<![CDATA[Brightmoon Consulting & Training - Blog]]>Mon, 23 Nov 2015 07:16:09 +0800Weebly<![CDATA[Testimonial - Microsoft Excel Coaching (En. Sabri)]]>Mon, 16 Feb 2015 00:49:10 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/testimonial-microsoft-excel-coaching-en-sabri
<![CDATA[Excel Heroes - Advanced Microsoft Excel Training]]>Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:54:45 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/excel-heroes-advanced-microsoft-excel-trainingWe were engaged to provide Advanced Excel to a group of 25 pax fresh graduates. With the insight that universities do not provide in-depth training on Microsoft Excel, their understanding on Excel is either zero or minimal. The challenge of this training is to bridge these fundamental gaps and elevate them to Advanced Excel level, in 3 days!

After 3 days, all of them show impressive improvement and able to get results as show below. The one on the left is pre-course assessment; the one on the right is post-couse assessment. And the meaning of colours are: 
  • Red = Wrong
  • Green = Correct
  • Yellow = unanswered

Let's Take a Look on Their Mini Projects

Conclusion - Learn Advanced Excel in 24 Hours

With right facilitation and environment, virtually anyone can acquired Advanced skills of Microsoft Excel in 24 hours (3 days x 8 hours). So, there are no more reasons and excuses for not able to perform better with Microsoft Excel.
<![CDATA[What you want after any GST Training (Malaysia)]]>Thu, 08 May 2014 21:22:47 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/what-you-want-after-any-gst-training-malaysia
Couple of my contacts went to some GST training, and they can't get much out of the training. After the training, they said:
  • I am still blur on what to do next
  • the trainer is a talking textbook
  • the training takes up too many days
  • the training did not worth the money they spent
  • I worry my businesses may pay unnecessary hefty GST penalties

As such, we would like to draw your attention to our GST training below, and greater details are available in Eventbrite.
<![CDATA[Time Saving Tips - Multiple Calendar]]>Tue, 29 Apr 2014 15:37:22 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/time-saving-tips-multiple-calendarCalendar

After a presentation to a group of secretaries, they love this feature. Hope you can benefit from the awareness on this feature in our email clients.

Time is always not enough for project personnel. Many of us used calendar to schedule meeting, set reminder and etc. There is one simple function in any email clients that we have undermined - multiple calendar. This feature can be found in both Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.

Benefits of Multiple Calendar
  • Group relevant events, which allow easy hide/ show (e.g. different project, different department)
  • Easily share relevant events to respective people without worrying sharing too much details
  • Allow delegatee to co-manage relevant events

Feel free to drop your comments/ suggestion below. And, I will love to share more details with everyone.

Signing-off, Tai Choo Tack

<![CDATA[GST Implementation Project in Malaysia]]>Tue, 01 Apr 2014 02:16:24 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/gst-implementation-project-in-malaysiaMalaysia GST
On 1st of April 2015 (exactly one year from today), Malaysia is going to implement GST (Goods and Service Tax). It is known as VAT (Value-added Tax) in some countries. 

Many SMEs (Small, Medium Enterprises) are waiting for enactment of the act. This strategy could save the hassle at the beginning, and pay dearly price toward the end. For medium-sized companies, the recommended project duration is 12 to 18 months. Any duration shorter than this is inviting unnecessary chaos.

The potential issues SMEs could end up with when they do nothing now:-
  1. Penalty on Late Registration
  2. Penalty on inaccurate GST calculation
  3. Penalty on incomplete GST reporting
  4. Lost of profit due to previous contracts are formed without GST
  5. Lost of business when unable produce tax invoice as some customers may want to claim input tax

The summarized effect is cash flow problem.

While waiting for the enactment of the act, SMEs can start the following:-
  1. Understand more on GST implications to their business and industry, and aware what need to be prepared for GST
  2. Form internal task force to oversee GST implementation related activities, and allocate a budget for GST implementation
  3. Craft project management methodology to monitor deliverables from both tax consultants and internal departments - to ensure the GST proejct progresses are visibile to the management team

On the extreme end, what will happen when GST implementation get postpone (again). After the preparation steps above, SMEs are able to:
  1. Make informed decision on future contract negotiation - GST clause will be included whenever the act is enacted
  2. Disband the internal task force can disband and recall them when needed
  3. Channel the allocated budget back to other usage or carry forward as management reserve for GST project
  4. Use project management methodology crafted to gain visibility on other projects.

