AGE IS JUST A NUMBER!

AGE IS JUST A NUMBER!

The more birthdays I have, the more I believe that nobody ever REALLY grows up!  Do I feel any different now than I did 10/20/30 years ago – not really (except 30 years ago I would have looked at someone my age and thought they were ancient!), so maybe I have grown up a little…, but I still have the same personality, strengths, weaknesses and stubbornness.  I just act like a grown up sometimes now, as in, I know how to behave in different situation, with different people.

What does growing up mean? To have responsibilities – yes, to act maturely – when needed, but I still love to prank people and as a ‘mature, responsible adult’ laugh at things that I probably shouldn’t find funny. Regardless of whether you’re 18 or 80, splash in the puddles, laugh at silly jokes, play hopscotch, enjoy your ice cream – HAVE FUN. My octogenarian parents have so much fun playing card games, board games, football and pranking their great-grandchildren, they say it’s what keeps them young – I want to be like them when I grow up!

‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing’ George Bernard Shaw

Growing up is like parenting, it doesn’t matter how many books you read on the subject, it still comes as a shock when you realise you are officially a ‘grown up’.  It’s what you’ve wished for all your adolescent life and you suddenly realise nothing much has changed after all, except maybe you’ve gained a few wrinkles! We do however all want different things out of life, and this determines the decisions we make. We are all learning how to be adults and will continue to do so all our lives!

‘Man’s flight through life is sustained by the power of his/her knowledge.’ – U.S. Air Force

Always remember that knowledge has no boundaries or age limit. Aspira is an advocate of Lifelong Learning (Lifelong learning is a form of self-initiated education that is focused on personal development. It is best described as being voluntary with the purpose of achieving personal fulfilment.) and encourages all employees to grow and develop within the Company through various courses that may be of interest to them, and beneficial to their future career.  Aspira also offers many different training programmes which can be tailored to an individual company’s needs, including Project Management, Business Analysis, Agile Training and Lean Six Sigma, these are all delivered virtually with engaging and interactive assignments to tackle before, during and after each session. Contact training@aspira.ie for further information.

So, what is holding you back?  Experience as much as you can, to be the best you can be. Keep an open mind because when you stop learning, that is when you stop growing. Live your life to the fullest.

‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ – Betty Friedan.

For all your training needs please contact Aspira.

Author: Noreen Quinn, HR Business Partner, Aspira.

To Agile or not too Agile, is that the question?!

To Agile or not too Agile, is that the question?!

Agile certainly has its benefits, but it’s not always the answer. Taking a Hybrid approach may be worth considering as it can lend itself better to a given environment.

Initially it is worth considering the key reason’s organisations are adopting agile such as Faster time to market; Developing products; Risk reduction; Increased Quality & Efficiency; Improved Customer Satisfaction. Ultimately, the outcome is the key driver and the approach is simply what best enables the realisation of these outcomes.

An enterprise wide adoption to agile can be painful, time consuming and costly, so a Hybrid Approach which takes the best elements of Agile with minimal disruption might be a more prudent approach. A daily stand-up meeting is one such element of Agile that most environments could easily & seamlessly adopt to enhance a project teams’ focus during specific periods of a more traditional project delivery. Using an agile approach for one aspect of a project while using a more traditional (waterfall) structure for the overall project can certainly provide the best of both worlds in the right environment…for example, applying a traditional waterfall approach to your planning stage (where more structure and definition is required) and then using agile during the development phase generate more frequent outputs and/or increased customer collaboration and satisfaction.

Using agile, or elements of agile, doesn’t make sense for every project; culture and environment play a big part in determining the right approach to take. Environments with long standing rigid processes and policies are less likely to embrace agile, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely impossible if considering a Hybrid Approach. The key is to be clear about what agile is and also what it is not, in that environment. One all too common misperception is that you don’t need a plan or to document requirements with an agile approach, therefore saving time and avoiding difficult conversations with users and stakeholders. Not True!

 Consider the merits of a hybrid approach

A hybrid approach can often be an effective way of working through challenging situations where your user (aka Product Owner) is not certain of the finer detail of the end product they need, but they know they need something to meet a certain objective at a certain time. As such, you can always utilise an agile approach with a wider traditional product construct which allows for iteration and exploration to get to the product required while still holding firm to a specific delivery date. Combining elements of certainty while allowing for cycles of iteration is a good balance of tradition and modern, as it provides increased levels of collaboration while meeting an agreed date for delivery.

