To hit pay dirt

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Hi to all of you, and welcome to this blog about management, projects, IT, etc. and about life among all of that. I'd like to share my thoughts, knowledges, experiences and to propose them for discussions.

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Inspiration interaction

New Year...new digital workplace trends...AI and robots

Some of the main trends in 2018

Some rules for successful requirements gathering

How to quickly and efficiently align documents

Inspiration interaction

All of you know how important and difficult the process of define and elaborate requirements for a product. Based on my experience, PMI standard and the other practices I formulated the secrets, approaches, for achieving project success. 

I was invited by our PMI Moscow Russian Chapter, which had begun active work in Moscow, to speak about define and elaborate requirements process (my presentation was at Business Analysis Conference, November, 7th).

My lecture was in the Agency for Strategic Initiatives place in the Moscow city center. 

And now I’d like to share my impressions from this event. 

The topic had been turned a big attention not only from the project managers, but also from startups. More than 150 persons had been registered from the event. 

It was very interesting discussion after my presentation, and I got a great feed back, and I had interesting observation.

Of course, I didn’t take the big discovery, just said about my view point and a lot of things are always known, but practically I think people don’t quite use it. 

Discussion after lecture was very interesting. The people told about their situations and asked how could they use these secrets? I asked for these questions and I hope it was useful for them. 

Some persons from startups said that it’s not about them, it’s only about classic story, about some government projects, etc.

But I think it’s a very important to startups. And we talked about it too.

For example, maybe some weeks ago I saw in the linkedin a post with the questions from one startups. These questions was about functions for their product. I was really surprised to see how people don’t know what to do and think only about functionality which have a lot of the same platforms. 

For me to know how the people are working in the different companies with different projects was very interesting and useful too, because now I know that all these secrets is important, but maybe they need more explanation and instruction how could they be used.

Because of that now I’m working on the practice online course about it. 

 

Posted on: February 19, 2019 02:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

New Year...new digital workplace trends...AI and robots

New Year is coming very soon. So…it’s time for taking stocks and for new trends. I think the most important things which has been affected of all people in outgoing year were the artificial intelligence and using robots. A lot of people worry when they see how quickly these things are developing, growing up and see how they could be dangerous for people. 

But for my opinion we have to remember that these thing are only our technologies. Only people can decide how they will use. 

At this point I’d like to mention Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations, who said, that the main rules in the IT, in the using new technologies are that IT and new technologies must be safety and ethical. He said this in his speech on the Web Summit in Lisbon, November 2018, which called “Nurturing a digital future that is safe and beneficial for all”. I was there, I had listen him and it was really inspiring.

And I completely agree with him. Only if people will use new technologies, including AI and robots, in this way humans will go to next level their development. 

A lot of people feel fear that robots could change the people, but for the now it's not possible. Just look at the example from  China Xinhua News. Their experiment with the robot as a news ancor was fail, because it was not interesting to see the robot, the robot had had a voice and appearance modelled on Zhang Zhao, a real ancor with Xinhua. But a lot of people didn’t like it because there is no emotions, it was some monotonously.  And yesterday I had got the “2019 PMO Predictions: 4 trends for the digital workplace” by changpoint.com.  I see an interesting thing in these trends because they all concern the above problem.

The first trend is “Digital disruption requires new skill set from your people…but remember, they’re only human”. It means higher demand of the soft skills. We can see it now too when people must have not only technical skills, but it’s very important to have the empathy, flexibility, communication skills, emotional intelligence, creativity, the ability to teach other people, etc.   

The second trend is “Digitalization requires an adaptive mindset…and a panoramic view of the landscape”. It means that to have the ability to look at the problem from above, to understand the world processes, to know new technologies, to be flexible for changing the working methods and tools, to think strategically.

The third trend is “Adaptive technology is your friend…and your transformativeally”. It means that we have to enjoy these technologies and find the best using of them in our activities and agile technologies.

The forth trend is “Collaboration…the blending of people skills and digital delivery”. Digital delivery will continue growing up, and it could be very useful in any businesses. 

We can't also deny robot and AI father development and, for my opinion we could find the ways of effectivness collaboration, it will give us a lot of benefits. 

