Sarbanes Oxley Act and Risk Management

Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX in the USA) gets blamed for all sorts of controls inflicted upon project. It has also been used by many business software providers as an excuse to sell their wares.  However, the cost of this additional requirement on an organisation must have some return on investment. Read more of this post

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Short-term delay can have long term impact

In the mad rush of ideas that some managers get over the holiday season , some will have decided to cut costs in their operations. In doing so, they will have chosen short-term delays for projects that don’t bring a quick return.

I’ve even seen blogs and advice from management consultants specifically saying things like, “Defer discretionary projects which are not able to make acceptable cash returns in the short-term”.

That is the wrong message because it looks at projects in isolation from each other and the organisation. Read more of this post

Project Communication – Keep Going

Communications is not a revenue-earning activity and I know my budget is stretched. Should I cut communication? Not if the project depends on it – and many do: unless senior management can see the benefit to their overall objectives they justifiably lose interest. Read more of this post

True Cost of Change

The Sales Manager rang me to arrange our regular review. The meeting was pleasant and the new software looked really good. It would give the business some benefits for the projects we have planned over the next year.

Will I take the upgrade earlier?  He’d find a way round the service contract : it will be free to me.  He had a hard time believing that even if there were no cost for the products and services he was ready to deliver, that the upgrade would still add costs to the business. Right now we can’t carry that cost and I will wait for the next upgrade. Read more of this post

Speed of Change in Business Systems

Business systems are the systems that help an organisation run: software like ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) to do the accounting and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to support contact with customer.  Like every other technology, they change surprisingly quickly. Most suppliers of these systems launch major updates every 9 to 18 months. Read more of this post

Business Case: Benefits and Costs

A business case is the statement of benefits and costs that is used to measure just how viable a programme or project is for the organisation.

In the early steps of a project, there will be a need to do some work to look at the options for the project’s approach and ball park costs. Sometimes, this will  be a considerable amount of effort and it will be assumed that the project has entered its planning phase. The project will come to the attention of an auditor, quality manager or PMO professional who will say that work should not continue as there is no business case for the project. They are right but about the wrong thing. 

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