A Quick Reference Guide to Project Management

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

Eden Riochie0081

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.

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.

 

8 Tips To Making A Good Impression At Interview

 By Ben Wright

So you’ve put in all the hard work of getting your CV up to scratch, you’ve applied for roles and have managed to secure an interview.

How well do you think you’ll perform at interview?

It’s a difficult process for anyone at any level, and I’ll try my best to guide you through some of the likely questions and situations you might find yourself having to deal with.

  1. First impressions

The obvious one – first impressions do count! You have no idea how true this is. You need to smile and make the right amount of eye contact, so keep your gaze just a few seconds longer than usual, without looking like a bit of a weirdo.

  1. Questions and answers

Let the interview panel lead the interview but remember that you don’t have to wait until the end of the interview to ask questions. While they’re telling you all about the job and the company, questions from you at this point will emphasise your interest in the position. They may start with the question “Tell us about yourself and your experience, and why you think you would be the best candidate for the job”. This is where it helps to have your pitch handy as a brief introduction to who you are and what you can do.

  1. Preparation

Before the interview you should consider how you handle situations like interviews. How will you answer a question like “What are your salary expectations”? A difficult one if you don’t know whether you are over or under selling yourself. Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are – you need to be able to say what you’re good at with confidence.

  1. Your reasons for wanting the job

Ask yourself why you want this job because you’ll likely be asked this on the day. Only you know the answer and you need to make it a good one. Just because you need a job isn’t a good enough reason for someone to hire you. Ask yourself what you actually know about the company. Are you interested in a long-term career or is this simply a stopgap for you? They might ask you where you see yourself in 6 months or 5 years’ time – how will you answer this. Easy if you see yourself long-term with the company, but not so easy to answer if you don’t.

  1. Dress Code

I can’t stress this enough – make sure that you dress professionally. Casual is not good and gives the wrong impression. Of course, this will entirely depend on what type of job you are applying for, but for a professional career position, get it right and rock that killer suit.

  1. Be enthusiastic!

You’ve been invited for interview because they believe you can do the job. It’s just down to you on the day to show that you can do it better than anyone else. Even if you don’t tick all the boxes for the job criteria, I’ll bet you have something just as good or even better to offer. The interview panel don’t know this yet, so you have to tell them. Don’t be negative about a past (or present) employer, working conditions etc., as this will give a really bad impression. Try to show that you are flexible and willing to take on responsibility.

  1. Timing is critical

Whatever happens don’t be late!  Arrive 10 minutes prior – and if you’re too early then take a walk around the block.  Just don’t leave it until 5 minutes before the interview is due to start, because the interview room might be some distance away from the reception area you have reported to.

  1. The evening before the interview

I’m not going to say try to relax the evening before because you won’t, but get some sleep! If you really want the job you’ll be pretty nervous… that’s natural – and that’s the best advice anyone can give, to just be natural and be yourself. That’s the person they’re looking for. Good Luck!

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.

ACHSM Breakfast Forum “Health IT Reform in Queensland Health – New Beginnings”

Written by: Bridget Young

1D6A0741

I entered the function room at Royal on the Park with trepidation, as I always do when arriving at networking events or forums – will I fall flat on my face and cause the whole room to turn and stare; will this be a valuable investment my managers and directors have made for my benefit; will I get some real market intelligence to help me with better serving my clients?

In direct order the answers to the above were No (thank God!); Yes (more thanks to the heavens!); and YES (FINALLY!). A public introduction to Queensland Health’s Chief Health Information Officer quickly confirmed why Mal Thatcher has been selected as the person to captain the sometimes ‘leaky boat’ that the public has often perceived as the IT component of our public health offering in Queensland.

With an ironic and self-deprecating sense of humour, it became immediately apparent that in keeping with Government’s Contestability and Fit for Purpose drivers, Mr Thatcher wanted us to know what he had achieved so far and was transparent about where he hoped to steer this ship moving forward.

Alignment with Health’s “Blueprint for Better Health “ and the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 will be forefront in the ‘devolution’ from centralised Corporate services, enabling adoption of an Agile approach to Policy, Governance and Architecture to facilitate innovation. With an intended reduction of red-tape and reallocation of responsibility and accountability to the regional Hospital and Health Services, we will ideally see Fit for Purpose solutions determined by those best informed to evaluate what will work for their unique requirements, whilst still maintaining integrity and future integration options.

A very strong focus on eHealth, innovation and waste reduction should further stimulate ICT job opportunities and find us on the cutting edge of Healthcare Technology. Some topics of note included Digital services such as open data, security/privacy and archiving; Information as a strategic asset; As A Service offerings; core system replacement and a paradigm shift from “IT Projects” to “Business Transformation Projects” with IT elements.

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

Queensland’s Economic Growth through Innovation and Technology

1D6A0741An encouraging sign for IT professionals in Queensland is indicated by the recent release of GoDigitalQld – the Queensland Government’s Digital Economy Strategy and Action Plan. This roadmap, developed in conjunction with an independent consultancy, outlines ways forward to creating economic growth for Queensland communities, businesses and individuals alike. Queensland Government aims to work closely with other levels of Government, Business and Industry peak bodies to leverage opportunities, deliver better digital services and share information that will benefit all, including candidates in the job market seeking their next project, and clients seeking candidates with developing experience in emerging IT specialisations.

Demonstrated by the delivery of more than 50 new services online and with aims to reach 100 by the end of this year, we are already enjoying the “One-Stop Shop” initiative as consumers, which has resulted in reduction of red tape and time-saving for many, while the Government Wireless Network will deliver vital updates to improve multiple agency coordination by connecting thousands of police, ambulance, fire and emergency officers to the one secure digital network for the first time. In Health, we have started seeing better access to medical services via video link and pilot hospital constructions dedicated to innovation of services with Digital support enhancements. Tourism has received specific benefit from these initiatives reaching some of our far and wide destinations with ways to reach more visitors and promote our state. And for businesses, the Government will open up it’s data for public use with more than 800 datasets available on the Open Data Portal, which will help people use government data to create business opportunities and mobile applications.

With these offerings and innovations, we hope that we will see opportunities and growth in Queensland job markets continue as these strategies are embraced and delivered in our communities and businesses.