Effective Project Meetings

03/14/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Project meetings are important in maintaining good communication. The objectives of project meetings are to make decisions and communicate project updates on decisions previously made. Meetings with no clear objectives waste time and money.

The following are some techniques to conduct effective meetings:

  • Have clear objectives for the meeting; define the issues and processes
  • Have an agenda; publish, distribute and follow the agenda
  • Follow a format for conducting the meeting
  • Facilitate the meeting towards making decisions not only towards discussing the problem
  • Listen and foster creative, collaborative thinking and discussion
  • Keep the meeting short; one of our customers calls it part of the 3 B's: "be brilliant, be brief and be seated"
  • Invite only the necessary people
  • Assign someone to take minutes of the meeting; publish the minutes of the meeting

Bagels, muffins and coffee for morning meetings will entice the team to attend the meeting but make it productive not only for the stomachs. &#59;D

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Solitude by the Ocean

03/13/05 | by Clarise | Categories: In real life

Bogged down by a sinus headache & a head cold, I decided to walk to the beach. I sat down to bask in the beauty of my surroundings. I blog on my Palm as I watch the waves rush towards me. Once in awhile, I wonder if I have to find another rock to sit on.

It turned out to be a beautiful day. Since this beach access is normally only visited by residents in my neighborhood, it is quiet here. There are only a handful of people around me and I picked a big rock farthest from the people around me. Towards the north, a group of hand gliders (Sorry, I was not able to get a picture with my phone :oops:) pass me by.

I listen to rhythm of the waves...
calls of the seagulls...
chirping of the birds...
I find peace, solitude and quiet, away from the rat race of my life.

Sitting here, I think of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy."


Project Management Concept: Scope Planning

03/12/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Part of the Scope Management Process of any project is Scope Planning. Scope Planning documents the project scope. Documenting the project scope is important to ensure that everyone affected by the project is in the same page. Wouldn’t life be easier if the project team works together towards a known goal with known constraints and scope? If the project sponsors are clear about the scope and the associated business benefits, business “buy-in” and support are ensured.

There are two important outputs for the Scope Planning Process. These are the Scope Statement and the Scope Management Plan.

  • Scope Statement

    The Scope Statement provides a common understanding of the project among stakeholders. Some organizations create a separate Scope Statement Document while others make it a part of the Project Charter or Project Plan. The Scope statement should provide the business justification for the project, deliverables, objectives and description of the result of the project. If everyone in the project is clear about the Scope Statement, scope creeps are easier to control.

  • Scope Management Plan

    The Scope Management Plan details how the scope will be defined and managed. It also documents how changes to a scope will be handled. For example, in one of our 90-day data mart project, the scope was defined through a prioritization process of the business needs. This was clearly documented as well as the process in which any scope changes are handled. The business users were happy because they clearly understood the process of how the project was scoped. The users understood what requirements would be met for a particular 90-day increment of the project.

    Creation of a change control board and a change order process are examples of how scope changes are handled. Everyone affected by the project must understand that there is a process and even an associated cost for any scope change. The Scope Management Plan should be part of the Project Plan.


sniffles, cough, cough, sniffles...

03/08/05 | by Clarise | Categories: In real life

I have not blogged for sometime. I have been down with this nasty cold and cough so I've hacking away and blowing my nose. I have been going through boxes of tissues. With my head cold, it feels like only half of my brain functions and the rest of it is filled with all the yucky stuff. So, I could not think of anything to blog about but this "nasty" that my body soldiers have surrendered XX( the fort to .... it just won't go away.

So, what is this virus going around? It starts with a nasty sore throat and then escalates to nasal congestion then cough. My niece, Aletheia, in Australia says that she and her siblings are down with the cold, too. My sister in San Diego and my brother-in-law are just recovering from it too... Last night, since I was up hacking all night, I could hear my next-door neighbor, too, joining the chorus ... You are welcome to join the chorus of sniffles and cough but it is no fun at all. If you get a bad cold and cough, join the orchestra of sniffles, cough, cough, sniffles... Misery loves company ..... &#59;D


FAQ: ORA-600 Causes

02/21/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Databases

When I was in Oracle support (years ago), my favorite Oracle error to resolve was ORA-600. Since I was taught Oracle internals, ORA-600 errors were challenging to me. During those days in support, I enjoyed reading file dumps, trace files and debugging. Ok, I admit, I am weird. &#59;D

An ORA-600 error is not necessarily an Oracle bug. When an internal inconsistency is encountered or some unexpected condition is met, the kernel code of Oracle raises an ORA-600 error. Conditions that can cause ORA-600 other than an Oracle bug are hardware failures, problems with the operating system, not enough resources, to name a few.

The ORA-600 error has a list of arguments that are enclosed in square brackets.

An example of an ORA-600 error from Version 7 looks like:
ORA-600 [3398] [603992043], [603992043], [1], [50], [16150], [548]

The key information in identifying the problem is in the first argument. The first argument tells where in the Oracle code the error was caught. The other remaining arguments give the other related information. Hence, in our ORA-600 example, which is a Block Corruption in Memory, the remaining arguments provide supporting information related to the data block address (DBA).

A trace file is generated whenever an ORA-600 error occurs. The trace file contains important information on what led to the error condition. The trace file is generated in the USER_DUMP_DEST or BACKGROUND_DUMP_DEST. The error is also written in the alert log along with the name of the trace file.

Oracle Metalink provides more information on ORA-600. If after searching Metalink you still cannot identify the cause and possible fix for an ORA-600 error, give Oracle support a call. Make sure you are thorough on reporting your problem, including any recent changes to the system environment, e.g. upgrades, power failures, etc. It will facilitate in resolving your ORA-600.


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This blog contains thoughts that range from non-technical to technical. Its name is derived from "Yakity Blah Blah" a column I once had that discussed a cornucopia of ideas. Who am I? I'm Clarise Z. Doval Santos, providing Project Management and Technical Leadership for data management and analytic, data science, IoT and sensor analytics ecosystems 37.652951177164 -122.490877706959


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