox: You test inside the app but not the coding part. You need to test the logics, logical flow, business cases etc.
- Static Whitebox: Scan your run code to ensure there are no security lapses or breaches.
- Dynamic Whitebox: Scan your run code through traversal. You need to check for I/O errors, memory related errors, data handling errors, storage related errors and so on.
It is critical to discover application risks during its incubation and development period. Depending on the web or mobile app you may have to work out a right combination or proportion of the above testing to match your requirements.
Bill Gates has recommended Terror Data Debate to resolve Government’s requests for data.
Bill Gates has strongly vouched for a need of terror data debate in order to resolve government’s requests for data once for all. The outcomes of terror data debate will help in drafting guidelines for the same. Once the guidelines are there in place, no business would be able to do away with it. Everyone will have to follow those guidelines. Then be it Apple or some other organization, they will have to provide the data required by FBI. The above comment from Bill Gates came in the wake of the recent controversy between FBI and Apple. The FBI is seeking backdoor data of a terrorist from Apple but there is a lot of resistance coming from Apple in this regard. Apple, in fact, refused to provide the relevant data as required by the FBI. There is definitely a strong need for setting these norms so that whenever there are terror data requests coming from the government, it must be there on the table.
Nothing should go beyond the law. If there is a requirement to help law in resolving a case, it should be adhered to. In this case of Appel where the government is seeking data of a particular person, the requirement seems to be quite specific and genuine. Logically, Apple is doing wrong by not providing this information to the government. Whatever is the reason for not providing this data, is Apple not going against helping law. Is Apple trying to convince its customers of being more loyal towards them? I think this is not the right logic. In fact, if that is the case, Apple is promoting and helping people who work against humanity and law. If FBI wants to access of a dead murderer’s phone from Apple, it is for the sake of resolving the case.
The ongoing tussle between Apple and FBI has reached to the doors of the court. A quicker direction or guidance to Apple to favor FBI would be good. It will be a clear signal to ensure that whenever there is a need of providing terror data to governing agencies, it has to be done without delay.
Made in Space is a start-up funded by NASA for innovations like 3D Space Printer
3D Space Printer is a reality. The fully functional prototype was launched last week by NASA and Made in Space, a start-up engaged in innovation. This start-up is funded by NASA. The unveiling of this printer has signalled the beginning of a new era in innovative and revolutionary technologies. It is a major breakthrough in technology. If we look in the earth-space arena, the launch of 3D space printer indicated a significant move towards technological advancement. The great factor is that it will save a huge cost in the coming time. Besides cost, the technology is bound to bring a phenomenal contribution to space-related requirements.
It will be saving a phenomenal cost of sending spare parts for the astronauts on the ISS (International Space Station). The best possible option would have been to get the things there without any burden of transportation and other logistics costs. That has become a reality now. It will be happening in a true sense from March 23 onwards. This is the date when a real working production 3D space printer will be deployed on the ISS. The things will be created, generated and developed in space. There will be no dependency on Earth. This the best example of benefits of disruptive technology. It will definitely lead to a number of chain innovations. Last week NASA and Made in Space announced the launch of 3D Space Printer’s launch. The announcement was released from NASA’s research park in Silicon Valley.
As of now there are six international crew members residing on the International Space Station. The prototype shared with the crew members was enough to generate a high amount of excitement. When they get the actual 3D Space Printer delivered on the ISS, it will be like a mini-factory. They will be able to produce anything required there. It will just need a digital delivery of the object in question.
Digital Technology and Social Media presence bring a lot of transparency and trust.
Indian government’s union rail budget 2016 was presented using digital technology and Twitter.
The current Indian Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is quite active on social media using digital technology compared to its predecessors. Digital Technology and social media presence bring a lot of transparency and trust. Indian government’s union rail budget 2016 was presented by the Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. He used Periscope in the morning breakfast pre-budget session with people. It is phenomenal to see the current set of ministers of union cabinet are quite technology savvy and love to connect with people. And when it is the real-time connection, it builds a strong bonding, it becomes quite interactive and creates trust. When it is real-time interaction, you are not in a TV mode that only one person will talk and rest will be just a set of dumb audience. Here you interact and respond. That creates a strong bonding. All this is helpful in building transparency. And this is a normal principle of life – higher is the transparency, higher goes the trust.
During his union budget 2016 delivery, Suresh Prabhu used digital technology to its maximum extent. The updates were getting posted on Twitter in real-time. Nothing of this sort has happened in the past governments tenure. It seems Narendra Modi’s predecessors were either dumb in technology or they never wanted to be transparent. The gesture talks a lot about government’s collaboration with the public. The government debates and deliveries should not be limited only in the parliament. Let it go on a global forum with the power of digital technology and social media. There were more than 100 Twitter screens deployed at the New Delhi Railway Station for people to witness the broadcast in a real-time environment. Everyone was connected whether at home, office or on the move.
Quality as per Peter Drucker is to have a focused approach.
Quality has different angles from different perspectives as per Peter Drucker.
It does not matter whether it is a product or service, the quality as per Peter Drucker has to be a top most agenda.
