Project Pathology: Causes and Symptoms of Project Failure

Need a simple project management software to manage your team? Check-out our valuable and unique Top 15 Web Applications 2016. Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, the F.B.I. team in The X-Files, show the value of clinical analysis of cause and effect. While Mulder is focussed on mixing it with various aliens, shape changers, mutant worms and other wonderful creatures, Scully is often back at the base dispassionately examining the numerous bodies that turn up in each episode. It is often Scully’s understanding of pathology and autopsy that provides the vital evidence in their search for the truth that is out there. A bit like Mulder and Scully, over the past 18 years, our group has reviewed over 20 major projects that were in the process of failing or had failed. These reviews were not done as an academic exercise or a controlled experiment but, they were undertaken “in the heat of the battle”. Our clients wanted to know what they could do to fix the projects or what could be done to prevent other projects failing. The pathology of failed projects has aided us and our clients in understanding the major issues in computing. What our group has learnt is that there is a common set of causes for project failure, a common pattern of project degradation and failure and common symptoms of projects that are failing. Our findings are in conflict with many of the articles and books addressing project failure. What we have found is that most projects fail because of people and project management concerns rather than technical concerns such as development methodologies, technology platforms and tools....

Leaked iPad Air 3 case images hint at Smart Connector support, rear camera flash, and more

A new leak spotted by Macoatakara that first appeared on an Alibaba site appears to hint at some potential changes coming with the iPad Air 3. Earlier this month, Mark Gurman reported that Apple announce a new version of the iPad Air at a March press event alongside new Apple Watch models. Now, a leaked case design suggests some of the potential new design changes that the iPad Air 3 could feature when it launches to the public. The first thing you’ll notice in the image below is that there appears to be a cutout for the Smart Connector. Apple first introduced this connection with the iPad Pro, using it for a more stable and reliable connection for things like keyboards. This case leak suggests that Apple plans to add the Smart Connector to the iPad Air lineup with the March revision. Another change is that the camera cutout on the back of the case appears to extend further down, perhaps hinting that the iPad Air 3 will gain support for rear camera flash, a feature the iPad Pro does not have. Finally, the leaked images appear to show holes for four speakers, a change that was first reported earlier this month. Industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported last month that the iPad Air 3 would not feature support for 3D Touch due to a production error. Of course, the iPad Pro doesn’t have support for 3D Touch either. Case leaks are something that should also be taken with a hint of skepticism, as sometimes case makers build designs off of rumored features without any confirmation from Apple itself. Nevertheless, it’s interesting...

Working Late? Here Are 21 Tips to Make Your Nights More Productive

This post originally appeared on HubSpot’s Sales Blog. To read more content like this, subscribe to Sales. Research has shown sleep might be the most important factor influencing our productivity. In fact, not getting enough sleep is similar to being drunk, according to studies. Every so often, though, you’ll have a counterproductive day at work and need to pick up the slack before bed. But this situation raises an important question: If you’re going to stay up late working, how do you stay productive? Below are 21 tips to help keep you productive into the early hours of the morning. 21 Tips to Stay Productive When You’re Working at Night  1) Practice yoga or meditation. Practicing yoga helps alleviate both stress and mental fatigue, resulting in improved productivity and a relaxed mindset. Studies have shown that stress can make us less productive. In light of the data, spending a mere 15 minutes meditating can make an immediate difference in nighttime productivity. 2) Take a break before starting. Research has revealed that taking regular breaks prior to starting a new project can result in improved productivity. After the work day is over, a small 20-minute relaxation period can play a major role in your productivity during the next few hours. 3) Set a hard deadline. According to Contently, working on large goals with a tight deadline results in our best work. For example, starting a project at 7 p.m. and establishing a hard deadline of 1 a.m. will improve productivity versus saying, “I’ll get this done tomorrow.” 4) Write down your goals. Writing down our goals, according to research, immediately makes us more likely to...

Apple asks FCC to recognize Made For iPhone hearing aids to encourage accessibility innovation

Apple recently has filed a new document with the Federal Communications Commission in which it argues that Made for iPhone, or MFi, accessories should be acknowledged by the organization as alternatives for hearing aid compatibility compliance. Recently, the FCC has proposed that all phones and consumer wireless devices must be compatible with hearing aids. In response to the new proposal from the FCC, Apple says that all products that fall under its MFi hearing aid standards already comply with the FCC’s hearing aid compliance regulations. Apple argues that Made for iPhone hearing aids are already available to consumers everywhere, thus making them a valid alternative to the hearing aid compatibility requirement (via MacReports). In its FCC filing, Apple touts that its MFi hearing aid platform offers a better experience than traditional hearing aids, while noting that recognizing the platform as an alternative to the hearing aid compatibility requirement would further the development of new and improved ways to better  handset accessibility: Apple is driven to make its devices truly accessible, and believes that consumers with hearing loss deserve a better experience than what traditional hearing aid compatibility technologies offer today. iPhones comply with existing HAC rules. But as the Commission has recognized, Apple has also invested heavily to improve accessibility by developing a new hearing aid platform that relies on Bluetooth® technology. Apple believes that this Made for iPhone (“MFi”) hearing aid platform represents a substantial improvement to consumers over devices that are deemed accessible by today’s HAC rules. In order to encourage innovators to develop new and better ways to improve handset accessibility, the Commission’s rules should recognize solutions such...

Jeremy’s 5: Enblue’s W3iPro Kit, Olloclip’s Studio, AAXA’s P5, Apple Innovation + Apple VR

Welcome to the latest edition of Jeremy’s 5, my latest roundup of 5 interesting little things that aren’t big enough for full articles, but are still worth sharing with you. This week, I’m looking at Enblue’s iPad Pro upgrade kit for an excellent multi-device dock, Olloclip’s Studio accessory bundle for iPhone photographers, AAXA’s P5 video projector, Apple innovation/execution in 2016, and the likelihood of an Apple virtual reality solution in the near future… 1. Enblue’s W3iPro Upgrade Stability Kit for iPad Pro. Last August, I reviewed and loved the iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch dock Premium One W3. To increase W3’s appeal to iPad Pro owners, developer Enblue has come up with a $49 glass base that attaches to the bottom of the W3, primarily “to increase the stability.” I’ve been testing the W3iPro Kit over the last week, and although I would certainly not call it necessary for the iPad Pro, it’s nice. Measuring 9.05″ by 7.08″ by 0.31″, it includes an acrylic recess in the front to hold an Apple Pencil, screws to attach the glass to the W3 base, and a larger rear support bar for the iPad Pro. I happen to use my W3 on a glass-covered nightstand, where it blends in even more than it might with other surfaces. It feels solid, looks nice, and adds a little more stability to the W3, though if you use the microsuction tape on W3’s bottom, the base unit is totally safe with even the large iPad Pro. Consider the W3iPro Kit largely for the cosmetics and Apple Pencil holder. 2. Olloclip’s Studio for iPhone 6/6 Plus/6s/6s Plus. Earlier this month, I wrote about the CES debut of Olloclip’s Studio...