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chris.vandersluis

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Project Managers almost always find themselves in the middle of conflicting interests. On the one hand, marketing wants a project finished immediately.  On the other hand engineering is going to need much, much more time than they’d ever imagined in order to get the project right.  On the other hand, management wants to do the project with less money.  On the other hand, sales needs new projects started for which there are no resources. In…

You’ll find here the index of the webinar series OnLine or OnPremise which discusses the key elements of choosing between purchasing software for an on-premise installation vs. subscribing to software in the cloud.   Each webinar is only 5-6 minutes long.  You can watch the webinars in sequence if you prefer but they do not need to be seen in any particular order: Webinar OnLine or OnPremise #1 – Overview Webinar OnLine or OnPremise #2 –…

In today’s Agile-oriented software world, it’s all too tempting to skip the important steps of defining the work completely. There is no doubt that there is a meeting of minds between the client and the developers to end up with a product that fulfills the client’s desires and is of high quality and rapid arrival but once we get into the actual management of the project, there are differences in perspectives that are not obvious.…

In my brief flirtation with Psychology in my first year of university, I learned more than I’d ever want to know about rats in a maze.  My distaste for the exercise would come back to haunt me last year when my stepson needed a dwarf hamster for his science project.  Wendy is now a part of the family.  You can see Wendy and our home-made maze on the right. You’ve no doubt seen the images…

The whole concept of Agile was designed to prevent project bloat. Back in the 1990’s when software development and deployment projects became mega projects a little too easily, the notion of Agile became much more popular. We’ve all heard about Agile.  The idea that we’ll develop incrementally in sprints and after each sprint we should have deployable code, each time with a bit more functionality. It’s a great idea. We use Agile project management within…

I get this request on a semi-regular basis and given the work I’ve done with Microsoft, Oracle and other technical partners over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of early-release software programs.  So, let’s talk about what people mean when they talk about Beta Test Programs.  The first thing to know is that the perspectives of what the vendor is hoping for and wants are often different than what the users want. First…

I have an expression that my staff and clients have heard me use often.  It’s a favorite of mine.  “If you are a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”  It’s a paraphrase I know and as I was writing this article, I thought it behooved me to look up the source.  It wasn’t much of a surprise that the author was someone who I read a lot of a long time ago, Abraham Maslow. …

I admit it.  I’m a black-hat thinker.  I think I always have been but many years ago, my first partner gave me a copy of Edward de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats”.  The book is tiny but the impact was profound.  De Bono was interested in how people think and in how people could train themselves to think more creatively; more laterally.  There’s no one hat that’s perfect of the six, each has its own attraction…

In Canada, operating a private motorboat requires having a Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card.  Now, after you get over chuckling about which bureaucrat made up the term, the basic principle is quite sound.  If you are running a boat with a motor, you need to get this competency card.  I’m proud to say I’m the holder of such a card to use my Chaparral motorboat during the summer. Getting my operator’s card required passing an exam…

I came to call it the “Triangle Audit” and my experience with the process dates back almost two decades to when our firm HMS started doing Research and Development Tax Claims. Project Managers are often faced with this process and not just for R&D claims but also for Defense Contract Audit Agency or other government compliance reasons.  Let’s take a look at what the Triangle Audit looks like from the project manager’s perspective and how…