Seventhman Blog

  1. Why Do IT Projects Fail Big Time?

    "IT project failure"In the world of IT, projects do crash and burn.. a lot of times lately.  When things go wrong, who’s to blame?  Before you go on a witch hunt for the next responsible person, you ought to dig deeper for you to come up with a permanent solution.  It’s never an easy job though, but doable nonetheless.  While it’s better to talk about why IT projects succeed, to know why they fail can help improve the chances for many of us who are missing goals terribly.  According to a recent study featured by Cio.com, 50 percent of companies had experienced IT project failure in the last 12 months.  You start to wonder if there’s a shortage of project managers or skilled IT workers (or both).

    Don’t Blame It on IT

    Let’s set aside for a moment this tech fiasco where Obamacare is concerned.  While working as a software developer helped me acquire logical and problem-solving skills, I just feel it’s totally unfair to blame it all on IT when things go wrong.  Did you know that most IT project fail because of poor management?  It’s very rare that failure is due to major technical hurdles.  Key to the success of any undertaking is assigning the right tasks to the right people, plus, defining clear goals and responsibilities.  Just because developers are working in tech doesn’t mean expecting them to behave like computers too.  When leadership is lacking, programmers can get lost in a maze of confusion (not to mention, frustration).

    The Constantly-Evolving Role of Project Managers

    Gone are the days when managers send out orders to be followed by their minions.  The role has evolved into something so dynamic that it involves human relations.  It’s not only making sure that deadlines are met and everyone adhere to best practices, but project managers should also communicate and motivate their team to be their best.  Still, we see many who are stuck in the old mindset that they’re not ready to implement change management, no matter how Agile they think they are.  One of the biggest failure that a project manager can commit is not aligning goals between team players and stakeholders.  They’re supposed to bridge the gap and create trust; instead, they are putting everyone on gridlock until everyone decides to quit and call it a long day.

    Looking at the Real Problem

    Because it’s easy, when IT projects fail – people will simply look at the IT department to blame.  It’s not really the case.  Most of the time, it’s lack of resources that contributed to the failure.  As enterprises move to the cloud, we see demands in adopting more application, adding to the backlogs of the IT team.  Nobody really cares how people work on it so long as it’s delivered in lightning speed.  Soon, your team feels overworked and confused on what to prioritize first.  While you can argue that this can be easily fixed by project managers, most often, they add to the burden by simply not admitting that there’s a problem in the first place.  You can’t blame them though when they’re expected to run things to spotless perfection.  Should the founders be blamed then for such unrealistic expectations?  Accountability should run from top to bottom, no exceptions!

    No matter, if you embrace failure as a testing ground instead of your final destination, you might just win the race to the next disruptive technology around.

     

    **Something new is coming.  Stay Tuned!

     

     

  2. Seven Habits of Highly Productive Entrepreneur

    "productive entrepreneur"The first week of the new year is up!  I’ve been contemplating on writing more blog posts this year and yet, I had the same sinking feeling when I think of achieving tons while staying relaxed.  On top of managing my business and various client portfolios.. I also consult, network, socialize, travel.. and try my best to achieve work-life balance this time around.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but I do envy those who manage to juggle things without having to sweat a lot.  Perhaps, they do.  But, they appear just too happy to be bothered.  I’ve asked myself a couple of times if there’s really a quick fix to becoming really productive overnight?

    Seven Habits of Highly Productive Entrepreneurs Revealed

    The answer came close to home, when I’ve had the chance to reunite with a long-time friend and entrepreneur ( just like myself ).  It started with a trivial discussion on multitasking and whether such a thing really exists.  You see, the brain can only handle enough information and you’re not really doing all things at once – but many things at a faster rate than before.. unless you have four pair of hands, two sets of brains.  This is his argument and if you come to think of it, it’s no farther from the truth, that trying to do so much with twice the speed lets you lose focus and you end up with more unfinished tasks than ever.  So, is productivity a myth then?  Not really.  It all starts with following these seven paths that highly productive entrepreneurs follow:

    1.  Be Clear About Your Priorities

    Knowing what you want most will help you list a set of priorities to accomplish, starting from the most important to the least.  You only need to have five goals to start with and see how it grows.

    2.  Learn When To Say No

    Accepting that you can’t do everything, that you don’t know everything is the first step.  Don’t take too much that you can’t handle and never compromise your personal happiness as well.

