The Day Zoo Animals Posed for Me

01/30/05 | by Clarise | Categories: In real life

Through the Oracle Alumni Network, I managed to get in touch with my friend, Sue, after almost 7 years. It was a beautiful, sunny day in San Francisco so we had brunch at the Beach Chalet. We decided to walk off what we ate :P and walked from the Beach Chalet to the Cliff House and back along the beach.

It was still early so we went to the San Francisco Zoo. Normally, when I take pictures of the animals in the zoo, they seem to walk away and all I get is their behind. Well, this time it was different. The animals did pose for me.

Mr. Polar Bear actually walked in front of us

and sat there.

Mr. Lion posed for me

and then put his head down so I can take a picture of Mrs. Lion.

Either it was my lucky day because the animals were in a photo session mood or I fooled them by taking pictures with my phone. :))

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Budding Fashion Designer

01/28/05 | by Clarise | Categories: In real life

I received via snail mail today a letter from Sophia, my 12-year 13-year old niece in Australia. With it she sent me her fashion designs. They are amazingly good. Her work made me so proud of her that I thought I'd post her work on my blog. She asked me to give her feedback so she can improve them. Feel free to give her feedback on my blog but please be nice ... I am very protective :))


Terms for Measuring Benefits for Projects

01/22/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Have you been in a situtation where you need to justify or quantify benefits for your projects? Here are some terms to help you:

Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR): As the term suggests, it is the ratio of benefits to Cost.
BCR = Benefits/Cost
Example: The projected benefit of an IT project is $1 Million and the cost is $500,000. The BCR= 2.

Opportunity Cost: MSN Money defines Opportunity Cost as "The cost of passing up one investment in favor of another." This concept can be used in measuring benefits for projects by asking "What is the cost of missing out on other opportunities because money was invested in this project?" To be able to show that the Opportunity Cost is small is good because no one wants to miss out on a big opportunity. :P

Return on Investment (ROI): This is a very common term. It is the percentage the shows what return is made for a particular investment. The formula is:
ROI = (benefits - cost) / benefits
Example: An IT project costs $200,000 and the computed benefits of doing this project is $230,000. The computed ROI is 15%

Net Present Value (NPV): Investopedia defines NPV "An approach used in capital budgeting where the present value of cash inflow is subtracted from the present value of cash outflows." This is based on the concept of Present Value (PV). PV according to the definition of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics is the value today of an amount of money in the future. The simplified formula is:
NPV = PV-cost
Example: The IT project has a PV of $500,000 with a cost of $300,000. Then the NPV is $200,000.
To put it in the context of project justification, the bigger the NPV, the better for the project.

Internal Rate of Return (IRR): defines IRR as "The rate of return that would make the present value of future cash flows plus the final market value of an investment or business opportunity equal the current market price of the investment or opportunity." You can refer to Investment FAQ on how to compute for IRR. &#59;D For project justification, the basic concept is, the bigger the IRR, the better.


Risk Management in Projects

01/20/05 | by Clarise | Categories: Project Management

Many projects get off track or even fail. Many of us have heard the familiar story that Company X spent millions of dollars on an IT project that was never implemented. One project management task that I’ve seen often neglected is Risk Management. Hence, I thought I’d blog about it &#59;D

While managing projects, it is important to be able to prepare for the effects of any uncertain event affecting the project for good or for bad.

To manage risks in projects, it is important to do (1) Risk Management Planning and (2) Risk Management and Control.

1. Risk Management Planning involves:

a. identification of risks that will affect the project. During this identification process, it is important to note what the risks are and the possible triggers.

b. analysis of risks - After identification is done, analyzing the effects of the risks qualitatively and quantitatively provides a good information on the business impact of the risk event.

There are different techniques one can use. One is creating and utilizing a Project - Risk questionnaire with a scoring system. With a scoring system, one can score the risk effect. Hence, one can identifiy what are the highest risk events and create a corresponding strategy. The diagram below is an excerpt of a sample questionnaire.

Other techniques include Business Impact Evaluation, Decision Tree Analysis and if one wants to be even more sophisticated, maybe a Monte Carlo Simulation Analysis. :P

c. creation of Risk response - Of course, after all the analysis, a strategy on how to respond to the risk is the next logical step. This helps to avoid or mitigate the effects.

2. Risk Management and Control: After Planning always comes implementation. Risk management and control involve looking at the risks that have been identified and executing the plan. This process involves careful monitoring to ensure that the plan is implemented and improved if necessary. Workarounds and corrective action may have to be done as well as ensuring that if changes need to be made, that the triggering event does not cause an adverse ripple effect on the project.

I don't want this to be too long a blog. One thought I'd like to leave is: One must remember that the project manager needs to work with its project team, project sponsors and users to implement effective risk management in projects. After all, a project is always a team effort.


One Lesson of Death

01/08/05 | by Clarise | Categories: In real life

Today, news of 2 deaths reached me. One was my cousin who was a few years older than myself and the other is the father of a friend. During days like this I reflect on this basic fact of life: Everything has an end. Fire does not burn indefinitely. The flower blooms then withers. No matter how hard the situation is, death teaches us that “this too shall pass”.


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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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