Okay, so maybe not literally…but Vidhan Rana, one of our employees who has worked several years for us stateside, is now relocating to Kathmandu, Nepal. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Company’
Whittaker Associates’ staff loves to learn new things. That is why when we had the opportunity to discover SharePoint, we were eager to see how implementing a powerful program could assist us in our daily tasks. Our training was split into two 4-hour sessions, a week apart from one another, and Sherri Amstutz, President of Accelerated Knowledge (www.acceleratedk.com), was our trainer. The following paragraphs will provide a brief overview of the main topics that we covered during our training.
SharePoint is an application that is used as a collaborative tool to manage projects, documents, and communication among its users. The system can be set up by an administrator who can easily coordinate and oversee members, groups, and tasks. It is a safe way to store information and confidential documents, as all areas of the application can be secured.
Permissions in SharePoint can be regulated at many levels. For instance, one may restrict certain groups of users from accessing areas of the system or making changes to the sites within the system. Permissions may also be given on a site by site basis. One site could require an approval from an administrator before updates were allowed to be made to the site content. The deepest level of security is used to set permissions on individual documents within sites and sub-sites. While this level of security may be necessary to protect private information, it can also cause complexities in maintaining the system and issues with consistency in setting up sites.
SharePoint can improve project management by creating a level of transparency among its users. Users can see who is working on the project, what tasks have been completed, what still needs to be finished, as well as issues that are created while carrying out the tasks. When each project is set up using the same structure, productivity is increased because processes become consistent. As a central location for document storage, SharePoint ensures that each user is working with the same up-to-date document.
Other beneficial features of SharePoint include the ability to set up surveys, contact databases, wikis and blogs, discussion pages, and calendars. All of these tools help encourage communication among the system’s users, therefore, improving processes and workflow.
This powerful tool has many advantages, but an intuitive interface is not one of them. Proper training before implementation of SharePoint would provide the greatest benefit to users. Our company was able to receive a grant from Michigan Works for the training. Find out what funds may be available for workforce training in your area.
By Leigh Howe
MoSCoW is a process for planning and prioritizing a large project. This dynamic planning method got its start in the Software and IT industry to meet the need of developing systems quickly. It was originally called “Rapid Application Development”. However, it is applicable to many types of business environments.
At Whittaker Associates, we have been using a simplified version of the MoSCoW in our project planning with clients. Using the MoSCoW framework, we plan and prioritize the steps and phases of a project in collaboration with clients using the following rules:
º MUST be a part of the project – fundamental to success;
º SHOULD be a part of the project – important but the success does not rely on it;
º COULD be a part of the project – can be left out without impacting the project;
º WILL NOT be a part of the project – left out at this time but could become important at a later date.
Our primary focus in using the MoSCoW is to define the “what” of the project and clearly communicate that with our client. Our team develops an outline for the project, the team, and the requirements for completion, and then works with the client to prioritize the outline. This planning and prioritization allows our client to get a “big picture” view of the project and those phases and tasks that are critical, desirable, or extra. It also allows our client to determine which phases or tasks are more suited to be done internally, versus externally by consultants, researchers or other entities.
Some benefits of using this approach include more active involvement in the project by all parties, final project results more likely to meet the intended objectives, and the smooth implementation of the project is likely to go smoothly. MoSCoW is not a silver bullet in project planning, but can help in completing a project more efficiently and effectively.