06 June 2012

Project Management: Lessons Learned (Definitions)

"The learning gained from the process of performing the project. Lessons learned may be identified at any point. Also considered a project record." (Timothy J  Kloppenborg et al, "Project Leadership", 2003)

"The systematic capturing of experiences to learn for the future and to avoid mistakes. Lessons learned sessions can, for instance, be held at completion of a project or project phase." (Lars Dittmann et al, "Automotive SPICE in Practice", 2008)

"The learning gained from the process of performing the project. Lessons learned may be identified at any point. Also considered a project record, to be included in the lessons learned knowledge base." (Project Management Institute, "Practice Standard for Project Estimating", 2010)

"An important step in wrapping up management of any implementation process, this step documents successes and failures in each systems development phase as well as the project as a whole." (Linda Volonino & Efraim Turban, "Information Technology for Management 8th Ed", 2011)

"Information from past projects, such as problems that occurred and risks that were encountered, that can inform future projects." (Gina Abudi & Brandon Toropov, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Best Practices for Small Business", 2011)

"Information provided by team members and other stakeholders about how aspects of the project can be repeated or enhanced and how problems and issues can be prevented or resolved. This information can be used to improve the performance of future projects. Lessons learned are collected in a knowledge base or report." (Bonnie Biafore & Teresa Stover, "Your Project Management Coach: Best Practices for Managing Projects in the Real World", 2012)

"The knowledge gained during a project which shows how project events were addressed or should be addressed in the future with the purpose of improving future performance. |" (For Dummies, "PMP Certification All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Ed.", 2013)

03 June 2012

Data Migration: What is Data Migration?

Data Migration

    If you are working in a data-centric business it’s almost impossible for the average worker not to have heard this term, even tangentially. Considering the meaning of “migration” - the act or process of moving from one place to another - the intuition might even tell what data migration is about: the process of moving data from one place to another. It’s pretty basic, isn’t it? Now as data are moved over and over again between various places, for example the various layers of an applications, between databases, between media storage devices, and so on, we need some precision in defining the term because not all these can be considered as data migration examples. Actually we can talk about data copying or data movement without speaking of data migration. So, what is data migration? Here are a few takes on defining data migration:

    “process of transferring data from one platform or operating system to another” (Babylon)

   "Data migration is the process of transferring data between storage types, formats, or computer systems." (Wikipedia)

    "Data migration is the movement of legacy data to new media and technologies as the older ones are displaced." (Toolbox)

    “The purpose of data migration is to transfer existing data to the new environment.” (Talend)

    “Data Migration is the process of moving data from one or more sources into a target application” (Utopia Inc.)

    “[…] is the one off selection, preparation and transportation of appropriate data, of the right quality, to the right place, at the right time.(J. Morris)

    Resuming the above definitions, data migration can be defined as “the process of selecting, assessing, converting, preparing, validating and moving data from one or more information systems to another system”. The definition isn’t at all perfect, first of all because some of the terms need further explanation, secondly because any of the steps may be skip or other important steps can be identified in the process, and thirdly because further clarifications are needed. Anyway, it offers some precision, and at least for this reason, could be preferred to the above definitions.

    So, resuming, data migration supposes the movement of data from one or more information systems, referred as source systems, to another one, the target system. Typically the new system replaces the old systems, they being retired, or they can continue to be used with reduced scope, for example for reporting purposes or . Even if performed in stages, the movement is typically one time activity, so everything has to be perfect. That’s the purpose of the other steps – to minimize the risks of something going wrong. The choice of steps and their complexity depends on the type of information systems involved, on the degree of resemblance between source and target, business needs, etc.

