Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008

Wish you a wonderful Year ahead with Lots of Happiness and Good health!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PM Tool


One of my friends wants to do an Application development project for his masters degree. So I asked him why not develop a proper Project Management tool for the industry with some fancy Project Dashboards etc while maintaining the proper flow of information capturing. So he agreed. This is the first part of the requirement definition which I prepared for him. I will keep on publishing the other parts as soon as I prepare them.

In today’s projectized organizations, managing projects successfully is the key of its financial Success. Middle management and the senior Management of such organizations face major challenges of managing such diversified multiple projects. To address this issue, there are many concepts introduced to the industry such as Project Management Office ( PMO) and Project Governance. The main objective of these concepts are to have proper control on all aspects of Project Management by a central place in order to make proper decisions abut projects on time before it becomes a failure.

Most Industries require Project Management tools, Process and skills. In a country Like Sri Lanka, Software industry finds the requirement very critical as software outsourcing is a key export market which generates significant amount of foreign income to the county.

Software industry has been matured over years and it has identified its own differences in nature of its projects. Mainly there are 2 types of software projects in the current context. Some projects are well defined and well planed from the beginning of the project while others evolved rapidly with major scope changes. Industry has introduced different methods for such Plan driven and agile type of projects over years.

Industry is rich with its Project Management tools such as well known MS Project tools. However most of the tools available cater only to planning and progress monitoring process and those tools does not cover the whole scope of Project Management process in terms of Project Office Perspective.

Industry has requirement for a efficient tool which can support PMO Process to control multiple projects while providing accurate information to all project stakeholders including Project Managers, Customers, Change control Panels, PMO staff , Project Sponsors and all the senior managers.

The Proposed tool should address the project from the time its initiated till the project is closed The Project Management process will flow through 5 main phases such as



Controlling and Closing. ( Comply with PMI standards)

Each area has set of functionalities to cater to the process and will be interlinked with other phases.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

PDU Market


Its just something funny.. I need to collect some PDUs to retain as a PMP for next 3 years. So as usual I turned to google for some help.

How many PMPs are there at the moment…..? I have no idea.. But what I can see is a major market for PDUs.. Is it like buying goodies from the market ? I just wonder..

I came up with many sites which gives some PM literature. There are so many online courses which give you PDUs .. Most sellers start from 5 and it goes up to 35 PDUs . When the enrollment fee is high, the number of PDUs you can claim is also high.. But to be honest.. This is an easy way to collect PDUs for people who wait till the last moment to collect them .. :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Win Free PMP Exam resources, Course Material


Here is a great opportunity for PMP candidates.. Project Management Prepcast is a podcast which helps PMP students to sit for the PMP exam with required knowledge and so much confidence .

This podcast has 77 episodes which you can listen to via your iPod/MP3 Player and it consists of 30 hours of training on the PMBOK® Guide and other relevant material.

So I would give my blog readers an amazing opportunity to get all these free. ( How’s that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Its easy ….All you have to do is.. answer the following questions. The first person who answers all the questions right will get a free subscription to this PM podcast which has study material for PMP exam.

The contest is valid till 2 months starting from today. If no candidate could answer all the questions right.. the person who has the maximum right answers will win the contest !

Please use “comments” feature to answer the questions and you need to specify your name and a valid email address with your answers.

Here we go…

Q1. Whats the PMI definition of a “Project”

Q2. If the Optimistic estimate for a task is 6 days and pessimistic is 9 days, Whats the most likely estimate?

Q3. If the Optimistic estimate for a task is 6 days and pessimistic is 9 days, Whats the Standard Deviation of this task?

Q4. In the weekly status update meeting, your Project Manager says Project SV is – 500 What does that mean ?

Q5. Your Project status update records shows CV = - 500. What does that mean ?

Q6. Your Project BAC = 500 USD. Currently AC = 200USD. How much Balance you have in hand for this project to be completed.

