A Quick Reference Guide to Project Management

By Ben Wright, IT Senior Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

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Working in IT, we are exposed to a number of Project Management methodologies, which at times can be a little daunting understanding the difference. There are so many methodologies in the industry today, each with their own set of rules and processes. So, which one should you choose?

Below are the Top 5 methodologies, we see used by our clients today:

  • Agile – a methodology used in software development, using short cycles of work that allow for rapid production and constant revisions if required. This encourages both developers and business people to work together throughout the entire project.
  • Waterfall – a methodology made up of cascading steps, hence the name. Waterfall is made up of 6 different processes; requirements, analysis, design, coding, testing and operations.  This methodology allows for early design changes and is suited to a milestone focused development environment.
  • Prince2 –  an acronym which stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments. This framework requires projects to have an organised start, middle and end. This allows for better control of resources and better business and project risk management.
  • PMBOK – deals with the project management lifecycle from start to finish. It describes 47 processes that managers would typically undertake when tackling a project and organises them into 5 groups of processes; project initiation, project planning process, project execution process, project control process and project closure process.
  • Scrum – one of the most popular agile frameworks in use today. Scrum refers to brief meetings where team members come together to talk about their successes and what the next steps are. Scrum follows a “do, check and adapt” principle.

In addition to the above methodologies, we are starting to see an increase in the following:

  • Kanban – in Japanese, the word “Kan” means “visual” and “ban” means “card”. This visual system manages work as it moves through a process. Kanban follows a set of principles and practices for managing and improving the flow of work. It promotes gradual improvements to an organisations processes.
  • Scrumban – a hybrid of Scrum and Kanban, Scrumban provides the structure of Scrum with the flexibility and visualisation of Kanban, which makes this methodology a highly versatile approach to workflow management.
  • Lean – a popular approach to streamlining both manufacturing and services processes through eliminating waste while delivering value to customers. A lean culture is based on continuous improvement.
  • XP – another agile project management frameworks used in software development. XP advocates frequent releases, iterative development and a high level of customer involvement. XP is very similar to Scrum, but with an added layer of coding best practices.

One thing to keep in mind, while there are a number of methodologies to choose from, there is no such thing as the “right” one.  Different projects benefit from different elements of each and quite often a hybrid of multiple methodologies are used to manage a Project.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter, or call on +61 7 3230 0033.

Tear up the resume application process!

By Michele CameronMichele Cameron 0246 2

IT/ICT Recruitment Consultant, Eden Ritchie Recruitment

I’ve been reading articles saying that the resume will be dead in a few years. Hooray you cheer!!  There’s nothing more frustrating than having to keep re-writing or adapting your work experience every time you change roles or seek a new change.

The Future

1.   Video resumes – this is becoming a popular tool clients are slowly trialing or currently using. When you look at a traditional resume, there’s a clear disconnect between the job seeker and recruiter/reviewer. There’s no relationship that develops from a resume, no personality to consider and no obvious communication skills. It’s not until applicants reach the phone interview stage that the recruiter has an opportunity to truly get to know them and learn more about their qualifications. After all, some resumes can be vague.

2.   One page infographic – in the visual world of marketing an infographic makes it eye catching, with easily digestible key information. After all a recruiter/ reviewer will spend less than a minute scanning your application. It keeps it simple, punchy and highlights the key details without the fluff. But on the flip side, the information lacks the details and current recruitment systems prefer word documents to scan and search key words when job matching candidates.

3.   Online profiles (digital & personal brand profiling) – Clients and recruiters will search your online profiles, research your articles and written blogs, and compare your network/ connection reach. The best talent will be creating their brand value and attracting opportunities based on their perceived reputation.

4.   Data job matching – new forms of technology from social media, big data, and analytics are building and profiling candidate’s information and becoming better sophisticated matching/ sending job alerts to candidates. After all, would you prefer to apply for less roles which matched better to your skill set. The downside is you become stereotyped based on your experience and doesn’t work if you want a change of industry or career.

