Some project managment insights
Discuss the relevance of PMBOK for ICT project managers:
The PMBOK is the preeminent global standard for project management. It provides project managers with the fundamental practices needed to achieve organizational results and excellence in the practice of project management.
It provides a global standard and common language that can be followed by organisations irrespective of their geological location.
Discuss the difference between the project life cycle and the SDLC:
The Project Life Cycle refers to a logical sequence of activities to accomplish the project’s goals or objectives
It consists of events which are necessary to complete a project.
It is a methodology to develop and maintain information systems.
SDLC phases: Analysis, Design, Development, Integration and Testing, Implementation.
Discuss the components of a comprehensive ICT project plan:
Problem Statement - Goal - Tasks and Priorities - Actions -Stakeholders and Timeframes.
Discuss the importance of project monitoring and controlling:
Monitoring and Controlling a project is the process or activities whereby the project manager tracks, reviews and revises the project activities in order to ensure the project creates the deliverables in accordance with the project objectives. Because of the unique and temporary nature of projects, they require active control. Unlike a process where the same set of activities have been performed repeatedly so that habits and expectations are stable, a project is inherently unstable. The activities are unique to the project or the sequence of activities and resources are only temporarily assigned and associated with the project and are redeployed when the project completes. Habits and patterns are not established before everything changes.
The primary results of the Monitoring and Controlling processes are the project performance reports and implementing project changes.
Tour of the Airbnb office in Dublin - Innovative and energising #airbnb @jowyang #collcon #airbnb_uk
Today is a good day. Final paper for my Masters handed up, it was strategic issues, analysis and solutions for Airbnb.
The best part in doing this paper is that I got a guided tour of their European HQ in Dublin.
What an amazing environment. It is themed like an Irish pub :)
But when you walk in you are met by friendly, cool people and an atmosphere 'we are making a difference'.
It is all about hospitality and that is why I get the grand tour. An impressive culture, work force and company.
Oh and of course you can bring your dog to work... Wonderfully creative and nuts!
Below are some photos of the office.
Thanks to Fiona Keane, (European HR Recruitment Manager) for the guided tour and interesting conversation.
Spot the dog.
Panoramic view of the office. Only 2 weeks ago our Taoiseach Enda Kenny was standing here, with the founders - Brian Chesky.
A strategic analysis on Airbnb and suggested initiatives. Masters nearly complete! #airbnb #strategy @airbnb_uk @airbnb @jowyang @digitalarun
Daaann de de daaaaannnnnnnnn - Its done. A few months work on a suggested strategy for Airbnb.
Its been a few weeks in the making but I have completed a list of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats for Airbnb.
Based on these I have created 6 Strategic goals for the company but I need to work on these before presenting.
The strategic tools I used: PESTEL, Porters 5 Forces and Competitor Analysis for external analysis (macro and micro).
For internal analysis the tools of choice: VIRO, Porters Value Chain, The Mikinsey 7 S Model. (All of theses are on my Strategy link - look above)
Team Airbnb, hope these are along the right lines... I am looking forward to seeing the 'Strategic Plan on a Page' when its published.
I have discussed the Internet of Things here before and that in just a few years we are going to see so many more 'things' connecting to the WWW.
Here is an interesting article about where this growth will happen.
The numbers being forecast for the Internet of Things (IoT) are truly mind-boggling.
BI Intelligence finds that the number of everyday and enterprise devices that will soon be connected to the Internet — from parking meters to home thermostats — will be huge.
Here are the top business-to-business and government applications for the IOT:
Having a tough time deciding on designs for your apps: here is some inspiration
Hey folks, if you need any strategy tools I have created a page full of them!!
This blog is all about the collaborative economy, however like any great business or venture there is a requirement for great leadership, skilled people and what I consider to be at the heart of great organisations - a culture of change.
We have just completed a series of papers and lectures that examines change. We have seen how hard change is, why so, why its very difficult to implement and a multitude of frameworks and best practice procedures to not just change an organisation but instill that culture of change.
I have had the opportunities to be involved in many organisational changes in my career history and from this perspective can critically evaluate and analyse the approach and success of them. Practical v's Theory.
Here are some notes from BCG's 'Changing Change Management'. This is an excellent paper and as my lecture stated, should be laminated and kept as a daily reminder on how to go about change.
