Web Design and Web Development

WEBSA is a web design company and web design firm that offers creative, professional and skilled web page design. Custom website designers and developers at our company focus on delivering our clients with customized and user-friendly designs. We are ready to promote your business.

http://www.websadubai.com/index.php

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CSS3 and html5

tools & resources for web professionals

the best site for understanding and creating online code of css3.

http://westciv.com/tools/gradients/

http://westciv.com/

what you can do by using cc3. http://www.everydayworks.com/css_typography/HTMLCSSrotation.html

i like it. alot. 😀

http://creatingsexystylesheets.com/

Become a Lie Detector

How to Detect Lies
Become a Lie Detector

Introduction to Detecting Lies:
The following techniques to telling if someone is lying are often used by police, and security experts. This knowledge is also useful for managers, employers, and for anyone to use in everyday situations where telling the truth from a lie can help prevent you from being a victim of fraud/scams and other deceptions.

Warning: Sometimes Ignorance is bliss; after gaining this knowledge, you may be hurt when it is obvious that someone is lying to you.

Signs of Deception:
Body Language of Lies:
• Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space.

• A person who is lying to you will avoid making eye contact.

• Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear. Not likely to touch his chest/heart with an open hand.

Emotional Gestures & Contradiction
• Timing and duration of emotional gestures and emotions are off a normal pace. The display of emotion is delayed, stays longer it would naturally, then stops suddenly.

• Timing is off between emotions gestures/expressions and words. Example: Someone says “I love it!” when receiving a gift, and then smile after making that statement, rather then at the same time the statement is made.

• Gestures/expressions don’t match the verbal statement, such as frowning when saying “I love you.”

• Expressions are limited to mouth movements when someone is faking emotions (like happy, surprised, sad, awe, )instead of the whole face. For example; when someone smiles naturally their whole face is involved: jaw/cheek movement, eyes and forehead push down, etc.

Interactions and Reactions
• A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.

• A liar is uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and may turn his head or body away.

• A liar might unconsciously place objects (book, coffee cup, etc.) between themselves and you.

Verbal Context and Content
• A liar will use your words to make answer a question. When asked, “Did you eat the last cookie?” The liar answers, “No, I did not eat the last cookie.”

•A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful: “ I didn’t do it” instead of “I did not do it”

• Liars sometimes avoid “lying” by not making direct statements. They imply answers instead of denying something directly.

• The guilty person may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you… they are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation.

• A liar may leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous tone. When a truthful statement is made the pronoun is emphasized as much or more than the rest of the words in a statement.

• Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. In other
words, his sentences will likely be muddled rather than emphasized.

Related Books:

Never be Lied to Again

Body Language
Other signs of a lie:
• If you believe someone is lying, then change subject of a conversation quickly, a liar follows along willingly and becomes more relaxed. The guilty wants the subject changed; an innocent person may be confused by the sudden change in topics and will want to back to the previous subject.

• Using humor or sarcasm to avoid a subject.

Final Notes:
Obviously, just because someone exhibits one or more of these signs does not make them a liar. The above behaviors should be compared to a persons base (normal) behavior whenever possible.

Most lie detecting experts agree that a combination of body language and other cues must be used to make an educated guess on whether someone is telling the truth or a lie.

Difference between Project and product and project scope and product scope

Project versus Product In lifecycle terms, the idea of building, creating or producing a product is conceived, then considered for funding. When approved it becomes in investment that needs be managed. While you are creating the product you are in the project lifecycle. Once the product is built then the project lifecycle ends, but the product’s life continues. This phase of the product’s life is refered to as Steady State or Operations & Maintenance. This may be 1-2 years, or 50 years. Dept of Defence refers to the entire product life, from conception to demise as a “Program.” Don’t confuse this with PMI’s definition of Program Management (a group of related projects). Project Scope versus Product Scope From the scenarion I describe above, Project Scope covers the definition and management of the project phase in hte product’s life. This includes cost, schedule, quality, etc. that PMBOK describes. Product Scope defines the specifications of the item that was created, including how it will be used, under what conditions it should provide service/function, and the cost to own and operate it. by Friar

DR. ZAKIR NAIK – PRESIDENT, IRF

DR. ZAKIR NAIK – PRESIDENT, IRF

A medical doctor by professional training, Dr. Zakir Naik is renowed as a dynamic international orator on Islam and Comparative Religion. Dr. Zakir Naik clarifies Islamic viewpoints and clears misconceptionsDr. Zakir Naik about Islam, using the Qur’an, authentic Hadith and other religious Scriptures as a basis, in conjunction with reason, logic and scientific facts. He is 43 years old.