5.   Creating talent pools through social media – this is an interesting article about companies attracting new talent pools and making the candidate experience fun again through social media.  Here are two takeaway tips clients can implement: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/07/23/the-death-of-the-resume-five-ways-to-re-imagine-recruiting/#4eb19c0978a9

a.   Make it fair for all to apply – let candidates share ideas and contributions rather than the standard, one-dimensional credentials presented on a resume as it reveals aptitude rather than education or experience.

b.   Give candidates a business challenge – bring ideas to solve a problem, create value through innovation.

As a recruiter, I hear too often the candidate’s pains of applying and your resume is sent to the big dark internet of abyss and then nothing. Technology is constantly evolving and we all need to be adapting, embracing and developing our digital brand value to attract the next opportunity. Ensure your professional LinkedIn profile, website or video sales pitch is attached to your resume to help personalize it. Don’t be stuck just relying on job boards and a standard resume as there’s a good chance it’ll be in the “no” pile.

All the best!

 

 

 

Queensland Government appoints Eden Ritchie as Tier 1 ICT Labour Supplier

Linkedin Photo

Written by: Nigel Baker

Carrying on Eden Ritchie Recruitment’s long history of being a leading supplier to the Queensland Government since 1996, we are extremely proud to announce that we have now been appointed a preferred supplier on the new ICT Contingent Labour Panel.

Whilst this is fantastic news for us as a business I am continually being asked what difference this will make from both a candidate and client perspective?

Initially I don’t anticipate there being much difference from a process point of view at all.

The new panel is not designed to reinvent the wheel; rather the aim is to increase the level of communication between all parties involved. There is now a far greater opportunity for the recruiter and the hiring manager to communicate during the process, which should lead to two things;

  1. As a candidate you should be hearing about roles that are more specifically suited to your individual skills, experience and requirements and therefore;
  2. As a client you should see an increase in the ‘fit to role’ of the candidates presented.

In real terms this means that whilst we will still have a strong focus on the technical requirements of a role we will also be able to articulate the often more important aspects such as organisation/team culture, environment, expectations etc.

Whilst the new arrangement covers Queensland State Government we continue to be preferred suppliers to Queensland Urban Utilities, Brisbane City Council, SEQ Water, Griffith University and Queensland Treasury Corporation. The start to 2016 has been extremely busy and we are anticipating this increasing if anything.

If you have any questions regarding the new panel arrangement, or would like to discuss finding your next career opportunity please give our ICT team a call on (07) 3230 0033 to discuss further.

 

Digital disruption – Who do you trust more with your personal data, the Government or Facebook?

Linkedin Photo.jpg Written by Nigel Baker

Richard Suhr from EY was the key speaker at a breakfast meeting I recently attended and he posed the above question. I am a sucker for a conspiracy theory and his question really resonated with me.

The talk was at a health industry function and it was fascinating to hear his take on the subject in relation to the challenges and opportunities in the sector. As with most, if not all industry sectors digital disruption has/will target the peripheral services that are the most profitable. The core business functions of health such as heart surgery will probably not come under the control of Uber but why wouldn’t the supply chain?

Much has already changed in this sector and there is much more to come. Who has a family GP nowadays? People travel overseas for surgical procedures.  Where is the first place you go to if you have a health query (my wife would say google)? Do you have a watch that measures your heart rate, steps, sleep patterns, distances covered, it might even tell the time? Do you have an app that measures your calorie intake for the day as well as your weight loss/gain? Do you do your weekly food shop online? Do you have an app that tells you how to workout? etc. etc. etc.

As an individual how will all this information that is held in the public cloud affect you in the future? (It could be much more important than keeping that embarrassing photo from going viral.) Will your future life insurance premium be set by how much you weigh, exercise and consume and where will this information come from? Facebook probably! Will you be charged more by your health fund if you eat too much or do too little exercise?

