Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to Get Strategic About SaaS: 5 Key Considerations

Over the first half of 2010, Forrester's IT clients asked more than 350 questions about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Buyers are no longer just asking "What is SaaS?" "Who offers SaaS?" and "Is SaaS secure?" Rather, we're hearing more sophisticated questions about how to incorporate SaaS into the overall application footprint, best practices for implementing SaaS, how to build governance and due diligence around purchases, and where to invest in organization skill sets as firms make greater use of the service.

To better understand current concerns around SaaS implementation, here's an idea of the types of questions we've received and suggestions for sourcing professionals to achieve a successful SaaS strategies.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

13 Transformation Success Factors for Program Managers

Rob Llewellyn shares 13 program transformation success factors which could, if taken into consideration when approaching a program of work, increase the chances of success. It’s a fact that most programs fail – and most projects fail too. That needn’t be the case for you.
  1. Set high standards and realistic expectations.
  2. Establish a clear vision and communicate it well.
  3. Remove obstacles from the path of the new vision.
  4. Lead by example.
  5. Establish board-level support.
  6. Optimise stakeholder engagement.
  7. Focus on benefits realisation.
  8. Don’t declare victory too soon – but systematically plan for, and create, short-term wins.
  9. Put the right managers in place and give them real power.
  10. Focus on results, not an elaborate change process.
  11. Change quickly – tackle issues in parallel, not in sequence.
  12. Establish a great enough sense of urgency – execute speedily.
  13. Anchor Changes in the Company’s Culture.

Why Use International Teams for Projects?

Simply put, many nations where complex projects would typically have been executed in are now both too expensive and incapable of fielding teams large enough to undertake the volumes of work they would a few years ago, to remain competitive and simply to perform the work, organisations based in these countries are now having to look to other countries where the numbers of, and cost per person are more conducive to delivering the volume of work required, this is then driving personnel in countries on both sides of the equation to need to become better at understanding one another and working cooperatively, they now need each other equally so the days of one dictating terms and cultures to another are, in my opinion, well and truly gone.

Francis Norman for PM Hut.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Understanding Project Structure

Realization of project goals need the understanding and commitment of all the project stakeholders, particularly the project team. Larger more complex projects may require more project team members which requires and understanding of the overall objectives and goals of the project, which may result in conflict in process ownership etc.

What can be done to reduce this conflict and bring all relevant stakeholders on the same page? Michael Stanleigh writes, "Review the Scope Statement document to ensure a common understanding of project scope among all project resources. If one hasn’t been completed, this is a great opportunity to develop it with the team. This will give everyone an opportunity to discuss and agree on clear project parameters and boundaries including the management of time, budget and resources."

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Understanding Project Structure

The Four Primary Audits in Project Management

There are four primary audits which may be used: Project management audit, Project performance audit, Pre-project (planning phase) audit, or Post-project (close out phase) audit.

Project Management Audit

A Project Management Audit provides a comprehensive examination of project management performance. This is accomplished through discussions and interviews with the project manager, technical leaders, and a sampling of project team members. You can also use reviews and examinations of project documents. Typically, this is used with larger and long duration projects. This type of audit should be performed quarterly until the project is completed. It is best when performed by an impartial auditor, but may be performed by the project manager or project team.
This audit includes examination of:
  • Project work plan and support plans created to guide the project management effort
  • Effectiveness of project work plan and support plan implementation
  • Oversight of project resource management and task performance
  • Oversight of project vendor/contractor management and task performance
  • Fulfillment of customer contractual obligations

Project Performance Audit

A Project Performance Audit shows a detailed examination of the financial and business aspects of the project. Emphasis is on evaluating and confirming the ability of the project to achieve specified objectives. During this audit, earned value analysis is applied, business case elements are reviewed, and project risk management plan is evaluated. This may be done independently or in conjunction with a project management audit.
This audit includes examination of:
  • The business case used to manage selection and continuation of the project
  • Cost specified in the project work plan
  • Schedule specified in the project work plan
  • Resource utilization specified in the project work plan
  • The project risk management plan

Pre-Project Audit

The Pre-Project, or Planning Phase, Audit validates project readiness for implementation. It transitions from the planning phase to the execution phase and is usually performed by the project manager and project team. It is applicable to all projects.
This audit includes examination of:
  • Initial project management documents
  • Initial technical documents
  • Initial project management planning documents
  • Initial project team documents
  • Initial vendor and contractor documents
  • Initial customer documents

Post-Project Audit

The Post-Project, or Closing Phase, Audit confirms project readiness for closure. It is performed when all project activities have been completed, deliverables have been accepted, and the project is ready for closure. It is usually performed by the project manager and project team and is applicable to all projects.
This audit includes examination of:
  • Customer acceptance of project deliverables
  • Project lessons learned
  • Vendor/contractor close out activities
Any of these audits will be beneficial to your project. Knowing how your project is operating, if it is on time and on budget, is an area in which many organizations are failing. Being proactive in monitoring projects will save your company valuable time and money.

Written by Keith Mathis, 18 November 2010

Slew of New Business Tools Coming to Ubuntu - Yahoo! News

Katherine Noyes writes, if you use Ubuntu in your company, you're already familiar with its many advantages for businesses. But guess what? You ain't seen nothin' yet, as they say.

Particularly in the wake of the release last month of Canonical's user-friendly Ubuntu 10.10, or Maverick Meerkat, partners have been virtually lining up outside the company's door to help deliver business tools with high-level commercial support.
Boxed Ice, Opsview, Riptano, Unoware, Vladster, Wavemaker, and Zend all joined as Canonical Software Partners in the last few weeks, for example, and will work closely with the development teams that deliver Ubuntu to ensure that installation and operation are of the highest quality.

Slew of New Business Tools Coming to Ubuntu - Yahoo! News

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shooting Landscapes by Guest Contributor Carolyn Fox

It's always good to read the reviews to gain a better understanding on how to become a better photographer. I just love reading these articles. It makes absolute sense. It also helps to get an idea of what type of lens to use for different types of photography.

Shooting Landscapes by Guest Contributor Carolyn Fox

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why Ubuntu Linux Is a Good Business Choice | - Web Tips

Nice Article!...Good reasons why Ubuntu is a good business choice. The explanations are put in layman's terms which can be fully understood most computer users.

Why Ubuntu Linux Is a Good Business Choice | - Web Tips