10 reasons employees should bring their dogs to work

10 reasons employees should bring their dogs to work

Dogs are everyone’s best friend. Our four-legged friends work alongside us every day, but it seems this is forgotten. Police dogs catch criminals while service dogs assist their owners to live independently. Dogs have many roles working alongside their humans. But, the most important job of all, dogs are companions, best friends and family members. They make people’s lives better with their unconditional love. You can celebrate that on Take Your Dog To Work Day on June 23.

In a modern world, with many hours spent at work, dogs get left at home while employees earn a living. Pet Sitters International started Take Your Dog To Work Day in 1996 to encourage employers to allow dogs at work.

 

Here are 10 ways dogs make the perfect resource partners.

Boosts employee morale

Dogs are dependable, reliable, optimistic and have an unquestioning willingness to do what you ask. They alert staff to problems and are always happy to see you. Dogs in the workplace improves staff productivity because their best friend by their side.

Increases teamwork

Dogs invite interaction and help form strong bonds among staff. They are great for breaking the ice. People are more likely to talk to each other when someone has a dog. Employees can find common ground over dogs. This can cut down office gossip because they are too busy discussing dog stories.

Promotes good health

The added bonus of dogs in the workplace is that it forces employees to take breaks. Staff have to walk them for a good 10-minutes a few times a day. This promotes a healthy work life balance during the day.

More employee flexibility

Many people cannot wait to leave work to get home to their pooch. Their pet has been locked up, alone all day and need their human’s time at the end of the day. Dogs are part of employees’ families, so allowing them in the workplace removes the need for staff to rush off. Employees will be more flexible with their time if their best friend is by their side rather than waiting for them to get home. What a great way to increase productivity.

Financial benefits

Bringing their dogs to work has huge financial benefits for employees and costs the company very little. No longer will employees have to pay for dog walking services or doggy day care if their dog is at work every day.

Attract the best people

People think of their dogs as part of the family.  Potential employees may prefer a company that allows dogs at work over a company with a no dog policy.

Improve the company image

Dogs in the workplace improve a company’s image. Clients will see the company as forward-thinking and progressive. Being able to interact with pets when they visit, will boost your clients’ sense of wellbeing. It helps them relax and enjoying visiting your workplace.

Relieves stress

Dogs are natural stress relievers. They are sensitive to your needs. When you need to blow off steam, they are ready to play. They will snuggle close when you feel down and need a quiet moment. A dog friendly workplace relieves employee stress and encourages harmony, which, in turn, increases productivity each day.

Reduce staff turnover

Staff turnover is a huge problem for employers. It costs time and money to get new hires up to speed. Workplaces with a ‘bring your dog to work’ policy encourages people to stay rather than risk not being able to bring their dog to work somewhere else. This is a great perk to keep staff loyal to organisations.

Pets reduce employee sick days

Dog owners do not want to leave their pets at home while they go to work. Employees can call in sick or leave work early to attend to their pet’s needs. Allowing pets in the workplace eliminates this problem.

At Aspira we understand the problems of resourcing your projects. We can help boost your business to achieve your vision. Contact Aspira to found out how – www.aspira.ie.

 

A Problem Shared Is A Problem Halved?

 

We’ve all heard the saying ‘A Problem Shared Is a Problem Halved’, but when it comes to Project Management is this really the case?

 

As a Project Manager, and a Mentor to other Project Managers, I often jokingly remark that my job can be that of a ‘PM Counsellor’. I meet with my clients for an hour at a time and, swapping a reclining couch for a Gantt Chart or Risk Log, discuss their most recent project woes, challenges and achievements. More often than not, whilst working together in this manner, we unearth potential solutions where there may initially have appeared to be none.

 

Over time, working with clients of varying levels of seniority and experience across many different industries, one observation has cropped up again and again. Sometimes simply the exercise of articulating a problem to an impartial third party can be just what is needed to gain perspective on a particular situation or challenge. In my own experience I’ve found that by providing a non-judgemental, supportive environment to the Project Managers I meet, they often answer their own questions in the process. Having neutral, unbiased support where there’s no judgement on the proverbial ‘stupid question’ can make it a lot easier to come to a satisfactory solution to the challenges that face every project.