Ignorant is not a bliss now! It is better start the preparation now then later. Many large companies have started GST implementation projects. And big-4 audit firms are fully-booked with GST implementation projects for 2014. Large companies make informed decision from various sources. The GST is going to be here and this is an obvious sign that SMEs cannot ignore!

<![CDATA[Accelerated Learning: How To Get Good at Anything in 20 Hours]]>Tue, 11 Feb 2014 08:28:44 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/accelerated-learninghow-to-get-good-at-anything-in-20-hoursThis video shows  a simple 5-steps framework to learn new thing fast.
  1. Decide what you want (key performance level)
  2. Deconstruct the skills required and practice the most important one
  3. Research the skill just-enough to practice it
  4. Eliminate barriers of practice
  5. Pre-commit to have at least 20 hours of practice

Watch the full video to find out more. Have fun learning the new learning approach.
<![CDATA[SDLC = Software Dooming Life Cycle?]]>Mon, 03 Feb 2014 15:58:13 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/sdlc-software-dooming-life-cyclePicture
Have you ever questioned why so many large software projects failed one over another?

The main reason is they are using SDLC/ waterfall, which is widely known as Software Development Life Cycle. SDLC dictates the sequential steps in gather requirements, design, develop, testing and implementation. Each step must be completed before commencement of next step. When something goes wrong, the particular step is reworked and wasted. Thus, it means Software Dooming Life Cycle.

Doom Grooming Ground
SDLC has been part of college education syllabus, and many has showed the success stories. Many happy students scored distinction in their final year project by using SDLC. It gives further assurance the usefulness of SDLC in software project. Therefore, many projects nowadays are wholeheartedly adopt SDLC without second question. When the project size is still small, they tasted the sweetness of SDLC success.

Dooming Life Cycle Started
The dooming life cycle starts when the complexity and uncertainties of a software project getting higher. The obvious complexities are stakeholder and communication. Human always struggle to express themselves 100%; and unable 100% decipher the message. Such situation contributes to misunderstanding. This is primarily due to individual perception, exposure, personalities and education. Such cycle is endless and many projects are trapped in there.

The Realization
Many have noticed the risk of using SDLC in large project. Even the creator of SDLC, Dr. WInston W. Royce cited the usage of SDLC in large software project is inviting risk and failure. Such realization can comes from painful experience or learned from others. Some wise men have proposed two approaches in handling large software project:
  1. Divide & Conquer - Split one large software project into several smaller software projects
    Pro - continue use all-time favorite SDLC
    Con - need to manage dependencies of these smaller projects
  2. Be Agile/ Scrum - have smaller SDLC cycle (i.e. iteration cycle)
    Pro - able to adapt changes faster
    Con - need to adjust traditional way of planning & working

After knowing the risk of SDLC in large software project, my recommendation is to Be Agile/ Scrum:
  1. The rate of uncontrollable changes is getting higher and more frequent. The more adaptive a project team is, the better chance of a project success.
  2. Small projects can grow big after several phases. It's advantageous to be agile now than later.
  3. Knowledge and experience of agile can be adapted to different projects or industries.

We wish your projects are successful since day-1 with the right foundation.

<![CDATA[Quick Tips - Prepare the Manual for your PRINCE2 Practitioner Exam.]]>Mon, 27 Jan 2014 02:11:54 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/prince2-practitioner-exam-quick-tips-the-manualPreparing the Manual PRINCE2 Manual Tagging for Certification Exam
PRINCE2 Practitioner certification examination is an open-book examiniation. Delegates are allowed to make annotation and tagging on the official manual ("Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2"). Using table of content is the worst approach in searching for right information 

The key strategy is to reduce the lead time in searching.

With the key strategy in mind, the following approach has helped me passed with a very satisfactory score. All thanks to the every second I saved from searching (on top of revision & rehearsal),

Tag the Processes

PRINCE2 Manual Tagging
On top-side of the manual, tag all the processes with their respective abbreviation to save space with stickies. For example, "IP" for "Initiating a Project." You can get list of process abbreviations from the manual or internet.

