Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Factors to consider for SWOT analysis

The first step, define the desired end state or objective. The objective must be explicit and agreed by all parties. Correct identification of SWOT analysis is important as subsequent steps in the process are derived from the SWOT. Ensure that the objectives follow a SMART principle. 

I use SWOT analysis as inputs to the creative generation of possible strategies, by asking the following questions;

  • How can we use each strength?
  • How can we stop each weakness?
  • How can we exploit each opportunity?
  • How can we defend against each threat?

The mind map below provides some factors to consider in performing a SWOT analysis for a Service or a Process.

Monday, 26 August 2013

The seven - steps for improvement process

The seven steps of improvement process form a spiral set of activities, in fact, they constitute a knowledge spiral. In practice, the Knowledge gathered or 'Get the Knowledge phase' during an Operational level, derived from the first level of the improvement activities becomes a data input to the next level ' Tactical' and so for.

1- Operational Management leads to.....

                     2- Tactical Management leads to .....

                                               3- Strategic Management initiatives.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Bidders' Pitfalls to avoid

I was involved in a bidding evaluation process once, my observations are significant and useful if you are embarking into a similar journey.

When judging the responses of the bidders, which are reflected in the evaluation criteria, set by the evaluator; these questions surprisingly echo the bids review checklist set out;

Background an experience of contractor; a sound record of achievement in comparable work, backed by facts evidence is a MUST.
Personnela precise view about the personnel availability, scheduling of time inputs and delivery of outputs. More attention MUST be given to bottlenecksdelivery plans of specialised personnel.
Approach, methodology and work programme; ROBUST understanding of the client objectives and key issues must be CLEARLY addressed.
Price; a clear statement of the total estimated price supported by a breakdown price structure.
Quality of the bidAVOID hasty preparation and focus in the quality of the bid as it gives an impression of professionalism and reliability.

When presenting to the client, putting your message across is key. Make the presentation precise, use visual aids and multiple speakers. Don’t be defensive or self-destructing by drawing weaknesses the client may have not perceived.
Finally, leave enough time for Q&A at the end of your presentation.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Traditional against new Project Management approaches

This is a conversation between a Developer and a Project Manager; '
Developer; 'why are we in a bunker.'

Project Manager; 'it' hard a bunker, pal, it's a bit grim, I'll admit, but we need a room to call our own: a project room, a war room, somewhere to keep plans visible and where we can meet and really communicate; somewhere we can run workshops without waiting for days for a free meeting room. 

Developer; ' This project, then - bit of a rush job? Is it do-able?

Project Manager; ' Not a chance, mate, we go for a waterfall approach! We'll have to do a bit of 'agile' or we're out of a job again for sure.'

 sensible conversation, but looking back on project management approaches journey, the DSDM is the most rigours agile approach yet to come across. The reason is the deadly triangle; Project Manager has to balance between constraints of Cost and Time against the Features that have to be delivered.
If Cost, Time and the Features are all fixed, the only dimension left to vary is Quality. Compromising quality is unacceptable outcome.

DSDM Atern turns the deadly triangle on its head and advocates fixing Quality, along with Cost and Time, but allows flexibility of scope (features) by prioritisation.

DSDM Atern is rare amongst agile approaches in that it recognises a project and the need for delivery of a clear product to meet a business objective by a definite date and at a definite cost. 

DSDM will add structure and rigour to a project, without losing the flexibility to adjust to the changing needs of the business.
The structure for DSDM Atern consists and compromise of;
+ The philosophy
+ The eight principles
+ The process ( the life cycle)
+ The people (roles and responsibility)
+ The products (outputs that control the process or represent the project outcome)
+ The practices ( a set of key agile techniques).

The eight principle that embody the way of working are;
+ Focus on the business need
+ Deliver on time
+ Collaborate
+ Never compromise quality
+ Build incremental from firm foundation
+ Develop iteratively
+ Communicate continuously and clearly
+ Demonstrate control.
The mix or the sum of all parts - the roadmap to mixing PRINCE2, ITIL and DSDM Atern project road map is left for the employer to mix and match different approaches according to the business needs.
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