Quanta Blogs

Windows 10 and Azure AD: A first Look

I found you can sign up for a free 1 month trial of Windows Azure this week and was impressed with its ease of use. You have to enter a credit / debit card and be careful not to let your trial over run. The phone support was very good - I got a call back within 1 hour after I raised an issue and the support staff assured me (azured me?) that when the trial period ends Microsoft  will not charge me unless I explicitly opt in to a paid scheme.  If I don't opt in they said they will keep my set up / data for a period afterwards in case I want to change my mind.

Resettlement Award Winners!

We are extremely proud to announce that Quanta has won The Award for Service Leavers Training Company of the Year at the Nationwide Resettlement Awards 2015.

We have been recognised for the high quality training and service we provide to Service Leavers who are starting their journey of leaving the armed forces and resettling back into civilian life.

Conflict is inevitable, combat is optional

Questions I am commonly asked include, ‘When are you going to finally get round to sorting out the patch of damp in the hallway?’, ‘Why do you keep buying 10% fat mince when you know I don’t like it?’ and ‘What rubbish have you bought off eBay now?’

In work, however, in my capacity as a project management trainer I am often asked why in PRINCE2, there is little focus on personnel management issues.

What is RESILIA?

The problem with IT security is in the name: traditionally it focussed too much on technology, concerning itself with controls and mechanisms, forgetting the very reason behind it: safeguarding organisational assets. The net result being disproportional protection measures: either safeguarding every asset which bore a high cost, or insufficient protection failing to save valuable assets - their value only realised once a security incident occurred.

Traditional project management vs Agile

Within traditional project management, we're all familiar with the time-cost-quality diagram. Let's consider that we want to build a stadium; the features are fixed and agreed on at the start. Let's consider for example that we'd like a stadium with 20,000 seats.  It's the time and cost which no matter how well they're estimated will be the variables; there might well be a delay in delivery of concrete which is likely to extend the duration of the project or the price of steel has suddenly gone up which will increase the project's cost.

Blog Post by Tim Finch on 24 September 2015

Top online project management tools

With technology moving at such a fast pace, the saying: 'there's an app for that' can most definitely be applied to project management. Here are a few online tools we've handpicked which should make your project management life easier:

 

For managing the whole team

 

SharePoint 2013 - changing the order of User Profile properties

We had a request come in recently to allow staff to add some custom text to their email signatures. Simple, thought the Systems Admin, we'll just put it in an Active Directory property and then bring that into the rules that create the signatures. Sorted.

But how do we get the text in there? Are we really going to have IT Support update Active Directory every time someone wants to change their text? Of course we're not! We need a way to allow the staff to update this for themselves.

Supporting business growth

Helping people and businesses achieve extraordinary things is what we stand for - and this by no means stops at training. We are passionate about helping businesses grow as in turn it keeps people in employment and strengthens the British economy.

 

What's your type of Agile?

Do you like the idea of Agile but don't know your Scrum from your Kanban or your AgilePM from your PRINCE2 Agile?

Fear not - we've put together a small set of multiple-choice questions asking you about how your team currently handles projects. Our Agile Assessment Methodology Tool will indicate what mix of Agile methodology is best-suited to you and your team. 

Agile meet-up West Midlands

On Monday 5th October, we'll be holding an early-evening meet-up for all the Agile enthusiasts in and around the Worcester area.

It's a chance to rub shoulders with fellow admirers of Agile, whether you've only just embarked on your Agile journey or you're a fully-fledged Agile convert, everyone is welcome.

Joining us will be Howie Bartrip and Tim Finch, Quanta's own Agile experts. The event give you the chance to network with others, watch a short presentation and participate in a workshop.

There's no such thing as 'too busy'

Often in or outside of work you ask people to help you to do something or go somewhere and often you hear back that they are 'busy'.  We understand this and sometimes may even feel a little sympathetic. 

We are conditioned by the media and modern life to be busy, we all now lead increasingly busier lives in our on-demand 24/7 culture, in fact I cannot remember at work the last time I met someone who wasn’t busy!

But is it true that people can be too busy to do things? And if not, why do they say it? 

New course: RESILIA Foundation

It's a sad fact that over recent years, cyber threats are becoming increasingly common. 73% of large organisations have suffered financial losses from computer viruses or malicious software within the past year. This is increasing year on year with the rate up from 59% the year before. Technology is not the answer: human error is a factor in more than 95% of security breaches.

 

Tiny tweaks lead to big changes

I don’t know about you, but I spend part of my spare time outside of work reading books about management, leadership and communication skills. I ought to point out that this is due to the nature of the courses I teach – I specialise in project management and soft skills courses, and so it's necessary that I keep up with the many varying observations people have on these topics, with the beneficial side-effect of making me a better-informed and more interesting person (cough).

Why choose Agile?

Agile is the latest in a series of hot buzzwords that sweep through our management lives – but what does it mean? Is Agile a silver bullet that will fix all project problems? Is Agile a tool to replace traditional techniques such as PRINCE2® because the traditional techniques are somehow “broken”?

The answer of course is neither of the above. And since Agile methodologies have been around since the 1970s, why has there been such intense renewed interest in Agile in these last few years?

Service desk – the unsung heroes of IT?

In recent years, the 'IT help desk' has undergone a shift in meaning thanks to its new name, the 'IT service desk'. It was deemed that if it's known as a 'help desk' then staff would only call it when they needed help or when something was wrong.  A service desk can in fact deal with anything from the need to install Adobe Reader, setting up a new user, to dealing with an exploded computer, all the way through to how to update a formula on Excel.