TOGAF – well I finally did it ( here’s the summary)

I couldn’t find a readable short summary anywhere so I decided to bear the pain, skim read the dull text and write a summary for any unfortunate person trying to get a quick overview of a new framework in an industry he/she already knows well.

My conclusion after a few hours of wading through the treacle is that it is well put together, if horrendously poor in it’s presentation.
A slight contradiction is that parts are already a bit outdated in that it pays too much attention to things like portability in a world where interoperability is the buzz word and the “cloud” and “tower of babel” are the modern metaphors, nevertheless any slight shortcomings can easily be overcome by intelligent people using it.
A sharp warning though is that; even more so than the ubiquitous Prince2 for project management, TOGAF won’t make an architect of you, you have to bring all the skills to the table and then it helps you get things in the right order, but even that is up for interpretation, so you really must know your stuff and have integrity
It is not therefore a reliable hiring tool in it’s own right and I see it as definitely a team game.

Good management strategy and practice supported by intelligent modern systems

Let’s begin with the strategy and management practices before we start talking about systems. In the last instalment, we talked about schizophrenic businesses. Businesses with confused outlooks, confused processes and naturally enough, confused systems, confused workforce, resigned customers, despairing shareholders. The five cardinal sins that create schizophrenic organisations: You have a business made up of … Read more

The agile organisation – a risky proposition

What did Bill Gates mean and what did it mean to Microsoft to be agile. Well Bill made the mother of all misjudgements when he said that the internet was of no interest to Microsoft and dismissed its potential. Within one and a half years, Microsoft had changed its mind, won the browser war with Netscape and delivered ASP, the first and still dominant commercial application server for the internet. That was agile, but it had not a thing to do with stand up meetings around whiteboards and walls covered in scribbles.

Is there still a case for IT strategic planning?

To put that in content, the earth is not round but flat and the universe is merely mirror images of the earth reflected on a layer of slightly opaque gas. The landing on the moon happened in a closed off section of MGM and hamburgers are good for you.

Communication for project managers-teaching skills

Image via Wikipedia         Part two -Get your point accross Read Part one Basic teaching skills I use the word teaching because there is really no difference between teaching/learning and communication of any other sort.  Your role is to help people understand the concepts you are communicating and to see the world … Read more

Negotiation skills for project managers

An absolutely key skill that no project manager can go out without is basic negotiation skills. From achieving consensus among stakeholders to getting the right procurement contract and managing exceptions, the one thing you absolutely MUST HAVE is the ability to negotiate effectively. Here’s a few golden rules to help you negotiate more effectively whatever … Read more

Persuasion for project managers

Image via Wikipedia  This blog is intended to give a simple no nonsense overview of persuasion based on a single universally accepted theory that can be adapted to any set of circumstances, but I have presented it in a way that is focused more closely on the needs of the project manager. Six laws of … Read more

Project kickoff – don’t miss an opportunity

The project concept has outgrown it’s initial purpose to become pervasive in all areas of business and government. This blog is relevant to all projects, but especially to those traditional ones that are created with a new team to deliver a specific project outcome such as a business change. The challenges faced by Projects The … Read more

The five stages of an IT project

1. Enthusiasm for the goals 2. Disillusionment with the progress 3. Search for the guilty 4. Persecution of the innocent 5. Praise for the nonparticipants Einsteins definition of madness was “someone who keeps doing the same thng and expecting a different outcome.” Johari’s theory defines four aspects of knowledge and ignorance. Knowing what you don’t … Read more

Testing requirements is not optional

Part one – What would you like sir Part two – Requirements,tests, training, help files Part three – Why no project exists onin isolation-whwat should be done Part four – Business rules, Process rules, Process, Data, different viewpoints Part five – Testing requirements is not optional Part six  -Requirements strategy can make or break your project Yes … Read more

Why so many organisations are so bad at change and what it takes to get in control.

The blame for failed change projects
51% put the failures down to “winning hearts and minds” followed by 31% citing “Lack of clearly defined achievable milestones” and then “lack of management buy-in “ and “poor communication”.

These responses don’t describe a failed change management programme, they describe non existence of a change programme, i.e little more than a wish.

Fifteen common sense cost cutting ideas

With a forecast of rising inflation putting pressure on costs coupled with shrinking sales in certain industries, then many businesses will be paying extra attention to cost cutting opportunities. In this blog I have identified the top 15 generic opportunities for cost savings that can be applied either directly or in a modified state to almost any business.

Here is the top 15 initiatives to cut costs rapidly and significantly in almost any business

Is project management different from management?

Well actually it isn’t in my view. I believe that the “management “, is assumed. If you look back to the origins of project management you will see why I say this. Project management was introduced into organisations to handle a particular set of problems surrounding business change. The crux of the problem is that … Read more