Category Archives: IT industry

Last Minute Seat Sale on Certified Scope Manager (CSM) workshops: Tampa, FL Apr 27-May 1, 2009

Dear colleague,

A few months ago I conducted a series of webinars on Scope Management and the Certified Scope Manager (CSM). Now our scheduled training is fast approaching, and because you’re a blog reader we’re having a seat sale for our loyal fans!

In just over 2 weeks, (April 27-May 1, 2009!) we are conducting Certified Scope Manager workshops in Tampa, FL. As a blog reader, you are entitled to a 20% discount for any single or multiple workshop – so register today! (Simply indicate “BLOG” beside your name on the registration form and we’ll adjust the total for you.)

Please visit http://www.qualityplustech.com/stage/CSM_training.html to register. Purchase orders and payment arrangements can be made for this seat sale. Register today and make a difference in your organization and your career!

We hope to see you in Tampa April 27- May 1, 2009.

Have a nice week!

Regards,
Carol Dekkers
Carol Dekkers email: dekkers@qualityplustech.com
http://www.qualityplustech.com/stage/
http://www.caroldekkers.com/

Contact Carol to keynote your upcoming event – her style translates technical matters into digestible soundbites, humorously and forthright.
View also Carol Dekkers’ general blog at http://caroldekkers.wordpress.com/
============Copyright 2009, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ======================

Managing program scope - an evolutionary approach

One of the most daunting challenges with software intensive systems development centers around ensuring that customers and suppliers speak the same language about the amorphous technology solution needed by the customer.  When the product is a tangible product such as a building or a road, there is far less ambiguity in the requirements and the number of projects that need to be worked.

Most customers can envision what a road looks like and what its construction will entail.  However, when software intensive systems are involved in the solution – this is hardly the case!  While the customers knows that their business problem needs a solution that will involve technology and hardware/software, most often the exact business problem is not yet articulated.  That’s the role of the first phase of the project – figuring out what the project(s) will be and what the floorplan(s) are that will be involved —- but in a systems way of thinking.

Customers know that the cost of such technology intensive solutions generally exceeds the initial budget (without knowing exactly why) and thus want to corral such costs with a “not-to-exceed” fixed price budget.  This is similar to wanting to develop a piece of land to satisfy a particular need, but asking for a fixed price before such buildings and/or projects are defined. Ludicrous you might say!  Premature at least!

What normally happens at this point for software intensive systems projects is that a contrived fixed prices guesstimate is drawn up by various suppliers (software developers) based on customer insistence.  It will always be wrong because no one can predict the cost of something that has not yet been seriously discussed.  The cost to build a house before a floor plan is developed will obviously be wrong – because the cost depends on what the house will include and how big it will be.  As such – a unit price per square foot could be used (based on history).

This is exactly what Scope Management is all about – figuring out and subdividing the business solution into a number of pieces (a new system, data migration, etc), and the getting unit prices for their development (cost per FP or other metric).  The customer wins because they only pay for the work that they direct, and the supplier wins because they get paid for the work they are directed to do.

Certified scope managers (CSM) are professional practitioners trained in the northernSCOPE(TM) approach to concrete scope management.

Workshops to become a certified scope manager (CSM) to aid customer groups are now scheduled for April 27- May 1, 2009 in Tampa FL.  See www.qualityplustech.com for further details and to register.

Let’s work together to make software intensive systems development successful – through scope management. It’s the right thing to do and takes advantage of the best-practices we already know and use!

Have a nice week!

Regards,
Carol Dekkers
Carol Dekkers email: dekkers@qualityplustech.com
http://www.qualityplustech.com/stage/
http://www.caroldekkers.com/

Contact Carol to keynote your upcoming event – her style translates technical matters into digestible soundbites, humorously and forthright.

View also Carol Dekkers’ general blog at http://caroldekkers.wordpress.com/ ============Copyright 2009, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ============= Posted by Carol Dekkers Labels: ,

Industry Journal Invitation to "Premiere 100 IT Leaders Conference" - Caution!

Have you ever been invited to a party and then later un-invited? Well, something like this happened to me earlier in the week.

I received a personalized email from an IT industry journal telling me that because of my stature as an industry leader, I was being invited to attend their upcoming Premiere 100 IT Leaders Conference next month in Orlando, FL as their guest (and receive a complimentary $1795 valued pass to the conference) . I thought that their attendance was likely down this year due to financial times, and would want to boost their attendance by having industry leaders in their audience to further promote spinoff attendance.

I clicked on the registration link in the email, where they asked for further information so that they could process my invitation. THEN — when I had filled out and submitted the registration form, — the response screen said that my attendance would need to be APPROVED and that I would receive a confirmation email within hours. Excuse me? The journal management had invited me as their guest – why would someone need to approve me?

The promised email arrived only after I had sent a follow-up query – and, to my amazement – they denied my “Invitation”. It seems that, despite my email address clearly indicating showing my company name, they had overlooked that I am an independent consultant who advises CIO’s and other “C” level executives in large corporations about how to maximize their returns on their IT investments. I was now un-invited as their guest because I was not a senior IT executive employed by a big customer corporation (in other words an employee of a company who could be sold to by conference sponsors/vendors) – but, if I still wanted to attend, I could do so at a hefty new pricetag!

Maybe I am out of touch with the recessionary tactics that the industry journals such as this one use today, but it reeks of the tactics that banks use to lure people to their credit card programs — you receive a “pre-approved” credit card application in the mail, only to be “rejected” due to the fact that they sent out a mass mailing of applications to everyone with an address. (Perhaps you remember when dogs , whose owners had opened a bank account in their name, received personalized pre-approved credit cards in the 1980’s?) While this new mode of operation is a twist on the banking scheme, it is really the same tactic, and deserves the same the “bad taste in your mouth” response. The simple fact is that this industry journal didn’t do their own homework – and prefers to invite “industry leaders” upfront, then un-invite them if they don’t meet the demographic they had in mind on their guest list. This journal drops down several notches on my list for their haphazard way of treating IT leaders and subscribers. Their tactics of un-inviting in a bait and switch style of marketing is telling – this journal is interested purely in how much money they can wrestle from the hands of the IT world – not to impart knowledge or advance the industry as they purport.

Comments? Has anyone experienced a similar situation? It’s really quite comedic in these recessionary times, and somehow I am reminded of the old Groucho Marx line: I don’t care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members.

Wishing you continued optimism – even on the most depressing of newsdays!

Regards,
Carol Dekkers
Carol Dekkers email: dekkers@qualityplustech.com
http://www.qualityplustech.com/stage/
http://www.caroldekkers.com/

Contact Carol to keynote your upcoming event – her style translates technical matters into digestible soundbites, humorously and forthright.

View also Carol Dekkers’ general blog at http://caroldekkers.wordpress.com/
============Copyright 2009, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED =============
Posted by Carol Dekkers Labels: ,