Vol. 54, #8 - November 4, 2013 - Issue #954
Auditing for project success
- Editor's Corner
- Auditing for project success
- Tip of the Week
- Recommended for Learning
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Webcast Calendar
- MSExchange.org Webinar: Resolving your PST Nightmares Once and for All
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Windows Server
- SharePoint, Exchange, and Office
- Other stuff
- Windows Server News
- A CIO's checklist for moving to the cloud
- When virtualizing applications is a good idea -- and when it's not
- Rethinking high-availability architecture: Scale out to save money
- Designing a more efficient data center
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- This Week's Links We Like. Fun Stuff.
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Top 5 Tools that IT Pros Love
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
This week's newsletter is all about how to perform a project health check (PHC) so you can ensure that your big IT project will succeed and meet its goals. To learn more about this topic we have a guest editorial by Rob Behrouzian. Of course, even if your project fails there's always one person you can always count on as this Dilbert comic demonstrates:
And now on to our guest editorial by Rob Behrouzian...
Auditing for project success
The Project Health Check (PHC) can be used as a valuable tool for providing feedback and insight into the use and effectiveness of project delivery, quality, planning, and activities throughout an organization. PHC is a snapshot of the status of a project at a point in time against stated objectives, budget, and timeline. PHC can also be used as the baseline for the successful projects and subsequent continuous improvements during the lifetime of a project. The IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors) defines the top 10 factors for project success that should be used for a PHC as follows:
- User Involvement
- Executive Support
- Clear Business Objectives
- Agile Optimization
- Emotional Maturity (avoiding ambition, arrogance, ignorance, abstinence, and fraudulence)
- Project Management Expertise
- Financial Management
- Skilled Resources
- Formal Methodology
- Tools and Infrastructure
What criteria should you use for conducting a PHC?
The PMI (Project Management Institute) PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), ISO 21500:2012 Guidance on project management, PRINCE2 (PRojects In Controlled Environments, version 2; UK) or ISACA COBIT can be used to provide assurance that project management processes and controls are aligned with leading project management practices. For example, the following PMI criteria might be assessed during a PHC:
- Governance Structure
- Scope Management
- Time Management / Project Plan
- Cost Management / Financial / Budget
- Quality Management
- Resource Management
- Communication Management
- Escalation Management
- Risk Management
Why conduct a PHC?
Conducting a PHC can help ensure:
- Adequate project framework, methodology and standard is being used
- Leading project management processes and controls are being followed
- Assessing project requirements
- Checking the likelihood of achieving stated benefits, and outcomes
- Assessing project delivery within defined budget
- Assessing project timeliness
- Assessing project risks
- Identifying any significant challenges and taking appropriate remedial actions
- Obtaining feedback from stakeholders
- Providing corrective actions and recommendations
Performing a PHC also can help detect fraud in organizations. For example, in a recent PHC project a trusted Executive Assistant (EA) was caught performing fraudulent activities. It was noted that the EA had excessive access in a newly implemented ERP solution. She also had discovered her executive's password by looking over his shoulder. As a result the EA was able to perpetrate a multi-faceted fraud totaling more than $250,000.
Who should you engage for conducting a PHC?
- Depending on the nature and complexity of the project, the PHC could be conducted by:
- Project Assurance Professionals
- External Auditors
- Internal Auditors
- Quality Assurance Professionals
- Governance Professionals
- Risk Management Professionals
- Independent consultants
When should you conduct a PHC?
A PHC can be conducted at any stage of a project. It's recommended that you conduct a PHC as the project is in flight.
What are the expected deliverable?
A PHC report should provide an overall assessment of the project's health, highlighting positive findings and opportunity for improvements or recommendations.
About Rob Behrouzian
Rob is the IT Assurance / Advisory Manger at the lower mainland health authorities (Fraser Health Authority, Providence Healthcare, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and Provincial Health Service Authority) in Vancouver, BC. Rob has over 15 years of experience in IT operation and compliance arena.
Send us feedback
Have you performed PHCs to ensure the health of any of your organization's IT projects? Share your thoughts and experiences on this subject with us at [email protected]
Tip of the Week
DAS or SAN for Hyper-V?
Deciding whether to use SAN or DAS as your host storage solution depends on a number of different factors. For example, some of the advantages of the SAN approach include
- SAN allows multiple servers access to a pool of storage. This means SAN provides flexibility by allowing any server to access any storage unit in the SAN array.
- Because SAN is a centralized storage solution, it is easier to manage than DAS. This might be an important consideration if you will be deploying many Hyper-V hosts.
- SAN has a more scalable architecture than the DAS approach.
The disadvantages of the SAN approach, however, include the following:
- SANs are usually more costly than DAS solutions, and depending on your business priorities this factor might weigh heavily in your decision.
- DAS solutions typically have lower latency than SANs. So if application I/O or service latency is a priority, DAS might be the route to take.
NOTE: Network-attached storage (NAS) is not supported for Hyper-V hosts.
The above tip was excerpted from my book Training Guide: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 (Microsoft Press, 2012):
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
Want to test-drive Microsoft software without having to commit hardware from your lab? Explore the TechNet Virtual Labs at:
Quote of the Week
"When anger rises, think of the consequences." - Confucius
Note to subscribers: If for some reason you don’t receive your weekly issue of this newsletter, please notify us at [email protected] and we’ll try to troubleshoot things from our end.
Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
Top 5 Tools that IT Pros Love. Get them all now.
Hyper-V user? Need backup? Download Altaro Hyper-V Backup – It’s free for 2 VMs for WServerNews subscribers (and it supports Windows Server 2012 R2)
Download this ebook to quickly learn about the new and enhanced features of Windows Server 2012 R2 preview.
PolicyLock extends the power of Group Policy by enabling administrators the ability to deliver and lock down settings that Group Policy cannot:
Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer tests Exchange, Outlook and Lync connectivity:
Project Conference, 2014 on February 2-5 in Anaheim, California
Lync Conference 2014 on February 18-20, 2014 at The Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada
SharePoint Conference 2014 on March 3-6, 2014 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada
Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) coming in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
European SharePoint Conference on May 5-8, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
Add your event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
MSExchange.org Webinar: Resolving Your PST Nightmares Once and for All
Join Microsoft MVP, J. Peter Bruzzese, and Sherpa Solutions Architect, Rick Wilson, on Thursday, November 14th, at 1pm EST to explore the regulatory and operational challenges associated with managing PST files and gain insights into getting control of your organization's data once and for all.
During this live, informative webinar you'll learn:
- What common PST challenges do organizations face today?
- What are the key considerations with eliminating PST files?
- When upgrading to Exchange 2013 & Office 365, what are the benefits of reducing PST dependency?
- How can you gain control of PST files located on end-user storage?
You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your top PST & Exchange Management questions during a live Q&A.
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
This section is organized topically by platform/product and provides you with links to tips, tools, information and other resources that can help you in your job role whether you're an IT professional or an IT decision-maker.
Windows Server 2012 R2: Which version of the SMB protocol (SMB 1.0, SMB 2.0, SMB 2.1, SMB 3.0 or SMB 3.02) are you using? (Jose Barreto's Blog)
Default Domain Group Policy – What Should Be Configured? (Cliff Davies)
SharePoint, Exchange and Office
#PSTip How to find which mailboxes are over quota limits (PowerShell Magazine)
Enable Specific Office 365 Licenses using PowerShell (Lync Dialog)
White Paper: Top 10 Reasons Why Enterprises Choose Office 365 (Why Microsoft)
ODX Speed Up VHDX Creation Times On Windows Server 2012 (R2) (Working Hard in IT)
Using WS2012 R2 Hyper-V Storage QoS (Aidan Finn, IT Pro)
Hyper-V Waiting to Merge (The Lonely Administrator)
True or False: Always use Provisioning Services (The Citrix Blog)
XenDesktop 7 Site Creation via PowerShell (The Citrix Blog)
Application Migration to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 in 189 Days (The Citrix Blog)
Upgrade Certification Authority to SHA256 (Windows PKI Blog)
Securing More Vulnerabilities By Patching Less (Dark Reading)
Behind the Firewall: Rogue Wi-Fi (Security 101)
Future Proofing Storage Acquisitions Without A Crystal Ball Working Hard in IT)
Your guide to storage (Part 2) (WindowsNetworking.com)
Scaling lessons learned–from 0 to 15 million users (Los Techies)
We'd like to thank the following individuals for contributing items for this section from time to time:
- Florian Klaffenbach, a Solution Expert in Microsoft & Cloud Computing working at Dell TechCenter Germany. Be sure to check out Flo's Datacenter Report:
- Yuri Diogenes, Senior Technical Writer in the Server and Cloud Division at Microsoft. You can find Yuri's blog on TechNet:
- Heather Witz of the Microsoft Customer, Architecture & Technologies (CAT) team for Windows Server & System Center. Check out their team blog Building Clouds on TechNet:
A CIO's checklist for moving to the cloud
As with any major IT project, transitions are never easy. A move to the cloud will be no different. Hear from industry professionals as they offer tips and tricks for smoothing the migration process.
When virtualizing applications is a good idea -- and when it's not
Nowadays, all aspects of IT have a virtualization option, but it's not always the best choice. Learning when to virtualize has become an art. In this IT tip, we'll analyze the pros and cons of application virtualization to help you determine when it's right for your environment.
Rethinking high-availability architecture: Scale out to save money
Today's virtualization platforms provide high-availability architecture for VMs, but do you really need this if applications have their own built-in availability? Hear what our experts are saying about the newer availability options for enterprise applications based on concepts taken from the cloud.
Designing a more efficient data center
As IT evolves, it's not just roles and workloads that are changing – but data center designs as well. A more energy-efficiency data center will help reduce costs, without sacrificing performance and reliability. In this IT handbook, our independent editors discuss practical approaches to reducing energy costs and consumption.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Lala, the 10 year old King Penguin is so smart - he walks to the fish store with his little backpack to shop for fresh fish every day.
The 'Snow Vehicle' made by Armstead Snow Motors in 1924 is able to drive in the deepest snowdrifts with ease.
Aidyn Israfilov and Gosha the monkey perform their amazing juggling act for the French television show 'The Worlds' Greatest Cabaret.'
Can you figure out how he does it? It is based on a phenomenon known in mathematics as the 'missing square puzzle.'
The Volkswagen Hover Concept Car is a pod-like zero-emissions vehicle that uses electromagnetic road networks to float above the road.
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press and has published hundreds of articles for IT pros. Mitch is also a seven-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see www.mtit.com