Quality as per Peter Drucker puts more emphasis on what customer requires than what you deliver. Quality has different perspectives from different angles. The quote in his own words goes like this:
“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” ~Peter Drucker
What it means is that whatever best efforts you do as a chef in preparing a pudding, it is the customer who has to say “wow”. Generally, the project team keeps emphasizing on the amount of efforts done in a project. The development and delivery process is usually quite painful. It does not matter really what you have added in the pudding or what process you have adopted. At the end of the day, it is the customer who has to confirm the right delivery.
It is very important to understand when the customer is not happy with the delivery. When I say delivery, it means a service or a product. The gap analysis is critical at this juncture. Customer must be clear on what was asked and what has been delivered. Similarly, the project manager has to be dead sure about the both. If there is a gap between what was asked and what has been delivered, it definitely is a killer. Someone has to own the responsibility. But more critical is if this gap is highlighted by the customer post you delivered. It means a lack of monitoring and controlling at project end. It is not at all a permissible situation in project management.
Now do a university project management course from University of Adelaide for free.
The University of Adelaide is launching an online course on project management.
Online and free project management course from University of Adelaide is in association with edX US.
Now you can do an online project management course from the University of Adelaide for free. The online course is about to be launched quite soon. This is in association with edX US. The massive open online course (MOOC) on project management will be a six-week course. This course will include an introduction to project management. The Project Management Course is starting February 17. The main focus of this course is for enthusiasts who are not conversant with formal knowledge on the subject. The course is online. It can be managed at work or home depending on the individual.
The course will intend to guide on the practical ways of exploring and understanding your goals on the basis of your project. It will also emphasize on all the internal and external factors that affect the execution of a project. It will be a step by step learning of planning, scoping, scheduling, costing and managing your project right from end to end. We all know the tangible and intangible intricacies of project management. Every project has a number of dependencies. The dependencies include people, infrastructure, resources, finances. People who are in the core team are mainly responsible for timely deliveries. The course will enable you to in mastering the basic necessities of project management. It includes communication management, people management, resource management, finance management and task management. It will focus on inculcating leadership qualities that are required in a project manager to ensure successful closure.
The course will demand at least 3 hours a week of study. A verified certificate can be obtained for a nominal amount of $50 after successful completion of your project management course.
When you are creating a world-class product, product effectiveness is of primary focus.
Increasing product effectiveness increases your customer base globally.
Technical advancements can help you in enhancing product effectiveness.
Product effectiveness is of primary focus at Zhik. It has to stay ahead of the competition. Being a top global company their products have to beat others in terms of quality and performance. Zhik knows that well. They understand that if the customer base has to be sustained and increased on a regular basis, their products have to be beyond customer’s expectations. There is a regular focus in the organization on technology and quality. There have been a number of considerable technical advancements that have increased their global footprint and reputation. It proves that the product effectiveness helps you in achieving all this. Overall, there have been tremendous advancements in the world of the apparel industry.
most significant among those is the transformation from the use of conventional constituents. For instance, rubber that used to be inflexible and thick has undergone many technical advancements. Zhik is now able to change rubber’s molecular structure. This has enabled them in altering the overall characteristics of the material. It has been customized as per the business needs. Technology has enabled them in creating new and complex designs. This creates a big impact on the finish of the product. The new product line of rubber products is features rich. The rubber shoe soles from Zhik are the best example of this. New technologies and enhanced materials impact a lot in product effectiveness. Getting into details helps them in developing state of the art new products. It has helped them in manufacturing sailor’s apparels and gadgets that help sailors be faster and lighter. It helps their sailors to win in any kind of competition. The focus to increase a sailor’s grip, manoeuvrability and speed helped them in coming out with these designs.
For a new product launch, ample consideration is given to the testing phase. Before hitting the market the new product has to undergo all prescribed testing phases and conditions. As far as quality is concerned the priority stays on constantly pushing the boundaries. Trying new things is not prohibited in the organization. But they have to make sure they work. Their standard for both durability and performance are pretty high. What that means is that they have to pay attention to every minuscule testing and detail more. It is a regular practice there. There are several rounds of prototyping and testing.
Success of new Federal security clearance Program depend on Role of IT and leadership.
New Federal Security Clearance Program implementation success lies on right IT systems.
Administration begins implementation of its New Federal Security Clearance Program.
The success of new federal security clearance program purely depends on the role of IT, IT Systems and Leadership. The implementation of the program has started by the administration. Former executives have an opinion that the success will depend on the Defense leadership abilities to create and upkeep the integrated IT systems. It is easier to manage people. The building of right kind of cybersecurity systems is the call of the hour. The complete spectrum of the scope of the project has to be very clear to build the right kind of IT and cyber security systems.
There are multiple agencies involved in the process. These are National Background Investigations Bureau, Federal Investigative Service (FIS), Defense department (DoD), Defense Information Systems Agency, and certain sub-agencies. There will be a lot of reorganization and reorientation so as to build a strong team across the board. There will be a deep rethinking and brainstorming on the existing legacy systems. Whether few or none of these systems will be in use in the new federal security clearance program is a point of concern. A new agency is being created – the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB). The NBIB will be empowered with a set of responsibilities that are currently taken care by the FIS. The design, development, security and operations of the IT and cybersecurity systems for NBIB will be taken care by DoD. This is because DoD is having a large experience in design, development and security of IT systems. The expertise in the integration of large sized systems will be handy.