Dr. Zakir is popular for his critical analysis and  convincing answers to challenging questions posed by audiences after his public talks. In the last 6 years (by the year 2002), Dr. Zakir Naik has delivered moDr. Zakir Naikre than 1000 public talks in the U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, South Africa, Italy, Mauritius, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Thailand, Guyana (South America), Trinidad and many other countries, in addition to numerous public talks in India.Dr. Zakir Naik

He has successfully participated in several symposia and dialogues with prominent personalities of other faiths. His public dialogue with Dr. William Campbell (of USA), on the topic, “The Qur’an and the Bible in the light of Science” held in city of Chicago, U.S.A., on April 1, 2000 was a resounding success.

Sheikh AhDr. Zakir Naikmed Deedat, the world famous orator on Islam and Comparative Religion, who had called Dr. Zakir, “Deedat plus” in 1994, presented a plaque in May 2000 awarded to Dr. Zakir Abdul-Karim Naik for his achievement in the field of Da’wah and the study of Comparative Religion with the engraving “Son what you have done in 4 years had taken me 40 years to accomplish, Alhamdullilah.”Dr. Zakir Naik

Dr. Zakir Naik appears regularly on many international T.V. Channels in more than 100 countries of the world. He is regularly invited for T.V. and Radio interviews. More than a hundred of his talks, dialogues, debates and symposia are available on VCDs and DVDs. He has authored books on Islam and Comparative Religion.

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BIO-DATA

DR. ZAKIR ABDULKARIM NAIK

ISLAMIC RESEARCH FOUNDATION
56/58 Tandel Street (North), Dongri, Mumbai – 400 009 (India)
Tel : (0091-22) 23736875 (8 lines) Fax : (0091-22) 23730689
e-mail: zakir@irf.net website : http://www.irf.net

BIRTH DATE & PLACE

:

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October 18, 1965 in Mumbai, India

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OCCUPATION

:

Islamic Da’wah (Propagation of Islam)
1. President, Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai
2. Chairman, I.R.F. Educational Trust, Mumbai
3. President, Islamic Dimensions, Mumbai

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EDUCATED AT

:

1. St. Peter’s High School (I.C.S.E.), Mumbai
2. Kishinchand Chellaram College, Mumbai
3. Topiwala National Medical College, Nair Hospital, Mumbai

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UNIVERSITY DEGREE

:

M.B.B.S. (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery), University of Mumbai

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PUBLIC LECTURES

:

Hundreds of Public Lectures (usually followed by Open Question and Answer Sessions) given internationally, of which more than a 100 are available on VCDs and DVDs

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DA’WAH TRAINING PROGRAMMES

:

Conducted several Da’wah Training Programmes including International Da’wah Training Programme for training Muslims to effectively convey the message of Islam

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FIELDS OF INTEREST

:

* Studies in Comparative Religion * Medicine * Humanitarian, Social, Moral, Educational and Economic Welfare activities

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DA’WAH LECTURE TOURS ABROAD TO

:

U.S.A., Canada, Britain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar,  U.A.E., South Africa, Botswana, Singapore, Guyana, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and  Other Countries

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BOOKS AUTHORED BY DR. ZAKIR NAIK

:

1. REPLIES TO THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS ASKED BY NON-MUSLIMS
2.  QUR’ÂN AND MODERN SCIENCE – Compatible Or Incompatible
3. CONCEPT OF GOD IN MAJOR RELIGIONS
4.  ISLAM AND TERRORISM
5.  WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN ISLAM – Protected Or Subjugated?
6.  AL-QUR’ÂN – Should it be Read with Understanding?
7.  IS THE QUR’ÂN GOD’S WORD?

