Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Teruntuk Istriku

wahai istriku, Selvy Eliyana, tidaklah kiranya kita iri dengan pernikahan yang megah dan mewah laksana pernikahan putri sultan..

kesederhanaan dan semangat bersatulah yang membuat kita kuat sampai saat ini..

terkenang bahwa dulu kami keluarga kecil melamar pada keluargamu..
(keluarga kecil?? iyah karena saya berstatus anak tunggal dari ibuku)
terasa pahitnya kita saat mencari tempat untuk akad nikah..
sukarnya mencarikan orang yang mau menjadi walimu saat akad nikah..

sederhananya dirimu dan keluargamu yang tidak mengharapkan resepsi pernikahan di gedung yang mewah..
renungkanlah bahwa saat itu saya hanyalah seorang karyawan baru di perusahaan swasta..yang tentunya tak mampu menyewa gedung untuk pernikahan..berkat doa, tawakal dan kejujuran yang kita bina kita akhirnya keluarga dekat kita bersedia memberikan tempatnya untuk acara pernikahan kita..

teringatkah kau bahwa saya tidak mampu menghubungi percetakan untuk mencetak undangan pernikahan..kalau kau ingat, surat undangan yang kita bagikan adalah buah tangan kita berdua...

terkenangkah kau bahwa kita tidak memberikan souvenir pernikahan kepada tamu..karena memang kita tidak sempat mencari dan membeli souvenir pernikahan..maklumlah saat itu saya masih disibukkan oleh urusan pekerjaan..

jangan kau bandingkan dengan orang lain yang punya kakak/adik yang membantu dalam mempersiapkan pernikahan..

kita berharap hal itu menjadikan kita kuat untuk terus

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5 Tips for Job Interviews

To get your dream job, you need to interview really well. But interviewing is not something that most people are naturally good at. So to help you with it, read these...

Start by doing some prep!

Most people fail to prepare for their job interview. As well as researching the company, you need to find out who is interviewing you and then learn about them personally (from their LinkedIn or other profiles on the web). Then you will be able to relate to them in the interview, mentioning things you have in common to try and build an affinity with them. After all-people love people who have similar interests!

Next, research the most common interview questions and rehearse your answers to them. Chances are you'll be asked questions like "so tell us about yourself" and "what are your strengths and weaknesses" so you need to have your answers to these questions well rehearsed if you're going to win them over!

The kick-off

On the day, arrive 15 minutes early and sit in the reception area. Focus on nothing but your breathing. Relax your entire body and ignore what's going on around you.

When you're called into the room, start with a strong hand shake. Look them in the eye and have your body language front facing. Stand tall and look confident. Be very careful what you say in the first 2 minutes as they are crucial. You'll be judged on your first impression so if you blab on about the traffic, then they could come to the wrong conclusion prematurely. So start out cautiously but positively, complimenting them on their premise and your experience so far.

Let them drive

Don't jump straight into conversation. Instead, let them organize themselves and get settled in first. Then let them drive the meeting. If there is a pause or a break in conversation, don't fill it. They are simply thinking about the answer to the last question or how to kick off the next question. They need this “thinking time” if they are to come to the right conclusion.

Answering questions

When you're asked a question, always stop for 2-3 seconds before answering. This gives you time to gather your thoughts so you can answer well. Keep your answers short and to the point. Quote examples and reference people who can back you up. Give authority to your answers by quoting what you've done in the past and what you’ve learned along the way. They need to know that not only can you "do the job" but that "you've been there and done it before".

The big finale

You need a confident finish at the end of the interview. So tell them how impressed you are with the company and how excited you are about the role. Briefly summarize how you can add value to the role and why you're the best candidate. Tell them you're really excited about it all and that you already have ideas for how you’ll achieve the targets set.

Friday, July 22, 2011

5 Steps to Managing Multiple Projects

Step 1: Define Your Projects

Right from the start, you need to have a "crystal clear" understanding of the scope of each project, the deliverables to be produced and the timeframes to be met.

By getting your boss to agree exactly what it is that you have to produce, you'll have the goalposts neatly defined, ready for touchdown!

Step 2: Create a Master Plan

Now you know what you have to produce, the next step is to tell the world how you're going to it - and that's by creating a "Master Plan".

A Master Plan lists all of the phases, activities and tasks for each project. It show any dependencies between projects and it summarizes all of the milestones you're going to meet along the way.

When you're ready, create a "baseline" of your plan. This is a version of your plan which is saved today. Then in the future, you can compare your progress against your baseline, to see where you're slipping and where you're ahead.

Step 3: Manage Resource Workloads

When you're assigning resources to tasks on multiple projects, it's easy to over-assign them. So poor old “Bob” ends up with 16 hours of work scheduled for Monday and 2 hours on Tuesday!

To avoid this, you need to keep an eye on your resource allocations, so you can see for every day in the week the total number of hours that each person is working. You need to keep track of this daily! Your team can only work effectively if they are assigned work evenly.