PRINCE2 Process Tagging
On the first page of each process, write their respective page number for each key activity. 

Tag the Key Topics, Appendix A, Appendix C

PRINCE2 Manual Tagging
On the right-side of the manual, three areas we need to tag with stickies:
  1. Key Topics (e.g. Business Case, all management strategies, PRINCE2 Themes, Process Model & etc.)
  2. Appendix A (Product Description Outlines)
  3. Appendix C (Roles & Responsibilities)

Annotate the Page Numbers on Appendixes

PRINCE2 Appendix A
Similar to approach above, write down the page number of each products on their side.

PRINCE2 Appendix C
Use the empty page on the left to list all roles with their respective page number.

The Strategy

When the manual is ready, it is always wiser to practice on this newly "upgraded" manual. Going through sample questions is very effective approach even though you have done it.

The Search Strategy
  1. While reading the question or scenario, identify which area the question is focusing (i.e. processes, themes, products, roles & responsibilities).
  2. Go to specific tag
  3. Drill down to specific page to look for the details

All the Best
After few rounds, you will shorten the time spent on searching. And all the best to your PRINCE2 certification examination!
<![CDATA[Sustaining New Project Management Role]]>Mon, 20 Jan 2014 02:39:37 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/sustaining-new-project-management-rolePicture
Congratulations - you made it through the dark hours. You have accustomed with the new role. Many of you have started or completed a project. It is just the beginning and more to go...

We are going to discuss on how to sustain the momentum, and bring your career to greater height.

1. Fabricate Pain Points
  • Purpose: avoid all the hardships and struggles going down the drain for good.
  • To-do: Start imagining the worst things it could happen to you when fall back to former role. For example, the peers start questioning you in doing new things.

2. Get a Mentor
  • Purpose: They provide encouragements for you to move.
  • To-do: list down who can provide advise to you when you needed one; experienced project managers are good candidate. If you unable to get project manager as mentor, any good friend will do.

3. Find a Devil's Advocate
  • Purpose: Keep you alert level at constantly high with brutal (and hostile) feedback.
  • To-do: Whoever hate or dislike you is good candidate for this. You just need to regularly share your thoughts and news with him/ her. He/ she will hammer you for no good reason. Take the heat to build your endurance.

4. Write Own Diary/ Journal
  • Purpose: Keep a trail on your development. When self-doubt kicks in, read all the breakthroughs done in the past.
  • To-do: You do not need to write everything. Focus on the significant events and key lessons learned.

5. Reflect Regularly
  • Purpose: Embrace continuous improvement via reflection.
  • To-do: Giver gains more by giving. Share your experiences and achievements with others; inspire and help others to go through such transition.

Concluding Remark
Project Management roles are filled with excitements and surprises. Every project is unique by its own. By repeating the steps above, you will find yourselves immersed with abundant of wisdom to share with others.

Wish you have a successful Project Management profession.

<![CDATA[The Dark Hours of Career Transition]]>Mon, 13 Jan 2014 00:03:51 GMThttp://www.brightmoon.com.my/blog/the-dark-hours-of-career-transitionPicture
After you have landed on a new role in project management, it is too early to celebrate the victory. There are dark hours that may pull you back to former role.

Comfort Zone
Mind: Argh... So many things I am not used to it. If I was in previous role, I am the man/ woman.

Mind: Others have no confidence in me to run a project. My performance is handicapped, and it may impact my career advancement.

Headless Chicken
Mind: There are so many uncertainties, I cannot see where the project is heading. Oh man.... I wish someone could tell me what to do expect next.

The Small Candle
Despite of degree of the darkness, a small candle can dispel it away. Here are three small candles that may come in handy.
  1. Recall the initial intention - keep you focused on what you intent to achieve. When in doubt - ask: what I want to get out from this?
  2. Revisit Resume/ CV - most likely it is the key landed you on a new role. Read it again to regain self-confidence.
  3. Go back to Job Requirements - obvious gaps have surfaced and keep you from moving forward. Now is the perfect timing to identify them.

One thing to take home - struggles are necessary to have breakthrough. When you are in the darkness, remember use the three small candles stated above. The duration of struggle is highly depending on individuals. Such duration can be shorten when you:- Accept it - Face it - Breakthrough it.