It is going to be an acid test for the IT systems operations team to ensure a smooth transition.
HPE SoreEver LTO Ultrium Tape Drive – Will it be able to take HP to number one slot?
Within a short span, HP Enterprise has taken the second position in backup solutions. HPE StoreEver is the latest entrant.
HPE StoreEver LTO Ultrium tape drive now stores up to 15 TB of compressed data per cartridge.
HPE StoreEver LTO Ultrium 15000 external tape drive is the seventh generation product from HP. It is for LTO7 with a capacity of 15 TB. The uncompressed or raw data capacity is 6.5 TB. Per cartridge capacity of 15 TB is good enough to cater to needs of most of the businesses. When the capacity per tape increases, your manageability increases, and physical secure tape storage space requirement decreases. The solution that comes along with HPE (HP Enterprise) TapeAssure ensures manageability, safety, and hardware data encryption. HPE StoreOpen with LTFS provides ease of use and high-speed performance. When we talk of the safety of data we mean operational performance, the life of stored information, health or quality of information and safety of drive and media. HPE StoreEver that way is an ultimate solution for business.
To govern secured access of tape cartridges, there is a feature of data hardware encryption using AES 256-bit. This ensures and easy to deploy security and protection for your sensitive data. LTFS (Linear Tape File System), being an open format to store data on tape, ensures LTO5 onwards having the technology of file-based and self-describing tapes. The data transfer rate goes up to 300 MB/sec in its native form. The performance is further enhanced by data rate matching from HPE. It matches host system speed automatically to ensure optimized streaming thereby ensuring the high-speed performance of tape. Overall, with such an oustanding capacity and fabulous performance, it is perfect solution. HPE StoreEver LTO Ultrium Tape drive’s monitoring mechanism, hardware encryption and LTFS features are truly powerful enough to make it an ultimate choice.
The LTO journey started with LOT-1 with a capacity of 100GB. LTO7 is the latest entrant.
LTO7 promises to simplify data protection for growing business.
The single tape capacity of LTO7 is 15TB in compressed mode.
LTO journey started with LTO-1 in the year 2000 and had a raw data capacity of 100 GB. LTO7 has been recently released in December last year. It has a raw data capacity of 6 Terabytes (TB) and compressed data capacity is 15 TB. It promises to simplify data protection for growing business. The single tape capacity of 15 TB is phenomenally large. But still the storage hungry industry will be demanding higher than this. The roadmap for next three releases is already chalked out by HP. LTO8 with 32 TB capacity, LTO9 with 67.5 TB capacity and LTO10 with 120 TB capacity are due in 2017, 2019 and 2021 respectively. There has always been a debate which is a better backup media – tape or disk? The capacities stated in the roadmap are that of uncompressed raw data. The compressed data capacity would be almost double. Since LTO (Linear Tape Open) is a magnetic device it has certain challenges.
Some of the challenges are day to day backup, media management, backup policy, audits, restoration testing, and data security is some of the challenges. These challenges are seeking a foolproof solution. There has to be an automated alert process mechanism. This mechanism must ensure the adherence. The process of LTO7 includes Chunking of data, hashing, slicing, and matching. The data is then sorted and saved. And then it goes for I/O write. Deduplication (or Dedupe) is the key factor for reduction in time. It also enhances storage capacity. The other key factors are HP Data Protector, HP Store Once, and HP Media Server. These comprise of LTO7 solution for simplifying data protection for growing business. We shall be discussing them in detail in upcoming posts.
ngage is a second generation messaging app
ngage is a new generation messaging app that has broken all platform barriers
ngage is world’s first messaging app with such feature
The information and communication technology is advancing at a faster pace. There are many revolutionary products and services that are getting introduced in the market on a global scale. ngage is one such revolution in the field of instant messaging. There are a plenty of messaging apps already launched in the market. A lot more are getting launched on a regular basis. The quest for the best still exists. The basic purpose of any instant messaging is to facilitate people to remove the shortfalls of communication. ngage is something far beyond anybody’s expectations. It is the world’s first ever 360-degree lifestyle messaging and chat app. It is powerful because the users can message each other irrespective of what messaging app they are using.
The app barriers are thus crossed and it works all across the globe. The CEO & Founder of ngage, Ajit Patel is an innovator. He strongly felt the need of such kind of an instant messaging app during the phase of his life when he was facing some health issues. He observed a complete lacking of any app or media for people to connect to discuss health related issues. Lack of any such media or app in the market prompted Patel to think seriously in this direction. That is how ngage was conceptualized and a broad level framework was designed.
There have been many instant messaging apps that have been launched across the globe. For every such app, you need to download the app from relevant app store and install it. With a recent launch of n-gage, these platform barriers are no more a problem. This is the first consolidated messaging app that works across multiple platforms. Usually, two persons have to install the same app to communicate, message or video chat. Mostly it becomes a point of confusion to choose from so many chat apps available in the market.
Apache Hadoop platform is quite versatile for the business world.
