- I don't blog frequently, but when I do, it's appreciative.
I missed an important anniversary earlier this year; Paintrock Consulting Services, LLC, had its 5th year anniversary! And it wouldn't be possible without each of the people and businesses I've had the opportunity to work with, and one business who offloaded a job to me (Thanks, Tiffany!).
I think my favorite thing about being a consultant (besides being self-employed) is that I'm able to work across a great variety of client industries. Most of them face similar challenges or solution needs, but I've learned so much about the what those challenges are, and the innovative and interesting way companies manage them. The most beneficial habit that I've gained during this time is that I think about business processes, and efficiency opportunities, anytime I have an interaction with another business - as a passerby, customer, client or collaborator.
Now I find myself thinking about every step through a transaction or touch point with a business. This one runs a very lean organization; how do they plan and manage inventory so tightly? How can this operation which requires so much labor be automated in other ways to save expenses? How does that organization manage collaboration across an entirely remote team spread around the globe? If I'm lucky those lines of thought tend to lead to others. Such as: automating these processes more robustly and in collaboration with suppliers would allow the company with tight inventory turnaround to do more accurate forecasting and avoid waste, or wait times for products. Or, if this entity could coordinate with economic development teams they could participate in fast-track trials for manufacturing evaluation and improvement.
In short, working across a variety of industries and solutions has resulted in me thinking through things much more thoroughly. Veritically - what are all the components that could relate to this scenario, and how are they related? Sequentially - what is the trigger to kick off this process? How is it resolved? What can be learned by looking at all of them collectively; statistically? Collaboratively: how could that entity be unaware of the conflict they have with this other entity if they don't communicate, but are expected to share and collaborate on regulatory information?
I consider this 360˚ Thinking. And I am a better person for using it.
5 Years - At a glance:
The General Accounting Office (GAO) has issued a report detailing the failures of the healthcare.gov website, and the findings are astounding - starting with the billion (yes, with a B) dollar price tag. Regardless of your thoughts about the policy, the report provides some great lessons learned for IT Project Managers.
The biggest culprits that the GAO study identifies are ineffective planning, ineffective oversight, and ineffective contract management. I've written about this to some degree before, when a study completed 9 months prior to the website's rollout identified numerous issues that weren't resolved. The GAO study dives a bit deeper into these issues.
CMS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, undertook the website development project. They incurred significant cost increases, schedule slips, and delayed system functionality due primarily to changing requirements that were exacerbated by oversight gaps.
The study concludes that the efforts by CMS were plagued by undefined requirements, the absence of a required acquisition strategy, confusion in contract administration responsibilities, and ineffective use of oversight tools. In addition, CMS did not adhere to the governance model designed for the process, resulting in design and readiness reviews being diminished in importance, delayed, or skipped entirely. By combining that governance model with a new IT development approach the agency had not tried before, CMS added even more uncertainty and potential risk to their process. The result was that problems were not discovered until late, and only after costs had grown significantly.
What does this mean for you? Well, besides having to pay the price for ineffective project management, it also provides a lessons-learned opportunity when pursuing your own IT projects. If you have any hesitation on launching your new IT projects, it pays to have experienced professionals guide you on the front end as opposed to suffering a public meltdown and significant cost overruns on the tail end.
If you have an IT Project on the horizon, Paintrock Consulting can help you manage that project effectively and efficiently. From helping you shape your scope requirements into information that is logical to developers, to determining which project management methodology is best for your goals, to implementing and managing your project and helping you secure additional short-term resources that can come together to help your organization reach its goals - let us help!
Microsoft has released a whole slew of free e-book downloads, including Windows 8, Office 365, SharePoint, Lync, Azure, Powershell and more from Microsoft Developers Network. There is no need to be a developer - these resources include quick and easy user tips, too!
Here's the link to the blog site that provides a little more information on this annual giveaway. Take a look to see what e-books might be of interest or use to you!