Wednesday, December 04, 2013

A Microsoft Prediction

I believe Microsoft is on the verge of its biggest era ever. I will go against the grain on the predictions of many people in the technology industry. I say Microsoft will again become the largest technology giant of the 21st century. I believe they will continue to have shortcomings over the next year or two but by Q4 2016 Microsoft will hit an all-time high stock price around $75.00 per share. This will equate to an overall value of over 625 Billion. Why would anyone ever believe this? There are several really good reasons to believe this is possible. The very first one is that Microsoft has a great corporate / enterprise market. Microsoft’s downfall over the last several years has not truly been in that space it has been on the consumer side where Microsoft has fallen short in many areas. Enter the age of Xbox One and Microsoft Windows One. As Microsoft moves to a unified base platform for all its devices it will achieve a new era for all its developers the world over. These developers will make real useful applications and the ones consumers are using for entertainment on this unified platform across devices made not only by Microsoft vendors but also by Microsoft itself. That ability will be beyond Apple and only Googles Android will be able to compete but even then only to a lesser degree. Some of Microsoft’s other technologies will also need to be revamped to attain this goal but the products are already there and Microsoft has the ability to capitalize in some fantastic ways. Imagine Microsoft providing all home based users a family license bundle for Office 365, Xbox Gold, SkyDrive, Skype and SharePoint Online (Family of 5) for $149.00 per year. Sign me up!!!! The potential for Microsoft however is at a pivotal point with lots of real and potential competition. Can they survive, can they flourish? I think so, but only time will tell.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Windows 8 One Man’s Opinion

Microsoft really dropped the ball with Windows 8, the operating system is horrible though fixable. If Microsoft wants to save their company they will buy out StarDock and give away a free subscription to their products with EVERY Windows 8 purchase. The current Windows 8 OS is not only unintuitive but it’s annoying and frustrating for most users.

Although I, along with the rest of the world understands that the future of computers will have touch interface, the implementation in Windows 8 is poor at best. It truly feels like you have two disconnected operating systems in one OS but the really frustrating part is that Microsoft forces you to use both of these to do perform many tasks that before were natural and now are not.

For all of you out there who feel as I do, please go out and grab the ~$38.00 subscription for StarDock and your world will be better by far and fast. I was so displeased with Windows 8 that I was close to uninstalling and reinstalling Windows 7 Ultimate. I have relatives that have brought PC’s back to the store and bought a Windows 7 machine because they were so frustrated with it. After installing Start8 from StarDock however I really like Windows 8. I now truly have the best of both worlds and can get to either how I want, when I want. A great win, win!

For those out there that want some perspective on who I am, I am an Ex Microsoft employee that has always loved Microsoft and their products. I am not an Apple fanboy or an Android or iOS guy. I use a Windows 7.X Phone and I love it, I have many computers and servers in my home, all Microsoft. I use Microsoft Products at work where I am a Consultant for several of their Server based products for the Enterprise.

Steve Ballmer should be forcibly removed from Microsoft for letting this and many other things happen over the past 15 years at Microsoft. As the CEO the buck stops with him and he should be held accountable. Microsoft still has a chance to be the company of the future but MANY, MANY things need to change and that change should begin with new top level leadership.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

So, you say you’re a Project Manager!

This is my soap box so please forgive me as I jump up on it.

Point 1
So, you say you’re a Project Manager; but are you really?

Just because you passed the PMP, read all the Project Management information, and you’re a member of the National or Local PMI or MPUG group does not mean you’re really a Project Manager. Likewise, just because you act as a Project Manager in a company that really does not embrace true Project Management does not make you a Project Manager.

I like to think or a real Project Manager as a pseudo Fortune Teller, Soothsayer, or Prophet of their projects.

It is not the job of a Project Manager to tell you what happened with a project last week! It is the job of a Project Manager to tell you what will occur next week and beyond. That simple bold statement sets Project Managers apart from Project Schedulers, Junior PM’s and Project Assistants, and many other project related positions.

Why do I make a point of this?

Great question, I talk about this for one very important reason. If you make that statement (It is not the job of a Project Manager to tell you what happened with a project last week! It is the job of a Project Manager to tell you what will occur next week and beyond.), a primary fixture in the way you approach all Project Management tasks it will change everything you do and make you a much better and more effective Project Manager, Portfolio Manager, Sr. Project Manager, or PMO Director.

Point 2
So, you say you’re a Project Manager; but are you really?

A Project Managers job is not always a pleasant one. It requires the ability to tell the truth to people even when they don’t want to hear it. Although I don’t have personal experience I know several Project Managers that have been dismissed from their positions for doing just that, telling the truth when other people did not want to hear it! That makes being a PM a very tough job to do. Great Project Managers must not fear the truth; they must embrace the truth no matter what the opposition is to doing so.

Most Project Managers would agree with the concept above but many find it hard to actually remain steadfast when faced with the possibility of various consequences. They can be in the form of bad performance reviews to loss of a job or alternatively going with the flow may gain you promotions, recognition, better performance reviews. Again, taking the path of least resistance does not make you a Project Manager and it certainly does not make you a good Project Manager.

Again, placing this concept in the forefront of your actions as a Project Manager will make you a much better and more effective Project Management Professional.

Look for a book on Microsoft Project/Project Server/SharePoint and Business Intelligence from me coming out in 2012!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Project Success not Project Politics

Consider the following:

At least 4.5 Billion dollars a year are spent on IT and Software Development projects alone. Depending on which reports you read, between 15 and 30 percent of IT projects are complete failures. That is a complete waste of between 675 million and 1.35 billion dollars annually. That’s just IT and Software Development Projects!

Also consider that another 10-20 percent of all projects are only somewhat successful and fail to achieve the desired outcome of the intended project. That’s an additional loss of somewhere between 225 to 900 million depending on how you calculate and measure the actual success of those projects.

These are staggering numbers especially when you consider that most of this waste could be avoided by skilled Project Management. Why most of the waste? There can always be circumstances beyond the control of a Project Manager or a Project Management team to control or avoid.

Things like a single source of knowledge, other resource constraints, budget constraints, or schedule constraints. Technological limits or capabilities can even play a role in the success or failure of a project along with many other items! A skilled Project Manager can and should identify these risks and even make stakeholders acutely aware of the risks but often they do not have the position, power or influence to completely avoid these pitfalls or kill the project.

Politics in companies, just like in our government, is responsible for much of this waste. Another major contributor is a lack of Project Managers with the strength of their conviction in their skill and ability. A good project manager is not someone who provides status to management and executives after the fact, that’s not even their job! A good Project Manager is the one who provides the forecast and probability of success for a project, based on the facts, before it begins in earnest. The true responsibility of the project ultimately lies with the stakeholder but make no mistake, the project manager takes the heat most of the time for these failures.

Some advice is this:

If you believe you are in a no win project and have empirical data to back up your forecast and probability matrix, then appeal to a higher court now. Go beyond your stakeholder or stakeholders if possible, spread the word and make everyone aware of your research. It may be the only way to preserve your job and your career. If you end up losing your job for doing the right thing, I apologize, but I offer you this, you’re better off without those who would ignore the data!

Provide some feedback; I’d love to hear other thoughts on this!