 

When I reflect on my own career progression as a Project Manager I realise now that I may not always have leveraged the vast wealth of knowledge and experience of the people around me. There were occasions when I could have found a simple answer to a question, if only I had just asked someone on my team who I trust. So for those of you who are new to Project Management, or more experienced people who maybe too slow to ask for help, here are some tips to help you on your way:

 

  • Use your Team! Delivering a project is a collaborative effort and your project team are in it with you. Each member of the project team will have different areas of expertise and experience so don’t underestimate the knowledge which is readily available to you.
  • Talk to other Project Managers in your organisation – chances are they’ve faced similar challenges before and have the scars to prove it. I’ve yet to meet a PM who doesn’t love to be the Superman or Wonder Woman of project management solutions, and they will be happy to share their experiences.
  • Find someone independent to your project that you trust to give an unbiased opinion. When faced with a difficult decision, maybe treat them to a coffee and talk through the challenge with them. Often you’ll know what the best course of action might be, but saying it out loud, could be just what you need to gain a better perspective on the situation.
  • Get a Mentor – in addition to giving advice based on their own experience, a mentor will help you develop your strengths as a Project Manager and can introduce you to a network of people who may help your career progression in general.
  • Join a Project Management Community – forums like the PMI Chapter in your area or the various Online Groups that sites like LinkedIn provide, are excellent opportunities to meet your peers in both social and professional environments.

 

As the now iconic British Telecom ads of the early 1990s endorsed, “It’s good to talk”. Make this your motto as you navigate your career in Project Management.

For more information on Aspira’s Project Management Mentoring & Coaching Services please contact info@aspira.ie

 

Author:  Emma Daly, Project Services Director, Aspira.

Land Speed Record – How to Survive

The official land-speeds record (measured over a mile) is 1,227.985km/h or 763.35mi/h. The record was set by Andy Green in ThrustSSC (a turbofan jet powered car) on the 15th of October 1997, in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada USA.

When taking on a challenge like breaking the land speed record there are many key considerations; firstly and most importantly the drivers safety. Secondly developing a vehicle that has the ability to move fast enough to break the land speed record.

To make a successful attempt at breaking the record it is vital that there are clearly defined requirements gathered. The requirements include all the considerations for a successful attempt at the record. The requirements are broken down into functional and non-functional. Functional requirements should be gathered by subject matter experts to ensure the requirements gathered are accurate. High-level functional requirements when trying to achieve the land speed record in a motor propelled vehicle include; an engine powerful enough to beat the current land speed record, the vehicle must be aerodynamic to reduce drag (drag is friction caused by air), also required is a functional and practical cockpit to aid the driver in pursuit of the record and most importantly a vehicle that is safe for the driver.

Once the requirements are successfully gathered a plan can be initiated to roll out the development of the vehicle. The plan will include a testing phase and although each phase of the project serves a purpose, the testing phase is crucial to ensure the original requirements have been met. The test plan should be derived from the functional specifications (functional and non-functional requirements doc). When testing a vehicle designed to break the land-speed record, the tester is essentially responsible for ensuring the vehicle has hit all the requirements as specified in the functional doc, in other words; the engine has enough power to move the overall weight of the vehicle fast enough to break the record; that the vehicle’s shape will allow air to pass over and around it to reduce drag which will maximize efficiency on the engines power output; And most importantly that the driver is safe and that disaster recovery procedures are in place and more importantly they work.

Before an official land speed record attempt can take place, the test manager must ensure all the planned test cases have passed. Any failed tests must be addressed, resolved and retested before the testing phase can be signed off. The purpose of testing is to minimise the risk of overall project failure. Risk on projects vary in terms of impact, but when attempting to break the land-speed record the risk can potentially include fatalities. So there is a lot of pressure on the test manager to conduct the appropriate tests to ensure everything is working as it should. At the end of the day when it all boils down to it, it is the driver’s life at stake.