Designing Data & Process Placement

To allocate the processes and data to specific system processor nodes.

The Physical Data Model and Physical Process Model, or the Object Model, identify everything that must be placed within the distributed architecture.

Define Division of Client and Server Processing

Finalize the processing to take place on the server and the client. There are various degrees of division ranging from monolithic (all processing on the server) to fully distributed.

Re-examine the processes defined to ensure that the distribution of data and processes as defined in the data and process placement strategy remains appropriate for the processes as designed.

Define Clients and Servers

The data and process placement strategy defines the approach to distribution of data and processes.

Identify the distribution of data and processes among the different client and server nodes in the network. This could be a geographic distribution, such as branches located across a region, or a distribution by business division, for example, sales and finance.

Identify all server nodes in the system and allocate server processes and interfaces to appropriate physical processor nodes. Identify all client nodes in the system and allocate client processes and interfaces to appropriate physical client nodes.

Identify data that will reside on each node. Consider the issues associated with distributed data. Check that all processes, which require access to data, map against data that exists on that node, or that the appropriate interface exists to access the required data on a server.

Identify all servers that the client nodes must access and note the data volumes and frequency that the data access will require.

Re-examine the communications network design to ensure that there are no adverse effects caused by data and process placement design decisions.

CraigBorysowich (CTT)

Requirements List Deliverable & Sample

To formally define the requirements that will be addressed by the project in a formal list of requirements statements that are feasible, testable, consistent with each other, and clearly and properly stated.

Description
Multiple page listing with each requirement separately itemized.

Sample
Sample Requirements List:

Requirements List Deliverable & Sample
Craig Borysowich (Chief Technology Tactician)

web development life cycle

Web sites can also be developed with certain methods with some changes and additions with the existing software development process. Let us see the steps involve in any web site development.

1. Analysis:
Once a customer is started discussing his requirements, the team gets into it, towards the preliminary requirement analysis. As the web site is going to be a part of a system, It needs a complete analysis as, how the web site or the web based application is going to help the present system and how the site is going to help the business. Moreover the analysis should cover all the aspects especially on how the web site is going to join the existing system. The first important thing is finding the targeted audience. Then, All the present hardware, software, people and data should be considered during the time of analysis. For example, if a company XYZ corp is in need of a web site to have its human resource details online, the analysis team may try to utilize the existing data about the employees from the present database. The analysis should be done in the way, that it may not be too time consuming or with very less informative. The team should be able to come up with the complete cost-benefit analysis and as the plan for the project will be an output of analysis, it should be realistic. To achieve this the analyst should consult the designers, developers and testers to come up with a realistic plan.

Input: Interviews with the clients, Mails and supporting docs by the client, Discussions Notes, Online chat, recorded telephone conversations,Model sites/applications etc.,
Output: 1. Work plan, 2. Cost involved, 3. Team requirements, 4. Hardware-software requirements, 5. Supporting documents and 6. the approval

2. Specification Building:
Preliminary specifications are drawn up by covering up each and every element of the requirement. For example if the product is a web site then the modules of the site including general layout, site navigation and dynamic parts of the site should be included in the spec. Larger projects will require further levels of consultation to assess additional business and technical requirements. After reviewing and approving the preliminary document, a written proposal is prepared, outlining the scope of the project including responsibilities, timelines and costs.

Input: Reports from the analysis team
Output: Complete requirement specifications to the individuals and the customer/customer’s representative
3. Design and development:
After building the specification, work on the web site is scheduled upon receipt of the signed proposal, a deposit, and any written content materials and graphics you wish to include. Here normally the layouts and navigation will be designed as a prototype.

Some customers may be interested only in a full functional prototype. In this case we may need to show them the interactivity of the application or site. But in most of the cases customer may be interested in viewing two or three design with all images and navigation.