Apache Hadoop software platform for the purpose of business analytics is gaining momentum for last few years. Hadoop is among the frontrunners in handling very high volume data. Big Data analytics and Hadoop have become synonyms. Hadoop has proven its mettle when it comes to the requirement of using a large amount of the diverse business data. This data could drive from various internal and external stakeholders and associates. It could be customers, employees, contractors, social networks, social media and so on. In the case of most of the businesses, this data is not being taken care of in a structured manner. That is where the need is arising. IT managers need to take a call to move to Hadoop. Before you arrive at a conclusion, it is important to understand the value behind it.
- When we talk of Big Data, Hadoop is a promising platform to manage huge data volumes.
- It can manage data storage and real-time large volume processing with equal ease.
- It is highly scalable in distributed storage and processing.
- It is equally efficient and scalable for developing data-focused apps.
- It is important to be clear about the business case to assess readiness to move to Hadoop.
- Hadoop is strongly cost effective when the requirement is to capture, store and process unstructured data.
- It is well suited for Big Data and IoT (Internet of Things).
- It is always good to start with small. Run a pilot successfully to show its power to the management.
- Businesses planning or have already invested in Big Data must taste the beauty of Hadoop to understand its value.
- Companies that decided to move to Hadoop realized a substantial saving in the capital and operational expenses.
An additional point to highlight is the flexibility feature of Hadoop. It can talk back and forth with your legacy data with an ease.
Has Microsoft failed in software quality in case of Windows 10? Did Microsoft miss something?
Recently I shared my experience about a flaw in Windows 10 here. I started facing a deadlock condition while working on my laptop. This started happening since I moved from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. The error was DPC Watchdog Violation. A quick research revealed it is due to some specific factors. If you are using a not very recent laptop or notebook, you are prone to be the victim. The culprit is the driver of your Synaptics TouchPad. It seems the driver starts misbehaving while you are using the TouchPad. This hangs the system and there is a forced restart. There is nothing that a user can do as the system hangs totally. None of the keys work during this.
It means there is an exception handling not managed properly. The moment those conditions are encountered by the system, it goes into a deadlock condition. The origin of this flaw getting leaked lies in the testing. This was not part of the test cases. That is the first blunder. If it was, the testing has not been done appropriately. That is the second blunder. Such things happening at Microsoft end seem weird. But then the indicator reveals something serious was skipped during the development and testing phase. Obviously, it is not Chevrolet that can recall its cars from the market once a defect is revealed. Microsoft can’t rollback. Only quick action required is a fix.
How many people worldwide would be using Windows 10? A rough estimate is around 200 million. A considerable number would be facing this issue. A large number of those suffering would not be knowing the exact reason. Microsoft needs to learn a lesson from this. At least, in their future releases such mistakes should not repeat.
Manager 2016: If you introspect well, you win.
This is the concluding part of Manager 2016 3-post series. The earlier posts can be accessed easily. Click here for part-I. Part II of the post can be accessed by clicking here. The intent of this series is to help managers to introspect and analyze. For each trait, a manager must be clear about his strengths and weaknesses.
- 11. Perfectionist:
A manager has to be tough on self and team members. He should not overlook defect in anyone or anything. You must never compromise with the quality. The three factors to keep in mind for all deliverables are quality, cost and time. The message has to go out very clearly. All team members must adhere to it aesthetically.
- 12. Over-Analyzer:
A manager should use the complexity of analysis and deep thinking. This helps in avoiding confronting conflicts.
- 13. Workaholic:
A manager must love hard work.
- 14. Controlling:
A manager has to be flexible. He must not defend opinions without feedback. He must be able to analyze flawed thinking.
- 15. Empathetic:
A manager must think of
empathetic ways of communicating the important information he has to convey. He has to be a professional with well-meaning and well-thought out advice.
- 16. Finances:
A manager must be an organized spender. Financial health is very important for a team.
- 17. Tactful:
A manager must have an ability to communicate thoughts diplomatically. He must be considerate for other’s emotions.
- 18. Headstrong:
A manager has to be careful in his feelings and behavior. He should not be harsh when feeling hurt or attacked.
- 19. Detached:
A manager must avoid deep emotions in professional relationship.
- 20. Impatient:
Be impatient when it comes to slow progress or stagnation.
These are the important traits of Manager 2016 to watch.
Manager 2016 is about introspection and development.
In the previous post, we discussed prominent traits to watch in a manager. This will equip him well to become Manager 2016. We continue from the previos post. If you have not read that post, click here.
- 5. Verbose:
A manager must be good in writing skills. He must be a good speaker. He must be convincing in all kind of
communication skills. He must be able to convey any kind of complex thoughts in an easily understandable language.
- 6. Creative:
A manager needs to be highly artistic and creative. He must possess strong visual talents. He must be good at infusing emotion in creative works.
- 7. Cheerful:
A manager must be cheerful. He must not shy away from the public. He must not be merely a listener in a meeting. He should love to laugh, and make jokes. He should have a catalyst in creating good-time. He must bring the lighthearted attitude to any kind of serious atmosphere. He must be an amplifier in putting others at ease.
- 8. Confidence:
A manager must strongly believe in self. This belief needs to be positive. His self-belief must be a guiding factor in the understanding of obstacles, additional learning and proper preparation.
- 9. Leader:
A manager must be a leader in the true sense. Natural leadership ability always creates expectations. He must lead at all times. He must not lose his control even if he is uncomfortable in the background.
