Wednesday, July 17, 2002

My review on using pda for Project Management:
PDA in Project Management(PM)

What is PM? It is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.(Ref: PMBOK 1.3)

PM covers nine key knowledge areas viz;

1.Project Integration Management
2.Project Scope Management
3.Project Time Management
4.Project Cost Management
5.Project Quality Management
6.Project Human Resources Management
7.Project Communication Management
8.Project Risk Management
9.Project Procurement Management

The main processes involved in PM are initiation,planning,execution monitoring ,control and closing.

As you see above ,PM covers many areas of management studies; and it is multi-disciplines in nature. The science part is acquiring the relevant knowledge and the art part is the application of those knowledge using experience and skills acquired.

From my experience,pda is not suitable in planning business project. We need a more powerful tool like MS Project or Primevera. However, it can be used to monitor simple (linear but not networked) schedule and progress of monthly activities. IMHO, there is no credible programs available and the screen size limits one’s view of the project plan/activities.

In managing my own project which involves 390 activities, pdas simply cannot handle it.I am using MS Project 2000 and Excel spreadsheet /Word programs. The most I can use pda is by extracting a particular month activities and monitor start date,finish date and progress. To do these, I can use Brainforest and Projects in palm pda. For big spreadsheet and reports, I am using pocketpc excel and word.

To use pda’s in PM, we must utilise the pda powerful “datebook” and “Todo” functions. The only sad thing is we have to extract the relevant data one by one from our master planning program.

MS Project has a palm version but for read only. You can’t update and make changes there. The program is available at : http://www.natara.com . The real PM programs are too big to be installed in pda’s for the moment.

For a personal and simple project, you can use pda’s, but I won’t recommend the use of pda’s( palm/pocket pc) for real business projects.

Recommeded readings: PM for Dummies and PMBOK from PMI.ORG

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

At exactly 5.27pm to-day I went out of my house to check the direction of my shadow against the hot late afternoon sun. According to my Planetarium app in my Palm111c, the sun was 292.3 degree clockwise from the North and at altitude of 26 degrees above the horizon. The shadow indicated the direction to Kaabah, Mecca where all muslims face during their prayers. This happens twice a year when the sun is directly above the Kaabah.

Monday, July 15, 2002

I was very happy to see 20 members of palmx.org sitting down at Starbuck cafe at KL Sentral for their BTM on Saturday 13th Jul;y,2002. Happy to see people of the same interest in pda having a fun time discussing their usage of pda and helping one another. This is the beauty of human community when they get together and being friendly.

At the same time I announced the date of our annual dinner after getting the consensus from those present. The dinner will be held on 24th august,2002. I have yet to set the committee to plan the event. The dinner should include at least the folowing:

1. Makan(food/drinks) of course
2. Presentation by members on their usage of pda
3. Singing and poetry session.
4 Beaming as usual..
5. anything else..