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Newsletter - Sept 2013

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PM Essence

What does Cloud Computing mean to Project Managers

By Deepak Vijayaragavan, PMP
As the new buzz in the industry, Cloud Computing is envisioned to revolutionize the way Information Technology will be procured, implemented and managed. How will this impact how we do business? How can a Project Manager prepare for the upcoming big way? Why is managing a cloud computing project any different? What should be the focus when managing a cloud computing project?

The answer to the above questions is discussed in the paper in two parts:

Firstly, the types of IT projects that businesses will work on are changing. A move to the Cloud requires businesses to rethink how they do business.

  1. More focus will be spent on requirements and how these decentralized applications can meet the business needs of an organization. This will require business process reengineering.
  2. Additional time will be spent by the project manager in building relationships with vendors such as Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce.com, Google and IBM.

Secondly, project management will become more decentralized. The amount of information available, and the speed at which users gain access to it, is increasing.

'Reforming' Project Management is the key for India to become a global leader in delivering variety of cloud computing projects...Let's prepare ourselves!!

Emerging technologies like cloud computing have been increasing the the uncertainty and complexity in delivering different type of projects. Many unknowns are causing the failure of Project Managers to deliver faster, better, cheaper and steadier services.

Cloud computing has immediate appeal to the business community in that, when compared to the traditional on-premises enterprise IT systems, it has the potential to:

Lower IT operational cost
Deliver much faster IT project implementation times
Simplify some of the complexities associated with enterprise IT systems,
Foster innovation through viral projects, and
Release working capital by moving IT system's costs from capital to operational expenditure.
We are seeing a paradigm shift: The conventional enterprise system implementation methodology is as below:
Define requirements > specify > build/ buy > implement > maintain.
Key Challenges
Project Management is taking a paradigm shift with the evolution of Cloud based applications. With the advent of Cloud Computing, there is an added need and urgency for a formalized project management methodology across organizations. The successful delivery of Cloud projects depend on the Project Managers, empowered with project management frameworks and proven methodologies combined with experience. Project Management acts as catalyst in building the robust service delivery engine to deliver faster and cheaper.

Some of the cloud computing project categories include:
IT strategy and architecture projects – E.g., Re-architecting existing architecture into cloud base solution, Cloud transition projects etc. Organizational capability Improvement project – Develop Cloud Pricing Models and Cloud Contract and Revenue Models, Develop DRP/BCP etc.

Development, Integration and Migration Projects – SaaS application development (PaaS), On Premise to Cloud migration, Migrate applications to private cloud etc.

Testing and Validation Projects - E.g. Testing and validation of Cloud Integrations/Migrations, SaaS application development (PaaS), Performance Testing on Cloud Infrastructure projects – E.g. Data migration from on premise data centers to cloud data centers, Remote Management of servers, virtualized access to servers, databases.

Product Development Projects – E.g. PaaS, Integration Projects, Develop Enterprise Applications, Mobile Applications.

Meeting the Challenges
Cloud projects are different than traditional projects in many ways. There are many specific skills that a project manager had to acquire to deliver cloud projects successfully.
  1. New Cloud Skills for project managers/Team
  2. New tailored project life cycles and methodologies
  3. Country law and regulatory compliance practices
  4. Security standards
  5. Cloud provider agreements, SLAs and Penalties
  6. Cloud Based Architecture technical skills like Hadoop, GridGain, Multicasting etc
  7. Encourage Team Collaboration using WIKIs and other collaborative tools
  8. Optimization of infrastructure
  9. Information sharing between delivery team members, customer team members
  10. and Executive management
  11. Use of Rapid dashboard info on portfolio of projects
  12. Testing on cloud and challenges
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PM Essence

Why I Wiish There Were No “I” iin “Innovate”

- Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble
Humans love to compete for status. That said, each community has its own scorecard. In Washington, it's how close you are to the President. On Wall Street, it's the size of your bonus. In academia, it's the number of times your papers are cited in other papers.

We have our own distinct way of keeping track in the innovation community. It's all about how close you are to the beginning of the story. How many times have you heard a brag line that includes something like “I was there right at the start!” or “I was employee number three!”

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What this means, of course, is that if the idea was yours, then you are king.

We love idea people. We celebrate inventors and their inventions. Heck, Edison and his light bulb are the ubiquitous icons of innovation. (Indeed, I've long since lost track of the number of innovation
books with a light bulb on the cover.)

But, if you give it just a bit of thought, you might agree that this is a questionable scorecard — maybe even a downright peculiar one. It's sort of like analyzing a football team and giving all of the
credit to the placekicker. After all, they literally kick off the game.