- 10. Independent:
This is a very important trait for a manager. A manager must know how to satisfy professional aspirations. He must be able to bend down his personal aspirations to meet the professional needs of his teammates.
We would continue talking about Manager 2016 in our next post too. That will be the concluding post on the title. The concluding part can be accessed by clicking here.
Manager 2016: A Manager is the king of his kingdom.
There are many functions working on a project. These departments or functions are integral parts of a project. Each function is important. Each function is headed by a manager. The manager of each function is supposed to manage and drive that function. The traits of each function manager are very important to analyze. This analysis helps in anticipating the overall
success of a project. Manager 2016 is aimed to look at these traits and their importance.
I am listing down 20 traits important for function heads. The project manager also needs to assess these traits for his own style of functioning. He also needs to have a regular watch on the traits of his function managers. Let us look at these traits for Manager 2016 below. Each manager must assess on these traits. Here are the traits:
- 1. Active:
A manager needs to be always in an active mode. He has to be highly energetic. He must be welcoming new adventures. He must be open for exploring new experiences.
- 2. Versatile:
A manager must learn quickly. He must carry many eclectic talents. He must be able to learn any skill. He must be superbly good at his skills.
- 3. Salesmanship:
A manager represents his team. He also represents their performance. He is the sole person responsible for the performance of his function. A salesman is a person who sells a refrigerator to an Eskimo. He must use persuasive talents to the benefit of team’s performance, own career and projects.
- 4. Motivating:
A manager has to be strongly enthusiastic even in adversity. He must be capable of infecting others with optimism. He must use enthusiasm as a top strategy for persuading others.
We would continue talking about Manager 2016 in the next post.
Happy New Year
I wish all my readers a Happy New Year.
Change Management leads to transformation.
Change is inevitable. Change is the only constant. Change demands change. Change is always welcomed with resistance. Change generates a chain. A change in an individual is prone to impact a group and an organization. Change management is to ensure educating about the benefits connected with the change. The change is always a path from current state to planned state. As per Project Management Institute (PMI), a change takes an individual, group or organization from an inadequate state to the desired state. This movement is stated as a change from inadequate state to a future state. If intended business benefits from a change are not told in an effective manner, it loses its gravity.
There are ideally three standard approaches for change management. These are listed below:
- Cyclic: You need to run it in a cyclic manner. Initiate the change. Let it be absorbed. Let is spread. The change might begin with an individual. It must spread from an individual to a group. And from a group it should happen at the organization level.
- Comprehensive: The change must happen in a comprehensive manner. It can’t be left open ended. It must have a start and an end. The results from a change must be visible. It change does not show its benefits in time, it might lose its sanctity. The initial resistance for the change must be over-ridden by the benefits. The faster the benefits appear, the better it is. If there is a delay, it mars the speed of change.
- Structured: The change must be approached in a structured manner. If change management lacks a structured approach, it might lose its target midway. A structured approach helps any change to happen in a smooth manner. A structured approach is always helpful in this regard.
Business strategy is prime for growth.
A business has three major stages in its lifecycle. It starts with struggling as a startup. The next stage is its growth. The final stage is consistent growth. The second stage is important to achieve. During the second stage, it is a cycle of growth-sustenance-growth. Every organization plans for the projects in the next year. The strategies are set. Roadmaps are defined. Budgets and resources are allocated. Priorities and timelines are chalked out.
Any business with whatsoever kind of projects needs to have a focused approach. There would be many projects with varied focus. Focus could be generating growth avenues, growth in revenues, brand awareness or any other. Primarily following 4 projects must be undertaken by any business for 2016:
- Business Strategy Projects: If business strategy is in place, it needs to be nourished. If it is not in place, it needs to be created. With strategy, no business can survive for long. You need to drive your business strategy to a well-matured stage. Focus on building strategy tools in the system. Design business intelligence dashboards that assist business in improvement in its strategic decisions. Let there be minimal manual analysis. Computers must be utilized to its maximum extent. It is a waste of human mind if people are engaged in tasks that can be performed by a computer.
- Business Process Automation Projects: Identify number of business processes in the organization. Find out how many are manual. Make a plan of moving these manual processes on systems. Automate as much as possible. Ensure no leakages.
- Revisit Information Systems: List down the number of legacy applications. Think of how this number can be halved. A higher number of legacy applications means more interfaces. More interfaces mean more headaches.
- Mobility Projects: Mobility is the key. Business is at a loss if employees can’t work while on the move. All business applications must be available on smartphones in the lighter form. Approvals, business alerts, and workflows have to be catered to in the mobility projects.
Project Management Means No Failures.
Project Management means no failures. Management is meant to clear all obstacles. Projects encounter obstacles. Project Manager needs to anticipate risks well in advance. Mitigation of risks is important. The important aspect is to learn from failures. Usually, we forget to do that. We wind up failures as fast as possible. After a failure is justified it is forgotten. Focus stays more on the whitewash of a failure. The important aspect of learning from it forgotten.
A Whitehall official report declares something similar. It says the government decision-makers don’t intend to learn from past failures. Here they are talking about IT projects. As a result, the same mistakes are repeated. This report has been released by Public Accounts Committee (PAC). There have been many mistakes made. But as far as learning is concerned, it is missing. This has resulted in repetition of the same mistakes.