There can be a lot of suggestions and changes from the customer side, and all the changes should be freezed before moving into the next phase. The revisions could be redisplayed via the web for the customer to view.

As needed, customer comments, feedback and approvals can be communicated by e-mail, fax and telephone.
Throughout the design phase the team should develop test plans and procedures for quality assurance. It is necessary to obtain client approval on design and project plans.
In parallel the Database team will sit and understand the requirements and develop the database with all the data structures and sample data will also be prepared.

Input: Requirement specification
Output: Site design with templates, Images and prototype

The possible steps in the process of web site engineering.

4. Content writing:
This phase is necessary mainly for the web sites. There are professional content developers who can write industry specific and relevant content for the site. Content writers to add their text can utilize the design templates. The grammatical and spelling check should be over in this phase.

Input: Designed template
Output: Site with formatted content

5. Coding:
Now its programmers turn to add his code without disturbing the design. Unlike traditional design the developer must know the interface and the code should not disturb the look and feel of the site or application. So the developer should understand the design and navigation. If the site is dynamic then the code should utilize the template. The developer may need to interact with the designer, in order to understand the design. The designer may need to develop some graphic buttons when ever the developer is in need, especially while using some form buttons. If a team of developers is working they should use a CVS to control their sources. Coding team should generate necessary testing plans as well as technical documentation. For example Java users can use JavaDoc to develop their documents to understand their code flow. The end-user documentation can also be prepared by the coding team, which can be used by a technical writer who can understand them, writes helps and manuals later.

Input: The site with forms and the requirement specification
Output: Database driven functions with the site, Coding documents

6. Testing:
Unlike software, web based applications need intensive testing, as the applications will always function as a multi-user system with bandwidth limitations. Some of the testing which should be done are, Integration testing, Stress testing, Scalablity testing, load testing, resolution testing and cross-browser compatibility testing. Both automated testing and manual testing should be done without fail. For example its needed to test fast loading graphics and to calculate their loading time, as they are very important for any web site. There are certain testing tools as well as some online testing tools which can help the testers to test their applications. For example ASP developers can use Microsoft’s Web Application Test Tool to test the ASP applications, which is a free tool available from the Microsoft site to download.

After doing all the testing a live testing is necessary for web sites and web based applications. After uploading the site there should be a complete testing(E.g.. Links test)
Input: The site, Requirement specifications, supporting documents, technical specifications and technical documents
Output: Completed application/site, testing reports, error logs, frequent interaction with the developers and designers

7. Promotion:
This phase is applicable only for web sites. Promotion needs preparation of meta tags, constant analysis and submitting the URL to the search engines and directories. There is a details article in this site on site promotion, click here to read it. The site promotion is normally an ongoing process as the strategies of search engine may change quite often. Submitting a site URLs once in 2 months can be an ideal submission policy. If the customer is willing, then paid click and paid submissions can also be done with additional cost.

Input: Site with content, Client mails mentioning the competitors
Output: Site submission with necessary meta tag preparation

8. Maintenance and Updating:
Web sites will need quite frequent updations to keep them very fresh. In that case we need to do analysis again, and all the other life cycle steps will repeat. Bug fixes can be done during the time of maintenance. Once your web site is operational, ongoing promotion, technical maintenance, content management & updating, site visit activity reports, staff training and mentoring is needed on a regular basis depend on the complexity of your web site and the needs within your organization.

Input: Site/Application, content/functions to be updated, re-Analysis reports
Output: Updated application, supporting documents to other life cycle steps and teams.

The above-mentioned steps alone are not strict to web application or web site development. Some steps may not applicable for certain tasks. Its depend on the cost and time involved and the necessity. Sometimes if it is a intranet site, then there will be no site promotion. But even if you are a small development firm, if you adopt certain planning along with this web engineering steps in mind, it will definitely reflects in the Quality of the outcome.

CHECKLIST FOR IDENTIFYING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Have all of the background materials been reviewed, such as the organization’s strategic business plan (which should include the organization’s mission, business strategy, and critical success factors), the Request for Proposal (if one exists), requirements documentation, and concept papers?

