Project Management

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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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Interesting research. Who will be next? Would it be possible?

What does a business need first in order to begin growing?

Inspiration interaction

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

Some of the main trends in 2018

Interesting research. Who will be next? Would it be possible?

Each country tries to build its own Silicon Valley, sometimes not only the one. Accordingly, the KPMG research [1] the most successful in this are New York (USA), Beijing (China), Tokyo (Japan) and London (UK).

58% of 740 global technology industry leaders believe likely or very likely shift the world's technology innovation capital by 2023. 27% of them believe not likely or not at all likely in it, and 16% of them are neutral. 

New York has a leadership position because it's a place of the biggest IT companies, like Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google is planning to expand its presence in New York.

New York has a population of 8,398,748[2] distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), which provides great conditions to be a new technology and innovation center.

Beijing is an important and very power world city. The population of Beijing at the beginning of 2016 [3], according to some estimates, is 21.7 million. There are a lot of companies there, which fields are in everything from Artifical Intelligence to electromobility. Nowadays Chinese Government support technology companies and plan to give big financial support to them (CNY 10 billion).

As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world.  The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million [5]. Tokyo has a leadership position in robotics development and manufacturing. Industry leaders desire concern Olympic Games 2020.

London becomes a global capital of the fintech industry, and in my opinion, it has a historical background for this, though Zurich could have it too, but it is not developing in this way. Seven startups valued over $1 billion based in London, San Francisco is home for nine [1].

Russian Government built a technology innovation center. The idea was to get Russian "Silicon Valley". Skolkovo provides special economic conditions for companies working in the priority sectors of modernization of the Russian economy: telecommunications and space, biomedical technology, energy efficiency, information technology, and nuclear technology. The center cooperates with the world's leading universities and attracts the best specialists, regularly conducts training and various activities aimed at the development of innovation, technology, and support for startups.

In conclusion, I'd like to say my opinion, all off the new applicants for the technology and innovation world center role have different directions for development. Therefore, I think that it is possible to decentralize such a center and, perhaps, Silicon Valley will retain its priority but will become one of the components of this world center with its specialization.

Why is this important for a Project Manager? Firstly, every project has an initiating phase, each project needs money and resources. Secondly, there are no exist non-product related projects. 

Therefore, the location of the world technology and innovation capital is important. It is our future.

It would be interesting to hear your opinion.

  1. The New Silicon Valleys, PMNetwork, June 2019, volume 3, number 6, p. 12 (http://www.pmnetwork-digital.com/pmnetwork/june_2019/)
  2. "NYC Population: Current and Projected Populations"www1.nyc.gov. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  3. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-01/23/content_23215065.html
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_metropolitan_areas_by_population
  5. www.metro.tokyo.jpArchived from the original on August 21, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2018.
Posted on: May 29, 2019 07:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)

What does a business need first in order to begin growing?

Any business development starts with process organization. Before starting a new business or expanding an existing business, we need to have clearly defined processes and a clear understanding of these processes. If we don’t, we will only increase the chaos. We even risk destroying any good assets which we have, including our relationships with customers. If we are just starting our business, we are also going to need a clear understanding of which processes we will need.

It does not matter how many people there are. If there are a lot of people and departments, then processes will be distributed among the departments and people. If there are not enough people, each person will need to perform more functions, and we will know what people we need based on the number and types of functions. In a startup, often one person wears many hats.

So what would we do first?

According to the guide ISO 9001, businesses are divided into the following process groups:

  • management processes;
  • main processes;
  • supporting processes.

 

The processes in the first group and the third group are almost the same for different businesses. 

The Management processes are the activity of creating the strategy and forming the development direction, management model and principles. 

This first group includes the following processes:

1)   Strategic Management;

2)   Quality Management;

3)    Organization Management;

4)    Contractor Management;

5)    Customer Management;

6)    Partner Management;

7)    Public Relations Management;

8)    Financial Planning and Budgeting.

The main processes are the activities directly assumed by the charter company documents and forming the main product for the market/society.

How would we know these main processes? 

The main processes depend on what kind of business you have.

At the beginning we need the clear understanding your goal. After that we have to formulate the main tasks which you will want decide to reach your goal.  

So, we know our main processes.

Auxiliary/supporting processes are activities, which are necessary to support the main processes, to form a single platform and typical rules of the unit and processes interaction within all other processes.

This third group includes the following processes:

1)  Regulatory Information Management;

2)  Project Management;

3)  Information Technology and Security Management;

4)  Workflow Document Management;

5)  Archive Documents storage;

6)  Stuff Management;

7)   Transportation Management;

8) Administrative Management

9)   Supply Chain Management.

When we know our processes we have to describe their inputs and outputs. Process inputs and outputs can be material, financial and information. Each business has own inputs and outputs.

If we only create a company, we describe our company model. If we already have a company, we also describe the model, in this case we don't need to think about our current structure when you make description, we have to think about your goals and tasks for reaching these goals. When we will get the model we can compare our current processes and our model, we will see what we have and what we have not. After process description, we can write the plan for transfer from the current processes to the model processes.

Information about the process description will be in the next article.

I'll always glad to get your feed back and questions.

Posted on: April 08, 2019 07:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

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)

Scrum vs Kanban vs XP

At work I was being asked to say about differencies between Scrum, Kanban and eXtreme Programming. And I'd like to share my thoughts with you. 