5 major reasons of failure in project management are as below:
- Documentation: Project progress needs to be documented. Failures need to be analyzed. The analysis must find out the reasons of failure. You must ensure to document it as a part of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
- Learning: Learning from mistakes is important. If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you are prone to repeat these mistakes. This can lead to a failure.
- Time: The General Practice Extraction Service (GPES) was not started as per plan. It got delayed by five years. This resulted into disasters. The project went beyond its budget. The delays impacted heavily on finances. It also created panic. The panic started creating pressures to declare closures. The GPES is still not equipped to provide full services. The project got delayed. The project also failed to deliver results.
- Cost: The cost of GPES project overshot from GBP 14 million to GBP 40 million. The initial projected cost of GBP 14 million went haywire. This was the cost of planning to procurement stage. Meg Hillier, MP, and chairman of the PAC emphasized that there has been another failure in a Government IT project. This, in turn, resulted in a huge cost to the taxpayer.
- Monitoring: The monitoring completely failed. In fact, if monitoring was effective, there would have been a control on time, cost, and resources.
Software Quality Undergoing Transformation
Software Quality is undergoing a major transformation. The transformation is related to the quality of software. The quality of software is gained through proper build and testing. Product development has already taken a new direction. Fat applications need to run at lightening speed. Employees on the move must be equipped with lighter versions of this apps. The mobile version ensures smooth business even when the people are on the move. The technology shift is happening in the corporate world. Technology is now not limited to tech staff. The non-tech staff has become quite tech savvy. The credit for this goes to smartphone apps and social media.
Such disruptions have changed the process of software quality. If we talk of two major takeaways for 2016, it would be as below:
- Shared Ownership: The ownership of software quality has seen a major change. It has moved to shared ownership model. Earlier, it used to be only tester’s responsibility. Now, all stakeholders have a proportion of stake in it. This shift has made a big difference. This transformation has contributed in a substantial manner. The customer is involved in all the phases of the project. Agile and Scrum technologies are widely used. Tester becomes part of development cycle right in the beginning. Testing is done during the development. Customer vets each iteration. Requirements for next iteration are revalidated before development.
- Automation: Automation is the key. The awareness has increased because of social media platforms and other mobile applications. Impractical and non-value steps are required to be automated. Manual interventions need to be reduced. Integration between legacy applications and mainstream business apps has become important. Business approvals and alerts need to happen in real time. Workflow automation needs to fill the gaps. Escalations have to be automated as an integral part of business workflow so as to ensure timely actions.
Good Coding is always beneficial.
We all live with coding. Coding is our everyday chore. Living with coding does not mean writing code. It can be code review, code testing, technical documentation, logical flow building or business process design. All these have a deep connection with coding. Good coding is good to hear but what does it mean. It is important to understand the basic requirements of good coding. Coding can be done by any programmer. But it is difficult to become a good coder.
Good coding comes with discipline. Proper guidelines must be practiced. There has to be a monitoring or auditing team. This team must ensure adherence to best practices. An audit must find out the gaps. These gaps need to be filled. A regular audit must be there in practice. These regular audits must ensure no repetitive gaps exist. Let us look at the three important factors or parameters to build a culture of good coders.
- Scalability: The code written must be scalable. Logic needs rebuilding. For rebuilding of logics, a scalable code becomes easy to handle. If the code is not scalable, it might require rewriting of code. Business changes do require changes in the code. A scalable code is always helpful in handling such situations in a faster mode. It also ensures accuracy. So scalable code ensures speed and accuracy. Both these factors are prime for running a business.
- Manageability: The code written must be easily manageable. If it takes a large amount of efforts to understand a code, it is a waste of time. It means the code has not been managed well.
- Version Control: To achieve high accuracy version control is important. For good coding, it is important to pick the right piece of code. You need to pick these pieces for bug removal, code change, and other purposes.
Successful teams is project manager’s dream.
Teams are an integral part of a project. Every project manager dreams of successful teams working on his projects. Each team is an individual unit working in its individual capacity. Teams have to be properly organized for coordination and synchronization to deliver best results. The leadership role of project manager and other team managers become significant to drive it and thereby enabling all units to emerge as successful teams.
Let us talk about 10 most important ways to build successful teams:
- Cultivation: Each team is like a set of plants in the nursery. The responsibility lies on the project manager to cultivate and nurture these plants. He has to be an enabler while cultivating these teams. Each plan ultimately has to grow and become a strong tree. If the cultivation and nurturing go well, the fruits of success are for sure. This can definitely ensure resulting in successful teams.
- Environment: The environment around various teams must be healthy and open. Team members must be provided an environment where they don’t feel fearful in accepting new challenges. If new challenges are accepted in a fearless manner then obviously there has to be ample scope of accepting failures. But each failure has to result into a great learning so that in the next challenging tasks, the risk lessens.
- Learning: There must be no hindrance in learning and sharing. The project manager should act as a catalyst for his teams to build them as successful teams. A culture of asking “why” often is a good tool to keep the learning curve growing upwards. This always ensures creating successful teams.
