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Big Data, Big Brother?

by Suresh MK

We are undergoing a revolution in the way that information about our purchases, conversations, social networks, movements and even our physical identities are collected, stored, analyzed and used. Are we ready for it?

In Pursuit of the Fourth 'I': Ultimate Business and Project Management Strategy

by Debasis Chakrabarti, Manavasi Ramesh

In this article, with the help of theory, literature and real life examples, the authors try to explain innovation in construction projects while differentiating the same from invention. The article also discusses two more vital “I” words: improvisation and improvement.

Topic Teasers Vol. 70: Compliance Challenges

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: We need to make some alterations in the way we manage our internal software and the access employees have to protected data. Now an audit shows we need to make specific changes immediately or pay a huge fine. Is there any way to avoid this embarrassment in the future and protect our public image?
A. International and federal regulations must be complied with, and knowing which regulations apply to your type of business so you can merge compliance into your plans at the project level will help satisfy the mandatory requirements to avoid large fines in the future.
B. Most staff members are reluctant to move forward with required changes to their daily routine, whether technological or manual. To get their cooperation and meet the audit list, fire the first three people who speak out in opposition. Setting an example clearly conveys that this change will occur with or without the agreement of the employees.
C. If your organization has been running smoothly and profitably, ask the legal team to search the past rulings to find ways to avoid altering the violation items listed by the compliance inspectors.
D. Each type of business has a single federal mandate to govern how they manage their profits. Know that the depreciation versus capitalization of corporate expenses should be recorded and tracked to meet audit specifications.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

2015 Survey Roundup: Spending, Salaries, Security and More

by Michael Wood

It’s near the end of the year, so it’s time to provide you with a recap of the findings from some of the key IT surveys published over the past 12 months. Consider it a quick and easy way to stay abreast on all that is going on in the world of IT.

The Value of Revisiting Assumptions

by Behzad Ashtiani

Tech companies started to revisit assumptions about cellphones, and the smartphone revolution started when a brave person challenged the answer to a very simple question. What can this cycle teach us about project management?

Social Media: Where to Next?

by Michael Wood

What might the future look like, you ask? Here are some things to ponder as those wishing to command a greater percentage of our consumer spend are finding ways to “customize our experience" through exploiting the opportunities social media, big data analytics and mobility promise once properly integrated.

Cloak and Dagger Time for PMs

by Kevin Coleman

The sensitive information that is a routine part of project management is now a high-value target of corporate spies. Who said project management was boring?

Data Warehouse BQA Prototype Plan

PREMIUM project plan

This Microsoft Project Plan will walk you through the ins and outs of putting together a business question assessment to analyze the data you need for your data warehouse.

Data Warehouse Strategy Project Plan

deliverable

Need to plan a data warehouse project? This synopsis outlines the steps, deliverables and team roles for strategizing, architecting, designing and planning the implementation of a data warehouse.

List of Common Schedule Risks

deliverable

This list and overview of common schedule risks will help you maintain vigilance against pitfalls that can interrupt, stop or ruin your software development project.

Data Transformation Map

deliverable

Map the transformation of the data elements from source system tables to data warehouse target tables.

Data Warehouse Extraction Tool Recommendation

deliverable

How do you select the best data extraction/transformation toolset for your data warehouse? Evaluate features, functionality, vendor reputation... the works. Follow the example set by this robust tool evaluation.

Redbrick Data Warehouse Backup and Restore Procedure

deliverable

Even though you've built the perfect data warehouse, it's better to be safe than sorry if something goes wrong during its operation and you need to restore the original data files. Take the time to document your backup and recovery procedures, as in this example.

Data Warehouse QA Form

deliverable

A handy spreadsheet for recording Data Warehouse QA issues, from data transformation to report generation problems.

Offshore Outsourcing Project Plan

PREMIUM project plan

Find greater profits using offshore outsourcing, and use this project plan to make sure it's done right--and on time.

Data Warehouse Tool Cost Matrix

deliverable

There's a lot to consider when selecting a Data Warehouse toolset. Use this comprehensive tool evaluation matrix to guide your final selection.

Data Warehouse Tool Selection Plan

PREMIUM project plan

This Microsoft Project plan can serve as a guide to evaluating vendor tools for your data warehouse. It includes a Gantt chart schedule and cost analysis for the complete tool selection process.

Business Case

PREMIUM deliverable

Mission-critical projects need to be well-justified, with clear goals that can be referenced throughout the life of the project. This business case template offers an excellent approach to goal-setting and a way to communicate those goals effectively.

Self-Documenting Code Checklist

checklist

Code is a developer's signature on a software project, and not all developers play by the rules of good coding standards. Ensure that your development team leaves a coding legacy that not only implements the application at hand but can be understood by others and maintained during future development cycles.

Data Warehouse Project Plan

PREMIUM project plan

Are you putting together a data warehouse? This Microsoft Project plan will help you keep tabs on all the complex stages and steps involved in building decision support systems and a knowledge-based applications architecture and environment.

Integration Test Plan Outline

deliverable

Here is a solid outline of a plan for testing individual development components in context with the overall system.

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