Has the project team met with customer executives and other stakeholders to establish a clear and unambiguous understanding of their goals and aspirations?

Is it clear how the goals and objectives of this project fit within the overall goals and objectives of the organization (i.e., the bigger picture)?

Have the critical constraints been identified (e.g., the customer’s expectations for such things as effort, duration, and cost)?

Has the business value of achieving the goals and objectives been identified?

Have the goals and objectives been documented in a clear and unambiguous way (e.g., specific not general)?

Have the goals and objectives been documented in a way that will serve to challenge and motivate the project team (e.g., sufficiently difficult but also realistic and attainable)?

Are the goals and objectives measurable, tangible, and verifiable?

Is it clear how the achievement of the goals and objectives will be measured?

Is there consensus on the goals and objectives, as defined?

CTO

Association Matrix Checklist

CHECKLIST FOR AN ASSOCIATION MATRIX

Project Name: Project Code:
Document Name: Document Number:
Reviewed By: Reviewed Date:

Checklist Items

Yes

No

Comments

There are no missing rows or columns (the matrix is complete).
The rows and columns are sorted for best presentation.
All rows have an association with at least one column.
All columns have an association with at least one row.
For CRUD matrices, all entities that are being managed by the application have a “create”.
For CRUD matrices, all entities that are managed by other applications (i.e., interfaces) show as “read” only.

(Chief Technology Tactician)

IT Infrastructure department

Move to take up new responsibilities in the IT Infrastructure department

  • If you do not know what IT infrastructure is, then neither party in this discussion is thinking clearly. You need to approach whoever feels this is a good idea and ask them to define IT Infrastructure (which in every company I have worked for refers to a minimum of the underlying back-office hardware (and in one case software) that the enterprise runs. This includes but is not restricted to Servers (including OS installs), Phones, Network Configuration/Tuning and much-much more. If you are a Project Manager, then you know how important training is and do not hesitate to state the requirement up front and make sure it is clear a stack of manuals and work station that runs Google is not good enough! In your new role you will be responsible for making sure the machines that run the software that runs the company is running 24 x 7 and that means you will wear a pager and be its slave. Make sure you are wanting this type of life style and good luck! Some people love this type of role, but make sure it suits you and your personality.

Learning How to Say NO!

Probably one of the biggest excuses for scope creep on projects is the inability of project managers and team members to say no to items that are clearly out of scope for the project.

Learning how to say “no” gracefully and without antagonizing the other person is an essential skill for Project Managers. The purpose of this segment is to highlight some of the more effective ways to say “no” that have been identified by experienced Project Managers.

Be Prepared

Put the infrastructure and discipline in place ahead of time to make it easier for you to resist inappropriate pressure later in the project.

As an example, it’s very hard to resist scope creep if you haven’t clearly defined the scope up front (so that everyone can recognize when a proposed change is in or out of scope). Communicate the importance of scope control and change management processes from day one.

Similarly, it’s hard to refer an issue to a Steering Committee midway through a project, if you have not put a working Steering Committee in place from the outset of the project.

I’d Love to But

Explain calmly and clearly the various undesirable results that would occur if you were to say “yes”, and explain what you can do instead. For example:

“We need to be responsive to changing requirements but, if we accommodate these changes now, we will not be able to deliver the system within the current very tight schedule. What we could do is to schedule these changes for a second release of the system once the initial release of the system has been delivered.”

Well Maybe

Rather than using the word “no”, use “maybe” and give them some choices that you can live with. For example:

“Well, maybe we could schedule these additional changes in a second release of the system once the initial release of the system has been delivered. Or perhaps we could switch this new requirement for something else that we had planned to deliver which is a lower priority.”

Help Me to Understand

Ask the person to help you to understand how you can accommodate his or her request within the various constraints that you are working under. For example:

“How are we going to accommodate the impact of these proposed changes on the work that has been done to date and the additional testing effort that will be required, and still deliver within the original budget and schedule.”