Q7. Your current Project Earned Value is 350. Actual cost is 400. Planned value is 350. Whats the CV ?

Q8. If a project team consists of 5 stakeholders , how many communication channels do you need to manage in this project. ?

Q9. What is " Triple Constraints" in Project Management ?

Q10. What’s the Objective of issuing the “Project Charter”

Q 11. Project X has 4 critical paths.. if you are the Project manager of Project X , What is your idea about the project risk ?

Q12. The Estimate for a task is as follows;

O = 5 days, P = 7 days, M = 6 days. Whats the Standard deviation of this task ?

Q13. You are the project manager of Project Y. Name 3 most common causes of conflict on project Y.

Q14. Your Project SPI = .58 What do you think of your project progress compared to the project plan ?

Q15. What is “ Work Package” ?

If you are the Lucky winner .. See what you get.. Can you ask for more... ????

# Number Episode Title
-- 00.00 Welcome
1 01.01 PMP Exam Overview
2 01.02 PMP Study Tips
3 01.03 The day of the exam
4 01.04 Introduction to Project Management
5 01.05 The PM Processes
6 01.06 The Project Life Cycle
7 01.07 The Role of the Project Manager
8 01.08 Overview of the Knowledge Areas
9 01.09 Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct
10 02.01 Interview with Arlene Trimble
11 02.02 Interview with Duncan McIntyre
12 03.01 Q&A 1
13 03.02 Q&A 2
14 04.00 Project Management Integration Overview
15 04.01 Develop Project Charter
16 04.02 Develop Preliminary Project Scope Statement
17 04.03 Develop Project Management Plan
18 04.04 Direct and Manage Project Execution
19 04.05 Monitor and Control Project Work
20 04.06 Integrated Change Control
21 04.07 Close Project
22 05.00 Project Scope Management Overview
23 05.01 Scope Planning
24 05.02 Scope Definition
25 05.03 Create WBS
26 05.04 Scope Verification
27 05.05 Scope Control
28 06.00 Project Time Management Overview
29 06.01 Activity Definition
30 06.02 Activity Sequencing
31 06.03 Activity Resources Estimating
32 06.04 Activity Duration Estimating
33 06.05 Schedule Development 1
34 06.06 Schedule Development 2
35 06.07 Schedule Control
36 07.00 Project Cost Management Overview
37 07.01 Cost Estimating Inputs
38 07.02 Cost Estimating Tools and Techniques
39 07.03 Cost Estimating Outputs
40 07.04 Cost Budgeting
41 07.05 Cost Control
42 07.06 Earned Value
43 07.07 A Bagful of Cost Terms
44 08.00 Project Quality Management Overview
45 08.01 Quality Planning
46 08.02 Perform Quality Assurance
47 08.03 Perform Quality Control Inputs and Outputs
48 08.04 Perform Quality Control Tools and Techniques
49 09.00 Project Human Resources Management Overview
50 09.01 Human Resource Planning Inputs
51 09.02 Human Resource Planning Tools and Techniques
52 09.03 Human Resource Planning Outputs
53 09.04 Acquire Project Team
54 09.05 Develop Project Team
55 09.06 Manage Project Team
56 09.07 HR Theory 1
57 09.08 HR Theory 2
58 10.00 Project Communications Management Overview
59 10.01 Communications Planning
60 10.02 Information Distribution
61 10.03 Performance Reporting
62 10.04 Manage Stakeholders
63 11.00 Project Risk Management Overview
64 11.01 Risk Management Planning
65 11.02 Risk Identification
66 11.03 Qualitative Risk Analysis
67 11.04 Quantitative Risk Analysis
68 11.05 Risk Response Planning
69 11.06 Risk Monitoring and Control
70 12.00 Project Procurement Management Overview
71 12.01 Plan Purchases and Acquisitions Inputs
72 12.02 Plan Purchases and Acquisitions Tools, Techniques and Outputs
73 12.03 Plan Contracting
74 12.04 Request Seller Responses
75 12.05 Select Sellers
76 12.06 Contract Administration
77 12.07 Contract Closure
-- 99.00 Take our Final Exam
-- 99.99 Goodbye

