Secrets of Successful Project Management

Did some projects recently, this article at ST Training Solutions › Articles › Secrets of Successful Project Management, would have been helpful. The steps are here simplified:

  1. Know what are the objectives of the project. Know/assign those  who are responsible for the project.
  2. Plan activities to reach those objectives and account for obstacles.
  3. Act on the Plan, change the plan only if necessary and if it is still in line with the objectives.

Currently, I’m trying to understand using the Work Breakdown Structure within Project Management Software. The one’s I’m looking into are MS Project (propriety), and open source programs like OpenProj and Open Workbench and GanttProject. OpenProj has been said to be compatible with MS Project. So I’m looking into that. Anyone has any suggestions?

Luncheon Keynote on CSR by Thomas Thomas

I was lucky to represent for someone at this Luncheon by AsiaIncForum at the Radisson Hotel. The Guest Speaker was named Thomas Thomas. No typo there, the speaker spent a few moments to share his humorous experience regarding to his name, specifically on how his ancestors before him was named the same, and he stopped the tradition on himself from transferring to his son. Thomas Thomas is the Executive Director of Singapore Compact.

CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility according to Thomas is not just a side objective, but it can also be a long term core strategy in any organization. Specifically to fulfill the needs of the Environment, Employees and Economics, or as he puts it the planet, people and profits. He cited several real examples of companies that has practiced CSR at their core strategy and prosper to the present day.

I took pictures of the events and of the Slides which are available on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=201481&id=550578077&l=4a0f8bea5b

Market Segmentation Leads to Product Divergence

Basically there IS no perfect PRODUCT, there ARE only perfect PRODUCTS.
Malcolm Gladwell shares the story of Howard Moskowitz on how he discovered the idea of perfect products depend on the market segmentation. The reason why we have a variety of a single product, 3 types of spaghetti sauce, several types of nescafe and so on.

Business Plan Writing

I gave a quick 3 Hour presentation on Writing a Business Plan for LiveWIRE Brunei in their Be a Succesful Owner/Manager Workshop. Basically, it is what I’ve learned from my own research when I created my own Business Plans and Participating in Business Plan Competitions such as the LiveWIRE Business Plan Awards and The Think Big Business Plan Awards.

The Topics I covered include:

Here is the Presentation Slides I used.

iCentre’s Think Big Biz Plan 2 day Workshop

I didn’t get short listed in this year’s think big biz plan competition, but I attended the Workshop anyway, It’s always good to keep an open mind and check to see if there are any new knowledge or to refresh them in my mind.

The first day was facilitated by Virginia Cha on the topic of finding ideas for a business and writing up a business plan. I found this session to be significantly different from the previous workshop she did previously. Among the interesting topics were:

The second day was facilitated by Kris Childress on the topic of presenting and pitching to investors. Among the topics were:

  • Introduction to Investors e.g.Venture Capitalists (VC’s)
  • Structure of a presentation
  • Guidelines of Pitching to investors
  • Guidelines of Presenting to investors based on David S. Rose

More pics of the events can be found here:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=192451&id=550578077

Richard Branson interviewed by Chris Anderson on TEDtalk

 

Jeremy Clarkson called Richard Branson a beard...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Here’s a video of Richard Branson being interviewed by Chris Anderson on TEDtalks is good example of someone who didn’t do academically well in school becoming an entrepreneur. He may not be articulate in here, but his business empire – Virgin, speaks for itself.

VSAPAC Dialogue at EDC

25th June 2010, Friday – A few selected entrepreneurs and incubatees under the incubator program of the Entrerpreneurial Development Centre (EDC) were invited for a followup of discussions on how SME Development could be improved.

The facilitators were consultants from Vector Scorecard Asia Pacific (VSAPAC). They basically asked 3 main questions where the SME’s shared individually:

  1. What problems do they have as SME’s
  2. What facilities provided by government did SME’s find useful.
  3. What SME’s find that can be improved.

Among the problems that  SME’s experience were:

  • Difficulty of getting Funding
  • Difficulty in getting the goverment subsidized food packaging
  • Lacking of information on how to proceed in starting/expanding business and exporting products.
  • The difficulty of getting exported due to the difficulty of getting standards required as those required an operational premise, which would require funding.

Among the Facilities that SME’s find beneficial were:

  • Courses held by EDC
  • Workshops and Forums held by Business Development Services (BDS)
  • Incubator program under EDC
  • Tradeshows that were sponsored or subsidized by government
  • SME financing programmes

Among the things that could be improved:

  • Courses are sometimes facilitated by a malaysian, therefore they do are not familiar with the customs, rules and regulations of the country. Courses were therefore are mostly theoretical and lack practical values when applied in Brunei. The SME’s would like to have an experienced and succesful local to mentor them to become as succesful.
  • Talks and Forums seems ineffective as not much visible results.
  • Incubator facilities were located far from any town centre. Incubation programes are limited and not well marketed.
  • Tradeshows are sometimes are not well organized and promoted. e.g. the last halal expo coincided with the local products expo. The local products expo was not well advertise as it was only seen through big banners, and the radio advertising was done not on a popular channel.
  • SME Financing programmes were difficult to obtain.
  • Nutritional Analysis facility is slow and there were no queueing  system. As some SME’s have tried to apply since 2008 by stopping by, and each time they were asked to come again. The facility may be slow due to the lack of analysis equipment.
  • Packaging materials provided for SME’s are limited to certain expos and are not available continuously.

The facilitator ended the discussion by summarizing everyone’s points into basically create with the assistance of the government, an SME development roadmap on how anyone ne can be groomed to become a succesful entrepreneur.

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