Step 4: Gain visibility of your projects

You need visibility of what's happening in your projects at all times. Is every task on time, is every resource balanced and is every milestone on track? Are materials and equipment available when needed and are any risks, issues or changes getting in the way?

You need to know the answers to these questions on a daily basis, because if something slips then you need to be informed right away so you have the opportunity to correct it.

Step 5: Communicate

When managing multiple projects, communication is key. Everyone needs to know exactly what must be done and by when. If something slips, then others need to know about it. If something is delivered early, then other tasks need to come forward. Almost everything is linked to everything and you're the glue in the middle, holding it all together.

So you need to communicate. It's your number one job. Work out upfront how you're going to communicate clearly with your team and stick to the plan.

There you have it. The 5 steps to managing multiple projects. Of course, you'd have to be a super-hero to do it all using post-it notes, paper and scissors.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Managing a Program of Work

The projects in a program will have been grouped together for a reason, which is typically that they contribute to the same objectives in the business strategy.

Also, programs may include operational work within their scope, which makes them different by their very nature.

So you've been asked to run a program to build a new retail complex which involves 3 construction projects and some general marketing activities. How do you do it? Here are some tips:

Review the Strategy

When kicking off your program of work, the first step is to review your company strategy and agree on the objectives that your program is responsible for delivering. This is important, as the objectives are what you use to peg your projects to. If you end up creating new projects that don't contribute your specified objectives, then they should be excluded from your program of work!

Get support

To gain the support, funds and "mind share" of your executive team, complete a Business Case. This will help you to identify the benefits and costs of running the program, the risks you foresee and what it is that you need to make it a success. It will also help you get the funding you require, as your Business Case will justify the funding needed, by stating the benefits to be realized.

Start carefully

Now that you have the funding and support from management, you're ready to kickoff. Before launching into scoping your projects—instead define your overall program of work in depth first. Create a Program Charter setting out your vision, objectives, roadmap and deliverables. Then set up a Program Office and appoint the key members of your administration team.

Selection is critical

You're now ready to define your projects and other related work. Scope out each project carefully and make sure that the benefits delivered from all of your projects combined, deliver the goals stated in your Business Case. Selecting the right projects to deliver the right benefits is critical. Make sure you categorize, evaluate, select and prioritize your projects carefully.

It's all down to execution

Now kick off your projects in a logical order. Spread your program resources (people, time and money) evenly so you don't have resource constraints. Go for quick wins first. Schedule larger projects next, once you have momentum. Never schedule critical projects to take place at the end. To retain the buy-in of your Sponsor, make sure your projects deliver value early.

Control chaos

After your projects kick off, changes in the business often cause a level of chaos. Your projects change in scope, their budgets get constrained and resource shortages start occurring. How you react to these changes will determine your level of success as a Program Manager.

When this happens, step back and re-assess your program. Outside influences are often the cause and these are things that you alone can fix. Only in exceptional circumstances should you dive into the depths of the program itself and work alongside project managers and teams at the micro level. A good Program Manager will instead step back and make macro level changes to influence the success of the program.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The 5 Goals of a Project Manager

These goals are generic to all industries and all types of projects. Regardless of your level of experience in project management, set these 5 goals for every project you manage.

Goal 1: To finish on time

This is the oldest but trickiest goal in the book. It's the most difficult because the requirements often change during the project and the schedule was probably optimistic in the first place.

To succeed, you need to manage your scope very carefully. Implement a change control process so that any changes to the scope are properly managed.

Always keep your plan up to date, recording actual vs. planned progress. Identify any deviations from plan and fix them quickly.

Goal 2: To finish under budget

To make sure that your project costs don't spiral, you need to set a project budget at the start to compare against. Include in this budget, all of the types of project costs that will accrue, whether they are to do with people, equipment, suppliers or materials. Then work out how much each task in your plan is going to cost to complete and track any deviations from this plan.

Make sure that if you over-spend on some tasks, that you under-spend on others. In this way, you can control your spend and deliver under budget.

Goal 3: To meet the requirements

The goal here is to meet the requirements that were set for the project at the start. Whether the requirements were to install a new IT system, build a bridge or implement new processes, your project needs to produce solutions which meet these requirements 100%.

The trick here is to make sure that you have a detailed enough set of requirements at the beginning. If they are ambiguous in any way, then what was initially seen as a small piece of work could become huge, taking up valuable time and resources to complete.

Goal 4: To keep customers happy

You could finish your project on time, under budget and have met 100% of the requirements—but still have unhappy customers. This is usually because their expectations have changed since the project started and have not been properly managed.

To ensure that your project sponsor, customer and other stakeholders are happy at the end of your project, you need to manage their expectations carefully. Make sure you always keep them properly informed of progress. "Keep it real" by giving them a crystal clear view of progress to date. Let them voice their concerns or ideas regularly. Tell them upfront when you can't deliver on time, or when a change needs to be made. Openness and honesty are always the best tools for setting customer expectations.