Very Easy Questions.. All the best !!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Leadership and gut calls


During last 2months I had most important personal priorities than messing up with corporate jargon so this blog was silent over 2 months. But I think once you get in to deep of any subject you cannot get out of it completely.. So I used my extra time for reading many good books and articles when ever I had a chance.. But unfortunately I couldn’t write any new articles neither blog posts. So Its time to catch-up some stuff now..

Last few days I read the book “ Winning” by Jack Welch. Which has so much valuable reading for any project manager. If you are a PM who needs to improve your leadership skills and soft skills and survive with office politics, that would be the book for you ..

Talking about leaders, the author discuss 8 basic rules of leadership. Out of that the highlighting one was “ Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls."

As Project Managers , most of us face situations to make very unpleasant decisions. I have faced this many times with many teams and stakeholders.. But obviously we think twice.. and some times we have sleepless nights once we make such call due to simple fact that we don’t like to hurt anybody.. We don’t like to hurt anybody’s future.

“ By nature, some people are consensus builders. Some people long to be loved by everyone.

Those behaviors can really get you in the soup if you are a leader, Beacuase no matter where you work or what you do, there are times you have to make hard decisions – Let people go, cut funding to a project or close a project with no completion..”

After all It’s a tough life :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Coupling Prince 2 with RUP

Prince 2 is a well defined Project Management methodology while RUP ( Rational Unified Process) is used as a software development methodology over years . How to make best out of both while you use as Prince 2 for the PM methodology and RUP for the development methodology..

This is one of the best articles Ive came across..

Monday, April 09, 2007

Prison Break and Project Planning..


I watched Prison Break Season 1 and 2 .. I had to spend the whole weekend for that and couldn’t stop watching it till the end.,.

What a TV Series.. I have never seen contingency planning any better.,..

Im sure anybody will love to have a team leader like Michael Scofield


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Good luck to the Cricket Team!


Sorry readers,. Again out of the topic.. But I think I should write few lines for them.. (though Im not a big cricket fan )

Its Amazing how Sri lankan team won 1996 World cup.. So much team work, great leadership of Arjuna and excellent guidelines by the coach.

This time , Again there is good performance shown by the team by being unbeaten so far and selecting to the Super 8 round. Though there is no much hopes for the Championship., our guys approach seems very strategic this time.. Sometimes.. good strategies is the key to success and it helps to overcome some of the team’s weak points ..

So… All the best Sri Lankan Team!!!! Hope you will do great team work this time.. and we all wish lots of courage for you to do your best.

The Schedule can be found at

WOW .. Something nice.... Read this

From Gulf news 29-03-2007

Down-to-earth behaviour makes Sri Lankan cricketers popular.

By K.R. Nayar, Staff Reporter

Georgetown , Guyana : Humility and the Sri Lankan team always go together.
Despite being considered as world class performers, what impresses one and
all is their down-to-earth behaviour.

As soon as the players arrive at the stadium, all of them are seen lining
up to collect their kit bags from the bus. Right from Sanath Jayasuriya to
Chaminda Vaas to Muttiah Muralitharan, everyone is in the queue.

At the Providence stadium, Jayasuriya was seen dragging his kit and waving
at the crowd waiting to catch a glimpse of the blaster batsman.

While at Trinidad , I had requested Jayasuriya for a chat before net
practice. But he suggested that we meet after the nets. And promptly after
his practice, he came to the edge of nets and waved out to me asking me to
come in.

Had it been any other team, most likely I would have had to request the
cricketer again after the nets.

On Monday, it rained heavily and their skipper Mahela Jayawardene had to
wait till the rains subsided after the official press conference.