This is only a small taster of the spec of requirements and testing required for such a complex project but it highlights the inseparable relationship between, requirements gathering and testing. For example; if you build a go cart, any rational person would try it on the flat before taking it to St. Patrick’s hill in Cork City to compete in Redbull soapbox race. Although, there is always an exception (Evel Knievel, springs to mind), the risk taker in this case is the driver who has the burning desire or in this case a “Need for Speed”. Don’t get me wrong, we need risk takers. In business risk takers are generally the entrepreneurs and are crucial for economic development, for innovation and social/ cultural development, unfortunately that’s a topic for another day. So, I will close by saying; test test test before you go live, because that’s how to ensure the driver arrives alive.

 

At Aspira we have a dedicated testing team with many years’ experience across multiple sectors. If you require any further information on Aspira’s services contact us on: info@aspira.ie

Author:                Arron Keenan

Role at Aspira: “PMO Lead

The 1% Better VoxPop @ The Project Management Institute – Ireland National Conference

http://robofthegreen.ie/episodes/episode-15-pmi-ireland-voxpop/

Oh yes, it’s back by popular demand!!! The 1% Better VoxPop!!

After making its debut a couple of weeks ago, and (for the most part) being well received, it’s coming back for another airing (literally). This time round, we’re going full Project Management style with the show….and combining it with the 1% Better theme!!

I recorded this show during the PMI Ireland National Conference at the Aviva Stadium on May 4th 2017. This was an action packed conference with a great selection of speakers and over 350 attendees.

Project Management is something I think we all do in one way or another. We all plan a bit, take and manage risks, create To-Do lists and ultimately want to get value or benefits from what we do with our time & resources (sorry for all the PM lingo). So, to prove this, I asked a random selection of the guests a 1% Better question relating to Project Management!!

After much consideration and debate (with myself), the question I landed on asks to what one (or two things) do you (the guest) do from the world of Project Management that you bring into your day to day personal life that adds a little bit of value, organises the chaos and makes things 1% better! This was a bit of fun but it was interesting to hear the responses…some very similar and some quite different.

Overall it was a great day, lots of learnings from it and I was more than happy to do some 1% Better podcasting during the event for the PMI Ireland. As a member of the PMI-Ireland committee, I was playing a dual role but happy do so.

To learn a bit more about the PMI Ireland Chapter, go to the site here – https://pmi-ireland.org/

I hope you enjoy the PMI Ireland Vox Pop. If you do, please leave a rating or comment on iTunes or on the site (http://robofthegreen.ie/contact/)

Have a great day/weekend,

Rob

BYOD Rocks! How the Joshua Tree influenced Mobile Device Management

The legendary U2 album “The Joshua Tree” celebrated its 30th Year in March this Year, twenty years before the formation of Aspira!   The Windmill Lane recording studio was used in the production of the album, which is around the corner from the new Aspira Docklands building in Dublin.   It is interesting to see the influence that this seminal work has had, both consciously and subconsciously…

 

Mobile devices in the workplace have rocked the World of many IT leaders.  It’s as if U2 played from the office rooftop ordering all the end users you support to buy as many devices as possible from the Streets With No Name and connect them to corporate services.

 

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) was born and employees Followed in the masse like there was No Line On The Horizon. However, it’s not all Bad.  There’s no point in Running To Stand Still or pretending it isn’t happening or saying “we don’t allow our employees do that.”

 

The truth is, it’s Out Of Control, they’re doing it already and will continue to inject noncompliant devices into your network With or Without Your permission. ONE recent Gartner survey suggested that currently, most employees are eligible to use their own equipment with employee data on board.