Key points to keep in mind…

  • Agile is a set of elements, not a complete solution in of itself
  • Adopting agile doesn’t have to mean wholesale adoption and training your entire organisation in support
  • Using agile doesn’t mean you can’t use other methods or a blended approach
  • Is the adoption of agile right for your project or organisation…weight up the pro’s & con’s
  • Don’t treat agile as something mystical…its mostly just common sense but takes know how to adequately adopt

Resist choosing your approach and trying to force that approach into an environment that’s not suited…rather look at all approaches and tailor to your needs and environment such that the probability of success is that much greater.

For all your Agile needs, please contact Aspira.

Author: Thomas McGrath, Advisory & Resourcing, Aspira.

Starting a new job in times of Covid-19

Starting a new job in times of Covid-19

The day after my interview, I was called with great news that I had received an offer. I was excited and nervous because that same evening, our prime minister announced that the country was going into a lockdown. Starting a new job remotely sounded like something surreal.

Beginning a new job is always an exciting but nervous experience, you always look forward to walking through the office on your first day not really knowing what to expect. Getting introduced to everyone, the handshakes, the meetings, the on boarding, the face to face contact, it all adds up to such an exciting day. Starting a new job during the middle of a pandemic was a little different. Although it may be a different experience, you can’t forget how lucky and fortunate you are to acquire a new job. The working from home aspect was new to a lot of people but it was exceptionally new to anyone who would be beginning a new position within a company, having not met any of your colleagues in person.

You learn quite quickly to utilise all the online assets that are available to you. You get to know your colleagues through online meetings, calls, emails etc. You learn to find out as much information and obtain as much detail as you can during meetings and calls. You discover how to really manage your time to increase productivity, and although there is nothing that really compares to face to face contact and being in person with someone, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of working from home.

What I soon noticed was that it had its benefits, I felt closer to my international colleagues because video calling was the new norm. There are no boundaries in our new normal, and this is something I hear daily when speaking to candidates. Candidates living in Ireland and working in the Netherlands.

As more and more people begin a new job working from home, here are some tips to help you through the process:

Have a space

  • Having a space dedicated to where you work can help you feel more relaxed and organised when starting a new position. It’s important to create a workspace environment at home where you can separate your work life from your personal life. Creating a small space in your house that is used for work, will help you to separate your workspace from your living space as much as you can when working from home.

Start a routine

  • Similar to creating a workspace, it’s important to start a routine when working from home. It can be easy to slip into bad habits so creating a routine from the start will help you to settle into working from home. As your workspace becomes part of your home, it can feel like there is a blur between personal life and work life, it’s important to establish boundaries between the two to keep a healthy work-life balance.

 Ask for support

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. With any new experience, we will all have questions. Don’t be afraid to ask anything you need to help you settle in better. Set up regular meetings/check-ins with your manager to ask any questions you may need and to keep up to date. Organise meetings with other staff members to learn more about different aspects of the company and ask questions where you may be unsure. This is a great way of learning more about the company and your colleagues.

Take the time to connect with your colleagues

  • Settling into a new job can be difficult, a good way to get settled in and feel comfortable is to meet with your colleagues and get to know them on a personal level. Although this may be a little more challenging working from home, it is definitely a good idea to get in touch and reach out to colleagues for a catch up/chat. Ask if there are currently any social video calls/meetings happening within the company throughout the week that you could join.

Enjoy the process

  • While a new position at any time comes with its challenges, don’t forget to enjoy the process of starting your new job. As a new employee you are not expected to know everything straight away and hit the ground running, so take this time to learn more about the company and your colleagues, do your research and become familiar with how the company works.

It’s an exciting time to start a new job, we are adapting, becoming more flexible, and beginning to think outside the box.

Check out all our open roles here.

Author:  Bruna Clemens, Client Services Manager, Aspira Europe NL.

The role of an Agile Coach

The role of an Agile Coach is a role that has come to the fore increasingly over the past number of years, as organisations look for guidance on adopting scrum and in expanding it at an enterprise level. The role is one which is more to do with the organisation than an official role in the scrum process.

