Archive for the ‘Project Management’ Category


Morale – 15. March, 2012

I saw a great quote form Brad Bird of Pixar Studios yesterday, quoted by Michael B. Johnson of Pixar

In my experience, the thing that has the most significant impact on a movie’s budget—but never shows up in a budget—is morale. If you have low morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about 25 cents of value. If you have high morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about $3 of value. Companies should pay much more attention to morale.

I think Edna is onto something…what say you?

(h/t Adobe Blogs)

More Baseline Blogging – 24. December, 2010

As promised, there are more blogs to read at Baseline Consulting should you need something to do over the holidays…

Keep It On Track

Do You Know What Your Reports Are Doing?

Also, my recent post Making It Fit made it onto the B-Eye Network! Huzzah!

Happy Holidays!

Blog Attack! – 14. December, 2010

My “official” blogging activity has picked up over the past couple of weeks – translation: Steve is between clients – so here are links to the latest…

Making It Fit

Metadata Is Key

More to come…shortly…

Please, Please… – 8. April, 2010

A new blog posting from your humble narrator…

A Plea to the Engineers

Miraculous? – 24. March, 2010

Successful Software Projects are Miraculous

It occurs to me that if you can hit a baseball successfully 1 time in 4 and can play the field effectively, you can maintain a career as a major league baseball player (I’m talking to you, Ryan Howard). “Success” depends entirely on what criteria you apply to the results.

Your thoughts?

Publication Again – 17. July, 2009

Ever grateful for the opportunity provided by my company to write, I give you the latest installment…

Process is Half the Story

Publication Alert – 23. May, 2009

My latest contribution to the Baseline Consulting blogs…

The Project Manager as News Reporter

I’d love to know where they get those pictures…


What’s Wrong with Requirements – 20. February, 2009

A great post from Nick Malik today…

Understanding the root causes of poor software requirements

This is a pretty long post, but it illustrates that this issue is bigger than pretty much any breadbox you can think of. But, it’s also illustrative of how important this issue is to the overall craft of software development.

Incidentally, I may take a whack at discussing the assumption…

Assumption: Improving the quality of software requirements will have a net positive effect on the quality, reliability, applicability, usability, and value of custom software as perceived by the business users who use it.

The Case for the IT Actuary, Part 3 – 24. November, 2008

In Part 2 of this article, we examined the requirements for introducing Actuarial concepts into IT project management. We conclude by describing how you might go about implementing these concepts.


The Solution

It is clear that better measurement of costs associated with large IT initiatives is needed to manage these projects more effectively. It is also clear that there is little incentive to capture the data necessary to perform the statistical analysis required for effective risk management on an operational level. This contradiction contributes to information technology’s poor reputation on delivering solutions that satisfy business requirements.

Can this situation be remedied? I believe so, but it will take some new technology and a different perspective from both the people doing the work and the people managing it. The new technology is being developed right now – a great example is the ability of the Tivo corporation to “predict” the outcome of the weekly voting on the “American Idol” television show by recording the usage patterns of their subscribers. Capture techniques such as this will be necessary to collect the data necessary for detailed risk assessments and usage patterns of spreadmarts within an enterprise.

Management personnel will need to shift risk management topics to the forefront of their philosophies and remove risk management from an anecdotal focus to one of metric analysis. Part of this shift will include contacting and retaining actuarial skills for statistical assessment or risk parameters, reducing the uncertainty in the current level of analysis. This will make decisions more effective and save the organization resources and money.

There are examples of corporate executives requiring metrics-based analysis in support of decisions, as described in Jessica Tsai’s article on predictive analytics. Unfortunately, these examples are rare enough to be called out in vendor presentations, which is a poor commentary on the presence of these measures. The presence of an actuarial staff would improve this situation greatly.

Operational personnel will need to understand their role in reducing overall risk to the organization. The easiest way to do this is to demonstrate the cost of activities such as spreadmarts and place appropriate sanctions in place for continued spreadmart use. Often, the easiest way to correct behavior is to associate the activity with a tangible financial cost. Once the habit is broken, it is unlikely to reassert itself in the organization, finally realizing the cost savings desired.

Organizational change is rarely quick or easy, but the movement toward a better way of analyzing costs will bear many benefits over the long term for enterprises looking for more effective information technology management techniques.