Sif E. Elharti's Blog

Even small acts can have a great impact…

Archive for February 2010

Project Management: Part 3 – Basic concepts Project / Phase

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Large projects may be divided in smaller and more manageable subprojects or phases. This holds to reach a large result through a set of complementary, sequential and/or parallel steps. Each phase (a step) is managed as proper project.

Let’s suppose that I bought an old house (a really old one that needs immediate renovation). Knowing, there is no chance that some angels for “The extreme makeover: Home edition” will do that for me within 7*24 hours, I decided to handle it by myself and at my own speed.

Basically and roughly, we can say that we need three phases:

• Phase 1: Demolition

• Phase 2: Building

• Phase 3: furnishing

At first sight, we can say that those three steps must be done in sequence in the same order they are presented. In fact, it seems logical to execute building tasks after demolition ones but before furnishing tasks.

Nevertheless, there may exist a way to start one phase before the end of its preceding one. This is called overlapping – we will see that again in further posts-.

To carry out this, it requires the observation of two conditions for the task to be started:

• All the tasks that the task is depending on are executed.

• All the remaining tasks from the previous phase are independent form the task.

We will note also that, any task that will be done later will not affect the task by any way.

To tie it to our example –and keep it simple-, let’s suppose that the demolition phase has 3 tasks:

• T1.1 – Demolish the bathroom.

• T1.2 – Remove the old kitchen.

• T1.3 – Demolish a wall in the kitchen side.

And the building phase has 2 tasks:

 • T2.1 – Install a new bath and a new shower.

• T2.1 – Install a new kitchen.

Note: the task identification used here will be detailed in the WBS (Work Beakdown Structure) later.

So, since installing the new bath and shower (T2.1) depends only on the demolition of the bathroom (T1.1), the former one can be started immediately after the later is done. But we have to make sure the remaining tasks have no effect on task  (T2.1).

Let’s end with the following definition of a phase from the PMBOK Guide (4th Ed.):

Project phase is a collection of logically related project activities, usually culmination in the completion of a major deliverable. But not that a project phase is not a Project Management Process Group.

See you later.

Sif Elharti,


Written by selharti

February 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

About “The Lost Symbol” and Dan Brown’s encrypted message.

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May I ask to forgive my English; you will not read a great author writing… 

I like Dan Brown’s large imagination that takes you away as far as diving in deep darkness, crossing life – death frontiers, or extending science horizons. But, I find more interesting, stimulating and ever challenging the huge amount of details and references that one would like to see, check and learn more about. You may feel, sometimes, tired “waiting” to advance in the main story direction or would you hope to have fewer details to go though it faster; nevertheless, the information there is very thoughtful. This is the case in all Dan’s books: you learn while reading a novel!  

In general, Dan tries to expose all the facets of the same subject as seen by different points of view and different communities. This means a lot of researches and investigations that are laudable. But, sometimes, he diverges from this scientific approach and adheres to a pragmatic one. Thus, he gives only one variant of “the story” – or the history – even if some wildly known references give different versions.

For sure, it’s not possible to satisfy everybody’s convictions and tendencies! And, I think, that’s why there is a deep and loud (but unheard: encrypted message!) call for tolerance behind Dan’s writing. This will sound familiar from a symbol specialist. Indeed, he found – consciously or unconsciously -a very smart approach to send this message to the reader:

  • Highlight a mystery related to some secret.
  • Open reader eyes about polysemic nature of symbols.
  • Implicitly welcome the reader (“Challenge” him) to think about and to try to solve the mysteries around.
  • Highlight the necessity of knowledge and collaboration to go through it.
  • Add many references to most influencing persons of human kind knowledge and their efforts to illuminate us.
  • Enforce death experience.
  • Enforce the faith power and accentuate the acts that can be done in the name of some convictions.
  • Explain the miseries with basic simplicity.

This leads to the following:

  • Human kind is surrounded by mysteries and secrets greater than human made ones. So, think about them! Death is a good candidate, human mind is another one, and the existence itself can be considered.
  • There is not only one reading or one point of view. So open you mind to others opinion!
  •  The faith – in its large meaning, any kind of deep conviction- gives power but can blind if misunderstanding occurs. So review your convictions and don’t try to justify your acts in its names.
  •  Our minds are the tools that can illuminate our paths in such deep and dark ignorance. And they are more powerful when they work together instead of working against each others.
  • Not all minds have the same abilities, but any of them can learn from the others. If the willing is there.
  • The truth can be so simple that we can’t see it!

In few words, if we work together and respect each others won’t we be able to illuminate our existence and learn from the huge heritage we got from our predecessors!

That is my point of view and I’ll be happy to learn from yours.


Even small acts can have a great impact…

Written by selharti

February 5, 2010 at 12:46 am

Posted in Misc.

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