 

This is the Elevation of An Electrical Storm: how will you support workforce Desire to use personal apps and devices while allowing them to be productive in a secure environment that protects corporate data?   Here are eight tracks to try out:

 

  • Craft Policies, It’s Even Better Than The Real Thing.
  • Evaluate devices connecting to your network – don’t leave yourself wondering if I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.
  • Authenticate devices and apply user acceptance signoff.
  • Security, corporate data protection, and compliance are shared responsibilities. There is no chance of reducing risk without cooperation. A self-service portal can help users understand why they may be out of compliance – Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
  • Communicate the privacy policy to users and make it clear what data you can and cannot collect from their mobile devices
  • Isolate personal data from corporate data – North and South of the River.
  • Manage data usage on subsidized plans
  • Monitor devices continuously for compliance to policies

 

Surrender:

BYOD is an emerging best practice for giving employees the freedom to work on their own devices while relieving IT’s significant financial and management burdens. However, BYOD will never deliver on these promises of streamlined management and cost savings without a well-written policy and a robust management platform.

 

Stranger In A Strange Land:

Your business isn’t limited to your own systems. Thanks to access to cloud services we can communicate with customers, share files, collaborate, video conference and more. While these cloud services increase capabilities with good value for money, its important not to forget that every connection that reaches out from your network may open the door for someone to reach in.

 

It’s a Beautiful Day!

Aspira is celebrating its 10th anniversary in May this Year and will be announcing the opening of Aspira Docklands building beside Windmill Lane.  It’s The Sweetest Thing!

 

Author:  Luca Santos, Aspira IT Operations

From Eritrea to Aspira with Love!

Sami Habtemariam was 18 when he was forced to leave his home country. He was halfway through his second year studying computer science and had hoped to pursue a career in technology, when in 2008 he decided the time had come to join the hundreds of thousands of Eritreans fleeing their homes seeking safety abroad.

His mother had already arrived in Ireland in 2003, followed by his two sisters. It took Habtemariam two years of travel via Sudan and Uganda before he was able to join his family in their new home in Cork city.

Determined to go back to his studies, Habtemariam enrolled in a computer science course at Cork’s College of Commerce four months after arriving in Ireland.

“The toughest thing was definitely the Cork accent. Even though I had studied English for 12 years before coming here, nothing prepared me for understanding the speed of the Cork accent. When I tried to speak in English I had to think in my own language first and translate. I couldn’t understand what the teachers were saying. Spoken and written English are two very different things.”

He was very grateful when an Irish classmate made the effort to show him around Cork. “When I first started my classes I felt like the new one and didn’t feel comfortable. But there was this guy next to me who was supportive and asked where I was from.

“He gave me hope. He told me about Cork and in his spare time he took me out to see the city. He is the best person ever and we’re still good friends.”

I’d go to Belfast at midnight on a Thursday to be in time for class on Friday morning

He also struggled to adjust to the Irish climate. “Where I grew up we would have four months of rain, but then it would be completely dry for the next eight months. In Ireland, I don’t think the phrase ‘completely dry’ even exists!”

 Job and Postgrad

Once he completed his computer course, he was able to transfer to second year at Cork Institute of Technology, where he completed a degree in software development and networking. After graduation he was offered a spot on a graduate programme connected to the consulting company Aspira IT and began working part time while studying a postgraduate diploma in business and management two days a week at Queen’s University Belfast.

“I’d go to Belfast at midnight on a Thursday to be in time for class on Friday morning. I’d take the Aircoach from Cork to Dublin, wait for about two hours at the train station and then take the 6.45am train to Belfast. Then I’d take the bus to Queen’s 

“The Intertrade Fusion programme gave me the chance to work with experienced people, and the guys on the team were good enough to give me help and point me in the right direction.”

Despite the long hours between work on Little Island in Cork and classes in Belfast, the year-long project really boosted his confidence both professionally and personally. After 12 months on the programme, he was offered a full-time job with Aspira, where he now works as a web developer and software developer. As far as he is aware, he is one of only two Eritreans in Ireland working in software development.

Privilege of citizenship

Around the same time he began his new job, he travelled to Dublin to attend a ceremony where he was sworn in as an Irish citizen.

“Naturalisation is a great honour for me. I feel it gives me benefits but also responsibilities. I have the responsibility to serve this country as a national and transfer knowledge to others.

“I thank God every single day for the privilege of citizenship here. It is an incredible thing to live in a place where the rule of law not only protects our rights but ensures that anything is possible.”

