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.

Facebook Photos

VSAPAC Incubation Technical Assistance Programme

8th March 2010, Monday – An Incuabation Technical Assistance programme was held at Entrepreneurial Development Centre, Sinaut, Tutong. The programme was organized by Vector Scorecard (Asia Pacific) Pte Ltd.

Among the participant were incubatees, selected SME’s and officers from EDC.

The objectives of the program was to help incubatees and SME’s understand more Continue reading

5 things to grow your biz right now!

Being a photgrapher, my wife found this article http://photofocus.com/2009/10/30/five-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-grow-your-photography-business/

the article is about things photographers can do grow their business. I found the article to apply not just to photographers but to other businesses as well. Here is my interpretation of the article.

  1. Own Your Own Zip Code
    Start with your own area. Why would you be in a certain area and market to the whole country. It takes more time, effort and money the further you are from your area. A marketing guru talks about how to make your product a purple cow and how building your own tribe is essential to marketing your business.
  2. Show What You Want to Sell
    Show what you have to sell, and show relevant things. Imagine going to a shop and all you see is a Logo, a desk and a person. If you have products showcase them, if you have services, show pictures or certificates, news clippings, or achievements. A fast food restaurant always show the picture of food they serve. Additionally, this may also mean market yourselves. So, don’t forget to use facebook pages, twitter, or create your own website for you business. (If you want to make  a website, you can hire me either to build it for you, or to teach you 🙂 )
  3. Network Like Crazy
    Get to know more people, they might be your potential customers, business alliance partners. Join a network or an association, if possible something related to your business. Even better, find a business development community or association where you can meet other business owners and manager. I’ve joined LiveWIRE Brunei. There’s also the LiveWIRE International
  4. Avoid Time Stealers
    Do the things you do best and avoid doing things that you can let other people do it for you. Of course some people or business may be on a budget. So they may have to do things by themselves. If that’s the case then I’d recommend finding and hiring someone else – a salesperson to find more money for you, so you have the budget to hire someone else to other stuff for you. Manage your time, and delegate tasks.
  5. Charge More Money
    More money more profit, some people would be scared to raise their prices in fear of losing customers. But if a business is the best at what they do, why would they charge less? Even luxury business can thrive in a downturn economy. http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/businessideas/article203048.html

I have to admit, I have to master some of theses my self. So wish me luck, as I wish you good luck.

Pitching your Business Plan!

Do you need to know what investors are looking for in a business? David S. Rose is a serial entrepreneur turned serial investor. He shares his tips in presenting.

He shares that investors are not just investing in your business idea, they are also investing in you. So you have to show that you and your team have:

  • integrity
  • passion
  • experience
  • knowledge
  • skill
  • leadership
  • commitment
  • vision
  • realism and
  • coachability

and how to show all these in just a few minutes by using logical and relevant steps. Using an outline for presentation that he recommends.

At the end he gave his top 5 tips in presentation.

  1. Always use presentation mode
  2. Always use a remote control
  3. Your handouts are not your presentation
  4. Don’t read your speech
  5. Never look at the screen.

He mentioned the use of a remote control to change the slides of the presentation. Those remote controls are sold in Brunei for more about BND40- BND 100. In 2009, I found a mobile phone software that can transfom any java and bluetooth enabled devices into a remote control to change the slides on a bluetooth enable PC.

It is from http://www.mobilewitch.com You have to install the PC software on the computer and the mobile app on the phone.

Click on the following links to the download page.