Dashboards and scorecards

Comparing features of dashboards and scorecards

Feature

Dashboard

Scorecard

Purpose

Measure performance

Charts progress

Users

Supervisors, specialists

Executives, managers and staff

Updates

Right-time feeds

Periodic snapshots

Data

Events

Summaries

Display

Visual graphs, raw data

Visual graphs, comments

Three Types of Performance Dashboards
Operational Tactical Strategic
Purpose Monitor operations Measure progress Execute strategy
Users Supervisors, specialists Managers, analysts Executives, managers, staff
Scope Operational Departmental Enterprise
Information Detailed Detailed/summary Detailed/summary
Updates Intra-day Daily/Weekly Monthly/quarterly
Emphasis Monitoring Analysis Management

Source:- Project Management: A Systems Approach To Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner.

 

Myths and realities of schedule compression

Compression Technique Myth Reality

Use of overtime

Work will progress at the same rate on overtime.

The rate of progress is less on overtime; more mistakes may occur; and prolonged overtime may lead to burnout.

Adding more resources (i.e., crashing)

The performance rate will increase due to the added resources.

It takes time to find the resources; it takes time to get them up to speed; the resources used for the training must come from the existing resources.

Reducing scope (i.e., needed. Reducing functionality)

The customer always requests more work than actually needed.

The customer needs all of the tasks agreed to in the statement of work.

Outsourcing

Numerous qualified suppliers exist.

The quality of the suppliers’ work can damage your reputation; the supplier may go out of business; and the supplier may have limited concern for your scheduled dates.

Doing series work in parallel

An activity can start before the previous activity has finished.

The risks increase and rework becomes expensive because it may involve multiple activities.

Parallel Realities

Parallel Realities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach To Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R. Kerzner.

 

Twenty project management proverbs

Twenty project management proverbs:

  1. You cannot produce a baby in one month by impregnating nine women.
  2. The same work under the same conditions will be estimated differently by ten different estimators or by one estimator at ten different times.
  3. The most valuable and least used word in a project manager’s vocabulary is “NO.”
  4. You can con a sucker into committing to an unreasonable deadline, but you can’t bully him into meeting it.
  5. The more ridiculous a deadline, the more it costs to try and meet it.
  6. The more desperate the situation, the more optimistic the situatee.
  7.  Too few people on a project can’t solve the problems—too many create more problems than they solve.
  8. You can freeze the user’s specs but he won’t stop expecting.
  9. Frozen specs and the abominable snowman are alike: They are both myths, and they both melt when sufficient heat is applied.
  10. The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten, and the promise is remembered.
  11. What you don’t know hurts you.
  12. A user will tell you anything you ask about—nothing more.
  13. Of several possible interpretations of a communication, the least convenient one is the only correct one.
  14. What is not on paper has not been said.
  15. No major project is ever installed on time, within budget, with the same staff that started it.
  16. Projects progress quickly until they become 90 percent complete; then they remain at 90 percent forever.
  17. If project content is allowed to change freely, the rate of change will exceed the rate of progress.
  18. No major system is ever completely debugged; attempts to debug a system inevitably introduce new bugs that are even harder to find.
  19. Project teams detest progress reporting because it vividly demonstrates their lack of progress.
  20. Parkinson and Murphy are alive and well—in your project.

Source: Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling by Harold R Kerzner (11th Edition).

Project Evaluation: Making Investments Succeed

Accountability. Yes, we’d all like to know who’s accountable.

But that’s a funny word, isn’t it?

After all, isn’t responsibility the same thing?

Or as some smart ass wisely put it, ‘accountability is what’s left when you subtract responsibility’.

(That smart ass is Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education’s Center for International Mobility and author of the book Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?) Continue reading

Mentoring

Sir Salman Rushdie

Sir Salman Rushdie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If mentors and mentees are too similar, there may be little value for mentees in terms of knowledge,awareness or capability due to the lack of ‘stretch’ in the relationship.

If mentors and mentees are too far apart,then there is a risk of scheme breakdown due to a lack of empathy, credibility and motivation in both directions.

Both mentor and mentee gain more from the relationship if the  mentee takes the initiative and if he or she expects developmental (as against directive) behaviours from the mentor.

The more passive the mentee and the more directive the mentor, the less successful the relationship.

