What Technology Project Success Looks Like

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Theresa Zandi

We are consistently asked the question, “How would you define technology project success and what does it look like?” We all know that on time, on budget and on scope are the effective elements of a good project, but what if you meet all three criteria and the end result does not satisfy the need. Start at the beginning. When we look at a project, the most important element is defining the scope. According to the Project Management Institute, the basic definition of project management revolves around three parameters: time, budget, and scope. The more information we gather, the more issues and challenges are resolved. What is the end goal of the project? How will the project be utilized by the business? We strive to understand the project in its greatest detail in order to build a quality scope. Defining the budget is generally easier because most firms begin with a basic understanding of the project budget that they are willing to spend. And, on time is a critical function of project management holding all team members to deadlines and flexing where possible. Let’s look into the elements of project success deeper.

Success from a Project Management Perspective
Beyond the standard schedule, budget, and scope is quality. The quality of the project is typically assessed in a post-project review, which determines if the project was an overall success based on whether the project was completed on time, if it was within the set budget, and that it conforms with predetermined performance specifications. If each of these elements was achieved within the specifications of the client, then the project is considered a success. Keep in mind that the project itself, the project manager, the project team, and the project governance stakeholders are all taken into consideration when determining if a project is successful.

The main value in project management is to offer a direct measure of performance of the project and the management expertise that was applied to complete the project within the design parameters. Although this is true, the value has limitations. For instance, it only focuses on the means of the investment rather than if the deliverable did its job. Due to this limitation, two additional criteria are suggested when measuring success, including measures of project deliverable or the product success/business success.
technology project success
Success from a Product Perspective
The truth is, completing a project within scope does not necessarily mean it is a sufficient measure of project success. In order for it to truly be a success, the client must accept and use the project as it is and be beneficial to their business. You can do everything right, complete the project on time, within budget, and within scope, but the possibility of failing is still evident if you lack user acceptance.

Technology project success is split into two parts: 1) success of creating the project, and 2) satisfaction of the product and its effectiveness in benefitting the users. As important as it is to follow all of the steps in creating a project, product success post-project is just as important. If the product fails, then so does the project.

Success from a Process Perspective
Process success is the criteria that considers technical and managerial processes involving project management. This is considered to be a lower level criterion, but it provides a basis of critique and improvement of project processes. For example, in IT, the processes in development and deployment are reviewed post-project and it is determined if project management was a success. These post-project reviews typically consider if the correct processes were selected and applied appropriately and if they achieved the objectives of the project. This criterion gives a detailed examination of the project performance, which leads to learning and improving further processes.

Success from a Business Perspective
The measure of business success is also determined by schedule, time, cost, and quality; however, it is also measured by the degree to which objectives are met and how the company benefits financially. In other words, the objectives of the project relate to the goals of the project plan, and business objectives directly relate to the goals of the business plan. Both of these plans need to positively reflect each other in order to have a successful project. If the project doesn’t deliver the proper solutions that it was intended to carry out for the business, then the project is viewed as a failure.

Business success does take into consideration that project management practices or project deliverable could be inadequate, yet the project is still considered a success if the business objectives are met. There are many factors that determine technology project success. You could have failures throughout, but if the outcome is positive for your business, then it is considered successful.

Successful Strategies
Finally, the strategic success criteria represents the highest level of benefit achieved by a project. This is recognized by investors, peers, competitors, or even the general public, if applicable. Strategic success grants benefits that favor the company for future opportunities. This is considered the highest level of benefit, even if there are mistakes against lower level criteria. The fact is, it is the confirmation that a project delivered an outstanding end result.

