Project Training and Facilitation Services

Business eSolutions offers project training and facilitation services to jumpstart your projects or recover from existing project mistakes. The seminars and facilitation methodologies have been designed by Art Levine, a member of the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership and long term IS training consultant and lecturer. All seminars may be customized to meet specific project requirements, objectives and issues. Contact Us for more information or to schedule a class.

Risk Management Facilitation Services

Project Management Concepts Project Planning and Estimating Workshop

Effective Business Requirements Quality Assurance Strategic Thinking


Risk Management Facilitation Services

Risk Management Facilitation Services provide a three- part deliverable based process for the systematic identification and mitigation of software development project risks. The process begins and is conducted during the "concept and definition" phases and at the end of each subsequent phase of the life cycle. This efficient and effective method includes:

  1. Plan Defect Analysis
  2. Post Deployment Defect Analysis
  3. Risk Analysis and Management Plan (RAMP)

The Plan Defect Analysis

Aimed at eliminating the risk associated with incomplete or unattainable project plans, Plan Defect Analysis reviews the project plan according to a defined set of objective questions. The goal of the Plan Defect Analysis is to identify issues and prevent surprises that may adversely impact the success of the project. Without an effective defect analysis process truly effective risk management is difficult, if not impossible, since you cannot manage what you do not know about. The process is executed in two distinct steps. Step one is an in-depth analysis of the project plan using a series of objective questions. Step two ensures that the outputs of each project phase are complete, consistent and reasonable. Additionally, the tasks and activities undertaken in each phase of the project are performed in accordance with an accepted methodology or approach and that the end product will satisfy the business, IT and the organization as a whole.

As contrasted to a "quality control" structure, the Plan Defect Analysis function emphasizes "process quality" considerations which will have a more significant impact on the quality of the delivered products. The outcome of this procedure is not to pass quality control, but to pass thorough quality assurance. Five considerations come into play:

  • Identification of the risks
  • Analysis of "defects"
  • Plan Considerations and Actions
  • Tracking and Monitoring
  • Communication

Post Deployment Defect Analysis

The Post Deployment Defect Analysis is directed at providing an analysis and a report reviewing the project as a whole. Data will be gathered to assist in conducting an analysis of the total final project cost as compared to the projected cost. This activity will include an analysis, by phase, of the identified defects encountered during the project. Using a unique questionnaire the following eight areas are reviewed:

  • Scope Management
  • Time Management
  • Cost Management
  • Quality Management
  • Risk Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Communications Management
  • Project Management

The focus of this activity is to learn what went right and where changes have to be made so that the same defects do not impact subsequent projects. A detailed analysis is prepared and, in a facilitated session, reviewed with the project team. Recommendations for future projects are developed and a Post Deployment Defect Analysis Report is provided for management acknowledgement.

Risk Analysis and Management Plan (RAMP)

RAMP covers a number of disciplines: (R) Risk Indentification, (A) Analysis and Probability, (M) Mitigation Strategies, and (P) Action Plan. It provides the process and techniques to identify and address planning activity risk factors and proves two key deliverables:

  • Risk Inventory and Assessment Report
  • Risk Analysis and Management Plan

Knowing what to expect provides the opportunity to lower overall risk before the project starts and to manage risk throughout the project. Risk identification is the foundation of the risk management process.

The RAMP describes the tasks to be accomplished, the conditions to be monitored, the warning flags to look for, the frequency of Independent Reviews to be scheduled and specifies the contingency reserve(s) that may have to be added to the project budget and schedule. The RAMP will produce a specific mitigation/contingency action in reaction to an identified risk.

Using the RAMP process during the Project Planning Process and at the beginning of each phase of the project life cycle will increase the chances of: successfully completing the project, meeting estimated budgets and schedules, and meeting Business Partner requirements.


Project Management Concepts

The Project Management Concepts seminar concentrates on the "real world" of project management. As a result participants will learn practical methods and skills that they will be able to apply right away. This two-day seminar teaches business and technical staff how to achieve project objectives while managing the risks and leveraging the opportunities inherent in all projects. Tailored to your organization and using a unique Case Study and team presentations, participants will be able to:

  • Clearly define a project's objectives, scope and requirements.
  • Estimate and plan personnel, equipment and financial resources with precision.
  • Develop meaningful and workable project plans.
  • Plan and Manage by deliverables.
  • Excel at conflict and change management.
  • Introduce Quality Assurance standards to guarantee the integrity of the process and the product.
  • Regularly and professionally report project activities, deliverables and milestones to management.
  • Identify, communicate and manage the risks associated with the project.
  • Define projects in terms of Logical Units of Manageable Proportions (LUMPs) for rapid development, tailor the development life cycles to meet individual project needs, and create and optimize the value of a project plan.

