Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 Top 50 Most Overused Words in Press Releases by SHIFT Communications

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For more information, please refer to SHIFT Communications.


Review of the new iOS Google Map

Did a 3-days test on the new iOS Google Maps. My verdict in short – beats the old iOS Google Map, new Apple Map & online Google map.
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Here’s what I like about it:

  • Auto re-routing: don’t have to worry if I did a wrong turn
  • Voice guided turn-by-turn: concentrate on the road, not the screen
  • Accurate & decent routes
  • Here’s what I thought could have been better:

  • The weird pronunciation of Malay street names – had a good laugh, but also hard time in mapping into the correct names
  • Didn’t warn me about tolls – my 1st trip had 3 ERPs! Luckily, they were not operational during the time
  • Used up quite a fair bit of battery life over a short time
  • So where did I go? My destinations include: Punggol, Sengkang, Buangkok, Zion Road, Jurong, Turf Club Road, Fairways Drive, & Raffles Boulevard. Quite a good mix, I would say.

    Overall, it’s a good companion for the driver.


    Merry Christmas!

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    Use PRINCE2 to Improve the Success of your Enterprise Architecture Project

    Can PRINCE2 and Enterprise Architecture (EA) work together? I would think so. In fact, I would say that they can work well with one another. There’re areas of similarities and also areas that PRINCE2 can complement an EA project.

    EA projects are after all projects and hence would benefit from using PRINCE2 in managing.

    Like any other projects, EA projects are also susceptible to scope creep and for customers new to EA, they typically do not know what to expect out of the project. Or sometimes it is just a matter of differences in expectations.

    I believe the following would help add clarity and improve the success rate of EA projects.

    1. Product Based Planning
    2. Project Product Descriptor and Product Descriptor
    3. Managing by Stage

    Just by adopting these, quite a fair bit of the common issues encountered in lesser successful projects could be mitigated, if not resolved.

    Before the start of the project, it is important to plan and breakdown your products/deliverables. What do you need to produce/develop in order to successfully completed the project. This will set the scope clearly. Anything not within the product breakdown potentially are out of scope.

    The Project Product Descriptor and Product Descriptor helps to give clarity to everyone involved in the project. There will be no ambiguity in what qualifies the product as fit for purpose. Customers/users will know what to expect and whether is it what they want/need. No longer do customers and enterprise architects need to argue over what is acceptable or not since the acceptance criteria are mutually discussed and agreed upon.

    Lastly, by managing the project in stages, it gives us flexibility and control. Is it practical to plan for anything longer than a year? Or maybe even 9 months? By planning and executing in stages, we have logical breaks to evaluate the viability of the project, to make resource changes and to adapt to the changing environment. Resources are only required in the stages that they are involved instead of the entire project.

    And by planning the delivery of products at end of stages, we can logically suspend or end the project.

    EA projects can sometime spread over years and one typical grouse is that it takes too long to taste success. By breaking the long period into shorter and more palatable stages whereby quick wins can be demonstrated, this improves the confidence of the customers.

    There’re certainly more things that one can adopt from PRINCE2. In fact, if there are no obstacles, one can simply run EA project as PRINCE2 project.


    Two mind maps tools for creating product breakdown structure

    The product breakdown in PRINCE2 helps us scope the project. There’re various ways of defining the product breakdown: textual or graphical

    If you’re a fan of mind maps, there’re numerous tools out there: free or paid; online app, mobile app or desktop app.

    I’m using MindJet Maps on my iPad and bubbl.us which is an online tool. The later is flash based and may not work well on iPads. MindJet is good for capturing ideas on-the-go but is a paid tool. bubbl.us is free (can upgrade to paid account).

    bubbl.us allows exporting as PNG or JPG. Paid accounts can import saved versions from their desktop to the server. It’s simple to use & does what it is suppose to do. There’re some bells & whistles but I didn’t really use them. Primarily used it for getting the product breakdown drawn.

    The MindJet Maps for iPad is simple to use, learning curve is short. You can sync with Dropbox. Last time I used it was for jotting down ideas.

    There’re other many other tools out there, I’m not saying that these are the best, it’s a personal preference and it does fit my needs for now.