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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Business processes and project management processes: correlation, integration, evolvement

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

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)

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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