It is important to firstly state that the role of coaching is assumed by the Scrum Master, as they are the ones responsible for the scrum process itself. The scrum master is responsible for ensuring the team, product owner and stakeholders understand and adhere to the process. The Scrum Master is both an educator and evangelist for the process.

The adoption of scrum in an organisation usually takes one of two approaches.

  • The Big bang method – where the organisation decides that they, entirely, are going to adopt scrum in an overnight fashion. The scary one, but can be very effective with the right leadership.
  • The organic method – where a team or, a small number of teams, adopt the process. This is observed and further growth stems from here. This is the more traditional approach, not as scary. More a suck it and see approach, although it does have its downside with pace of adoption.

As the adoption of scrum expands the need for a consistent experience for the teams, product owners and stakeholders becomes a vital ingredient in the successful transition of an organisation to an Agile organisation. It is here that the need for a specific role in owning this adoption is needed and this is usually formed in an Agile Coach.

Some areas that the role covers are:

  • Understanding why an organisation is choosing Agile and Scrum as their preferred methods of delivering projects and ensuring the organisation keep these drivers at the forefront of their implementation.
  • Senior leadership/executive level understanding of what scrum means and how to work with it is paramount to its success. The coach should ensure this level of management are getting and understanding the information they need to run their organisation.
  • Instilling an agile way of thinking in an organisation. Traditional expectations, fundamental ones, for project delivery still need to be met , they just look different in an Agile approach.
  • Identification and development of a scrum master community ensuring a consistent understanding and implementation of scrum across the teams in the organisation

The adoption of agile and scrum is a fundamental change in the way an organisation delivers its projects. Change is never easy and although scrum is a very easy methodology to understand, it can be a very difficult one to implement. Having an Agile Coach as the focal point for this transition can be vital to its success.

Choosing the right person to help in that transition is a crucial decision. An Agile Coach should have a wealth of experience as a Scrum Master, as the roles are very similar in content if not coverage.

Understanding why an organisation wants to be agile is one of its biggest drivers it needs to understand. Bringing an Agile Coach in at the start can save a lot of money and heartache, with regard to ensuring the right drivers are in play from the start.

Often there is only one chance to make a good impression of what scrum is within teams and in an organisation. An Agile Coach can ensure that this impression is a very good one from the start.

If you require an Agile Coach or Scrum Master, please contact Aspira today.

Author:  Aidan Muldoon, Scrum Master, Aspira.

Project Performance versus Information Management

Project Performance versus Information Management

Project Management has been consolidated as one of the main ways for organisations to successfully deliver their strategic business plans. Nowadays, there is no doubt about the benefits of project management. It significantly improves project results, shortens delivery times, optimises use of resources, reduces project costs, increases productivity and return of investment – just to point out a few benefits.

However, a high number of projects do not achieve success, i.e., do not meet their objectives. Surveys indicate the major cause of this disconnect between intention and results, is communication. Communication involves information management.

Information Management

Information is an important element within project management. On the one hand, projects make use of information in order to reduce uncertainty. On the other hand, they are also major producers of information, as they present an intense flow of information throughout their life-cycle.

All this information needs to be managed in favor of the project – however, most organisations are not prepared for the management of this information. It is estimated that  almost 80% of information and knowledge within an organisation is not shared. This inevitably leads to informational chaos which is then transposed to the project environment.

Differentiating information management within projects 

Due to their unique characteristics, projects require a clearly differentiated information management process. Such management should be focused on the procedures required to ensure that all project information is generated, collected, distributed, stored, retrieved and organised properly, as highlighted in the PMBOK ® Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge – PMI ®). Furthermore, decisions are always made within the project, and must be supported by accurate and timely information.

Based on my own empirical research within small, medium, and large organisations, it is possible to state that there is a straight correlation between clear communication and project performance. More research needs to be done, but it was clear that organisations with more mature communication processes in place, including information management processes, presented far better project results.

Combining human and automated resources to manage the information in projects can highly improve communications. Among those automated tools, SharePoint sites are popular and we would highly recommend them when managing information within projects.