I’ll Have to Check

Indicate that you will have to refer the issue to a “higher authority” (e.g., your line manager) – that you don’t have the authority to validate the request yourself. However, be careful about using this tactic. It will weaken your position if the customer feels that they are not dealing with the decision maker.

Let’s Add it to the Agenda

Indicate that the issue needs to be referred to a committee for resolution (e.g., a Configuration Control Board for change requests or a Steering Committee for high level project issues). A committee is the best kind of fall back as the other person cannot then go over your head to a single individual.

What Part of “No” Don’t You Understand

You should never use these words (which would be totally inappropriate) but stick to your principles and use proven conflict resolution techniques to develop a workable solution to the problem. Perseverance and smiling a lot goes a long way here.

By Sir Craig Borysowick (Chief Technology Tactician)

Process Management vs Project Management

Process Management and Project Management go hand-in-hand to deliver a successful project. Both are critical components of Gartner’s Application Development Management Continuum (Gartner Group, 1995). Each has a clearly delineated area of responsibility.

Process Management deals with defining and managing what is done on a project, including tasks completed, deliverables produced, roles performed, and tools used. It deals with the “scientific method” used to deliver an IT solution.

Project Management deals with tracking the process being executed, from a schedule and cost perspective. It includes functions for developing the optimal project schedule, producing a financial model of the project, scheduling and tracking of effort against plan, managing costs against budget, and reporting of status, to name a few.

I will be spending the next several posts focusing on Process Management; however, some of the Process Management tools it describes are used for both Process Management and Project Management.

Process Management Objectives

By defining and applying a scientific method to the delivery of IT solutions, Process Management has the following objectives:

To define a repeatable process that, when executed, behaves predictably and delivers a quality product – on schedule and within budget.

To produce higher quality IT solutions.

To increase productivity and shorten the delivery cycle, through the application of optimized processes and the re-use of work products.

To upgrade the skill levels of all project participants, including delivery team staff and customers.

By: The Great Sir Craig

Process Management vs Knowledge-Driven Process Management

Specification Reinspection Correction Time: This describes the effort required to correct defects found during the reinspection of a specification deliverable. Typically specification deliverables include the Requirements Definition, Functional Design, Structural Design, and System Test Specification. The correction effort is influenced by the complexity of the specification deliverable. http://preview.tinyurl.com/4ty4rf

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Process management involves two dimensions:

1. defining and continually refining a set of procedures for the management of repeatable business processes; and

2. executing and monitoring the processes.

Process management disciplines are applied by managers in most business contexts, including Project Managers who use these disciplines to control and monitor the execution of project tasks with timely and accurate information. Process and Project Management overlap in a number of areas but do not have the same focus.

Knowledge-Driven Process Management is the automation of Process Management through the application of a defined process. The process is defined in a knowledge repository or rule-based engine (e.g., an expert system) and drives an integrated suite of workflow management, project management, and product delivery tools.

Knowledge-Driven Process Management presents the worker with a step by step process and business rules for performing work; invokes the tools required to perform the work; provides templates, checklists, and samples for the work to be performed; and supplies in a pro-active manner procedural information on how to perform each specific task. It also provides information about the processes being performed:

1. to support coordination of tasks assigned to individuals; and

2. to provide status about activities relative to plans or defined performance measures.

CHECKLIST FOR MANAGING TEAM PERFORMANCE

This checklist given below can provide some guidance on ensuring that the foundations for performance are properly laid for any team.  It also hints at items to watch within an organization that may impact the team.