Caring approach

Without any hang-ups, Jayawardene came out and began talking to scribes
who were also waiting there. He enquired about our stay and wanted to know
what we thought about Guyana .

The best thing is that some of their seniors even remember what language
we speak. Russel Arnold and Muralitharan do not hesitate to talk to you in
Tamil. All of them sport a smile while talking to you with hardly any

There are teams with lesser cricketing experience, but arrogant enough to
walk around ignoring everyone around them. After all, for a fan, a smile
is all that they expect. In Trinidad as well as in Guyana , the Sri Lankans
have won the hearts of the people. In fact, many West Indians would like
to see Sri Lanka win the World Cup.

"They should win the World Cup for their behaviour. They may be the very
few gentlemen left in the sport," remarked Robert Rees, a volunteer at the

All senior players in the team join in to help a youngster at the nets.

Jayasuriya was seen correcting Upul Tharanga's backlift. Moving around
like a family, their team spirit is clearly visible. Though the team is
not as strong as the 1996 squad that won the World Cup, they do possess
the spirit and willingness to work hard.

Win or lose, the Sri Lankans will leave this island winning more fans than
any other team

Friday, March 23, 2007

Project Management Resource


Project Management Learning Center..

A very nice resource bank of Project Management related resources. From newbies to Project management consultants.. its useful for everybody..

Further you can see lots of reputed PM professionals in the industry here ( Except me J) and they share quite lot of knowledge here at one place…

Monday, March 19, 2007

2007 PMO of the Year Award

The CBP presents this award annually in recognition of PMOs that have demonstrated vision and business acumen in implementing new ideas, methods, or processes that led to measurable improvements in project management. The closing date for entries is March 23, 2007.

What You Win .....
# All-expense paid trip to CBP Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona
# Free admission to CBP Summit for your PMO team
# Trophy presentation at gala Summit Award Reception
# Recognition by presenting your award-winning essay
# Renown through extensive industry press coverage

You can get more details from

( Thanks to Cornelious who forwarded this information)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How to relax...


I think this is very important for all of us .. which I took from the site :,3688,0,0,1,0

With so much of talk about everyone being busy, Ajahn Brahm insisted that meditation is ideal for busy people. “Even if you are a busy person, it is more important to be able to spend some time being peaceful. If you don't learn how to be peaceful, you soon get very, very tired.”

To explain how meditation helps you, he used a simple exercise lifting the half-filled glass of water he had in front of him. "Say I am lifting up this glass of water and you ask me how heavy it is. If I keep holding the glass of water for five minutes, it appears quite heavy. If I continue to hold the glass for half an hour, I will be in quite a lot of pain. If I keep on holding it for two hours, I would be a stupid monk. When it starts to get heavy, what should I do? Put it down — let it go. I don't need to throw the glass of water away — I just put it down for, may be for 20 seconds. When I pick it up again, it feels lighter because I have rested.

“The problem of stress in our modern world is not because we do too much — it's because we don't know how to put our burdens, our responsibilities down for a few minutes and rest and relax. All we need to do is to rest for 15 or 20 minutes in meditation and afterwards we find ourselves so relaxed, we can carry the burdens of life without so much stress. That is what meditation is — learning how to relax so that you can do more with less stress,” he said.

Pointing out that meditation is the heart of Buddhist tradition, he said the Buddha became enlightened when He was meditating and that it was part of Buddhist heritage. “Learn the basics from a monk or a lay teacher and you will find it wouldn't harm the quality of your life. You will be a happier person. A Harvard professor last year published a paper after following meditation for seven years and found that your brain increases in size in meditation. You become more intelligent when you meditate. Find a place and just learn how to relax the mind. Bring some peace into your mind and increase your intelligence - for no charge!" he advised.

