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Archive for October, 2010

Hiring team members is easy…isn’t it? Not in technology. – Part II: The Interview and beyond

October 26, 2010 1 comment
Hiring team members is easy…isn’t it? Not in technology. – Part II: The Interview and beyond

Challenges of finding right people for the project on the overcrowded market

By Vitaly Dubravin

My last post (“Hiring team members is easy…isn’t it? Not in technology. – Part I: Before the Interview”) talked about some steps preceding the interview. This part is about the vital steps during the Interview and right after it.

2. The Interview

Face to Face. People are working all over the world and it is hard to bring them in during initial selection. I do not like phone interviews for several reasons. First – there is less confidence that the person on the other end of the line is the same person that will come on your project. Second – there is no assurance that this person is in the country and will not have troubles coming in. Third – I like to see person’s reactions on my questions. For example: the person may be silent on the other end while thinking or is busy checking Internet for an answer. I’d like to know that.

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Hiring team members is easy…isn’t it? Not in technology. – Part I: Before the Interview

October 25, 2010 2 comments
Hiring team members is easy…isn’t it? Not in technology. – Part I: Before the Interview

Challenges of finding right people for the project on the overcrowded market

By Vitaly Dubravin

Every manager sooner or later is facing a challenge of hiring new team members. I don’t make a big difference between hiring of a full time person or a consultant. Both will be equal team members. This process may be very formal or extremely flexible, depending on the company’s culture. But the ultimate result may either save you tons of money and nerve cells when you find someone really good or cost you a lot if a mistake is made. Here are some considerations from my own team building experience.

Market was going down for a few years in a row and there is a common illusion that there are plenty of high-skilled workers who can be hired for a dime. Yes, many good people were laid off but that was a measure of the last resort. Office plankton was the first to be kicked out. People with outdated skills were the next in the line. Such “talents” present a vast majority of the widely available resources in the online resume databases. It does not mean that it is not possible to hire a person you really need. You simply have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding a princess.

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7 Pillars of a Successful Master Data Management Implementation

October 21, 2010 1 comment
7 Pillars of a Successful Master Data Management Implementation

Should I start a MDM project now or later?

By Vitaly Dubravin

Master Data Management (MDM) has become a well-recognized industry buzzword in the last few years. Most, if not all, CIOs of the large and midsize companies have spent some time and budget to explore a feasibility of the MDM solution for their companies. Yet we do not see too many completed MDM implementations.

MDM products are coming from all major players – Informatica Siperian Hub, IBM InfoSphere MDM Server, Oracle MDM Suite, SAP NetWeaver MDM, open source Talend, etc. Millions of dollars were invested into R&D to define the ultimate and the most flexible product for a fast and easy implementation. Software packages are getting cheaper and affordable for smaller-size firms. MDM product sales are growing.

Is MDM concept just another IT bubble and we can live without it, or the threats addressed by the MDM solution are real and will have a substantial bottom-line impact over the years if left alone?

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5 Practical Tips for a Master Data Management Solution

October 21, 2010 1 comment
5 Practical Tips for a Master Data Management Solution

Master Data Management, strategy, Impact on business, business process management

By Vitaly Dubravin

Master Data Management (MDM) initiative can become a trampoline for the very successful CIO career. It helps to better align IT capabilities with the business needs and to build a solid foundation for the future corporate growth. Goals of the MDM solution are ambitious, but the output is very appealing for the business.

MDM implementation faces a lot of challenges down the bumpy road. The tips below will help you to make the ride smoother and avoid the unnecessary tensions.

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Fixed Price IT Project – The avaricious pays twice? – Part II: Execution

October 21, 2010 2 comments
Fixed Price IT Project – The avaricious pays twice? – Part II: Execution

How fixed is a fixed price project and what is really happening behind the curtain

By Vitaly Dubravin

My last article (“Fixed Price IT Project – The avaricious pays twice? – Part I: Preparation) talked about challenges of a business pain transformation into the proposal to build an IT system. This time I’ll describe the second,  more dramatic stage of the ultimate transformation – project implementation.

A lucky vendor is awarded a contract and a project team is ready to start.

4. Execution phase.

The Project team has a formal leader – a Project Manager. He or she, was orchestrating a RFP response preparation and was a major player in the sales efforts to win the deal before. But now PM is The Person in charge. What is a key metric for the Project Manager’s performance? Customer satisfaction, quality of deliverables, meeting deadline and milestones…it’s all true, but. Good project managers have enough paperwork to cover their backs when the problem arises with any of the above mentioned metrics and are rarely punished for that. What is really intolerable is running out of budget on a fixed price contract. Not many PMs have survived this and it leads to an idea that the cost and only the cost is the primary metric that drives project manager’s decisions. How does this affect the project?

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Fixed Price IT Project – The avaricious pays twice? – Part I: Preparation

October 21, 2010 1 comment
Fixed Price IT Project – The avaricious pays twice? – Part I: Preparation

How fixed is a fixed price project and what is really happening behind the curtain

By Vitaly Dubravin

CIOs and Business Managers are under the constant pressure to cut costs of doing business. Though, innovative IT development projects have become a major enabling factor to a competitive advantage on the market. Such advantage often comes with a heavy price tag attached.  Cost-driven businesses had found a way to limit IT appetite and put development budgets under control – Fixed Price Projects.  Is this a real cost saver or a financial black hole for the company? Let’ look at some essential project steps to answer this question.

1. Requirements definition

Businesses, usually, have a decent understanding of the ideal system to be delivered. This understanding is driven by needs (often called pains). Such needs have a wide variety of forms and contributing factors, but can always be defined. Needs trigger requirements gathering, conducted by an internal project team or is outsourced to a trusted advisory company. Final result may be presented on a single sheet of paper or in a thick book, but I have never seen a document that will cover more than a half of what a project team will really need during the execution. Most documents will contain between 10 to 30% of vital information for vendors to scope a project.  This has nothing to do with the experience and professionalism of the team collecting requirements. The problem is much deeper. Literally no one on either customer or vendor side knows what will really be necessary a few months ahead when the project should be delivered. And no one can even guess every flavor of the future business need behind the project. Final requirements document describes, at best, the system as seen today, but not the system to be and is not very helpful because of that.

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