  Scrum Kanban XP (eXtreme Programming)
Goal Use of cross-functional, self-organized, and empowered teams who divide
their work into short, concentrated work cycles called Sprints
To alleviate  impediments that cause us to take longer to deliver, not remove necessary pieces of the process. To organize people to produce higher-quality software more productively.
Date of birth In the mid 80’s, Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka defined a flexible and all-inclusive product
development strategy where the development team works as a unit to reach a common goal. Scrum has
increased in popularity and is now the preferred project development methodology for many organizations
globally. 
Kanban developed in the 1940s as a subcomponent of the Toyota Production System and has its origins in these Lean and Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing processes. XP has been created  in 1996 by Kent Beck during his work on the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3) payroll project.
Current state The Scrum framework can only be used for small projects. However, it can easily be
scaled for effective use in large projects. 
One of the reasons many groups implement Kanban is to figure out how to deliver more consistently. Kanban, as well as many other methods/processes, is often chosen and implemented by the management or leadership layer and the values and goals are communicated down to developers or other individual contributors. It's a very effective metodology for the small command programmers. Team size should be 5 or less people.
Speciality A key strength of Scrum lies in its use of cross-functional, self-organized, and empowered teams who divide
their work into short, concentrated work cycles called Sprints. Scrum is one of the most popular Agile methodologies. It is an adaptive, iterative, fast, flexible, and effective
methodology designed to deliver significant value quickly and throughout a project. Scrum ensures
transparency in communication and creates an environment of collective accountability and continuous
progress. 
In Kanban the workflow is visualised: work is broken down into small, discrete items and written on a card which is stuck to a board; the board has different columns and as the work progresses through different stages (e.g. ready, in progress, ready for review etc) the card is moved accordingly.
In Kanban the number of items that can be in progress at any one time is strictly limited.
Extreme Programming is successful because it stresses customer satisfaction. Instead of delivering everything you could possibly want on some date far in the future this process delivers the software you need as you need it. Extreme Programming empowers your developers to confidently respond to changing customer requirements, even late in the life cycle.Extreme Programming emphasizes teamwork. Managers, customers, and developers are all equal partners in a collaborative team.
Values 1. Focus
2. Courage
3. Opennes
4. Commitment
5. Respect
1. Transparency
2. Agreement
3. Balance
4. Respect
5. Understanding
6. Leadership
7. Collaboration
8. Customer focus
9. Flow
1. Communication
2. Simplicity
3. Feedback
4. Courage
5. Respect
Principles 1. Roles Guide
2. Empirical Process Control
3. Self-organization
4. Collaboration
5. Value-based Prioritization
1. Start with what you do now
2. Agree to pursue incremental evolutionary change
3. Initially, respect all roles, responsibilities and job titles
The principles that form the basis of XP are based on the values just described and are intended to foster decisions in a system development project. The principles are intended to be more concrete than the values and more easily translated to guidance in a practical situation.
Roles Core Roles:
Product Owner
Scrum Master
Scrum Team
Non-core Roles:
Stakeholders
Scrum Guidance Body
Vendors
Chief Product Owner
Chief Scrum Master
No existing roles. Some teams enlist the help of an agile coach. Tracker, Customer, Programmer, Coach, Manager, Tester. Anyone can be Doomsayer, Gold Owner (may be the same as the Customer)
Key metrics Sprint Velocity (2 weeks) Cycle time Iteration time (2 weeks)
Activities 1. Initiate
2. Plan and Estimate
3. Implement
4. Review and Retrospect
5. Release
1. To Do
2. Development
3. Test
4. Release
5. Done
1. Planning
2. Managing
3. Designing
4. Coding
5. Testing
Practices 1. Planning
2. Daily Scrum
3. Review and retrospective: Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective
4. Extension: Backlog reinement and Scrum of Scrums
5. Artifacts: Product Backlog, Management, Sprint Backlog, Product Increment, Extensions (Sprint burn-down chart, Release burn-up chart)
1. Visualize
2. Limit Work-in-progress
3. Manage Flow
4. Make management policies explicit
5. Improve collaboratively (using models and the scientific method)
Extreme Programming has 12 practices, grouped into four areas, derived from the best practices of software engineering:
Fine scale feedback:
Pair Programming
Planning Game
Test Driven Development
Continuous process:
Continuous Integration
Design Improvement
Small Releases
Whole Team
Shared understanding:
Coding Standards
Collective Code Ownership
Simple Design
System Metaphor
Programmer welfare:
Sustainable Pace
Change philosophy Teams should strive to not make changes to the sprint forecast during the sprint. Doing so compromises learnings around estimation. Change can happen at any time. A high degree of developer discipline along with continuous customer involvement for the duration of the project. 
Cadence Regular fixed length sprints.  Continuous flow. Iteration.
Release methodology At the end of each sprint if approved by the product owner. Continuous delivery or at the team's discretion. At the end of iteration.

So, there are different methodologies you can use to manage project.
I think the main weakness in all these methodologies is poor knowledge about product. And sometimes we are trying to develop existence products when we need to create new system.
We need to choose methodology or to combine methodology tools in depending from kind of project and its scope. We need to take cognisances of experience, qualifications and conditions.

 

Posted on: October 07, 2016 12:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)
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