“In Eritrea you couldn’t even move from one county to another without permission. But in Ireland you can go everywhere, day or night. I can now move freely around Europe as a citizen and have equal rights as a citizen.”

I have heard about racism in Ireland but it’s never happened to me

He has never experienced racism during his seven years in Ireland and says his friends, colleagues and neighbours have always been friendly and considerate.

“I have heard about racism in Ireland but it’s never happened to me. Maybe I’m lucky, but I can honestly say that I always find people welcoming. My classmates and my teachers were always very supportive.”

In December 2016, Habtemariam was finally reunited with his wife Winta, whom he has known since childhood. She was accepted to come to Ireland as a refugee after travelling from Eritrea to Ethiopia. “If you want to bring family here you have to have an income and be able to support the person. I couldn’t apply for her at the beginning and had to wait until I had a job. I don’t have that stress anymore. She’s here with me now, so no more worries.”

Cancer system

Around the same time as his wife’s arrival, he learned that he was to receive an award for his involvement in developing a system used to analyse the incidence and prevalence of cancer in Ireland. In January he travelled to Carton House hotel in Kildare to receive his award alongside the chief executive of Aspira.

He is now taking evening classes after work to continue his training in software development.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how far I have come since moving here

“I like taking classes and I like learning. In technology you have to keep learning. It’s moving fast, so you have to go faster.”

“I have been in Ireland for seven years now, and in that time I have completed my education, entered the workforce in a high-tech role and managed to deliver an award-winning project. Sometimes it’s hard to believe how far I have come since moving here.”

He misses his family back home but reiterates how grateful he is to his friends, teachers and colleagues for their guidance and friendship over the past seven years.

“My message to other people arriving in Ireland with an uncertain path ahead of them is to seek out education opportunities, to work hard and you will be given the chance to achieve success.”

Sami Habtemeriam, Software Developer, Aspira

Aspira formalises partnership with Castleknock Celtic.

Like many parents, once my children reached the age of 4, my role at weekends and evening started to change from in-house entertainment and supervision of the kids to team bus driver and kit man. I have no intention of portraying an image of sainthood, or to come across as a unique phenomenon in Irish society, but hopefully some of my observations will strike a chord with people. Whether you are starting out as a habitual parental supporter of the next Robbie Brady, Brid Stack or Johnnie Sexton, prowling touchlines menacingly, ready to run onto the pitch to protect your vulnerable offspring from physical attack, or an old hand…you might recognise some of following experiences.

Our CEO Pat Lucey is a legend in his own right in the field of project management. Having joined Aspira as HR & Resourcing Manager, I wasn’t ever able to live up to his expectations as a certified Prince 2 or PMP Professional. But Pat always highlighted aspects of my business and personal life that represented a high degree of PM & organisational skills. People who know me long enough will know of my interest in sports management, be that skiing trips, bowling competitions, tobogganing, cricket matches, or the once famous Silicon Cup in Munich. All projects of various shapes and sizes, none quite as complex as the Silicon Cup Competition in Germany. (8 companies playing each other at 11-a-side soccer in a one day tournament).

It started small, procuring kit and encouraging my son & daughter out of the beds on a Saturday morning to prepare for the local CCHC Camogie nursery or feted Fundamental Football Academy at Castleknock Celtic. This first incursion into Human Resource Management was mostly notable for finding the shin pads, track suits, gum shields, hurl, boots and other paraphernalia that was so casually discarded the previous week in various corners of the house. The initial approach was to do it all myself. The kids got used to this of course, and expected me to do it all for them. Luckily as a man with strong fingernails, I was able to get the football socks on my son eventually. The socks get smaller every week, the material contracts, and you need to build in contingency to pre-stretch them for 3 hours before the “leaving the house” phase. As we all know, 4 and 5 year olds do not understand time whatsoever. It is a fatal assumption to make that your daughter will understand what “we will be leaving at 9.30 latest” actually means. Time management is critical, because Daddy will always make out he knows where Ballymashindig’s home ground is, (just off the Navan Rd., just after the Church, behind the Spar.) Daddy will drive in the general direction of the Ground, ignoring the helpful map provided by the Mentor, and at the last minute revert to the low spec sat nav or phone app to try and bail himself out of the embarrassment of being late again. It is at this point that your key stakeholders will suddenly be able to tell the time, and realise that they might not get to play because of Daddy’s over confidence in his navigational skills of Dublin suburbs.