A major challenge for the health sector moving forward is deciding how they are going to be connected to patients. There is a growing need for all areas of business to offer what the user wants and a growing expectation to move away from purely informing to assisting. Historically the health sector has been very good at informing, are they as good at assisting? Will your doctor or surgeon be available 24/7 on social media? How will regulation and governance evolve? What will a hospital of the future look like? Will they share/sell on your information like other organisations do?

Which all brings us back to the original question……..Who will be your trusted advisor to hold your confidential medical records, facebook or the Government? I think maybe facebook, or more probably an organisation that we haven’t even heard of yet.

 

 

 

Brisbane’s Digital Growth – BCC Budget Speech

Just a short time ago, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk delivered his 2015-2016 Brisbane City Council budget speech, which stayed true to his previously stated list of key priorities including a large focus on Infrastructure and Sustainability. This comes as no surprise though, as Queensland was one of the main beneficiaries of the Federal Budgets newly announced $5bil Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.

When it comes to developing Brisbane as a digital city, Lord Mayor Quirk said “Increasing competitiveness, a digital presence, communication and education is the key to business growth and I intend to ensure Council delivers on our part for Brisbane business.” So what does this look like for Brisbane?

Our edge on competiveness will come from a large open data project, designed to make BCC data available to local businesses and start-ups, to lend a helping hand in product and service development, which in turn will drive job creation in small business. To further support small business, $25.5mil of the budget will be dedicated to increasing the growth of the Council run Business Hotline – a service that provides information and advice to business owners.

In terms of increasing our ‘digital presence’ Lord Mayor Quirk announced plans to perform a large scale free Wi-Fi rollout, which will see the entire CBD covered – a dramatic increase from the previous amount of 22 hotspots Brisbane wide. Another new digital feature in the works is the launch of a BCC owned parking app, designed to allow motorists to top-up their parking meters from their mobile and offer the ability to find and book parking spaces in real-time.

What are your thoughts on the future of Brisbane as a digital city and the allocation of resources in the new budget to further this?

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

An Agile Approach to Recruitment …

By Bridget Young1D6A0741

As recruiters, our clients provide us with a lot of ‘buzz’ words when describing roles that they would like us to recruit for. I was speaking to a BI Architect recently, who made an interesting point and valid connection to one of the current buzz words, which led my thoughts to actions I have been taking throughout my career.

Disregarding the usage of this word relating to software development and project management methodology, I have observed in my first quarter with Eden Ritchie that the term is being lent to the ideology and in some cases, the strategic directives organisations have started to progress to reduce risk aversion and stimulate innovation in IT business units and project teams.

To paraphrase my candidate, who had attended some interviews directly with employers and through other agencies, only to find that he was too experienced or too expensive:

“If only employers would apply an Agile approach to developing job briefs and position descriptions; I think that defining the role and responsibilities correctly are essential to finding the right candidate. Its’ what we do when we define a solution from business requirements using this methodology. We don’t need SAP for a small business even thought it is a best of breed solution – so why look for an Architect when you really just need someone to analyse data?”

A light bulb went off and I was excited – I had already been toying with some basic understanding of aspects of Agile in settling in to my role at Eden Ritchie. Tom and I have daily stand ups (though normally whilst we’re sitting down having coffee!); we work in “sprints” to manage our workload and fulfil KPI’s; and we maintain a visual representation of our issues, opportunities, deadlines and challenges on a white board so that at a glance, we know where we’re up to, what needs the most attention, and to pool ideas for how we can do things smarter.

Now, here was a high level candidate articulating my exact thoughts about defining client requirements for recruitment and my initial thoughts were, “Hey, I’m really on to something here, maybe I could revolutionise the approach to ICT recruitment if I looked into it further!” (Naturally providing full reference and credit to my wonderful candidate!). 

Sadly, or happily in this instance, it seems there is nothing new in the buzz word or it’s application to recruitment, as evidenced in the links provided below.

Reference 1

Reference 2

Reference 3

ICT skill shortages?

