TCO calculation mistake when going from Lotus Notes to Outlook365

Companies are moving from Lotus Notes to Office 365, and one of costs that are not taken into account when business case is done is the use of the network in the new situation (TO-BE). This information is key for the TCO calculation.

I had the opportunity to discuss informally with three different of my colleagues and they recognized me that the monthly expenditure due to band witdh consumption has increased, that they also had to increase the available bandwidth contract, and hence to increase the secundary lines (back-up).

I know, OPEX/CAPEX is not the only reason to get rid of Lotus Notes, but: This is a lot of money!

Ball park estimates

There’s a time every year when all people perform their foresee for coming year.

When this time arrives, IT leads and business people start to ask for estimations they are going to use for incoming years.

This happens and the summer this will not happen, it will mean my customer does not want to work with us anymore.

The tricky thing is that you have to be very carefully with the estimations you provide and define all the assumptions properly, due to at the end of the year these guys are going to come with these figures approved, so you cannot fail.

Cost of Live Adjustment (COLA)

Looking for the % of COLA in India during the last few years, I found this curious survey.

I want to remind it, and the behaviour of the cost of living around the world during these 2 hard years.

The COLA in India has not being so high during this year due to the change of the Rupee, that has decreased with respect the dollar and the euro.

Nevertheless it shouldn’t confuse us, because really the inflation is usually higher than in other countries, so for multi-year forecasting we need to be cautious.

Working on an estimation tool

I’m doing an estimating training and working on an estimation tool for a local client. This is keeping me concentrating on this knowledge area. I’m happy about it.

The tool I’m doing needs to balance best practices and simplicity. I can include a lot of features that helps to do better estimations but the key issue is the simplicity.

The consequence, I’m automatizing all that I want.

Some parts are more simple than I want but I need to do it so automatic in order do it easy.

The usability is also important, I need to do it so intuitive and providing easy steps for the estimation.

The most difficult issue is going to convince some people about the benefits of the tool; we need to do a good job in the communications and awareness.

Some estimation Best Practices

Play with numbers was something I always liked, so estimation is an activity that awakened my interest.

The rules to play are the best practices and common sense.

1.- A solid plan for developing the estimate, you need to have an strategy about what you are going to estimate and what you need to deliver, doing an initial tailoring assesment:

  • Which level of accuracy do we need?
  • Can I deliver this level of accuracy with the information we have?
  • What are the expectations of your steering comitee and your client…

2.- You have an approved WBS with confidence that is clear, makes sense, and has the enough details: good start!

WBS is primary factor, it requires a vision of how the work will be done, this vision leads to the WBS which defines the work to be performed.

3.- Good Inputs :

  • Ways to quantify — # of process threads, programs, workshops, # of types of activities…
  • Prior Estimates — don’t reinvent the wheel!!
  • Look at learned lessons,

4.- You need resources and reviewers who are skilled in estimating, yes skilled in estimating.

  • Project Manager, or estimator who acts as mentor and coach to their estimating team. She works with the SMEs to define their WBS, drivers, resources, and estimate.
  • SMEs who can envision “how the work needs to be done”. They have to know the product lyfe cycle.

5.- A tool for estimating, all companies have one. Never start with a blank template.

6.-Sufficient Time to the Estimate: estimation is an iterative process and you need time.

7.- Capture Assumptions,

  • All the time you decide that some task is estimated by a reason, take a note of the reason, you are going to forget it and later you will have doubts.
  • These notes will help to reviewers to understand why something take 30 hours instead 20.

8.-Multiple Reviews: four eyes see more than two!!

  • Proposal Team,
  • Sales Team,
  • Delivery Assurance,
  • Peer to peer review…..

There are more tips, these are just some of them.

Have a good day!

Scheduling in age of Complexity (by Mosaic)

One of the recommendations well described in the previous commented paper:

“…If the worker beleives an activity’s duration is reasonable even if it’s optimistic and the person remains properly motivated, they will change their behaviour to achieve the strech target and consequently change the outcome…”

About the role of the schedule in a project:

“The problem with expecting project scheduling to produce an accurate forecast of the future is it is impossible to accurately forecast or control the future. The solution to effective project delivery lies in a different direction; using the schedule to influence the future actions and decisions of people.”

The paragraph called “the role of the Schedule in a 21C Project” is very valuable.