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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Role of EA in India

Future of Digital India  in the era of Modi Economics

There is a direct push by PM Mr. Modi on digital India. It's indeed an encouraging for us Indians. But, will they consult real hands on technical people. I hope it will not be another story of big dream only.

I think to make the concept of digital India reality, Government of India needs to think about followings

1. Digital India requires  real enterprise architects who will do the skillful manipulation of the enterprise  structure and behavior within this complex environment.

Otherwise executives will run after behind frameworks like TOGAF, Zachman Framework because frameworks are cocaine for executives 

2.  A big push requires Big Data filed and for all government departments. Truthful data provide EA with the pulse of the enterprise and its environment.

3. Government should focus on continuous business transformation supported by Agile program management.

4. Need to grasp ( cautiously )  the deeply transformative nature of the Cloud which is a true disruptive technology. Several technocrats can start their small but highly profitable business on cloud platforms.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why posture shirt

Do you want to reduce fatigue by 30%

Today, average person sits 70% of the time and this is as bad as smoking.  Sitting for long term is bad for your health. 

Evidence is growing that computer users are at increased risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders (especially those involving the upper extremity), resulting in health problems for the workforce and financial/productivity losses for employers. Blame it on bad posture,

Alignmed’s Posture Shirt is the easiest answer I’ve found. Just put it on. It does all the rest with it’s sewn in neuro-bands that provide controlled resistance and create a form of passive therapy to fix poor posture. The products have been FDA registered, granted prescription approval and vetted with research and over 80,000 users to date.

I found this shirt brings my neck into a better position so it relieves neck back and shoulder pain.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Why Failures are Good For You?

 Ups & down are the paths of life. I too experience a fair share of that.

I know the feeling of failure is how devastating. Over the years, I learned why it is called failures are failures of success.
Here are 5 reasons 
  1. You went for it instead of just sitting around envying others or having a pity party.
  2. You proved that you have characteristic traits like courage, determination, patience, willingness, initiative and a bunch more.
  3. You made yourself vulnerable, which later will make you powerful. Just watch!
  4. You completed something – because you can’t fail until you get to a certain point where you determine if you have won or lost. So you have completed something but the results were not in your favor. Still, you get points for completion.
  5. You decided that it was worth trying something and failing instead of not trying at all. This is huge.
Share your opinon

Sunday, December 21, 2014

3 Tips for success in customer facing role

What I learnt after working as a customer facing executive program manager?

1. Let customers know you in person  - Make sure you are in touch with them. Talk to them. It doesn't matter how sincere you are unless your customer feel that & believe that.

2. The customer should know how to reach you - Customer should able to reach you the moment they think they need you. This gives a confidence to customer that you are with them. This will help you to avoid several escalations to your seniors.

3. Offer your expertise  & advices without being pushy - Give suggestions and try to lead them in the best possible way instead of trying to just manage them.

Golden Rule : Please note Escalation doesn't help, but talk & sincere listening helps.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Microsoft Project Tutorial 5 - Project Resource Calendar

7 Tips for Resource Scheduling  For Geographically Dispersed Teams

In 2001, I was doing a large Billing transformation project for Telefonica, Madrid. It was a complex project and that was also first time I was working with distributed team.

There is a strict delivery date from the project because it’s a fixed cost project with agreed delivery timeline but the challenge was to get proper resources with desired skills. Finally we, build our team with people from all continents.

Our billing team was from Israel (their availability during September is a challenge), Mediation & rating team were mostly Indians (it was tough to get majority Indians working during October/November due to Navaratri & Diwali & some Indians preferred to take vacation in mid Jan), our OS/390 mainframe  experts were from  west coast USA & Sao Paulo (Brazil) . Our DB2 expert was from Russia.

There is also a difference in working time like people at Tel-Aviv development center used to work on Sunday but not on Friday, testing team at Cyprus worked in two shifts and UAT support provided in three shifts from Cyprus, Tel Aviv development center along with local support  from Madrid.

Our business transformation team was stationed in Madrid and their first language was Spanish. I found from experience not to schedule any onsite work from 2PM to 5PM !!

So, challenge was different work time along with different internal charge rates.

To plan & track these types of projects, require hands on working experience on how to build a program plan with multiple resource calendars, task calendars along with judicious using of “critical resources”. 

A regular tracking of burn rates for in house teams & external consultants who were charging based on hourly engagements is also important for better financial managements.

Let’s demystify the resource calendar

1.    Go to Project -> Change Working Time & click the Create New Calendar... button.

2.    Give a proper name for new base calendar using make a copy of standard calendar

3.    Create  a separate calendar for each team in all countries along with proper setting for working time & week.

4.    Next make the project critical dates like delivery to ST, delivery to UT, going production and post production warranty support as working time and create a separate calendar. This is true for all.

5.    Create an exception to model an irregular change to the normal pattern of working hours or non working hours. Always put details for an exception for easy understanding by everybody. You should revisit your exception report every month and use report tab to check assignment report.

6.    You also have to adjust work contour for some resources based on the stage of project. This is a powerful tool for finer adjustments for very costly resources.

7.    You also need to define a separate task calendars for back up, Database maintenance or patch upload. Always apply those tasks neglecting resource calendar because in resource calendar those might be nonworking time.

Please ensure that everybody has training on MS Project and team has access to Microsoft Project Server. In absence of MS Project server, you can use liquid planner or Gantter, a free project management collaboration tool that is described as a "web based Microsoft Project.

We will discuss financial management using EVM in next tutorial of these project tutorial series.

Author is Prince 2, PMP (Project Manager Professional), COBIT, TOGAF and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist. In past awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Microsoft Project)!

Other articles on our project tutorial series 

  1. 10 Tips for MS Project 13 users 
  2. Best Practices For Building & Tracking MS Project Plan 
  3. MS Project Tutorial 3 - 15 tips to create a project schedule
  4. Top 10 Best Practices for Making an IT Project Successful
  5. Top 7 reasons why large IT projects fail
  6. Microsoft Project tutorial on how to track completion of activity in MS Project plan
  7. What are the necessary skills of a good IT project manager
  8. How to manage project resource calendar in MS Project 13