Salman Rushdie writes:

Those who do not have the power of the story that dominates their lives—power to retell it, rethink it,deconstruct it,joke about it, and change it as times change—truly are powerless because they cannot think new thoughts.

Mentoring can help us explore our story, think new thoughts and realize a new future. Mentoring gives us an opportunity not to be condemned to repeat our pasts.

Mentoring is essentially a voluntary activity.

Mentoring is for the mentee.Attempts to impose agendas on the mentee result in manipulation and social engineering.

Mentors should reflect on their own ethical approach. References can be both external (e.g. a professional body) and internal (own values, situational ).

(Excerpted from Mentoring in Action—A Practical Guide (2nd Edition) [Chapter 1: The Mentoring Framework] by D Megginson,D Clutterbuck, B Garvey,P Stokes and R Garrett-Harris.)

 

Web-services, SOA, BPM & Cloud Computing – XI

Business Process Reengineering Cycle

Image via Wikipedia

The term Business Process Management (BPM) has been buzzing around for quite a while.

What exactly is BPM?

Is it solely about technology?

Or is it more than that?

Yes, BPM is in vogue because the technology to model processes, simulate them, improve them, and maybe even improvise is available in a huge way.

Continue reading

COBIT and IT Governance – A Brief

IT governance is the responsibility of executives and the board of directors, and consists of the leadership, organisational
structures and processes that ensure that the enterprise’s IT sustains and extends the organisation’s strategies and
objectives.

Organisations should satisfy the quality, fiduciary and security requirements for their information, as for all assets.

Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT®) provides good practices across a domain and process
framework and presents activities in a manageable and logical structure. COBIT’s good practices represent the consensus of experts.
They are strongly focused more on control, less on execution. These practices will help optimise IT-enabled investments, ensure
service delivery and provide a measure against which to judge when things do go wrong.

Continue reading

Certification Bazaar: The Ugly Side

The certification bazaar has  taken off in the Indian IT industry. Courses range from PMI’s PMP, OGC’s PRINCE2 and ITIL, COBIT, TOGAF and BPM.

Purveyors of these courses charge you an arm and a leg; certification and their maintenance will in all probability cost you another arm and a leg.Do you wish to put down that kind of money with the possibility of little or no returns on your investment?

Horror stories of how folks are certified but have no opportunity to practise abound, but at least in some cases, employers are willing to foot the bill to retain the certified hordes. Yet others do not have the said luxury. Would you re-certify yourself if you had to pay from your own pocket?

Marketing emails  sniff out an inkling of a need or a requirement. The tactics could be termed innovative or (if you wish to be critical) , they  smack of desperation.

Courses and their faculty seem to be  disjoint and disparate from the industry and reality.

It’s a chicken and egg situation. Should you  certify and then gain experience on the same? Or gain experience first and then have yourself certified?

What do you think?

_______________________________________________________

The other bugbear in the Indian IT industry is not sexism, as you would like to believe, but ageism.

Lack of seasoned professionals in the industry and pre-dominance of young professionals is the cause of this malaise.

Churlish behaviour of the young ‘uns only reinforces the impression.

Just another ugly facet of the celebrated success story.

__________________________________________________________

Quote of the day:
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. – Mahatma Gandhi

Ten days to results: Mumbai university starts off on the right foot

University of Mumbai library, India

Image via Wikipedia

Mumbai University have set a record of sorts by declaring the October TY B Com exam results within ten days. This minor miracle was made possible by a change in ‘methodology’; six centralised assessment of papers were set up at South Mumbai. Navi Mumbai and Thane. This had the effect of reducing the travel time of the evaluators who would previously travel to Kalina campus.

Just goes to show that more than technology itself, it is change effected in processes that has more of an impact.

The statutory requirement is that results are to be declared within 45 days of the exams.

This year’s March-April examinations were declared after 89 days ;the university was severely criticised for a lackadaisical attitude towards the students.

The number of CAP centres will be raised to 15 – 20 for next year’s March exam.

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.

Albert Einstein

Project Management Quotes

Project Management Phases

Project Management Phases (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of making a date is forgotten.

Whilst you can practice good PM without EVM, you cannot practice EVM effectively without PM. (Steve Crowther)

There is such a thing as an unrealistic timescale

Continue reading