Software Delivery – Catering or Master Chef ??

I think it is fair to say – that we all take pride in our job, the actions that we delivery and the feedback we receive when we deliver a “job well done”.

I have recently taken the role as Project Manager and System Architect for a Large Near and Offshore Provider (Out of Ukraine, search somewhere else for the company name) – but this is a role enjoy to fulfill and i would like to provide my feedback to what purpose i serve in front of my customers and partners.

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Project Management – We do it “my way” – or do we ??

Some of the more popular project management tools these days offer you the option of creating limited accounts for your clients/co-workers and others, so that they can see progress, changes and otherwise interact with you faster than they might otherwise. (Do never assume that email can replace a real project management approach towards success).

Some projects do require a more formal approach to “the PMO Discipline” – while other projects (and customers) would be quite ok with updates via email and phone. What is important is to align the expectations, so you are not caught on the wrong foot.

One of the big questions you have to ask yourself is whether your clients will ever log into your project management tool ??. If the tool is not a part of their workflow or, worse yet, if clients aren’t comfortable with anything but email, asking those clients to use something new just puts one more hurdle between you and them.

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Control the Inbox – who’s the boss ?

I read so much about tools that can help you get your “inbox zero” or how to be a better performer in regards to office work, always staying on top – i just wanted to share some simple approaches to my life (and inbox in particular), that i have taken (work and private).

First of all – lets just agree on 1 thing; Email is not your day to day job. It’s a tool to do your job.

Email is not “Instant Messaging” – it is Not constant on, it is not a tool for conversations. This is where we got the IM Tools, and where face-2-face – or at least picking up the phone is an excellent approach (and the only one imho). I just recently (today) had a client calling me from another location, since he also felt we spent to much time emails – and too little getting to the point; And shame on me; for not being the one reaching out.

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Utilization and Data Centers vs. Private/Public Cloud

I read recently a very well written article about Data Center Utilization and what is actually hidden behind this information.

Before we actually start bashing the different Managers about the CPU Cycles – there is a point, it’s more about how efficient we utilize the services we have in place. CPU Cycles is only a part of this, we also need to look at numbers of Clients/Connections/Sessions that we are utilizing – and at the same time how we we serve our clients.

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The Blame Game – But nobody Wins

Situation, you are a consultant assigned as lead engineer for an important customer. Your team successfully executes a carefully planned network upgrade and firewall replacement for #1 customer.

You’ve had planning meetings, you provided two weeks advance notice of the changes, tested the config and checked every detail. You’ve completed the upgrade well within the weekend maintenance window. After final testing you email the customer that the upgrade was completed successfully.

On Monday morning, your cell phone starts ringing before you get to the office. It’s the customer you upgraded over the weekend. Breathless, he tells you the entire accounting department hasn’t been able to print since the firewall upgrade. They need to process salary by 11:00 this morning….. This is urgent, high profile, they’ve already called the IT-Manager. He said to call you directly.

“What? That’s not possible. The firewall doesn’t have anything to do with printing in the accounting department.” You explain all this to the customer, but to no avail. The Blame Game has begun.

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