A study into employment in the Australian information and communications technology Tom Peard(ICT) industry estimates that Australia will need an additional 33,000 ICT professionals by mid 2017 and that there will be insufficient skilled workers to meet this demand. Yet it says that graduates from ICT courses are having trouble finding work.

If you work in IT, you only have to look around your office to see the age group is heavily made up of Gen X and little to no Gen Y’s.

Why is this? And what can be done to change it?

Well firstly, you can’t get a Bachelor of IT and suddenly be a Project Manager or a Business Analyst. Those sorts of titles require years of experience.

A total of 69.7% of recent computer science graduates are now in employment, although not necessarily in jobs related to their studies, and 12.9% are unemployed, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).

Maybe we can rectify this problem by putting processes in place to help Graduates grow within their profession.

For example:

  • Summer vacation programs
  • Internships
  • Trade shows / exhibitions
  • Career days
  • Q&A sessions

Have a read through the article below to see a series of ideas the AWPA have presented to boost ICT skills in the market.

http://www.whatech.com/it-education/news/15428-wanted-8000-new-ict-workers-every-year

 

IT Market Update

Tom PeardWhile things may seem to be tenuous in Queensland’s ICT industry, at least it’s never boring.

As a review of circumstances leading to QLD Health’s payroll debacle continues, IBM has been vigorously scrutinised over its role in the scandal, as well as the procurement process and surrounding decisions that led to IBM becoming the prime contractor in the payroll project.

As the inquiry is ongoing, the only solid message that seems to have been taken from this is that the failed project will be taken into account as a cautionary tale when planning for new ICT initiatives in QLD Government.

The federal election is looming, and as it does, the bottleneck of new ICT projects that seems to happen around this particular time grows. Whispers of changes in Government and policies have had there effect on new ventures across many sectors, as people wait to see what the future holds and what impact it will have on the decisions they make. This may result in an influx of new projects and increased hiring following the election, scheduled for September 7th.

Change will be forthcoming very shortly, but as always, it will be tempered by the past.

Queensland IT Market Update

What a difference a couple of months make! It’s good to see some positivity returning to the Queensland IT market after a relatively quiet six month period following the state election in March this year. Whilst the market hasn’t yet returned to the busy times we saw during 2011 and the early part of 2012, it seems there is momentum building slowly across a number of organisations, with key projects requiring resources as we come into the traditionally quiet Christmas period. This bodes well for 2013, particularly as the State Government starts to undertake new projects following the results of the ICT Audit that it is close to finalising.

In a number of conversations with employers and candidates throughout the year, I have mentioned that I believe we will see significant growth in the market from around March next year. I still hold this belief after hearing QLD Government CIO, Peter Grant, speak at the ICT Industry Forum last week, where he mentioned the government’s plans for significant spending on ICT initiatives as we move into the New Year. This has a flow on effect for many private sector companies that are influenced by the spending, or lack of, by state and local government in Queensland.

So what does this mean for the ICT employment market? My expectation is that the need for ICT contractors will increase as these ICT projects begin. In the early months of 2013, we should see a steady increase in the number of contract roles, particularly Project Managers and Business Analysts. As the year continues, we should see growth across other areas as these projects ramp up their recruitment.

Despite what has been an up and down year for many, it is good to see some positive sentiment in the market. Good signs for the industry as we move into 2013!

So what does it take to be a great Project Manager?

Managing projects can be a complex and difficult task. So what is it that allows great Project Managers to build reputations people that will deliver results on time and within budget?

After discussions with a number of successful and senior Project Managers recently, there is a general agreement on the key attributes that successful project managers possess.

1) They understand the business! They have the patience and communication skills to listen to the key stakeholders and understand what the business is trying to achieve from the project. There is no point in delivering a product or service that will not fit the requirements of the organisation.

2) They are Problem solvers! Projects can vary in size and complexity and it is important that project managers are able to think outside the box to come up with solutions to overcome obstacles.

3) Flexibility! Some projects can change on almost a daily basis and thus, project managers need to be flexible when approaching a project. Project management methodologies are a great way to set the direction for the project but they are not strict procedures. Project Managers must have the flexibility to alter their approach to overcome any obstacles that arise.