I'd like to propose to listen a talk between Rao Dalio and Garry Kasparov on the Web Summit 2018 “Artificial intelligence is making more and more of our decisions for us. If this capacity limitless or are there some things only human intuition can determine?”

https://youtu.be/KvLsMQPo-Hc

It would be interesting to know your view point. Don't hesitate, leave your comment. Have a nice day and successful stories!

 

Posted on: December 16, 2018 05:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

Some of the main trends in 2018

When you think about your IT strategy, business strategy or if you think what could I propose for business, or maybe you are startup and you think what a new IT product would I create, you must know about modern trends and understand the world processes. That's why I'd like to propose for discuss my thoughts about the main trends in this year​.

Our world is always in motion. There are many different trends which you are interested. I think we can find some groups of these trends.

The first group is about world economy processes and trends, which is very important for international business development.

There are five main types of the world economy processes, for my opinion. We can see the result of them as the same products and the same shops, the same companies in the different countries.

The globalization is one of the main economy process in the world. Globalization is about the way of thinking and practice that is seen cutting across cultures and civilizations. It has changed the world picture especially in the half of the last century. World economic systems development doesn’t compromise the ability of national economies to meet or satisfy their own requirements [2]. But today we more think about global economy, global market, global issues, and this affect entire population of the world rather than in specific country.

Another one world economy process is internationalization. The internationalization theory pays attention to the border of the firm [3,4]. And in nowadays “location factors include not only “places” (the location in the city or region) but also “space”…” [3]. Internalization is taking one country’s business across the world. Internalization is also about selling your product all over the world. Therefore, internalization retains one country's identity.

The third world economy process is transnationalization, which mean transnational corporation activities. In this process there are increases transfers of capital, labor and other resources.

The forth world economy process is regionalization, which mean dividing an area into smaller segments called regions. Of course, this process influences on the businesses, changing the conditions for functioning in the global political and economic system.

And the last world economy process is regional/international economic integration in the world economy. The most general term by this process is the “complex process of cooptation and diffusion of national economies of various counties, aiming to create a unified economic organism” [5]. It refers to the different regions and/or countries unions.

So, in all these processes we have such trends as a multi-culture aspects of social and economic development, peaceful co-operation, continuing opening of the societies and economies [1] on one side.

And from another side we can see following forecasts:

  • The global recovery will continue:
    • the most obvious risks to keep in eye on will be in Europe [6,8];
    • the effect on US growth is estimated to be positive trough 2020, cumulating to 1.2 percent trough this year [7,8];
    • China and Japan will grow slow, and could return to growth trends in the past [8];
    • The India grows gradually from 6.4% in 2017 to 8.3% in 2019 [8];
  •  Oxford Economic forecasts that global trade will grow by 4.8% in 2017, the fastest rate since 2011, and remain above 3.5% from 2018 trough 2020 [9];
  •   Equity markets should continue to enjoy the momentum of improving fundamentals for the next two years [9];
  • Cheaper financing in major emerging markets such as Russia, Mexico and Brazil [9];
  • Gold could be as a strategic investment: it has been a source of return for investors portfolios; it's correlation to major asset classes has been low in both expansionary and recessionary periods; it is a mainstream asset that is liquid as other financial securities; it has historically improved portfolio risk-adjusted returns [10];

Criptocurrencies value will continues to grow and more people will invest, 2018 could be the year of regulation for blockchain and Criptocurrencies [11].

The second group is about technologies, which grow up so rapidly.

Some trends refer with blockchain and criptocurrency. So, Internet of things (IoT) may become Blockchain internet of things (BIoT), proposing new services and creating new businesses. Also financial technologies would become greener, and people will get the quantum computer, which will work at a billion times faster than today’s microprocessors [12].

 Another one technological trend is about augmented reality (AR). AR goes mainstream. The one of the real promise from AR is to bring people information they need without having to ask for it.

Of course, this year is the year of bots, which will be able to provide timely information (for example, about medicine), to help with children, in financial investments and etc [12].

We will see continuing digital centralization, artificial intelligence (AI) permeation, date overload, including reduced privacy, and possible a new generation of internet [13].

Marketing will continue become increasingly personal, based on the people behavior, psychology, feelings, emotions.

