Minor water damage.
Just getting ready for the upcoming half-marathon.
Yesterday, I attended an excellent lecture at the monthly breakfast roundtable for PMI (Project Management Institute) Finland, primarily because I was interested more in how other project managers operate in their companies and the types of projects they develop.
The appropriately named “How SAP upgrade became Wärtsilä’s best IT project ever” was lecture given by Marc Hebets, PMP, who was involved in this particular upgrade project. At Wärtsilä, they faced a situation where there SAP system was facing loss of support, affecting over 11000 users. Perhaps the most important takeaway from his lecture was the focus on fundamentals. It is easy to get involved in the technical tools and excitement during the project implementation, but ensuring that you have the right people involved and the project goals communicated are most important.
Next month, I will have a recording of the lecture uploaded on YouTube.
While this site has not seen much action, I came to the conclusion that I should continue in this endeavor. Prior to high school, I was extremely active online in various communities and online forums through various IM handles and forum names. As I proceeded through high school, I began to restrict what communities I visited, and later in college, had minimal participation online outside of university resources (or internally-run student sites). Realizing now that the path was not necessarily correct, I thought I should rededicate this blog to ideas and pursuits I enjoy, rather than just sitting on the side using common applications. While useful, there is an enjoyment of running your own part of the web, regardless of how large an impact it actually makes.
Check back for more info on 3D rapid prototyping/manufacturing systems, some of the more interesting legal aspects of being able to recreate much of what you see, and shifting design standards as a result introducing complex geometry into the design process.
While certainly traveling is something that I enjoy when I am not working, in this case, I get to do both. Building off of prior training classes held in Finland, I am training our Austrian division–located in beautiful Graz–on a new web application currently in development. As part of all of my training classes, I conduct pre- and post-training review sessions to gather statistical information on the effectiveness of the courses and the use of the software. I find that openness in a company is far more effectiveness than hiding data, so I post the results of each class internally. Certainly, one of the benefits of working at a company like Kumera is the ability to dictate your own projects and collaborate with colleagues without really any difficulty.
The main challenges are trying to organize the information and there is a significant amount. What I do is just keep it simple and focused. For example, throughout the development of this project, bug tracking and fixes were typically delivered by email. While easy to do, trying to keep track and ensure the data is available to everyone is far more difficult. We just setup a small VM containing Redmine, packaged by Bitnami, to help us keep track of all of the bugs found in this project and future projects. With a clear target in the next few months, we can eliminate almost all bug requests by email and reduce the amount of time spent managing bugs and just fix them.
The next target will be organizing the training material for the new and existing employees.
While certainly not the journey I had intended to take, this experience has certainly been one not without its highs and lows. When starting in Finland in 2010 as a Fulbright grantee, my goal was simple: do the research, enjoy Finland, then move back to the US to continue my life. As I sit here in my apartment in Helsinki, almost 8 months after I started with my position at Kumera, I reflect on the goals I originally set and figure out how to make them work wherever I am.
Next goal: get a bed.
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