CHECKLIST FOR MANAGING TEAM PERFORMANCE

Yes

No

N/A

Remarks

Are standards and procedures in place covering the general conduct of the team (e.g., project terminology, routine communications, meeting procedures)?
Have all team members received a full and sufficient orientation to the project?
Are all team members adequately trained to carry out their responsibilities?
Does the management style encourage respect for the individual and generate personal focus and clear intent to achieve customer satisfaction?
Are all team member roles and responsibilities clearly defined and understood?
Have project and personal objectives been clearly defined for each team member?
Do team members interact effectively?
Is there personal and collective display of excitement and interest?
Are the right people making the decisions based on sources of information rather than position in the hierarchy?
Is everyone able to influence decision-making and understand the results?
Are team leaders consulting team members for their opinions, encouraging them, and coaching them on the right way to do things, in such a way that they maintain confidence in their ability to meet their delivery commitments?
Are the team communications effective, including all members not just senior levels?
Does the team meet regularly to review status, share experiences, provide suggestions, and resolve problems and concerns?
Are project meetings run effectively (and is meeting time properly managed)?
Is project and company information posted/circulated?
Is everyone committed to understanding the issues and opportunities in problem situations and developing effective plans to achieve or resolve them?
Is there evidence of positive morale and teamwork?
Is the productivity of the team at an optimum level?
Are the project workspace and facilities appropriate?
Has the project implemented some means to recognize and reward quality service, creativity, innovation, and success (can be as simple as public acknowledgement and thanks for a job well-done)?
Does the environment encourage creative dissonance and continual striving for improvement within the cost and schedule constraints?
Are performance reviews being conducted to record and communicate the accomplishments of team members, and to appraise their skills, to facilitate career development?
Is project overtime within acceptable limits?
Is turnover within acceptable limits?
For longer term projects, are people being rotated off the project, or into new roles on the project, in a 12 to 18 month timeframe, in accordance with the staff rotation plan?

Sir Craig

Why your meetings suck!

he art and craft of executing good meetings has been completely lost from the business landscape.  Both the private and public sectors are a complete wasteland of time wasting, soul sucking bad meetings.  It needs to stop!

A number of years ago, I made a few changes to my operational parameters which actually cleared up a lot the time I’ve spent wasting away in completely pointless meetings.  If I walk out of a meeting thinking that nothing has been accomplished, there is a problem.  I work very hard to plan and execute my meetings – it isn’t too much to ask others to do the same.

I never accept any meeting booking that doesn’t include some form of an agenda. The offer of an agenda at the start of a meeting also doesn’t cut it.  I cannot be prepared for a meeting if I don’t know the content and purpose of a meeting ahead of time.  The fact that no agenda exists ahead of time tells me right away that there is no plan for the meeting, no purpose to accomplish anything and that I should avoid it completely.  Declined.

The other complete waste of time is the supposed “status meetings”.  Waste of time.  Status is for reporting – NOT MEETING.  If you can’t have a team complete status reports on what they have done and what their issues are – get a new team.  Even if there is an agenda – I never go to meetings that include status in the title.  Project managers that operate with status meetings should simply be taken to the middle of a desert, shot in both knees and left for dead.  9 times out of 10 the other members of the meeting are not interested in my status report any more than I am interested in theirs.  Assembling everyone to listen to them is a complete waste of everyone’s time. Don’t ever do this. There is only one reason a project manager should use a status meeting – he doesn’t know how to read. If you have a functional illiterate as a project manager on your project – my heart goes out to you.

A meeting is any kind of purposeful coming together of people to carry out the business of the company such as communications, planning, setting policy, making decisions, or motivating a team. To be effective, these meetings need to be well planned and executed.   Good meetings bring forth the best in people – the best ideas, the best decisions, and the best follow-up reactions. Not all meetings are good meetings, but good meetings can happen, and when they do, the company and the individual participants reap the benefits.

Bringing together large groups to brainstorm the content of a document? Supreme waste of time.

Small groups to perform brainstorming of the skeleton of a document and then assigning an individual to create the initial draft of the document to use as a straw-man at a larger meeting – useful.  Providing a copy of the draft to participants several days in advance and doing a summary presentation of the draft to the group – even better.

Regardless of the meetings purpose – always have an agenda and release it ahead of time.  There is no bigger waste of peoples time than getting together for a meeting that nobody knows the purpose of nor was able to prepare for.  Nothing worse than sitting with a group of people that have just had a topic dropped on them, watching them think of all the things that they could have read or referenced to be prepared for that topic and then muddle through a meeting about it.