There are many factors that determine what project success looks like. The truth is, success is much more than being on time, within budget, and on scope. Even with these key elements, there is still room for error. If you have any project-oriented questions, feel free to reach out. Good luck out there.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Centurion Spotlight: Sida Ju

Posted on Posted in Technology

This week’s Centurion Spotlight features Senior DevOps Engineer, Sida Ju. We had the fantastic opportunity to sit down with Sida and discuss his interests in his DevOps Engineering career, technology, his favorite projects, and why he chooses to work with Centurion Consulting Group.

devops engineering career

What got you into technology?
My interests in technology began in my childhood. I remember getting our first PC and immediately being interested in computers. As a child, I was always playing around with the computer. It started out as just playing video games like every child my age, but that eventually led to digging deeper into the system and thinking to myself, “What else can I do with this?” This was the start of my interest in technology, and that interest continued to grow into my technology career. I went on to study computer engineering in college. Once I graduated, I had to consider the fact that computer engineering goes two ways: hardware and software. I gravitated toward the software side of computer engineering, and that is the field I got my first technology job in.

I currently have a DevOps Engineering career and am a member of the infrastructure team on a federal project. I am responsible for building out all systems in AWS with a heavy emphasis on scalability.

What was your favorite project you have worked on?
My favorite project was at a startup healthcare company. This particular company provided hospitals with programs for patients to watch and become more knowledgeable about the conditions they have. The code they already had written for the program was about ten years old and was very difficult to maintain. One of the things the company wanted to do was to refactor it and deploy it as microservices, but they didn’t have the capabilities or the knowledge to complete this task. When introduced to the project, I was tasked with creating the infrastructure to support the microservice architecture and build it out. This project was very enjoyable because, at the time, I wasn’t very knowledgeable about the subject; therefore, this task required a lot of research and testing. In the end, we were able to accomplish the task successfully and roll out the new services with new technologies. Overall, this project was very exciting because it was something new that I had not experienced. It was a learning process that was delivered on time and successfully. To my current knowledge, the company is still running the program I worked on, which is also very exciting.

Another favorite project of mine is my current project. Prior to this current federal project, my career as a DevOps Engineer had not exposed me to the cloud. One of the biggest reasons for joining this project was because I wanted to learn more about the cloud and gain more experience with the technology. The learning experience is what I enjoy the most in any project. This project involved a public online form. The data goes directly into one of our subsystems that I worked on and deploys the server that runs the code allowing you to see the website you are on. I worked on and managed a great deal of the back-end features in this project. We had to make the process as efficient and automated as possible. The overall outcome of this project was successful, and I am very excited for it.
devops engineering career

Why do you choose to work with Centurion?
One of the biggest reasons I choose to work with Centurion Consulting Group is because of the current project I am working on. I had interviewed with other places for contracting positions, and I found that these companies couldn’t tell me anything about the first project I would be working on, whereas, in this position, I was informed of exactly what the project was and my contribution to it. I appreciate the knowledge that Centurion brings to its consultants. Centurion really helped me in that respect.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com

Technology Resume Improvement

Posted on Posted in Technology

By Theresa Zandi

As a technology consulting firm, we are constantly being asked what the ideal technology resume should look like. There are many factors that go into a technology resume to make it stand out to employers. In this article, you will receive the necessary advice to greatly improve your resume so that you get interviews for your dream job.

What’s wrong with resumes?
There are many factors that make a resume good or bad. If you have a bad resume, it greatly affects your chances of getting a job. The truth is, even the smallest errors that are made in resumes are considered to be huge. These “little mistakes” include incorrect spelling, grammatical errors, and use of pronouns. These mistakes are considered small, but they are inexcusable and should not occur in your technology resume. Other larger mistakes include centering your resume on what your team has accomplished or your overall project rather than what you as an individual achieved, being overly verbose, lacking a qualification summary, and the list goes on.

When it comes to your resume, you want to home in on what’s really important and keep it concise. Your technology resume should not exceed four pages (five pages is the absolute max). Your ideal target should be around three or four pages. It also needs to be in reverse chronological order, having your most recent or current position at the top. Everything, except for the current position, needs to be written in past tense rather than present tense. This is a common mistake that throws off the entire resume. When listing your experience, you should also take out any position that was completed over 15 (or, at most, 20) years ago.