Goal 5: To ensure a happy team

If you can do all of this with a happy team, then you'll be more than willing to do it all again for the next project. And that's how your staff will feel also. Staff satisfaction is critical to your project's success.

So keep your team happy by rewarding and recognizing them for their successes. Assign them work that complements their strengths and conduct team building exercises to boost morale. With a happy motivated team, you can achieve anything!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

How to Manage Your Project Finances

Every project needs to deliver "under budget". But when you have to oversee people, contractors, equipment and materials on a daily basis, how can you track the cost of all of this easily?

Step 1: Set the Budget

The first step towards managing your project finances is to set a budget. This isn't as easy as it sounds. You need to forecast the total amount of people, equipment, materials and other expenses, needed to deliver the project. You then need to work out when in the project plan, these expenses will take place. By doing this, you can get a picture of your "project cashflow" which tells you the amount of money you need for every week in the project.

Step 2: Backup Funding

Before you need it, find backup funding in the business. This is additional funding that can be used to deliver your project, if you need it. Few Project Managers actually do this in advance, but if you have almost completed a major deliverable and you suddenly run out of money, then that backup funding might "make or break" the project. You are always in a better position to get backup funding before you need it, rather than asking for more cash when you've already overspent. Get backup funding as early in the Project Life Cycle as possible. It will be sure to reduce your stress.

Step 3: Weekly Tracking

The next step after setting your budget and securing backup funding is to start tracking your daily spend on the project. You need to track every expense that occurs. Ask your team to complete expense forms and submit them to you for approval. If you can get your team to wait until you have approved an expense before it is incurred, then you can more easily control expenditure on the project. Next, you need to track your people expenses. The total cost of the hours undertaken by those people is automatically shown on the Project Dashboard, so you can see whether your people cost is under or over budget.

Step 4: Realignment

When you start spending more than your budget, you have 3 options available to help you stay within budget:

  1. Re-forecast your expenses and present a new budget to your Sponsor for approval.
  2. Start reducing costs immediately. This means spending less to get the same job done. Or alternatively, see if your Sponsor will agree to a reduced scope, so that you have less to produce for them.
  3. Start using your backup funding to get you through the crux of the project.

Step 5: Cashflow Management

Make sure you always have enough funds available to cover your spending over the months ahead. Cashflow management is about managing the cash needed to deliver your project. So make sure your Sponsor has approved the next 1-2 months of work ahead of time, and that the funds needed to manage the project have been made available. Then track the spending of that funding every week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Deliver your Projects Faster

Here are 5 tips for delivering projects faster...

Tip 1: Find Shortcuts in your Plan
Project Managers usually spend 80% of their time executing and 20% planning. The reason is that the Execution phase is where the excitement is, so they roll their sleeves up and get started executing as quickly as possible.

But if you spend extra time in the Planning phase, then you can usually identify shortcuts which enable you to produce the same project outcome in less time.

So when you think your project plan is complete, take extra time to re-look at your plan from the point of view of delivering it faster. By doing this, you'll find that you can schedule things to be done in a way that takes less time, with less effort.

Tip 2: Automate Manual Tasks
You need to automate your manual daily tasks to help you do things faster.

  • Summarizing data for your Weekly Status Reports
  • Collating Timesheets and Expense Forms
  • Updating your Project Plan with timesheet data
  • Working out whether the project is on track
  • Reporting on risks, changes and issues.

You don't need to perform these tasks manually.

Tips 3: Manage Execution Carefully
When your project gets underway, manage your project against the plan vigilantly. It’s easy for the plan to sit on the shelf, and for the team to go in their own direction. Instead, you need to lead the team by making sure they complete only those tasks which have been planned, and not other tasks which have cropped up along the way. So manage the project execution carefully. You can also save time in the Execution phase by:

  • Working your suppliers and contractors hard
  • Mitigating risks and issues before they affect the timeframe
  • Saving all non-critical tasks until after the project is complete
  • Not allowing unplanned tasks to be completed, unless critical
  • Not implementing change requests, unless they are critical.

Tip 4: Double up on Resources
Usually, the easiest way to shorten the length of the project is to assign more resources to it. However, this isn’t possible for many projects because they have a limited budget and a limited pool of resource.

But that's not to say that you can't double up on resources for the right tasks. It just means that if you do this, then other tasks will be under-resourced. So why would you do this?

In most projects there are tasks on the “critical path” that must be completed to deliver the project. If you assign more resources to these tasks than are necessary, you can usually complete them earlier than expected. And it makes sense that if every critical path task is completed faster, then the entire project will be delivered quicker than expected.

Tips 5: Get the Critical Tasks done first
In many projects the last 20% of tasks, take 50% of the length of the project. This is because the team have left the difficult tasks until the end, which happens to be when they are tired and need a holiday!

Instead, identify the tasks in your plan which are the most complex and challenging to complete. And if possible, tackle those tasks at the start of the project, when people are fresh and enthusiastic. You’ll find that they can complete those tasks in less time and to a higher standard of quality than if they were left until the end of the project. And with those difficult tasks completed, the rest of the project should be easier to deliver.