    As mentioned above, not everything that involves data movement can be considered as data migration. For example data integration involves the movement and combination of data from various information systems in order to provide a unified view. Data synchronization involves the movement of data in order to reflect the changes of data in one information system into another, when data from the two systems need to be consistent. Data mirroring involves the synchronization of data, though it involves an exact copy of the data, the mirroring occurring continuously in real time. Data backup involves the movement/copy of data at a given point in time for eventual restore in case of data loss. Data transfer refers to the movement of row data between the layers of information systems. To make things even fuzzier, these types of data movements can be considered in a data migration too, as data need to be locally integrated, synchronized, transferred, mirrored or back up. Data migration is overall a complex thematic.

01 June 2012

Project Management: Business Case (Definitions)

"The business reason or value for undertaking the project." (Timothy J  Kloppenborg et al, "Project Leadership", 2003)

"A “needs assessment” or justification to show why an endeavor is necessary to an organization." (Margaret Y Chu, "Blissful Data ", 2004)

"A business problem, situation, or opportunity that justifies the pursuit of a technology project." (Sharon Allen & Evan Terry, "Beginning Relational Data Modeling" 2nd Ed., 2005)

"[...] a formal document used to justify investments in new products, product enhancements, and marketing expenditures." (Steven Haines, "The Product Manager's Desk Reference", 2008)

"The process that documents the customer's justification for their investments in products and services." (Steven Haines, "The Product Manager's Desk Reference", 2008)

"A document that provides a justification for a business investment, often used in terms of technology investments. Business cases can be built by identifying financial (hard-dollar) benefits and intangible benefits, including mitigation of risk." (Janice M Roehl-Anderson, "IT Best Practices for Financial Managers", 2010)

"A structured format for organizing the reasons, benefits, and estimated costs for initiating a project or program." (DAMA International, "The DAMA Dictionary of Data Management", 2011)

"A written document that is used by managers to justify funding for a specific investment and also to provide the bridge between the initial plan and its execution." (Linda Volonino & Efraim Turban, "Information Technology for Management 8th Ed", 2011)

"An analysis of the benefits and costs of making a change to the way things are done." (Mike Clayton, "Brilliant Project Leader", 2012)

"The justification for a project or program, against which performance is compared throughout the life cycle. Typically, the business case contains costs, benefits, risks, and timescales." (Paul C Dinsmore et al, "Enterprise Project Governance", 2012)

"Framework for making decisions, explanation of benefits and costs, anticipated outcomes, and project factors associated with a performance improvement effort." (Joan C Dessinger, "Fundamentals of Performance Improvement" 3rd Ed, 2012)

"A documented economic feasibility study used to establish validity of the benefits to be delivered by a program." (Project Management Institute, "The Standard for Program Management" 3rd Ed., 2013)

"A documented economic feasibility study used to establish validity of the benefits of a selected component lacking sufficient definition and that is used as a basis for the authorization of further project management activities." (For Dummies, "PMP Certification All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Ed.", 2013)

"Information necessary to enable approval, authorisation and policy-making bodies to assess a project proposal and reach a reasoned decision." (Chartered Institute of Building, "Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development, 5th Ed", 2014)

"A written analysis of the financial, productivity, auditability, and other factors to justify the investment in software and hardware systems, implementation, and training." (Robert F Smallwood, "Information Governance: Concepts, Strategies, and Best Practices", 2014)

"A compilation of costs and benefits associated with a planned project or investment." (Gregory Lampshire, "The Data and Analytics Playbook", 2016)

"A business case captures the reasoning for initiating a project or task. The business case justifies the investment." (by Brian Johnson & Leon-Paul de Rouw, "Collaborative Business Design", 2017)

"A documented evaluation (pre-project) of the potential impact a problem or an opportunity has on the organization to determine if it is worthwhile investing the resources to correct the problem or take advantage of the opportunity for improvement. It captures the reason for initiating a potential project or program." (H James Harrington & William S Ruggles, "Project Management for Performance Improvement Teams", 2018)

"Documentation of the rationale for making a business investment, used both to support a business decision on whether to proceed with the investment and as an operational tool to support management of the investment through its full economic life cycle." (ISACA)
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