BCG claims to have found the key to sustainable change. They say "take a disciplined, systematic approach that focuses energy, resources and time on the most important change elements". So far so good, but how?
The 3 e's for change management:
1. Executional Certainty
2. Enable Leaders
3. Engage organisation.
Lets take a closer look at these:
1. Executional Certainty: Ensures positive results by giving top managers a forward view of the progress and the means to make corrections early enough to make a difference.
Secondly test these roadmaps - again a pretty straightforward and achievable concept, we cannot tell how good something is until it has been tested.
However the third point is the killer point here. I believe that this point is very interesting and is not just as simple as it sounds. Let me tell you a little story, when I graduated from Uni I move to Holland, probably one of the most pragmatic countries the world. To cut a long story short, one day at work I messed up, really bad, ten's of thousands of pounds bad... My expectation was I was going to get into deep deep trouble, however to my absolute surprise my boss did something I'd never seen before, he empowered me. His words 'if you can make a mistake like this, then there is something wrong with the process, Ill give you 2 weeks to find and fix the issue'. I was speechless, no punishment - in fact a back handed compliment and an opportunity to dig deep into the issue.
Now in (old) Ireland if that happened, the initial response was to find the deviant that caused the problem and punish punish punish.
Getting back to point 3, this is easier said than done and I believe its a cultural characteristic too. To achieve a pragmatism that looks for solutions rather than apportioning blame thats a shift in culture itself and organisations and their leaders must be brave enough to take this on, aswell as starting the culture of change.
Also all of these points must be wrapped in a thick coating of respect for the road map owner. He or she must be the champions of the roadmaps and embody that change culture.
2. Enable Leaders
So you are the MD or CEO and you know this change is vital in order to implement and achieve your organisations vision and strategic goals.
As the CEO you must have the extended leadership own the change and demonstrate to them that the changes is necessary and connected to the organisations vision and strategy. In doing so change is not a lonely little boat drifting directionless on the sea. Its part of the big picture for your organisation, sites set in line with the company and enabling leaders to speak with one voice.
Change really does start at the top however successful enrollment of the leadership team is essential. A mandate from the CEO will FAIL.
Now that the leadership team are on this ship for the greater good, with a clear direction and a single voice, their behaviors must champion the change NOW.
3. Engage the Organisation
An engaged organisation is equipped and has the confidence to handle change by thoughtfully engaging key stakeholders and proactively enlisting employees.
We have all been there and heard the questions 'but why do we need this change?' etc. Leaders must be able to clearly communicate the WHY'S.
Again, this always comes up in every framework I have studied or used: clear roles and responsibilities for everyone. Everyone knows how and where they fit in.
You must also seek the people who are influential and support the change and leverage these people, used their power and influence to gain support, while on the other hand, enlist skeptics to demonstrate and win them over why change is essential.
Interestingly BCG say that the message must be communicated at least 9 TIMES for it to stick.
Finally, the less tangible factors need to be communicated (the seasoning) e.g. Pride of workmanship, job satisfaction, self-worth etc. - emotional buyin.
This will nourish all 3 facets of an employees contribution:
So these are the 3 e's for change. There is lots more around change. I will blog these over the coming days:
Here is a great infographic listing of the characteristics of a good leader. Its pretty insightful. There is more to it than Jack Welch's for E's however combining the 2 you nearly have all the boxes ticked to be a seriously hard core leader.
The 4 E's of LeadershipEnergy - Individuals with energy love to "go, go, go." These people possess boundless energy and get up every day ready to attack the job at hand. High energy people move at 95 miles-per-hour in a 55 mile-per-hour world.
Energizers - know how to spark others to perform. They outline a vision and get people to carry it out. Energizers know how to get people excited about a cause or a crusade. They are selfless in giving others the credit when things go right, but quick to accept responsibility when things go awry.
Edge - Those with edge are competitive types. They know how to make the really difficult decisions, such as hiring, firing and promoting, never allowing the degree of difficulty to stand in their way.
Execute - The key to the entire model. Without measurable results, the other "E's" are of little use. Executers recognize that activity and productivity are not the same and are capable of converting energy and edge into action and results.
Follow me here
Ken Finnegan is a strategist and technology enthusiast from Dublin, Ireland. He has a passion for Collaborative Consumption.