    3.  Enjoy

    If you don’t start your day with activities you enjoy, you may just end up procrastinating about finishing anything.  Be grounded.  Be passionate about work.  You will achieve more things if you love what you’re doing.  And this means having more time to enjoy those precious moments in life.

    4.  Work Mindfully

    Whether you’re returning a call or listening to your client, you have to be completely focused in what you do.  Being present is pretty relaxing.  Less stress means more accomplishment.. and lesser attention to distractions or time wasters.

    5.  Discover New Things

    Or, new and efficient way of doing old things.  There are plenty of online tools that can help save you time.  You can even outsource tasks to virtual assistants so you can focus on the core competencies of your business.

    6.  Add Value

    Whenever you think of doing something, always ask yourself if it is really necessary.  When you value your time, you also value your worth.. and others will value the idea that you have something unique to offer them.

    7.  Be Positively Persistent

    If at the end of the day you haven’t achieved everything you planned, don’t beat yourself up.  Mistakes do happen.  But your positive attitude in wanting to do better tomorrow may just put you back on the right track.

    Above all, gratitude is the best attitude any entrepreneur can ever have.  It’s all about being grateful for a day of having worked smarter that will save you from working harder the next.  ( and that makes it the 8th habit to have this year ).  Sorry, there are just no shortcuts to these habits this time.

    Would you rather join me in a 30-minute power nap to increase your productivity towards the end of the day then?   Let’s sleep on it!

  3. Managing Virtual Teams: Five Keys to Success

    "virtual team management"Do you believe that teams working remotely can outperform those who work in the same location?  Virtual collaboration is shifting from trends to norms as more people are working from anywhere in the world.  They all have to thank mobile technology with this new-found freedom.  There’s no denying that we are entering the age of the global workforce and soon, team members working in the same cubicle will be obsolete.  We see teams working from their homes, across cities and even across the globe.  Everyone works independently this time.  Aren’t we so lucky to live in such a digitally-connected world?

    The Fallacy of Face-to-Face Meetings

    While it is undeniable that nothing beats the usual way people meet to brainstorm and synergize, leading teams across different time zones and conquering cultural divides can be felt in the virtual world.  Small businesses are taking advantage of running a virtual team as it means flexibility and minimal cost.  Though studies have found that collaboration across distance is tougher to manage, it is manageable still.  Proximity may promote frequent communication, but it can also be a hurdle when trying to accomplish complex tasks that need more focus.  A good example is those in the research and development industries, where their network of operations are scattered across the globe as they compete and work towards excellence.  The degree of expertise in these teams are more extensive, where they can work for the same goals while having a higher tolerance for diversity.  This diversity may cause problems in communication but overall, it enhances problem-solving skills so everyone can come up with a faster and better solution for a particular project.

    How You Can Lead a Virtual Team to Succeed Anywhere in the World

    I have worked with virtual teams for over two decades now and managing people in dispersed teams means helping them realize their potentials.  There are many socio-emotional barriers to cross and making sure that your remote team commits to your business goals is a learning process, even after this long.  What’s the secret formula?  There is NO secret! The future of work starts with having people skills so you can create trust, connection, communication, collaboration and commitment among them.  You have to:

    1. Place trust at the heart of your work relationship with your virtual team and employ strategies for building relationships over time

    2. Promote the idea of self-leadership among your team, so they can be self-sufficient in managing their work

    3. Set expectations early by communicating with your team what you expect for them to accomplish – from work hours, deliverables, status reports, to conference calls

    4. Stay virtually connected by utilizing platforms like Skype, GoToMeeting, Google Hangout and many more.. It’s all about creating an online water cooler for your team to feel that they’re stepping into the office.  It’s all about sharing ideas and breaking the ‘virtual ice’.

    5. Use new technology wisely as there are a plethora of tools available for you to use in managing your virtual team

    It all comes down to RESPECT.. and 360 degrees of communication at all levels.  By fostering a global mindset among your team, everyone will feel that they are part of something bigger than their geographic location.  This will make them respect the diversity of work, its schedules and stay committed to each other in meeting deadlines.  The degree of competitiveness lessens and collaboration heightens.

    Are you ready to keep your team together?  

    Bottomline is – the workplace has changed and we all have to adapt to survive and thrive.