October 7, 2018

Project and Program Management Insights that matter

I facilitate PMO breakfast meeting of PMI Silicon Valley chapter where a small group of PMO leaders get together to share their insights and success stories, and get advice for potential challenges. Below is extracts of our last conversation on September 12, 2018.

Please note that all relevant comments will be posted. We can only grow by each other’s help. I extend my invitation to share your expert knowledge within our community. I will then link your name (on comment) to you LinkedIn profile as appreciation – if you want so.

Meeting Notes:

  • How to manage International Projects with distributed teams:
    One of our attendees has experience managing projects with distributed team members (in Grenoble, Singapore and California). Due to the time-zone difference, each team used to do their tasks and pass to the next team. Tasks then distributed to the last team to deliver their committed milestone. The team was working round-the-clock for about a month and the milestone accomplished milestone. Hands-off to other teams done using available technologies (email, teleconferences, shared folders, etc.) Collaboration was mainly engineer-to-engineer. Performance was based on work-packages.

    As per International projects, other important considerations are the settings where teams are performing, their laws and regulation, tools and techniques, information / communication channels, and information containment that will affect the success of Centers of Excellence (AKA PMO)!

  • How people deal with dependencies:
    Recalling the materials of Managing International Projects course, many matters become dependencies, including regulatory laws (Export/Import, tariffs, Intellectual Property laws, etc.), communication barriers, time differences, cultural diversities, and so forth. Managing any International project or program involves numerous dependencies, each require specific resolution, mitigation, (risk) transfer, and more!At time this would be like dependencies from hell! (As an example, one was talking about a project when two-weeks before the release, government changed almost everything regulatory, causing disorders in release!)

    There are dependencies where PMOs (or a Center of Excellence) can have influential authority, such as requests delegations, approval (signature) procedure, reporting pyramid, etc. Having an in-country experts (as in-house or sub-contractors) is another way of settling dependencies. Local experts are particularly important in synchronizing actions among various in-bound entities that would help time, language, cultural disparities.

    Time and sensitive functional dependencies; especially when dealing with modular (hardware-software) product development, require higher degree of coordination to reduce task-delivery delays. Utilizing available coordination and team-based technologies helps resolving dependencies as well.

    Conflicting dependencies may result from hidden and / or incorrect assumptions (or agendas), both from the management as well as business needs (resource, objectives, etc.) These may be due to management style / variance, and organizational directions when the top-down resolution becomes the best remedy. Another conflict may arise due to technical or scientific differences that would be easier to be resolved by engineering team, especially if the team is collocated.

  • How to manage real time project status:
    Projects and programs status can be viewed using various tools, dashboards, and technologies like Jira, Confluence, Smartsheet, Trello, Sharepoint, Wiki, MS-Teams & Planners, etc. However, we shall know the capabilities and limitations of each tools used. At times, senior leaders may even create a summary if their dashboards for ease of communications. Frequency of delivery of reports on high level milestone, tasks (and their stages), dependencies, issues, and fixes can be achieved via several means. These are all based on the maturity of organization, tools used, communication channels, etc. Senior PMO leaders might have to anticipate status-reporting of various concurrent projects. The reports are usually in consolidated form for upper management use in timely manner; even if projects are being handled by other owners (Scrum, or any Agile variation).
Please share your remarks, or post your questions. Engage with our PPM community.
I would like to invite you to engage with us at our next meeting. Please check out PMI Silicon Valley chapter events for more information.
I also invite you to contact and post your topic of interest at www.SVProjectManagement.com.
July 1, 2013

Claim Your Online Profile and Credentials

Category: Management — David @ 3:01 pm

Being discovered and found online is very important for technical professionals! This matter is very important, especially for those trying to get the right professional position, or a consulting contract. A hiring team member (manager, HR, etc.) would search for our name online - to find a reasonable link to qualify our credential. We may lose the first step of an opportunity if one of our not-so-exciting link appears on the top of the search results!

I have been attending breakfast meeting of our PMI group - Silicon Valley chapter for the past year. I can proudly write that attendees are among the best technical managers I have ever met. Their technical knowledge, professional analysis of topics, broad examination of the subject-matter, and detailed description of their point-view, each deserves its own blog entry! As an example, in our today’s meeting (July 1st, 2013) we briefly talked about a few topics regarding job search such as how and what kind of keywords to use in our resume to bring it to the top of resume banks (like in LinkedIn)? Below are samples of what was suggested:

  1. Update your online profiles frequently
  2. A few of your accomplishments (of last position) shall be the first entries of resume
  3. Organize resume in one page – if possible
  4. Have your own blogs, or comments on others’ blogs so that your name pops on search results
  5. Add a professional picture to your profile
  6. Visit other online job search websites and participate in their system
  7. Get control of your online profile – Ah did I mention this before?

Yes, the first-and-last entries are about updated online profile. As one of attendees mentioned, if we do not own and control our online profile, someone else might!

I would like to reserve the chance to add to these topics on my next few entries as I have to go back to attend a client’s technical issue now! However, I would like to invite attendees of our network breakfast group of PMI-Silicon Valley chapter (and other viewers alike) to insert their voice as well! I am hoping to have a dynamic conversation to help each other in our networking efforts.



March 29, 2009

How to market your business in our current economic turmoil?

Category: Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization — David @ 4:24 am

A cost effective marketing involves many parallel pursuit. One of effective marketing activities is online marketing, which entails engaging in, and tracking multiple online marketing channels concurrently. In ever-expanding Internet networks, relying on one-or-two channels to outreach your targeted audience will not be a cost effective approach. To justify higher Return On Investment (ROI), we ought to try any possible online network to downpour traffic to our web site.

We are in an extreme down turn era and all indicators suggest that current economic turmoil will last till at least the end of summer of 2009! Almost all sectors of economy is experiencing hardship, except bio-tech, healthcare, education, and to some lesser degree, IT (Information Technology) that are in slightly better situation! At hard times, we all start to be creative – hence I think many businesses will transform their models and strategies to bypass current financial tsunami.

One of the most cost effective customer outreach is online marketing. Rich-content, high-traffic, user-generated, and community web sites of new Internet era have created highly visible hubs to place targeted advertising for qualified sales leads generation. Online marketing is a first-class spot for leads generation, as most organizations will be relying even more on cost effective Internet presence, to market their products and services.

Internet is still expanding exponentially! Never before human history has recorded freely-available information, as there are hundreds of millions of web sites full of valuable (and sometimes not-so-useful) content. However, having a graphically appealing web presence, with a mesh if information, wouldn’t bring sales leads anymore. If the content of a web page is not at the top of an online search results (regardless of search tool), its content will be buried under tons of other subject matters. Online marketing of a printed brochure for instance, is very different than its online counterpart. An online brochure needs to have a UI designer to create it for its target audience, a web engineer to correctly construct its feel and look, and a proactive marketer to drive its community outreach for effective Return On Investment (ROI).

With unemployment in double digits and popular spending in its lowest level in the past few decades, it is absolutely critical for marketers to maintain and expand their networks. Online marketing differs from its traditional approach in its effective execution. Just having a web site, including targeted META information is not enough anymore! Search Engine Optimization can not bring adequate traffic to justify the investment anymore! A proactive online marketer ought to utilize all available tools to bring their products and service to customers’ awareness. Internet marketing community reports and newsletter coupled with proactive utilization of online networks (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, etc.) are a few of the tools exploited to outreach online consumers and target audience.

Contact David at Softinet, Inc. for your next online marketing project.