- Skills: Enhancement in skills of teams and team members should not be treated as a risk by the project manager. In fact, this is a baseless fear that the team members grooming fast start looking for opportunities elsewhere. That happens only when you start acting as a barrier either in their personal growth or stop giving them challenging tasks.
- Monitoring: Monitoring in a healthy manner is very important for a project manager during his efforts of building successful teams. Monitoring should be with a sole aim of creating success stories. A sense of ownership should automatically evolve in the teams to deliver fast effortlessly without any compromise in quality.
Business requirements are changing at a faster pace in today’s scenario. So is the pace of change in technology. Every day there is a new technology coming in the market declaring the existing one as out of date. In this kind of dynamic scenario, the role of a project manager has to be aligned well with the business strategies.Key expectations from project manager remain intact and stringent.
‘You can’t sit on your laurels’, fits here quite significantly. Whatever achieved and earned yesterday is past. Future is yet to come. It is the present that you have to manage. Howsoever strongly managed your past has been, it is the present that has to be manager strongly so that the future does not fall into a trouble. Agility, Accelerated adoption of technology and rapid change management are the three key deliverables of a project manager.
With so much CHANGE happening around, definitely, a project manager and his team would not be able to cope up with it. Existing talent will not be able to deliver and manage change with the addition of newer technology. Then, there is talent turnover which needs another set of attention to manage. A project manager has to be well equipped with all weapons so as to handle so many disruptive scenarios. Handling of the void created because of outgoing talent takes a lot of energy. The incoming new talent also takes its own sweet time to settle down and get absorbed in the work in a proper flow.
During all these disruptions, no compromise is acceptable by the business and management. Alignment, realignment, training, retraining will all be required to retain the talent and equip the new talent to manage the business. So the demand for a project manager to become a dynamic project manager is on the top.
There are multiple dimensions of a project. Project management, project dimensions, project quality, project team, project schedule, project plan, project scope are important components of a project. Every project has a start date and end date. Every project has a project charter and project plan. Every project has a project monitoring team. Every project has a project health report that is released at a predetermined frequency during the project. Every project has a number of stakeholders. Every project has a composition of few success stories and few failures. The overall success of a project depends on the net resultant of the number of success stories and failures.
Let us discuss top 7 dimensions of a project that play a major role in the success of a project.
- Scope: Once the business case is approved and scope is defined it must not be altered in its original shape. Any change must be tackled through Change Management.
- Team: Team composition, team’s morale, and team’s functioning incur substantial debt or credit in project’s account.
- Management: Management’s role and involvement is critical in any project’s success.
- Customer: Gone are the times when the customer was required only at the beginning and the end of a project. Beginning of a project required the customer to freeze business requirements. End of a project required the customer to be engaged for project handover and closure. Now that is not the case. The customer is to be engaged and involved during every step of the project.
- Quality: Traceability of requirements and review & audit are the two important keys to take care of the quality of a project.
- Finance: Include every bit of expense in your budget. Small skips might create havoc at a later stage.
- Schedule: A schedule is nothing but demand versus supply. Ensure to scrutinize each demand before approval and then its supply counterpart being adhered to in time, quality and quantity.
Top 10 Posts
There are 144 posts for the year 2015. Top 10 posts are based on the readership. Every post has a different count of readers. The count varies from post to post. Some posts do much better than other posts. My top 10 posts for the year 2015 are mentioned below. The blog entails posts on project management, quality assurance, business management, and mobility. Mobility, cloud computing and green IT are the upcoming trends for 2016.
The trends are changing fast. Technology is changing quite fast. Running hand in hand with the changing technology is important. Businesses need to cope with the rapid changes happening. Barriers are reducing. The internet has removed the physical barriers. People are connected to each other through social media. Even the professional networks online are spreading quite fast. Technology has transformed life in a big way. Business and technology amalgamation is much better now. In fact, business process automation has become a prime key for businesses. Any business process without involvement of technology finds difficulty in its survival.
The posts below are on varied topics. Some would be related to changing technologies. Some are related to project management and its various aspects. Some other posts are related to quality assurance. Let us look at these posts.
My Top 10 posts for 2015:
- What is a Testing environment for software testing?
- Seven Key Factors for Business Process Management
- Improvement in Quality never ends. There is always a scope of improvement in life…
- Eight Goal Settings for Software Developers
- Ten Differences Between Project Manager and Project Leader
- Twelve essential Steps of Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC)
- Timesheet – its purpose, use and importance
- Five Emerging Trends Of Information Technology In 2015
- 10 Skills to make a perfect Project Manager
- Top 20 End Objectives of any Software Project
Make In India is the initiative by Prime Minister of India
20 years back Samsung started its journey in India in 1995. It all started in a single room and just two employees. Today, in India, Samsung has two factories, three research and development centers, a big brand name, a design center, and around 50,000 employees. Probably this is among the largest sales and service networks in the country. A time to celebrate for Samsung on completing 20 years of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Make for India’. That is not the end. The journey is still on with full thrust for the next 20 years and beyond that. The journey comprises of consumer-led innovations and a theme of the prosperity of all stakeholders. Samsung Completes 20 Years Of Make In India Innovative Products
Samsung is among the most trusted brands in India. It is on the top of smartphones list in terms of variants it offers, the customer base and the speed at which it launches its new products. As per Samsung, it is time for its consumers to celebrate the occasion. Samsung is like Maruti in cars. There would probably no location in India where Samsung customer or its support is not available. Does this all make Samsung a truly Indian company at heart?