Monday, March 05, 2007

IQ , EQ and BQ


“According to the language of physics, a person who strains without success to pull a rock out of the ground has done no work”

What ever it is.. Unfortunately in Today’s business world., what’s appreciated is not your try or hard work.. What appreciated is success of what you do. So its very important to assure the success of all the work we do as a Project Manager..

How does our IQ and EQ help us when achieving success ?

I found a good definition for IQ and EQ from some article. ( Im very sorry that I couldn’t get the reference to the following quote)

“IQ - a number used to express the apparent relative intelligence of a person that is the ratio multiplied by 100 of the mental age as reported on a standardized test to the chronological age. IQ is the measure of cognitive abilities, such as the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new situations; the skilled use of reason; the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria (as tests); mental acuteness; logic and analytical skills. “

“EQ - is a measure of your emotional intelligence, or your ability to use both your emotions and cognitive skills in your life. Emotional intelligence competencies include but are not limited to empathy, intuition, creativity, flexibility, resilience, coping, stress management, leadership, integrity, authenticity, and interpersonal skills.

If the driving force of intelligence in the twentieth-century business has been IQ, then-in accordance to growing evidence - in the twenty-first century it will be EQ, and related and practical forms of practical and creative intelligence. This "new" intelligence is the heart-level engine that drives human capital and produces the exceptional, creative work required for any company to lead the field amidst the turbulence and confusion of global market changes. "

So what’s more important to us as a Project Manager.. ?? During my career in IT I have worked with many professionals from different countries, whose IQ level is unbelievably high. I would say “ they are brilliant people” .. But do you ever believe.. Any of these projects handled by these brilliant people never became a success… Either they were
miscommunicated, not accept by customers, didn’t deliver on time.. Most projects had more than one failure.. But when you talk to them .. you will think they are the most brilliant people on the earth.. they had great academic records too..So why .. Whats the reason….???

Its always due to lack of EQ by these people. They were not successful when they were put on reality to work with different people .. Coming from different backgrounds.. They had very little idea on how to work with situational issues related to people.. so they found it very difficult to do team work in corporate culture. I don’t say that you don’t need any level of IQ.. As a project manager.. definitely you have to have a high level of IQ. But in the same time your EQ level is much more important when managing projects.

I have come across with another type of PMS too.. They are theory driven PMs. If you ask them what’s scrum or PMBOK or Prins 2 – they will teach you for you to write a book.. If you ask them to submit the reports.. you will never see any perfect reports other than that. Every step of the methodology is practiced in their projects.. But still if they don’t have EQ, they don’t have any chance of success.

I ve seen some simple EQ test on the web and this is one of it …

But I don’t think you can really measure your EQ level using this type of a test.

So then .. Whats BQ? One of my colleagues sent me an article yesterday and it says BQ ( Business Intelligence) is the most important than EQ and IQ if you want to be the maestros of the entrepreneurial world .

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good Lesson !!! :-)


One of my colleagues sent this to me today.. Though we cant stick to the rule... Its a good lesson I should say :-))

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

If you want to look out for opportunities to work in a PMO


Its nice to hear there are many good and established companies looking for Head of Project Managers and concept of Project Management offices in order to get their multiple projects on track.

Last Sunday Observer there was an add from a reputed Software company for a Head of Project Managers and Im sure its going to be a quite challenging and interesting Opportunity. Other than that lately I got many requests from some reputed Tele communication companies for the position of Project Management Officer ( They called it ) ..

Quite Nice to see that organizations are getting more focused on Project Management .. instead of that stupid attitude of remote controlling project managers like toys by some functional managers or top management who has no idea what Project Management is ..(these guys love Project failiures.. and they deserve it.. You cant help that.....). But I hope these comapnies will set up real PMOs which really deliver results instead of just name sake PMOs

Any Idea of Project Governance? Any body knows any Sri Lankan Company who has implemented that ? I have few friends in US and Canada who worked for such projects ( Very large scale projects for Governments and Banks)and seems its quite interesting…

Monday, February 19, 2007

Apprentice and Project Management....