Patent analysis can give full picture about technology trends.

The third group of trends is about people, how changes people’s mind and behavior in our world.

The first trend is about changing of people, and the focus is less about Millenials, and more about their cohorts in Generation Z [14]. But, for my opinion, we have also to keep in mind oldest people because they are active, have possibilities by health for work, and many of them want to work, and have a large useful experience and knowledges.

The second trend is about increasing role by social networks and p2p platforms.

Among the people, the interest to a cybersport is waiting to increase.

One of the trend concern to project managers. Project managers will become more product managers, they will be experts who take on a leadership role within the business, fostering a culture and collaboration and trust with stakeholders [14]. I think it also mean increase their leadership role in the project.

I was part of the situations when customer had taken approval for the contract only after his meeting with the project manager, because he had need not only the project leader, but the expert too. 

In conclusion, I’d like to remind phrase from one of my favorite movies “The Devil wears Prada”: «Oh. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you…and you select, I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on, but what you don’t know is that sweater is not just blue. It’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns and then it was Yves Saint Laurent who showed cerulean military jackets. Then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it filtered down through the department store, and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs. And it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice, that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of “stuff”».

I think these words fully reflect the process how the trends born and they become part of our life even if we do not think about them.

I’d like to know your opinion about necessaries to know trends in the project/product development and successful requirements gathering. Which trends on your opinion we must know?

 

References:

  1. Grzegorz W. Kolodko Whither the World: The Political Economy of the Future,   http://bea-bd.org/site/images/pdf/paperk.pdf  
  2. https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/18568/1/MPRA_paper_18568.pdf
  3. Buckley P. Forty years of internationalization theory and the multinational enterprise / P. Buckley // Multinational Business Review. 2014. 22 (3), p. 227 – 245
  4. Buckley P. The internationalization theory of the multinational enterprise of the progress of a research agenda after 30 years / P. Buckley, M. Casson // Journal of International Business Studies. 2009. 40 (9), p. 1563 – 1580
  5. International integration and national development / Edited by A. Tatarkin. Yekaterinburg: Publishing house of Economics Insitute, 2009,
  6. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/12/what-to-expect-for-the-global-economy-in-2018
  7. https://www.imf.org/~/media/Files/Publications/WEO/2018/Update/January/0118.ashx
  8. http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/macroeconomic-insights-folder/2018-global-economic-outlook-as-good-as-it-gets/report.pdf
  9. https://www.bakermckenzie.com/-/media/files/insight/publications/gtf/global_transactions_forecast_2018.pdf
  10. Outlook 2018 | Global economic trends and their impact on gold by World Gold Council
  11. https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/914087/cryptocurrency-predictions-2018-bitcoin-news-blockchain-ethereum-ripple
  12. http://fortune.com/2017/12/26/4-technology-trends-2018/
  13. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2017/12/30/7-technology-trends-that-will-dominate-2018/#79b6ba3957d7
  14. https://www.changepoint.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2018-PMO-Predictions.pdf
Posted on: March 15, 2018 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Some rules for successful requirements gathering

We know that IT system development is not only about the offer of automation services based on the requirements of the customer or consumers, but it’s about development business strategy, about business development.

For example, you have a shop, and when you created a web-site you have received a new market. If you are working in an international company which work with delivery shipments and you have created new technology about exchanges of shipment dates for your client, a big international company, you get a new market too, your business had gone to the next level because of the new technology. The new technology may give you possibility for work faster, with high quality and with new clients. And all of these examples about development both strategies: IT Strategy and Business strategy.

So, we need successful business analysis, including requirements gathering for this process as one of the main it part.

In the Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide by PMI [1] the term Business Analysis is defined as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to:

  • Determine problems and identify business needs; 
  • Identify and recommend viable solutions for meeting those needs; 
  • Elicit, document, and manage stakeholder requirements in order to meet business and project objectives; 
  • Facilitate the successful implementation of the product, service, or end result of the program or project.”   

All of you know how many projects have fails, and these failures being attributed to requirements gathering, it’s almost 70% of all project failures [2].

How could we realize the right Business Analysis (or discovered requirements) and get the set of the right requirements?

It’s very important to see in the right direction (Figure). For determine problems and identify business needs we have to see around us, to find obvious things, and we have to use some set of rules.