However, using technology alone is not enough. Here are some tips to guide you however, the support of a project management specialist may also be of benefit to successful project delivery:

  • Engage the team around the use of a clear information management process.
  • Recognise that people learn and work in different ways.
  • Identify the information needs (why users need certain information and how they use it).
  • Use IT resources such SharePoint to better organise, store and facilitate information sharing.
  • Add value to information by focusing on the content and quality of the information.  Is it current, accurate and useful?
  • Clearly define a communications plan, specifying who needs which information, when and how.
  • Disseminate an information culture, including sharing knowledge around projects and throughout the organisation.

To conclude, it is understood that information management should be seen as a systemic action, seeking to understand and meet the information based needs of the project. Certainly, it will contribute to a reduction in costs and the increased success of projects. Consequently this will help companies to thrive in a globalised and highly competitive world where everything is interconnected and interdependent.

For all your Project Management needs, please contact Aspira

Katia Stark, Project Manager, Aspira.

Covid 19 is eating Strategy for Breakfast

 

Covid 19 is eating Strategy for Breakfast

 

As 2020 began, we never realised that this global pandemic would be on the menu, invading both our lives and livelihood. As we try to process the implications of living and working under the shadow of Covid 19, we are all trying to rethink and reframe how we do business whilst at the same time safeguarding our lives. We are going through unprecedented change.

What is required is rapid innovation and time is of the essence. In the absence of a crystal ball, we have to consider all the possible scenarios and lead through strategic ambiguity. Success depends on moving the organisation forward precisely at times when the path ahead is hazy. We need to take pragmatic action in order to survive in this period of strategic uncertainty. We need to lead through change.

Communication is critical and leaders need to be visible and maintain frequent dialogue. It must be open and honest to maintain credibility. Even though leaders don’t have all the answers, communication is important to put everyone’s mind at ease and provide hope for the future. We need to communicate through change.

Please join us for our webinar, which explores how to navigate your way through the crisis and ensure your survival. We leverage change management principles and explore:

  • The five Stages of Disruption Denial
  • The Burning Platform
  • Successful Innovation
  • Decisive Action
  • Leading the new Strategic Direction

Please register here for this webinar.

Author:  Norma Lynch, Training Manager, Aspira.

Leveraging and Managing The Potential of Your New Remote Workforce

 

Leveraging and Managing The Potential of Your New Remote Workforce

Event Details

A positive planning session, highlighting the opportunities and benefits of exploring the hidden talents of your current and future remote workforce.

This webinar will discuss how our newly remote workforce and our future hires can have a significant positive influence on your P&L statement:

  • Assessment advice on the maturity of your existing workforce and how they will adapt to remote working in the future
  • Planning a safe and healthy environment for your office’s future prosperity
  • Selection and recruitment strategies for growth
  • Leveraging new geographies, “project resources, sans frontiers”

 

Paints on a board

 

If paradise now arises in hell, it’s because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way.” ~ Rebecca Solnit

During my tenure at BASF in Germany, I had the good fortune to work with many different technical people from all over the world and the interplay, exchange  and collaboration has always stayed with me.

When I reflect on the great unifying experiences of culture and sports like the Eurovision, Soccer World Cups, Rugby World Cups, and contrast them with the struggles of all nations in today’s crisis, it occurs to me that we now must approach project resourcing very differently.

In short, ‘resourcing sans frontiers’.

 

The travel bug bites many of us and we experience other cultures and enjoy leisure adventures to the point where we are familiar with communicating freely with many different nationalities socially and at work.

We are all working remotely, where possible and as you will hear in our Webinar, we are also trying to facilitate people who need to be physically in an office, factory or outdoors.

Now as we recruit for new roles, in the new normal, it’s a critical requirement that candidates can be productive, secure and are both willing and able to work from home. Does that limit us?

I think not!

 

I see a world of resourcing sans frontiers.

Now, if we need a highly skilled worker with specialist domain experience, or niche industry skills, they can deliver that service from anywhere.

Our talent pool has opened up considerably, but so has everyone else’s. We need the tools, strategies and networks to compete in the new global markets, and unlock the potential of this new remote workforce.

At Aspira we have developed a toolkit that includes; recruitment assessment, technical tests, online validation, QA controls, and interview techniques that enable us to provide an effective virtual selection process on behalf of our clients and our own internal needs.

We will present case studies in our webinar about some of the remote resourcing assignments that we have worked on recently.

 

It is both a pleasure and a privilege to engage with professionals in IT & Project Management throughout Europe, the Middles East & Africa.  We have the same passion and enthusiasm to re-start, our economies and societies again.