Another section that needs careful consideration is Education. If you went to a very prestigious school or have an advanced degree, it’s acceptable to put your education in the qualification summary. Otherwise, this section should be placed at the end of your technology resume. Most people in the technology industry have college degrees, so unless you have a very advanced degree, it should be placed at the end. If education is an important quality in the position you are applying for, then it is necessary to make it a bullet in your qualifications section. There are many factors that affect the placement of this, and it really depends on the role you are applying for.

The ideal resume
As a technology consulting firm, we have seen our fair share of resumes. The ideal resume begins with your name and contact information at the top. This may seem self-explanatory, but it’s very important and should not be overlooked. You’d be surprised how many resumes we’ve received where the contact information was incorrect or non-existent. You should include the city and state you live in, your cell phone number, and your email address.

Following your contact information, I want to see a four to five bullet qualification summary. It should state exactly who you are in a limited amount of space. I’m not talking about five-line bullets. Each point should be condensed to two to three lines stating who you are and what you do. This section is very important because it sums up your experience and really sells you as a technology candidate.

As mentioned earlier, education should follow this section depending on it’s importance and relevance to the role you are applying for. To save space, your education can be placed as a bullet in your qualification summary. Following this, IT consultants should have a technical skills category. This section should summarize what you have done and what technologies you are an expert in. However, this category should not exceed a half page.

Next on the ideal technology resume is your professional experience. This section should begin at the bottom of the first page. I don’t want to see experience starting on the second page. When your write your professional experience, it must be concise and action-oriented. Start each bullet with an action word such as led, participated, coordinated, developed, etc. It’s also highly recommended to use bullets because it is much easier to read than paragraphs. Utilize these bullets to explain exactly what you did, not what the team did, what the project was, or what the company does. This is strictly about you and your personal accomplishments. You are going to be evaluated on your experience, not anyone else’s.

One of the most important things you need to remember when writing your technology resume is that it needs to coincide with the role you are selling yourself for. If you have a slew of bullets that are not relevant to the Java Developer position you are applying for, they should be removed. There is no use in selling yourself for something you don’t want, not to mention it takes up space in your resume. This also applies to the qualification section, as it should reflect the job you are applying for. For example, if you have been in IT for 15 years, but the last seven of those years were concentrated in Java and Angular 4, you should lead with that as your first bullet. You want to clarify what you specialize in but also touch on your overall experience.

Tips and tricks
One of my biggest recommendations for improving your technology resume is to have someone review your resume before you apply to jobs. It’s always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look over your resume and make sure it says exactly what you want it to say as well as making sure it pops to the reader. Your resume should remain concise and be very clear on what you are looking for. Your resume is your ticket to selling yourself to employers. Each section in your resume should target the role you want.
technology resume
It’s important to keep in mind that employers disregard resumes if they lack quality. If you submit a ten-page resume that is filled with errors, it shows that you didn’t take the time to review it and cut it down. If you didn’t take the time to do that, why should an employer? Your technology resume needs to speak for you – it is what gets you an interview (aka the opportunity to speak for yourself verbally), so make sure it’s perfect before submitting. If you have any questions regarding your resume, feel free to reach out. Good luck out there.

About Centurion Consulting Group
Centurion Consulting Group, LLC, a Woman-Owned Small Business headquartered in Herndon, VA conveniently located near Washington D.C., is a national IT Services consulting firm servicing the public and private sector by delivering relevant solutions for our client’s complex business and technology challenges. Our leadership team has over 40 years of combined experience, to include almost 10 years of direct business partnership, to the IT staffing, federal contracting, and professional services industries. Centurion’s leaders have the demonstrated experience over the past three decades in partnering with over 10,000 consultants and hundreds of clients –from Fortune 100 to Inc. 5000 firms –in multiple industries to include banking, education, federal, financial, healthcare, hospitality, insurance, non-profit, state and local, technology, and telecommunications. www.centurioncg.com