Figure – Discover requirements

For my opinion, there are three most important set of rules.

The first set is about right questions when you try to discover problems and formulate requirements [1]. It is like a 5W1H (Five Ws and One How) method. Answers on these questions are considered basic in information gathering.  Therefore, in the business analysis we have also five Why. Here are some typical questions with why:

  1. Why is it the problem?
  2. Why is this situation happen?
  3. Why do you have this process?
  4. Why any alternatives are not work?
  5. Why the solution of this problem is so important?

In addition, of course, you have to remember to choose the right person as an interviewee.

The second set is about requirements management [3]:

  1. Planning how we could get the right requirements. Plan must include questions, on which you try to find answers (first set of rules), methods and instruments for work with them, list of sources, time, responsibilities, plan for integration, plan for quality assurance.
  2. Team work (Collaboration&Buy-In). All team member must be in the loop. You need gathering and work with all ideas no matter how crazy they can be. And you try to get support the decision from all team members. 
  3. Integration Management (work with changes). It's very important when you continue working, making changes and go-back iterations. It makes your result much better and clarify requirements.
  4. Quality Management (quality assurance). When you have a mistake in the requierements, it will be  cost up to 100 times in the future than it is to correct a defect early on while a requirement.

And the third set is about result analysis [4]:

  1. Be sceptic and always ask questions with “Why”.
  2. I mean especially very useful in the result analysis the McKinsey technic called MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive). When you think in this way, you can find your gaps in the requirements and you can prevent duplicates too.
  3. Working with hypothesis: define, generate and test them.

In conclusion, to formulate the right requirements is a very complexity task, and there are a lot of information about different methods and tools. Above rules could be fundament in your requirements gathering.

References:

  1. Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide, Project Management Institute, 2015, p.  
  2. Beginning at the End – Requirements Gathering Lessons from a Flowchart Junkie Cari Stieglitz, PMP, Project Manager, Faithful+Gould, Originally published as a part of the 2012 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Vancouver, Canada
  3. Requirements Management 101 four fundamentals that everyone should know. Jama.Inc, www.jamasoftware.com | 1.800.679.3058
  4. Ethan M. Rasiel The McKinsy Way, Copyright 1999 Ethan M. Rasiel. Click here for Terms of Use, 188 p. 
Posted on: February 28, 2018 10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)

How to quickly and efficiently align documents

Some of you know how hard could be to fix up with customer (especially in a large company) a lot of documents when they are part of your procurement. 

You have to correct them again and again...to have discuss them with a lot of people, which can have some different opinions about the same things, which can have some different interests. 

But how could you make this process working quickly?

I have developed a habit over the years of working in consulting to do the following things:

  1. To form a working group of experts, decision-makers in the case of a large project we need to establish several working groups.
  2. For each direction must be the person responsible for the direction and possessing powers of decision-making in contentious situations.
  3. Prepare the first edition of documents, and send them to the customer for given feedback.
  4. Give feedback from all of people which take part in the fix up.
  5. Write records of all observations in the table, record the answers to all remarks and add comments, especially if you don't agree with observation.
  6. Change documents and send them again to the customer.
  7. Organize meeting and discuss the documents, try to make the positive decision. 
  8. If the positive decision didn't find on meeting, you have to distinguish controversial aspects with description their solution ways.
  9. All final decisions must be agreed by the management Committee of this project and approved by the responsible for the project from the customer.

This is easily done when you have professionals in the field of project management, project office, and very difficult when they are not.

But some organizations don't follow project management processes, and they don't have project management professionals, techniques. And what can we see?

I was convinced on own experience, doing projects for two different large organizations. In one of them the specialists have been trained in project management according to PMBOK, the other heard nothing about it. In the first case, it was not difficult to organize the work properly and perform it easily. In the second case, it took some time on the organization of work on the project from the customer, as it was necessary to actually teach the ideology of project management and operation, as well as to overcome resistance and reluctance to change work style. But and one, and in another case, in the end, the process of working on documents was reduced to the mentioned steps.

I'll be glad to get your feedback.

Thank you for reading this.

Success to all of you. 

Posted on: November 23, 2017 11:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)
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