From a communications side, there are some very basic rules for your daughter that do not apply with your son. When watching camogie matches, don’t say anything whilst on the side-line. You are English, and know nothing about GAA, so please don’t embarrass yourself or me by trying to say something intelligent. Don’t make smart comments about needing a calculator to work out what 2 goals and 11 points v 3 goals and 6 points means. Don’t comment on the other players or talk to them. If engaging with the mentors and other parents, don’t disclose any information about your daughter’s personal life. I will be moody after the game, so accept it. If however at any time I need you, there will be an SLA in place that requires you to give me your undivided attention within 5 seconds. (Provision of drink, spare hurl, tie shoelaces etc etc). So, why is your son different? Women’s sport has been a massive part of my daughter’s life, and I am eternally grateful for all the hours spent together in various parts of the country and on a variety of surfaces. And my son has presented me with a number of key moments in my life on sporting fields that will stay with me forever. My current role as Mentor to a team at Castleknock Celtic is thanks to my children.

I was asked to help at the Academy at Castleknock, and have continued my association with the Club by managing teams at the 2003 age Group since 2007. Seeing all of the kids grow and develop onto the first and second teams over that time is a tremendous feeling. The D15 area is a real Sports community and I feel proud to have played a small part in that. Aspira have a CSR policy that really supports this type of activity. As parents ourselves, we all try and provide a working environment for Aspira staff and partners that allows people to watch, support and contribute to local sport. Cork City recognise this at a higher level, but it is the teams like Castleknock Celtic at grass roots that really appreciate companies like Aspira sponsoring them, or providing mentors or coaches. A simple aspect of this is flexible working hours to get to training on time.

When the opportunity to get our names on the shirts of CCFC 14A1 came along we didn’t need asking twice! As the season unfolds, we will be featuring the development of this new team on our website as part of our CSR updates. The team was formed to facilitate the next wave of development players at 2003 level. With two wins under our belt already, we are ahead of schedule. Let the project begin…..

Russell Moore, HR & Resourcing Manager, Aspira.

1% Better Podcast with Pat Lucey

Check out Rob-of-the-Green’s 1% Better podcast, where his latest interview is with our CEO, Pat Lucey.

Rob’s podcasts come out every week where he helps people to reach their full potential by sharing a few personal, professional, and general life hacks (tools, techniques, tips and advice) that his guests apply directly into some part of your day/life.

On this week’s episode, Pat Lucey shares some of his own personal journey and explains what drives, motivates, inspires, and challenges him to be the best that he can be.

The goal is that these conversations will provide you with some inspiration coupled with simple tips that you can integrate into your busy life to make you 1% Better.

So – if you enjoy listening to podcasts while you commute, or while walking the dog, check out the latest one at:

Episode 9 – Pat Lucey (CEO of ASPIRA) on Business, Project Management and the Berlin Wall!

 

 

 

 

Where’s Me Jumper: Putting smarts into Project Management !

Everything seems to be upgrading to a smarter version these days. Even jackets ! with Google and Levis recently announcing a collaborative effort in the upcoming release of their smart jacket.  Surely the days of losing one’s jumper at 0300 am in various establishments may be finally coming to end, solving one of the first world’s most pressing problems. The notion of such everyday items becoming smarter lead me to ask what new smarts are out there that could be applied to project management.

To make it easier and more efficient for project managers to manage projects and not get lost in a sea of complexity and change, I believe there are many new smart ways to improve project management performance. For this short blog, I have picked some of the PMI knowledge areas to see where “smarts” could be applied.

Project Time Management.

