Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Case for Cloud - Colorado Technology Association - Chris Kemp, Nebula Co-Founder

getting to cloud
Speaking from the Governor's mansion in Denver, Chris Kemp, explained the birth of OpenStack from his CTO role at NASA and the subsequent commercialization of Nebula, the first cloud computer.

Who might need a cloud computer?  Startup business can trade-off the use of cloud services through an anonymity. However, when those monthly bills reach $100k and the core business relies on the protection of its data and intellectual property, it is time to manage your own private cloud.

Chris' vision of computing based on current trending of tablet sales outpacing desktop computers and 15% of internet access coming from mobile devices, he sees the future of centralized apps and data in massive datacenters serving dozens of sensing computers per person. However, current datacenter architecture physically separates enormous storage devices from large racks of servers which won't serve anytime, anywhere mobile demand.

How do you afford a cloud? Cloud controllers, like Nebula, can integrate massive storage and cheap server computing inside the same rack thanks to recent performance gains in SSD harddrives and CPU technologies (like ARM chips). Where virtualization provides the efficient use of servers, by creating up to 10 server environments to serve multiple applications, an enterprise will use the most robust blade hardware to minimize outages. A cloud controller manages 20 servers in one rack, treating them all as a single server resource with flexible processing power. The enterprise will use inexpensive 2U servers that are hot-swappable.

While the largest enterprises will build their own private clouds from OpenStack standards, everyone can own a cloud now.

Chris Kemp, former NASA CTO and co-founder of OpenStack & Nebula, spoke to Denver technologists about a cloud controller, how to drive cloud adoption and stop storing petabytes of information separate from computing servers.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Denver Local Business Summit made great impressions and networks

Moderated by +BarryJMoltz and themed around his book Small Town Rules, Dex provided
entrepreneurs with a rich education in marketing in today's world of search engines and mobile devices.

The panel consisted of experts from search engine giants and venture capitalists who shared their outlook and resources for growing your business.

Among the search engine optimization (SEO) advice given was:
1. mobile devices do not receive "sponsored listings" so don't pay for them
2. Don't aim to be first on list, be 3rd
3. Don't be on every [social media] platform, focus on your favorite & where your customers and referral partners and interaction is

Barry's 3 market rules:
1. People buy when they have pain + money to solve it
2. We can sell anything to anybody, we need to be there when people are ready to buy
3. If you can't be found, you can't be chosen

Other great quotes:
"people buy painkillers, not vitamins" - prevention is not sexy
"customers are buying the hole, not the drill" - focus on the customer benefits

The panelists provided additional resources:
JourneyInstitute provided a Social Media tune-up

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How to Navigate the Organizational Landscape

RAID Log Tool (YourProjectOffice.com)
Lisa DiTullio is a national speaker and management consultant author who spoke to the MileHi PMI chapter this week about project team dynamics. Lisa used project and client examples to define "team vs. group" and how to find good talent for your team and how to let the team create the Rules of Engagement that will further create an environment of respect and productivity.

She introduced a RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Decisions) log tool that many were interested in. The templates can be found at her website, YourProjectOffice.com.

She left us with many tips that can immediately enhance team performance and improve project results.

PMI 2011 "Project of the Year": Effective Program Management for Prairie Waters

Prairie Waters (Aurora photo)
PrairieNet was the name of an IT portal built for managing the $700M, multi-year water project for Aurora, Colorado. Critigen provided a single PM solution was used across multiple contractors and bid projects to maximize document access and schedule integration.

The portal used Oracle Primavera, Microsoft Sharepoint, and Map Guide GIS to provide a tool that streamlines communication, encourages collaboration, and supported superior performance on such a large construction project. The system required 4 people to run it, cost about $1.5M, and was directly responsible for saving $8M.

Typically, a large construction project like this would have many silos of fragmented information that can result in many delays. Dan Nicholson explained that a $1M/day burn rate is one incentive for providing a dashboard and communications tool like PrairieNet to reduce land claims risks. Another lasting benefit remains with the client, City of Aurora, to provide an excellent document repository for warranties, permits, and easements.

More info on the Aurora Prairie Waters project (link).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eat the frog for breakfast

Janna Hoiberg is our Action Coach, helping us to manage our lives better. In October, she presented to Mile Hi PMI for two hours to take a deeper dive in sharing tools that can make us better leaders.

Eating frogs was a message about procrastination and getting substantial things accomplished rather than be distracted all day long.

The audience most-appreciated the DISC profile that can be used to develop better business and teaming relationships. Similar to personality tests, like Myers Briggs Type Indicator, we learn the common and different perspectives and needs that people bring to a scenario. Considering the category that a person most aligns to will help you provide the most effective response to that person; will the person typically want a short answer, a full explanation, or a pleasant greeting first.

Find more of Janna's thoughts, books, and speaking events at her website.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sleep On It: to make better decisions

Brainstorming, a process to create utter chaos and then end up in a rabbit hole. "Most ideas are dumb," says Steven Wille at MileHi PMI. Even though you bravely opened the floodgates of discussion, did groupthink control the direction of the conversation? Did you capture the rational, quiet thoughts of your brightest teammates or were they overshadowed by the mob?

Steven told us how we can reap the collective intelligence to discover the best solutions to the most difficult decisions facing the company. Describing in detail the democratic process how honeybees choose a new home and the resulting vote (expressed as an enthusiastic dance) free from polictics and bias.