One of the things that I have tried to do with some of my entries, is explain methods and provide useful tools to guide meetings. An example is the groups of questionnaires I provided for driving interviews on various types of technical projects.  I will try to provide more in the future for other types of meetings that continue to be executed poorly.

Here is Sue Pelletier’s Top 10 reasons to bolt from a meeting.  Some good resources on running better meetings – which should mean less meetings – can be found here and here.

The best way to stop bad meetings is to stop going to bad meetings – don’t waste your time!

Sophos knows…

http://www.snowwhitetest.com/press/

By Sir Craig

Rule of Thumb: Project Mgmt & Support Effort

The percentage of total effort applied to project management and support activities is between 12 to 18 percent. This rule of thumb provides a reasonableness check of the project management and support effort, considering the total project effort.



Source

This rule of thumb is based on Capers Jones analysis of the distribution of effort experienced on over 1300 software projects, as cited in Applied Software Measurement.

Assumptions

Management and support activities include the effort of the project management staff (e.g., Project Director, Deputy Project Director, Project Manager, and Team Leader) as well as Project Management Specialists and secretarial support.

Tips and Hints

Management and support effort increases as the size of the project increases. A small project (e.g., from 25 to 50 person months) will require approximately 12 percent of total project effort; a large project (around 6,500 person months) will require approximately 18 percent of total project effort.

Other factors can affect the percentage of project management and support effort required, such as specific customer requirements, the political organization, and the skills and experience of the project team.

Example

Assume a total project effort of 64 person months (or 1,216 person days) of effort. Thirteen percent of the total effort is 158 person days.

References

Jones, Capers. 1991. Applied Software Measurement: Assuring Productivity and Quality. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc. ISBN: 0-07-032813-7. Craig (Chief Technology Tactician)

Association Matrix Checklist

CHECKLIST FOR AN ASSOCIATION MATRIX

Project Name: Project Code:
Document Name: Document Number:
Reviewed By: Reviewed Date:

Checklist Items

Yes

No

Comments

There are no missing rows or columns (the matrix is complete).
The rows and columns are sorted for best presentation.
All rows have an association with at least one column.
All columns have an association with at least one row.
For CRUD matrices, all entities that are being managed by the application have a “create”.
For CRUD matrices, all entities that are managed by other applications (i.e., interfaces) show as “read” only.

i have to face problems, and solve them.

Busy Schedules & Interviewing

Busy Schedules & Interviewing

Someone recently asked me to write a BLOG on how those employed by Big Five and high-travel consulting roles can find time to interview with their high travel requirements. This is a great question and a topic that I deal with quite often. I believe some of my ideas below may help.

First, I recommend that people are very serious when they decide it is time to begin interviewing. Meaning, that the job seeker has already spoke with their current employer or supervisor about any important issues that is causing the person to consider making a move. When it is 100% clear that a career change is mandatory, people seem to find a way to prioritize their schedule and find time to interview.

Secondly, I recommend that people do a phone interview first to ensure that you really are excited about the company, the role, the responsibilities, and the person you’ll be working with. You are interviewing the client as well! Phone interviews are easier to squeeze in before 8 AM; during lunch; and in the early evening if both parties realize the importance.

Third, I recommend that you fully research the company on your own using the internet, industry contacts, trade journals, etc. Do all of your homework before investing your own time and the time/money of a company that is also in your industry. By not wasting their time, you won’t burn future bridges in a very small world!


Consultants usually travel Monday thru Thursday and can often interview on Fridays in their home town. Some companies are open to interviewing on weekends as well.

When all else fails, the next three best options for high-travel Big 5 consultants is to do a Video Conference Interview with the client (your local Kinko’s); schedule it 1-2 weeks out and take a vacation around a 3-day weekend; and finally make creative suggestions like starting you as a consultant in a “Right to Hire”. I’ve even had hiring managers fly to the “job seekers’ location and I’ve heard of executive recruiters video taping an interview and mailing it to the manager.

I hope these ideas help you to consider some other options as we try to fit interviews into an already hectic professional work schedule! Good Luck.

SAP talent agent (IT Recruiter, MRI)