A lot of people still use Excel to manager project schedules. MS Project has been around for a long time and could not be considered new, however the new versions of Project Online certainly does bring a lot to the party regarding smarter scheduling. Ms Project online now allows Enterprise resource management (essential in today’s project matrix organisations), Portfolio Optimization, Anytime and Anywhere access via Browsers, Dashboard reporting as well as integration into Skype for Business and enhanced SharePoint integration. One thing having such new tools, I always advise for anybody working on MS Project to also take the MS Project Certification exam to make the best of such tools and to improve your scheduling skills

Project Quality Management

We all know quality is critical to any project. Many folk again still use Excel to record and managed defects. I would strongly advise using either enterprise quality / defect tracking tools such as IBM Rational Rose, MS TFS or perhaps use one of the many cloud based defect tracking tools to ensure you have a systematic process for dealing with defects and issue resolution. One should also consider the use if automated testing tools such as Selenium / Cucumber / Jenkins to save testing cycle time and to ensure consistent tests where appropriated.

Project Communications Management.

In a previous blog on Project Management and the Self-Destructing Project Update, I noted how the impact of the various social media platforms outside of work are beginning to have an influence on communication within the work environment. Many organisations already have begun to use enterprise-grade social media, although these business-focused tools tend to be a little different to the tools that flourish in the wild. For example, Yammer is deployed as a business-focused alternative to Facebook; various Instant Messaging tools such as Skype for Business take the place of WhatsApp and enterprise tools such as SocialCast are found in organisations as a replacement for micro blogging tools such as Twitter. It is certainly worthwhile to consider the communication channels that one can use these days in a project and perhaps cater better for the new generation of project team members.

Project Risk Management

Sometimes it is not a case of using a shiny new tool. We can become smarter too by learning more about how to deal with certain aspects of project management. Most project managers keep risk registers, but they are often static documents or repositories.  Dealing with risk is one of the most important jobs in any project and to this end I would recommend people taking the PMI-RMP certification in order to best equip one’s self to deal with topics such as risk process facilitation, risk monitoring and control as well as specific risk analysis skills. Learning more about how to deal with risk will make you a much more valuable project manager.

There of course many other new tools and techniques out there to help make our projects smarter and thus delivering increased value and the key is to ensure that you are aware of latest industry trends and products and methodologies that might make sure that you don’t feel “lost” at the end of your project and keep an eye out for smart jumpers coming to a Christmas near you.

No Room For A Song And A Dance: Dealing With the Unexpected In Project Management !

Things go wrong all the time– often when you least expect them to! A key skill that project managers need to have is the ability to deal with unexpected project issues in the most efficient, professional and appropriate manner possible. The recent events on Oscar night has some valuable lessons for all project managers:

(1) Risk: Just because certain project elements have always gone right for you before, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security and expect the unexpected. Sometimes the problem can be literally staring you in the face and such a false sense of security can often undermine your ability to detect a problem in time. Also don’t forget to always keep an eye on that risk register and always challenge assumptions!

(2) Leadership: When a problem does arise unexpectedly, you need to show leadership, admit the problem, deal with it and get on with the show!  There is no point in hoping the problem goes away and the quicker the issue is acknowledged, the better chances of a successful solution. If the issue is your fault as the project manager, then own the problem and don’t hide behind it

(3) Communication: It is of course often easy to look like a good communicator when things are going your way, but often the real test of a project manager is when the bad news arrive and how you communicate will often reveal your real communication skills. The old adage of a problem shared is a problem halved is very apt here and certainly in a crisis, clear communication is key and certainly there is no place for any sugar coating or delays.

(4) No Drama: Leave the song and dance to the professionals!  A cool, calm and collected response to an unexpected issue is critical for a project manager as otherwise panic can often infiltrate the project team and stakeholder leading to uncertainty, fear and mistrust which can actually cause more issues than the actual initial problem. Simple basic manners and empathy should also be core to one’s approach in dealing with crisis issues. Don’t play the blame game!

(5) Lessons Learnt:  Make sure you do this post-project and invite the right people and do not conduct it as a courtroom drama and most importantly document it and make it easily accessible to all that may learn from it.