As per H C Hong, President and CEO of Samsung India the last two decades have been full of excitement not only for him but for the entire team that is engaged in building Samsung India. In these 20 years Samsung has not only built a storng base in India but have also been able to grab millions of customers and thus becoming the largest multinational corporations in India in terms of revenue. He gave credit to his entire team for this great achievement and a journey of glorious 20 years. Everyone, including Samsung employees, partners and customers were appreaciated by him for a wonderful journey. The trust that Samsung has achieved in these 20 years has been phenomenal.
Samsung is on the top of the ladder in terms of sales of many of its product range like mobile phones, Refrigerators, ACs, panel TVs and Microwaves. The credit goes to its revolutionary technology, well-researched products and innovative leadership.
Project Execution must follow a path to perfection
This was a perfect project execution I witnessed at UCMAS 2015. Recently, I attended an event at Delhi University Indoor Stadium, just a couple of days back. The event was at national and international level organized by Universal Concept Mental Arithmetic System (UCMAS). The international headquarter is in Malaysia headed by Prof. Dr. Dino Wong who is the Founder and President or UCMAS International. UCMAS India operations is headed by Snehal Karia. Snehal, in addition, also handles Canada, US and Mexico operations. He is CEO for all four countries. UCMAS organized its 20th international (UCMAS 2015) in India which has been organized outside Malaysia for the first time. And it is 14th National Level UCMAS Abacus and Arithmetic Competition 2015.
The first round on 5th December started with 1,400 students in the indoor stadium. All 1,400 competitors were from various levels and had 8 minutes examination to be completed with the help of Abacus. Each level student had a different set of 100 to 200 questions. Wonderful thing is that as the students grow in levels their need for physical abacus goes off. By this time they build a virtual abacus in their mind. There are questions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square root, cube root and so on, depending on the level of the student. All arithmetic questions are solved by the kids between the age of 4 to 15 years in a split of a second.
Managing 11,000 students from 57 countries is not a small job. These overseas and other states students are accompanied with their parents whose count goes to 25,000 in addition to the kids and organizers counts. There were 5,500 students from 22 states of India.
Continued from the previous post.
This is not all. There could be many more points like this that you need to introspect before finalizing a project management tool. In the nutshell just remember that there should not be any key points that are not taken care by your tool and you need to keep a track of those in a separate way. That might make your task quite cumbersome.
Project Management Software – A wise step
The budgets have been squeezing, the team size is getting smaller, but the number of projects is continuously increasing in any business. A demand of increase in efficiency of the project manager is increasing tremendously from the business side and this, in turn, impacts the whole team’s working on a project. A project manager needs to be quite intelligent in choosing a project management software to track and manage his projects.
It was Microsoft Project that was only the single option available in the market around a decade ago. But gradually many other project management tools jumped in the foray that are not only cost effective but are as good or rather a better choice. Project Management software like Trello, Podio, Wrike, Volerro, Zoho, Jira and many more are there that are available today as a better option. It is not that Microsoft Project is not effective. But then you have a choice among others that are equally good to use and manage your project portfolios.
What does a Project Manager need to know so as to choose the best tool available? Here are some of the key points to note in that direction:
project management tool or software? There could be many reasons for that, but then you need to be clear about all those factors. Obviously, you cannot try all before arriving at a conclusion.
This post is a part of four posts of the series – 20 Great Lessons For Project Managers From Marshall Goldsmith. This is the concluding part.
15) We tend to refuse to express regret at the time it is required. In fact, we try to avoid it all the time and forever.
This post is a part of four posts of the series – 20 Great Lessons For Project Managers From Marshall Goldsmith. This is the part III.
This post is a part of four posts of the series – 20 Great Lessons For Project Managers From Marshall Goldsmith. This is the part II.
Here are the 20 gems:
This post is a part of four posts of the series – 20 Great Lessons For Project Managers From Marshall Goldsmith. This is the part I.
What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful by Marshall Goldsmith is a fantastic collection of 256 pages and is a bouquet of learning for Project Managers across the globe. The title itself says a lot. You cannot win each battle with the same strategy. Every battle has to be brainstormed so as to formulate a suitable strategy. Each project is a battle for a project manager. An off-shore project would require a different kind of strategy as compared to an in-shore project. A CRM project would be a different ball-game in comparison to a project related to ERP.
This wonderful book has multiple magical gems that can transform your life from a project manager to empowered project manager. There is a fantastic learning in whatever Marshall Goldsmith is trying to convey in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful. It is simple to understand but slightly difficult to absorb and more difficult to adhere to. By the time you are able to adhere to these points, you are a totally transformed project manager who will look at everything with a different perspective. Marshall calls these gems as self-defeating factors which stop you from reaching next level in your profession while you have all those capabilities that are required to reach there. Why I call them gems is because these are the critical points to understand. And any learning that helps in delivering your best and is applicable everywhere in your life, throughout, is a gem.
We will be discussing these gems in the next post.