Project Management Concepts Two Day Class Curriculum

Day One
Day Two
  • Introduction to Project Management Concepts
  • Quality as it Relates to Service
  • Project Planning
  • Estimating and Scheduling Considerations
  • Communication and Presentation Techniques
  • Case Study Assignment
  • Case Study - Team Presentations and Review
  • Project Control Strategy
  • Project Health Analysis
  • Risk Management
  • Conflict Management
  • Quality Assurance Revisited
  • Action Plan
Project Management Methods One Day Curriculum
  • Introduction to Project Management Concepts
  • Quality as it Relates to Service
  • Project Planning
  • Estimating and Scheduling Considerations
  • Project Control Strategy
  • Quality Assurance Revisited
  • Action Plan
Return to top


Project Planning and Estimating Workshop

The Project Planning and Estimating Workshop is designed to build a cohesive, dedicated project team. A major deliverable of this activity is a well structured, achievable project plan for which each team member takes ownership.

In a facilitated environment the team will develop a strategic, operational and tactical plan to make the deliverable a reality -- to specifications, on schedule and within budget. This process may be utilized to "re-plan" projects that have been started.

The team will, jointly, develop a project plan that will encompass:

  • Project Goals, Objectives and Scope
  • Deliverables
  • Business Partner Expectations
  • Critical Assumptions
  • Critical Success Factors
  • Resource Requirements
  • Development Structure
  • Tasks, Schedules and Dependencies
  • Functional Testing and Implementation Plans
  • Project Status Reporting and Control Procedures
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Project Change Management
Return to top


Effective Business Requirements

Effective Business Requirements is a one-day seminar that demonstrates the value and methods of defining and documenting business requirements in order to improve the quality and functionality of Information Technology projects and products. As a result, participants will learn to distinguish between Requirements and Solutions, and how to provide clear, concise and complete business requirements. Tailored to your organization and using a unique Case Study the participants will be able to:

  • Distinguish between objectives, requirements, solutions and issues.
  • Give examples of potential risks resulting from inadequate requirements definitions.
  • Demonstrate techniques for gathering requirements. This seminar includes detailed instruction in Meeting Facilitation, the Joint Application Development (JAD) process and includes in-depth workshops that apply these techniques to real problems.
  • Select a format and develop a requirements document outline.
  • Understand alternative techniques and processes that can be used to expedite development of business requirements.
Business Requirements - One Day Curriculum
  • Introduction
  • What is a "Business Requirement"?
  • Why develop Business Requirements?
  • The Format of Business Requirements
  • The Requirements Discovery Process
  • The Requirements Document
  • Case Study Assignment and Presentation
  • Action Plan
Return to top


Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance is the total effort by all concerned with the project development process to ensure that a quality product is developed and delivered. This one-half day seminar reviews quality from two complementary perspectives: i.e. the "process" and the "products" associated with the project deliverables. It demonstrates that quality must be planned in the project structure, constantly evaluated, and deficiencies identified and dealt with. The seminar addresses the identification, analysis, and response to project risk and the impact on deliverable quality. Upon completion of this seminar participants will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control
  • Measure quality
  • Provide a strategy for a Quality Assurance Program
  • Implement a Quality Assurance Program that will focus on prevention of errors in Information Technology project and product development.
Quality Assurance - Half Day Curriculum
  • Why Quality Assurance?
  • Contrasting Approaches
  • Developing a Quality Strategy
  • Productivity and Total Quality Management (TQM)
  • Defining Quality
  • Quality Assurance Means
  • Implementing a Quality Assurance Process
  • Action Plan
Return to top


Strategic Thinking

Strategic Thinking is a management tool for planning because it involves intentionally setting goals and developing an approach to achieving those goals. To think strategically is to see the big picture, to think creatively about the future, to understand the immediate effects and long-term consequences of situations, problems, decisions and actions. This one-day seminar will provide tools for strategic planning and analysis within the Information Technology arena. At the end of the seminar participants will:

  • Understand why Strategic Thinking differs from Strategic Planning
  • Utilize the 5 Criteria of the Strategic Thinking Process
  • Demonstrate the 5 Elements of Strategic Thinking
  • Demonstrate the requirements of a Strategic Thinker
Strategic Thinking One Day Curriculum
  • Introduction
  • What is "Strategic Thinking?"
  • Five Criteria of the Strategic Thinking Process
  • Five Elements of Strategic Thinking
  • Why Strategic Thinking?
  • Strategic Thinking and Strategic Management
  • Strategic Planning
Return to top

Copyright © Art Levine 2002