4) They are delivery focussed! The reputations of project managers are made or broken on their ability to successfully deliver outcomes to the business. It is imperative that project managers liaise with key stakeholders to set the desired outcomes and do everything they can to achieve them!

5) Outstanding communication and leadership skills! Project managers must be able to engage with key stakeholders to get support from senior management. They also must be able to bring out the best in their teams. This means supporting and delegating to team members to make the most of project resources.

6) Ownership!! Project managers have to take complete ownership of their projects and have the drive and passion to do everything they can to ensure that the outcomes are achieved within time, budget and resource constraints. This is where project managers build their reputations as someone who will get the job done!

Do you have what it takes to be a great Project Manager? With so many large projects kicking off, the industry is booming in South East Queensland. It is certainly an exciting time to be involved in project management!!

Project Management – Challenges galore!!

What makes managing projects such a complex and challenging job? Projects can vary substantially in how difficult they are to successfully deliver, hence, the importance of the Project Manager understanding the organisation, the stakeholders, the time frame, the budget, the history and the outcomes required from the project.

Upon joining the project team, whether the project is at inception or already in progress, there are a number of things that Project Managers must do to set the groundwork for successful outcomes.

Firstly, they have to consult with the key stakeholders to best understand what outcomes are required from the project.

Secondly, the scope of the project needs to be agreed (including time frames, milestones, budget) as well as the most effective approach to achieve the desired outcomes. Project management methodologies such as Prince 2 will assist in setting the direction of what approach will be taken. Methodologies, however, are not strict procedures, they are simply there to facilitate the deliverables of the project.

Finally, it is important that Project Managers understand the environment and unwritten ground rules. This can take the form of policy and procedures that must be followed as well as the key stakeholders within and outside of the organisation. This can be particularly important within the government sector as many protocols differ from that of the private sector.

So what makes a project challenging for a Project Manager? Almost always, this will revolve around people, egos and agendas! Bringing team members together to form an effective team, gaining support and working with key stakeholders as well as dealing with processes and protocols. Therefore, it is imperative that Project Managers have excellent influencing, leadership, communication and negotiation skills as well as the ability to engage with people across all levels of the organisation.

Speaking to a Project Director recently, his most challenging project had revolved around coordinating the expectations of people at a variety of levels both externally and internally. Managing teams, stakeholders and multiple vendors is never easy task, but that is what separates the great Project Managers from the rest and a demonstrated track record in this respect is what organisations look for when recruiting.

So what makes a good Project Manager? Look out for next week’s edition when I discuss the attributes of great Project Managers and what allows them to deliver successful projects!

Exciting times for Project Managers!!

It is an exciting time to be involved in the ICT industry in Queensland at the moment!

Despite all the talk over the past twelve months of companies letting people go and budgets being cut, there appears to be plenty of opportunities starting to take shape as many organisations kick-off major projects.

There is an abundance of projects in road infrastructure, gas and mining, healthcare and local government as both the government and private sectors seek to provide infrastructure to the ever-increasing population, particularly in South East Queensland.

An interesting topic that came up recently was how these projects are managed to ensure they are completed on time and within budget constraints.

Particularly as so many organisations are currently recruiting for Project Managers and Project Directors to lead major projects and considering that there have been so many people looking for project management roles.

So what separates the best from the rest?

The goal of a project is obviously to ensure that the deliverables are achieved within time and budget constraints. Considering so many project managers are brought on to manage a specific project, it must be a hard task to come in and understand the business and it’s requirements and then manage issues around people, budgets and timeframes.

Not an easy job at all!

What does it take to complete a project successfully? What are the most challenging aspects of successfully delivering projects? And what separates the really successful Project Managers from the rest? An interesting topic that I plan to explore over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned as I discuss some of the issues that project managers face and the attributes of a good project manager – straight from those who have successfully managed large-scale projects!!