Thursday, August 30, 2007

One tired spider......

(from cnn) WILLS POINT, Texas (AP) -- Entomologists are debating the origin and rarity of a sprawling spider web that blankets several trees, shrubs and the ground along a 200-yard stretch of trail in a North Texas park.

If this was an IT Project, I would estimate, 50 Project Manager Spiders, 5 Manager Spiders, 2 Screaming VP Spiders, 3 QA Spiders and 1 actual Working Spider, who's probably very tired after spinning 200 yards worth of web.................

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Project Management Tools..........what to look for

Tools enhance they do not replace people's productivity.....
Can anyone really provide a fair comparison between PM tools? There are different dimensions that need to be taken into consideration, such as the PM methodology, corporate culture, maturity level of the group and related teams, type of industry, etc. Let's look at something simple - hammers - how many different types of hammers are there? would think (I did) that there would be a very limited number of hammer (like) tools - but guess what - there isn't.........for those interested here's a good list of types:
To get back on track a bit - the base requirements I would look for in a PM tool is:
  • it fits the PM methodology I'm currently using
  • it fits the corporate culture (CYA is probably the #1 reason for MS Project)
  • the teams are ready for a tool and level of tool being used
  • it provides more benefit them MS Excel and paper

And the difference between this and......

And the difference between this and......
1. most AI applications is.........
2. most PM's is............

Rambling is rambling.......sounds like 90% of all meetings I've been in

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

System Life Span

In a recent blog ( - I started to think about (yes - I write to help think) - how complexity of systems decrease their total usefulness, flexibility, etc. and make it more difficult to maintain and modify (this is based on an article I read - referenced in the blog posting above). Could the life span of a system have anything to do with the level of value? We often think the the longer a system is around the more value that is derived from it....but is that true? Obviously there's a return on investment (ROI) that needs to be considered - but does that conflict with opportunity and future development? So that a system that is around 'to long' negatively impacts the overall opportunity of the business needs surrounding the formulation of that system and also negatively impacts potential future new developments? Does a system that becomes a legacy system increase costs of other newer systems that integrate with it and reduces potential business opportunities? It would make sense that is does.......


This is something you need to look took a step in the right direction - this is an entire leap.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Complexity of systems

The more systems built and integrated the more complex they are - the more they cost to maintain - the more difficult it is to modify - the more likely they will break - the more time spent explaining why not. Here's a good article about Enterprise Software:
what to do - what to do.........if living 'things' are more complex then any system - how do they stop from 'breaking'? change to the surrounding environment? Perhaps they don't...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The War's for Sale, and There're Plenty of Buyers

No matter what you think is true or what side you fall on - the one apparent truth is that this type of discussion is not happening on TV, Radio or the newspapers..........stop the BS Paris/Brittany/Lindsy stuff and let's start talking about what's happening to our troops and our country........

Wrike - task management tool

I was asked to review the Wrike Project Management tool -
Overall, I would say it's a GREAT INTERFACE - smooth, easy to use, etc. - but in regards to functionality, there seems to be some room to grow. The terminology also seems to be a bit off. Project are groups and within each group there are tasks. Some of the lacking functionality includes:
  • sub tasks
  • seeing/drilling down on the left hand pane to see tasks
  • predecessor, successor connection between tasks
and most importantly customization. There is no way (from what I can see) to add additional fields, different statuses, new layouts, etc. By far the best feature is the time line useful it is (or any time line view) is questionable, but it does look good. I think the one major short coming of the tool (and most tools) is that it's a tool and not an approach based on solid theory. Wouldn't it be nice to have a PM theory (Agile hopefully) implemented in a PM tool? I know there are some out there ( for a list), but none seem to be dominate (why? WHY or WHY do so many still use MS Project). The most popular PM tool still seems to be MS Excel.....what does that really say about PM maturity?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What can we control

Chaos - it's life - it's all around us. Are we fooling ourselves in thinking that we can truly manage or control a project that consists of multiple people, economic, social and 100's of other influences? I'm beginning to think that a PM's job is to try to direct the direction of chaos rather then control it and then try to report on the current state of chaos.

Friday, August 3, 2007

I'm rubber, you're glue........

To state the obvious - IT's job is moving from development to integration. No longer is the 'build from scratch.....' mentality directing most projects and IT is REALLY moving to a reuse phase (...and I'm not talking about copy and past....) - either internal or (most likely) external components, services, open source, etc. Based on this - do we need to rethink - IN DEPTH - the standard Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) and Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)???? Most likely - phases to deal with researching components/services will need to be added as part of the requirements as well as part-of/or-prior to design. This will impact approach, cost, testing AND POST-LIVE SUPPORT! The glue that holds the components/services is the key focus for internal development - but the components/services are the key focus for the PM's and designers....a bit different then having all focus on the development....