Quite a lot to write about though I don’t have time right now..:-) I’m really enjoying the show… Sri Lankans can watch it through STAR channel at 9.PM

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

One inch away from Project Management


Once you finish the project and complete the project closure you are very happy.. Specially when its marked as a successful project.. You are on Budget .. Within the time.. Quality standards are met and great teamwork.. Everybody talks about you.. WOW What a Project Manager…..!!! You celebrate with your team.. Awards from the management and customers.. Big launch to go live … Its like Christmas…

Your duty is over.. But the system should run.. everyday.. it needs care.. So who is going to do that? It’s the poor “maintenance team”… After going through many large scale projects.. Over and over its proven to me that this maintenance of a delivered project is a critical problem.. When you don’t do proper maintenance there can be amny frustrating issues in the system and the users loose faith on the system.. so they decide to kill it and install a new system and the cycle continues…

I have observed many reasons which causes these maintenance problems..

  1. Huge knowledge gap between Development team and Maintenance team
  2. Customers are reluctant to spend much on maintenance and they think when the system is delivered that’s it. Most of them see the maintenance fee is as a waste till there is a real problem
  3. Allocating less time for user training than required due to budgetary issues.
  4. Loosing trained people in the long run. The new people have no idea about certain “Underhand” techniques and assumptions done by previous guys
  5. Loosing Management interest
  6. Software companies always hire low caliber , cheaper resources for maintenance teams than the resources they hire for development teams
  7. Lack of Project office involvement at Maintenance phase
  8. Some times customers decide that they will maintain the system by themselves without getting support from the vendor. But in the long run they realize that its impossible for them to do and at that time the whole system is in a mess.
  9. Incomplete documentation of the system.
  10. Assumptions made in the initial stage are no more valid and forgotten by all the parties.
  11. Politics ( if the New IT manager joins , sometimes he will stress the senior management even about minor issues of the current system and he will try to initiate a new project under his full control.
  12. Remote support – Some times when you have support teams remotely, the time to solve takes quite longer times. And it needs more time to communicate the problems clearly and simulate the problems in another location. Then apply them in the live version is another hectic task.
  13. No proper management and methodologies practiced during System maintenance.
  14. Lack of Local support and support is always needed from overseas parties.
  15. Misunderstandings between support parties and customers

These are few of the points which I have seen occurring in many systems time to time.. This is a serious issue to think about.. Once you complete the project and wrap up, your job is finished as PM.. But then…….

Monday, January 08, 2007

Some Experience…


Time to time something happens to me to deviate from my topic Project Management. Today I experienced something which I have never experienced in my life before..

There is a sub power plant 4-5 houses away from my home. Around 2AM today morning there was a huge noise of a blast and our house vibrated for a moment and electricity went off. I couldn’t realize what was happening. But I have experienced bomb blasts before and I thought it must be one.. But never faced it this closer before.. I was wondering where it could be... …And then one of our neighbor friends called and said his house ceiling is damaged due to vibration and definitely it should be a bomb. So there was no power till the morning. No TV No news to check what it was..

Early morning I heard from our caretaker that the blast has taken place in the power plant closer to home. He has got to know from somebody around the area. Any way I had to get in to the office on time due to a meeting scheduled with an important customer.. But when I came out of the house only I realized that the road is closed and I had to take a different route to the main road. How ever due to my delay I couldn’t make it to the meeting

Till Morning they didn’t confirm it’s a LTTE terrorist attack and investigations were going on. But I saw in a web site just now., that its confirmed as a LTTE attack.

Its very sad that these incidence happen frequently which really disturb civilians lives. Lately there were bombs in 2 buses and lots of innocent civilians died.

So no matter from which part of the world they are.. Terrorism is bad.. Stop Funding Terrorism.. Directly or indirectly….Because tomorrow they can take your loved ones away from you…


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