This is true also with our clients, who enjoy working with our offices in Cork, Dublin, Amsterdam, UK, or the UAE, but are aware of the benefits in recruiting skilled resources from the multiple locations in EMEA.

Knowledge of the EMEA countries, culture, food or industry, makes for better conversations, quicker connections and valuable cultural contribution evaluations for our candidates and clients.

We have great tools to make connections, and our own application tracking systems (ATS) enables quick and easy processing of applications, tracking screening and security. We continue working with candidates and clients through project kick starts to delivery deadlines.

 

We tend to seek the positive aspects of life, and some of us loathe the disruption that change brings, but we recognise that we can rise to meet this challenge.…

Part of that change means that our borders and barriers to successful project delivery, have changed also. Resourcing sans Frontiers… is all about adapting to change.

Register for our webinar here.

Author:   Russell Moore, Head of Resourcing Advisory at Aspira.

Unfreeze your Resources, Unlock your Projects – Delivery in the ‘New Normal’

Unfreeze your Resources, Unlock your Projects

Delivery in the ‘New Normal’

On the 13th of May, Aspira’s weekly webinar series features an engaging discussion into Project Resourcing. We provide insights and agile approaches that can help ensure projects are successfully delivered in the current climate.

This webinar will explore:

  • What is happening in the marketplace currently and how we see it trending over the coming year.
  • How companies can take back control of their project(s) destiny via optimised Project Resourcing Techniques.
  • How high performing companies are adapting to be successful today!
  • Practical and realistic steps to help companies / projects proactively build Project Resource capacity.

As a preamble to this engaging event, Russell Moore – Co-Presenter of this Webinar – provides his personal story that aligns with the themes to come on the 13th of May. We hope you enjoy the read and will see you at the Webinar.

When I was younger, I lived in a blissfully free existence of mind, largely down to the successful way that my parents protected and nurtured us through the minefield of growing up and completing our secondary education. Undoubtably, traumatic economic, financial and external forces were challenging our family, maybe not as dramatic as where we find ourselves today, but certainly significant enough to cause my parents to have the same sleepless nights that we are all having now.

As I see my own children now have their happiness and well-being challenged, I realise that we all need basic principles and sound decision making to ensure that we have the tools required to cope in our professional and personal lives. At Aspira I am part of the management team; I recognize that colleagues and staff look to me and others to provide security and comfort when all around seems desperate and chaotic. There was something about my own father that provided that level of reassurance throughout most of life.

Life goes on, and we will recover, because as human beings we have an enormous amount of resilience and the ability to change, adapt and rebuild. Earthquakes in Indonesia, China or Haiti, WW2, 9/11 or the Spanish Flu Epidemic to name but a few. In the business world, we have to adapt the same fighting spirit and plan our way out of the chaos, and put a firm and concrete foundation for recovery in place. A major component of this is people, your staff, your resources, whatever we call ourselves, we are the building blocks for the creation of new beginnings.

When I left home to go to University, the initial attraction was the fact that my newfound freedom allowed for a much greater appetite for risk taking. This took on many different forms, ranging from missing important Lectures, standard student pranks, unscheduled road trips, poor relationship choices and a cavalier approach to sport and personal injury. It was around this time that my father told me that I will ultimately have to rely on the Four Cornerstones of Life, as and when he might not be around to guide and stabilise my personal and professional progression in adulthood.

At the time, I worked out that Finance, Family & Friends, Health and Education were forming a foundation for me to thrive and prosper as a person. I was lucky that I had a firm footing; corner stones that created a framework for me to complete my degree, in England, France & Germany. Even when I lost a foothold on one of my cornerstones, the other three would support me and enable me to rebuild the other. But of course, later in life the inevitable happens, and you lose two or three cornerstones at the same time………..

For some, that is what it feels like, right here, right now. The familiarity of your workplace, the financial comfort of your job, your friends and family are all taken away at the same time. There is a huge imbalance in your life, and we find ourselves clinging to one or two cornerstones. Your family and home have become a massively important support, and at the moment, the foundation for your finances and professional performance. At Aspira, as a company, we have quickly had to understand and accept how this has all come about, and become the new normal for us all. Like many companies, we have had to mobilise rapidly and adapt, reestablish our cornerstones and create a framework for a different kind of future.

