• The power couple

    What are the leadership roles of the project manager and the business analyst?

    Both project managers and business analysts should make vital leadership contributions to successful IT-based projects.

    What are their roles as leaders, how do they differ, and how should they co-operate most effectively?

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  • Engineering the requirements for project success

    The disciplines of requirements engineering and requirements assurance are the cornerstones of successful projects.

    How well a project meets stakeholders’ expectations is an accurate way to measure its success.

    The typical parameters being measured are the components of the so-called project management triangle – cost, time, and scope.

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  • Leadership Roles and Management Roles

    What are they, how do they differ, and what part do they each play in the delivery of successful IT-based projects?

    Orchestrating project success means delivering the ‘Vital Five’ (VF). All successful projects fulfil the objectives of their vision, motivation, action, timeline, and budget.

    On completion, successful projects contribute to building the company of tomorrow, reinforcing its competitive advantage in an ongoing cycle of positive evolution.

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  • The foundation for a successful project is firm leadership

    Successful IT-based projects – those that are delivered on time, on budget, and on spec – share some essential common characteristics.

    In short, they will understand a project’s guiding principles or, to coin a phrase, the Vital Five: vision, motivation, action, timeline and budget. They will also willingly co-operate as a cohesive team that adheres to these guiding principles.

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  • IT tail wags the business dog

    The danger of being solution-driven versus requirements-driven is that companies end up with more than they have asked for or budgeted for.

    “We have the solution, what’s the problem?” That questioning statement pretty much sums up what technology vendors are saying to their customers. From the vendors’ perspective, it may seem to be a compelling mantra in their pitch to the market.

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  • Where do business analysts belong?

    In project management, what skills do analysts need and how must they contribute to assuring project success?

    A business analyst (BA) must be a major contributor in the management of IT-based projects that deliver all the required functionality, are completed on time, and within budget – a successful project.

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  • IT Professionals: Monetising Big Data

    How advanced analytics enable IT professionals to inform customer-centric business strategies that build revenue and profitability.

    IT professionals need to take increased responsibility for analysing big data to produce actionable insights into the customer base that will boost revenue and profitability, and reinforce competitive advantage.

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  • Advanced analytics enable finance professionals to inform strategies that will build revenue and profitability

    Senior finance executives are taking increased responsibility for analysing big data in ways that produce actionable insights into the customer base.

    Their involvement marks a shift from a traditional focus on reporting what happened in the past, to forecasting what needs to happen in the future.

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  • Bridging the divide: solving the disconnect between IT and Business

    The BA must act as a bridge for two-way communication between IT and the business objectives it supports.

    The primary role of a business analyst (BA) is to define a company’s challenges and specify how best to resolve them using IT-based solutions. The BA must also be able to identify commercial opportunities and define how to leverage them with IT.

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  • Agile: a response to the challenges of delivering successful software solutions

    In 1995, the Standish Group published its first Chaos Report. The introduction refers to a humorous comparison between building bridges and developing software-based business solutions.
    In 1986, Alfred Spector of Transarc Corporation suggested that bridges are normally built on time, on budget and do not fall down. In contrast, software never comes in on-time or on-budget – and it always breaks down.

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  • Solving the project delivery crisis

    Across South Africa organisations face a serious IT skills problem. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2013, SA is ranked 102 out of 144 economies for IT skills.

    The problem is particularly acute when it comes to delivering IT projects on time and within budget. Despite their best efforts, inexperienced and poorly-supported Business Analysts and Project Managers battle to prevent the damage caused to business by repeated project failures.

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  • Monetising big data

    Local company, Tharollo believes its Advanced Customer Data Analytics (Acda) solution has the ability to monetise big data by turning analysis into competitive advantage.

    In an interview with ITWeb, Tharollo directors Glenda Wheeler and Carn Iverson revealed that Acda provides accurate insights into the customer base to guide business decisions that will increase revenue and profitability.

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  • Data analytics brings customer service into focus

    Consider the snail trail of information left behind every time you scan a website, natter on social media, click a TV channel, buy a ticket, make a call, swipe a card, draw cash, pay an account, write a text message. As the stop orders tick off on your bond, car and insurance policy, somebody, somewhere, is recording those transactions.

    They’re watching you.

    Trouble is, all that information sits in isolated boxes, mainframe computers that do not know how to talk to each other.

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