Created by:      Jerry Giltenane

Company:        Aspira

Position:          Project Services Director

CAREERZOO 2017– 12 tips to make the most of your visit

Devise a plan for the day. Get there early. Select the top 10/15 companies you’d like to meet & visit them first. Early in the day is best to get recruiters attention. But also leave some time for “wild cards”.

Dress smart. What you wear is important. Job fairs are typically big events with a lot of people, and you’ll stand out by looking good.

CV’s. Print the amount you think you’ll need & double it !

Do your research.  The more you know about the organisation and the types of positions they hire for, the better you will come across to the employer. Aspira’s Resourcing Manager, Russell Moore says, “Surprise companies with your knowledge, and impress them with the initiative you took to research the company’s mission, purpose, and typical clients.”

Don’t ask questions that you can find answers to online. Ask recruiters to elaborate on information you’ve learned from your research instead of. Mention something you’ve read online about a new product or a new initiative.

Make an impression. Be enthusiastic. Demonstrate your interest with a firm handshake, good eye contact, a smile, and a good conversation with the company representative.

Remember this is networking. Collect as many business cards as possible and make a good first impression. When it’s time to apply for an open position, you can stand out by referencing that connection in your cover letter or introduction email.

Be prepared to answer questions about yourself. Be concise; you don’t have much time to make your impression before the recruiter is on to the next person. “Sell yourself but keep it brief. Describe your skills and where possible, relevant work experience.” says Philip McGillycuddy, Head of Business Development at Aspira

Keep your ear to the ground. Listen to everyone around you. If you find yourself waiting in line to speak with an employer, make your time count.

Take notes on the stand. You’re going to be speaking to a lot of different people – you will not remember every conversation. Take the worry of having to recall details by taking notes.

Check your phone. Sometimes employers might have follow up questions for you. If they do, that’s usually a good sign – do you want to miss out because you missed a call?

Follow up after the event. Be prepared to follow up with the recruiters after you meet them. Ask for a business card, and send thank you emails.

Created by:      Philip McGillycuddy

Company:        Aspira

Position:          Head of Business Development

World Recognised Project Management

If you could have a qualification with the power to open doors for you into multiple industries as diverse as IT to Engineering to Big Pharma and more, in any country across the world where you wish to work, would you let that opportunity pass you by? Neither would we.

 

Not everyone is cut out to be a project manager. It takes a certain level of determination, grit and sheer force of will to oversee and guide a long and complex set of interdependent tasks to completion inside an allocated budget. This is what makes it so fulfilling as a career. Great project managers are detail-oriented, have excellent organisational and perceptive, pragmatic planning skills.
 

For driven individuals wanting to embark on project management as a career, the time is definitely now. Project management job opportunities are plentiful and the supply never seems to meet the demand. That’s why it’s such a bankable and dependable career choice.

 

However, it is absolutely essential to have a professional – and industry recognisable – credential to your name to secure a lucrative role in Project Management. When it comes to Project Management training; what differentiates Aspira from all the rest is simply this: our training is more than a credential – it is effective, insightful and will give you actual techniques and templates to work with in your project management career. That’s why Aspira’s project management training is such a beneficial device to help enhance your ability to make the transition into project management.

 

Our industry experts have crafted a diverse set of project management course options which cater specifically to the differing needs of those in search of powerful incisive training. Whether you are looking for an introduction to project management essentials or become a recognised Project Management Professional (PMPTM) certified by the PMITM, or are looking to train your staff to be the best Agile Scrummasters on the market, Aspira has precisely what you need in our range of project management training options

 

All of our courses use the latest edition (5th Edition – March 2013) PMBOK Guide® as the core reference. By the end of our courses our trainees leave with a detailed understanding of Project Management terms, concepts and methodologies. Trainees are presented with real world project challenges providing opportunities to exercise their knowledge and skill before completing the course. Aspira project management training results in competent and confident project managers armed with all the skills and abilities required to effectively and methodically manage any project.
To talk to us today about the project management course that best suits your needs, you can contact us on: training@aspira.ie or direct call on: +353 21 235 2550