As the storm settles, and we see a calmer, more positive environment forming around us, we find ourselves re-routing to a new exciting vision. The measures we have taken to re-invent our offerings to online delivery, the support of our staff through technology and remote communications, the engagement with our customers and suppliers, and the cross-training of our staff is starting to create opportunities to stabilize and grow our teams and revenues again. At Aspira, we have Advisory services that can help our customers assess their current resource portfolio including staff capability, capacity and approach.  From this we can provide recommendations in terms of sizing of teams, optimal competencies required, appropriate ways to address future demands of a Remote/Office based workforce, and so forth. We also have the tools and systems to assess, test, evaluate and ultimately, select your new project team members. We hope that you will continue to enjoy our Webinar series.

Please register for our Webinar here

Auther:  Russell Moore, Account Manager, Aspira.

From Russia to Ireland with Love

 

 

Diversity in Dublin

At Aspira, we have a very diverse international team, which we believe is key to our ability to innovate and deliver the best possible solutions for our clients. We work with global companies and work alongside colleagues of many different nationalities.

Tanya Gainutdinova is from Russia and is a technical resource specialist who started working in our Dublin office this year. Tanya shares her some insights into life at Aspira, and compares and contrasts Dublin with her hometown of Kazan, Russia.

If you’re considering a career with us, see all available positions on our https://www.aspira.ie/work-with-aspira/

I am living in my new home in Dublin for one year now, working for Aspira, and because I enjoy sharing new perspectives and learning new ways of working myself, I thought it might be interesting to share my perspective of living and working in Dublin compared to my home town of Kazan.

Old and New

Dublin has a similar feel to my hometown in Russia – both were founded over one thousand years ago and have many historical buildings to be admired. But there are also lots of new high-tech locations such as Aspira’s Dublin office, which is in a great location in the Silicon Docklands.

Working at Aspira:

It’s been interesting to learn how business processes in Irish companies differs to Russia. My experience is that the atmosphere in Irish companies is very positive, with colleagues always willing and ready to give a helping hand. Our management team are always open to new ideas and encourage us to make suggestions.

One thing I see that the Irish and Russians have in common is the sense of humour, and wiliness not to take ourselves too seriously – having fun and a laugh with the ‘boss’ in is welcomed and typical for both countries (as long as you are getting your work done!).

Universal Interests – Food and Football

In Russia, my region is famous for its Tatar Cuisine – hearty pies, delicious baked goods and very sweet desserts are very popular.

I’ve enjoyed trying some Irish favourites and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of lamb compared to the mutton we have at home. I have now learned what ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ means! The variety of cheeses is astonishing in Ireland – Dairy products and seafood are really standout here.

Kazan hosted some matches during the recent World Cup and we all like keeping up to date with the football results. My team in Russia is Rubin Kazan although my Cork-based Aspira colleagues tell me there’s only one football team to follow:

It is great working and living in an international environment. Kazan and Dublin are very different, but we have much in common. Diversity and collaboration in the workplace helps to achieve synergy and I’m delighted to be part of the team at Aspira.

Author: Tanya Gainutdinova, Technical Resource Specialist, Aspira

 

Rationalising Requirements

One of the most common issues that teams come across as part of a project is the problem of scope creep. This is defined as uncontrolled changes or continuous growth of a project’s scope. This can occur when the scope of a project is not properly defined, documented or controlled.
This can be easily implemented incorrectly however; one could assume that defining a project’s scope is as easy as stating what a project will entail, the features required, systems involved etc. This is in fact correct but is missing a key detail of requirements gathering and outlining project scope. One of the key things to properly defining requirements and avoiding issues such as scope creep or conflict within the team, is to do the above, define requirements for what the project will entail but also define what the system will not include, features which are out of scope, areas that have been highlighted or proposed in the past but have been rejected. These are of equal importance as the definition of the actual included requirements because it avoids two major issues; the first being scope creep as previously mentioned and the second is lack of clarity. Clarity on what the project will actually be, what will be delivered, when it will be delivered, how it will be operated and how it will look and feel. Achieving this is possible by all stakeholders involved having a clear and defined picture of what the project will and won’t include.
Problems can very easily arise when people misinterpret requirements. This can very easily happen when all a stakeholder has is a definition of what the project requirements are, without the clarifying presence of what the project will not include. This can lead to wasted time, longer testing cycles and disagreements within teams over varying interpretations of what requirements actually mean.
By clearly defining requirements that are in scope and out of scope, we can avoid these pitfalls in our projects.
Aspira offer a range of courses in both Project Management & Business Analysis. These courses provide a structured approach to requirements gathering and provide valuable project management tools and techniques to support the creation of a detailed project plans, that are based on accurate business requirements. To find out more about Aspira’s public and private courses go to our website now. https://www.aspira.ie/events/