Now, in many endeavors, getting off to a good start is crucial. Innovation is clearly one of them, and breakthrough ideas are hard to come by. But in my view, the value of the idea has been blown completely out of proportion. Ideas are only beginnings. And getting from big idea to big impact is extremely difficult — especially in established organizations.

Unfortunately, because we imagine that innovation success is mostly dependent on brilliant individuals with brilliant ideas, we fundamentally misunderstand what it takes to execute.

Put simply: It takes a team.

But it's more than that. What's needed is not just “teamwork” in the general, feel good sense of the word. Executing an innovation initiative requires the creation of a very special kind of team — a cohesive assembly of individuals who each take on very specific roles. Only a very well-designed team can simultaneously handle two very different — and often conflicting —challenges:
sustaining what exists and building something new.

Unfortunately, companies, in general, aren't familiar with what these teams look like. Like a newcomer to the baseball playing world, they have little idea, if any, about the roles on the team. They have no
idea what the pitcher, catcher, infielders, and outfielders do.

Here's a specific challenge for you. Imagine you are running a decades-old heavy manufacturing company that supplies large capital equipment to other manufacturers. This year's strategy calls for building a new business — a software package that will help customers run their businesses more efficiently.

Now: Define the team that can build the new business while sustaining excellence in the existing one. Who is on it? Full time? Part time? Lead role? Support role? What are the responsibilities of each player? What should they expect of each other?

There's a lot to consider here. For starters, you'll need a mix of insiders and outsiders. You'll need some people focused on the existing business, some on the new business, and some splitting their time between both. And, you'll need a governance structure that engages in adjudicating conflicts and guides a disciplined experiment.

Innovation is not about one person being the hero. It takes a team … a special kind of team.


Chris Trimble and co-author Vijay Govindarajan have written four books on innovation. They published their parable about innovation teams, How Stella Saved the Farm, in March 2013.

Chris Trimble has dedicated more than ten years to studying a single challenge that vexes even the best-managed corporations: how to execute an innovation initiative. With Govindarajan he coauthored the New York Times bestseller Reverse Innovation (2012). He lives in Vermont.

Vijay Govindarajan is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and founding director of the Tuck School's Center for Global Leadership. He has worked with dozens of Fortune 500 corporations and speaks at conferences around the world. He lives in New Hampshire.

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PM Essence
PDUs and Fame - Write a Technical Paper

- Lt. Col. (Retd.) L. Shri Harsha, PgMP, PMP

Communication skills, both written and speaking, are some of the critical factors for growth in the professional career, that can be mastered with practice. Capturing technical thoughts and achievements on paper is the litmus test of one’s writing skills. Another added advantage is that the authors can earn vital PDUs useful for renewal of PMP certification.

Some tips for writing a good technical paper, based on my experience are summarized for the benefit of the community.


Abstract : This should summarize the entire gist of the paper and should draw the attention of the audience to explore further.

Introduction : The theme of the paper should be introduced to the audience. Point to note here is that the target audience is not laymen, but intellectuals. So avoid generic introductions, try to focus on why the subject is the content of the technical paper.

Main Content : This is where the meat of the paper lies. This can be organized under various heads as appropriate to the subject being discussed. However, a couple of headings which should not be missed are the challenges/lessons learnt/ future roadmap. This is not a summarization of the information already available. The “Cut copy paste” style will not help in writing a good technical paper. Use others’ thoughts on the subjects to generate discussion on your thoughts. Extend the discussion on how you leveraged the already available thoughts, concepts, technology etc. Alternatively, if it is a new philosophy which you want to advocate, do so with rational justifications defining how it can be done and use the already available information to substantiate your claims.

Conclusion :
This portion should trail off with some thoughts that the audience can explore and extend your thoughts to the next level. It is not a summarization of what has already been said in the main content.
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PM Essence
Q. This is a systematic and statistical technique to test product quality, especially when the when number of inputs and values it can take leads to combinatorial explosion of different scenarios that needs to be tested.?

A. A Orthogonal Array Testing Strategy (OATS) - is a systematic and statistical technique to test product quality, particularly useful for integration testing of software components (especially in OO systems where multiple subclasses can be substituted as the server for a client). The OATS aids in testing pair-wise interactions. It provides representative (uniformly distributed) coverage of all variable pair combinations. This makes the technique particularly useful for integration testing of software components (especially in OO systems where multiple subclasses can be substituted as the server for a client).
[Source - Internet]

We like to hear what you think!!

Please complete the sentence below with your thoughts in 10-15 words and send them to. The best entry will win attractive goodies from PMI Bangalore India Chapter.

Running a project without a WBS is like . . . . . . . . . .

Please provide your response by 24th September 2013 Chapter will select the best slogan and felicitate the winner during a Chapter event.
The Lighter Side of PM
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PM Essence
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