In a final demonstration, in groups of twenty working on an assignment, he uncovered the quietest voice who had the most to say. She said we cannot do this exercise without more requirements and preceded to tell Mr. Wille what parameters were needed.

To make the best individual or group decisions, sleep on it, and get back to us in the morning with a fresh perspective and ideas that wouldn't otherwise appear in the heat of the moment.

Steven Wille, author of Colorful Leadership and see his interview on YouTube.

Change your mind- Hartman Value Profile

Speaking to 200 project managers in Denver, Traci Duez, shared how she overcame weaknesses and studied Dr. Hartman's value theory and now administers the Hartman Value Profile to improve individual and team performance.

The secret to changing your bad habits is to ignore them and create new neural networks (value-driven habits), because "the whole idea of fixing weaknesses rather than strengthening strengths is a bit of a dead-end." With more than 12,000 thoughts per person per day, most are rehashed. In order to overcome the inertia of rehashed thoughts, you can overload the brain with thoughts related to your strengths until the training wheels come off and the old neural networks erode.

Ms. Duez demonstrates a similar analogy where conservative-minded problem-solving companies were driven out of business in recession era of 2008, while innovative opportunity-seeking firms were highly successful.

She has more to teach in the area of project management performance than can be presented in one seminar. I would like to revisit and practice the hierarchy of value: Systemic (on/off), Extrinsic (tangible), Intrinsic (people). As you learn to focus on the intrinsic, you will harness the infinite potential of the team.

Get your FREE mini-assessment and learn how to change your mind by focusing on your strengths (high VQs). Traci Duez, www.BreakFreeConsulting.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Local PM meetups: lead your meeting

A local meetup of project management professionals invited Hilary Blair to coach us in business communications. Hilary demonstrated many frustrations experienced in today's business meetings where presenters can sound muffled, not serious, or are not delivering the message.

She led us through a series of checks and warm-ups to prepare for taking the reigns at a speaking event. Starting with our posture, we focused on breathing and tongue and vocal cord exercises that will allow us to project in a clear, strong tone without exhausting our vocal folds.
Find your voice

If that weren't enough to worry about, how about the pauses and inflections through that help keep the audience connected to the message. How many interpretations could there be from saying "oh?"

You can find the next Meetup of PM Off the Gantt Charts somewhere close to Park Meadows mall in Lonetree, CO.

Ms. Blair is an award winning voice-over artist and actor with over 30 years experience teaching, coaching and facilitating. Visit her website and videos.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Avaya hosts CTA TechTalk and brings new network solutions

Avaya in Denver provided a great venue and line of speakers to share success stories and deep dives on new network architectures to manage BYOD (bringing your own mobile device to work).

Lori Pinz, IT Director City of Pueblo, showed her before and after architecture to eliminate 400 digital phones, DS3, and T1s to 10GB fiber and VOIP resulting in a net $60k annual savings in long distance and leases.

Paul Unbehagen, Avaya Director of PLM and Switching Standards, presented Virtual Service Networks (VSNs) and calls them VLANs (virtual local area networks) on steroids, but demonstrates how they are the solution to your IT staffing, schedule, and BYOD issues. VSNs can replace connectivity that normally takes weeks in just minutes. VSNs can be used to provide instant and unique connections for each device that enters your corporate wireless network. The granted access would be a combination of user identity and device operating system (OS) level to allow anything from a simple internet connection to enterprise applications.

Paul continues to work on new networking capabilities like shortest path bridging, IP multicasting, swiping applications between devices.

A similar Avaya video explanation of VENA and VSNs.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why Project Management ROI?

As your company feels the impacts of the economy, where will they make the first cuts?

  • cut free coffee?
  • cut PM training?
  • cut PMs?
ROI helps us think differently starting at the beginning of the project:
  • - what results (ROI) are expected from this project?
  • - how will trade-offs during the project affect the results (ROI)?
  • - what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get done!
  • - if you can’t prove the impact of this project on corporate measures, other departments like Sales and Marketing will happily take the credit

Wayne Brantley advises us to spend 3-5% of project costs on evaluation. Wayne teams up with Dr. Phillips of ROI Institute to show us step-by-step how to build the strategy, data collecting, and reporting of project ROI to executives. This reporting will also ensure the proper resources and project funding is allocated on the current and future projects and help us get the organizational buy-in that we need!
Find the book on Amazon  Contact wayne.brantley@VillanovaU.com to volunteer your company for project management ROI studies!

Dr. Jack J. Phillips is Chairman of the ROI Institute (www.roiinstitute.net.) and a world-renowned expert on measurement and evaluation.

Wayne Brantley, MSEd, PMP, CRP, CPLP, is the Senior Director of Professional Education for the University Alliance (www.universityalliance.com).

Program Manager

As a technical leader, I develop a talent pipeline that can deliver client's expectations in a motivating and productive environment.

I have performed multi-discipline engineering on space launch vehicles, satellite command and control software, electronic medical records, and large data center operations.

I am seeking additional opportunities to deliver solutions internationally

resume MBA-Bard Center

I have delivered management and technology consulting solutions for Deloitte, BearingPoint, Department of the Interior, TRICARE Military Health System, Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Raytheon, Lockheed, Northrop, and Boeing on various projects in manufacturing, software development, systems engineering, testing, and ITIL management.