Created By:        Stephen Pearse

Company:           Aspira

Title:                  Software Engineer

Business Showcase

Describe the company – the elevator pitch…

Aspira is a Consulting and Managed IT services specialist – an Irish company that delivers an International impact.  We provide expert consultancy in Project Management and Business Analysis, and as part of our Managed IT Services, we offer Software Development and Test Management solutions. It is a very broad service offering, backed by a world class team based in Cork and Dublin.

How are you different?

We differ from the norm in three key ways – our intense client focus, the deep expertise of our team, and the breadth of our service offering.

Aspira has an unremitting focus on identifying and meeting client needs – it’s what drives our day-to-day work practice. And since our clients really appreciate that effort, it makes it a very fulfilling place to work. Secondly, our team has a vast range of expertise – the people working in Aspira are seriously smart,….

 

Follow this link for the full article: http://irishtechnews.ie/business-showcase-aspira/

The Black Art of Risk

Project Risk Management is an essential activity often marginalised to the early phase of a project and subsequently neglected as projects protract in complexity. This type of risk management is a mere box-ticking exercise by ineffective project managers leading to perplexed project teams, pricey and perpetual delays – even cancelled projects. The irony here of course is the risk posed to the project by poor risk management is high and not easily fixed.

Detailed risk management must play an important role over the full lifecycle of any project – risk is not static or finite, nor can all risk be predicted at one time – therefore artefacts such as a Risk Register, Risk Assessment Plans and Risk Management Plans produced as part of the due diligence need to be maintained as living documents for risk to be mitigated.

Too often a risk management plan consists only of the identification of risk – as though its identification will automatically negate it happening. Good risk management details and documents all the known risks to a project but great risk management is able to identify the potential ripple effects of those risks if realised, and detail appropriate preventative mitigation plans as well as highlight further risk which may be incurred out of the mitigation plan itself.
In addition, with the best will in the world, sometimes the risks do realise, and if there is no contingency plan in place, then the project team is left scrambling and the risk management has ultimately failed.

Aspira’s expertise at risk management is unparalleled and our approach is not easily replicated.

  • Review your risk management policies and procedures, offering solutions to strengthen your risk exposure.
  • Provide in depth risk identification, with full detail of the secondary risks posed.
  • Do a detailed risk analysis, identifying potentially impacted business and technological functions and plans.
  • Prioritize your risk based on your key criteria – financial, customer impacting, business critical – whatever your key criteria are, we can work to help you prioritize, guiding influence, effort and budget to where it needs to be.
  • Creates risk mitigation plans, addressing how those risks will be treated – how they will be mitigated to prevent them happening, and the plans that needs to fall into place if they do.
  • Identify your impacted stakeholders – this goes far beyond your standard RACI matrix – this outlines your key stakeholders and the impact that risk realisation may have on their interests in your project.

If your project requires a solid risk management foundation, an inflight risk assessment or a review of how risks were dealt with, Aspira has the expertise to expedite your risk management plan and limit your exposure.

Aspira’s Risk Management has resulted in our clients being able to:

  • Achieve complete business buy-in on the decision for projects to proceed based on complete risk assessment, offering confidence in budget stability.
  • Competently budget for contingencies based on the prioritization of risk and their likelihood to occur.
  • Allow Project Managers to focus on the day to day project tasks rather than risk mitigation planning.
  • Save time and budget by having plans in place which can be immediately executed if risks do realise.
  • Allow project managers to immediately brief senior execs on impacts to a project due to risks that have realised.
  • Improve communication and allow for key stakeholders to be identified quickly.
  • Stop work backlogs and resource inefficiencies by concentrating on key high risk areas.
  • Complete projects smoothly engaging whether engaging in risk mitigation or risk treatment plans.