Sidebar

The Principles of Project Management, Part 2

Career
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

The Role of a Project Manager

Editor's Note: This article is excerpted from Chapter 1 of Fundamentals of Technology Project Management

A project manager (PM) has various functions or roles. Project managers will find themselves wearing many different hats during the various phases of their projects (and very likely at different times in the course of each day!). The specific roles a project manager will be required to fulfill will differ to some extent depending on the company for whom the project is being managed. It will also differ depending on the particular needs and requirements of the department or client for whom the project is being developed and the nature of the actual project itself.

There are different types of project managers. You will find that most technology project managers fit into one of the following broad categories. The first are technical project managers who have a background in technology. They have a technical/ engineering degree and have some hands-on experience in the engineering field. Secondly there are the career project managers. They have some level of technical skill and knowledge but have opted for the project management career path rather than the engineer/developer one. These individuals usually possess excellent organizational and leadership skills, which led them into a career in technology project management. Some companies specifically require one or the other type of project manager for their open positions. Others will be open to either. In choosing a career in technology project management, it is beneficial and smart to have both strong project management skills and strong technical skills. However, companies are more likely to hire a very strong project manager with little to no technical experience than to hire a technical manager with little or no project management experience.

A project manager wears many different hats and is known by many different names. These are not the names that your project team may call you behind your back when you ask them to work the weekend but the different names used to describe a project management role in an organization. More than one name may be used to describe the same role, or there may be multiple roles with the same name that differ in specific responsibilities. There may be similarities in skill sets and even some overlap in role responsibilities. For example, on larger projects, the project management role may be broken down and performed by several different people. Each of those people will have a functional job title. On smaller projects, one person may perform all those functions him- or herself.

The previous section explained the differences between project, program, and portfolio management. Though these roles are well defined, some organizations interchange the job titles, which can cause some confusion. For example, during my project management career, I was given the title “Project Manager” when I was performing the role of a program manager. There was no distinction at that company between the job titles for these two roles. l was once a project manager for a single project, but my title was “Program Manager,” as was the title for all the project managers who worked for that company. At another organization, my title was “Product Manager”* even though my role was really that of a program manager. Confused yet? It can be very confusing, and the main reason for this is that formalized education, certification, and terminology for project management is relatively new. Consider also who in the organization decides which job title is given. If it is someone with little understanding of project management discipline and terminology, he or she may have no idea that there is a difference between a project manager and a program manager! The Project Management Institute (PMI) has helped to standardize a lot of the terminology used in project management. However, not all organizations, or project methodologies, have adopted the standard terminology. PRINCE2 focuses on “roles” specific to a project rather than defining a person’s job or title. One person may perform one role or multiple roles. The PRINCE2 framework does not define project management at a program or portfolio level.

A project manager role can also be referred to as a “technical manager,” a “project coordinator,” or a “project scheduler.” In some companies, a project coordinator is an assistant to the project manager, responsible for managing schedule updates, creating status reports, and taking care of general administrative tasks. A project scheduler most often refers to a junior project manager who is responsible for keeping the project schedule up-to-date and working with the senior project manager to resolve any scheduling issues.

When searching for a project manager position, check for job titles that include the word “project,” “program,” or “portfolio.” Always read the job descriptions thoroughly to ensure that the role is a good fit for your experience and expertise.

Management

The most important role of a project manager is to manage the project through all stages of the project lifecycle. This will include ensuring that the project stays within budget and is delivered on time and with high quality. This book is designed to guide you through each stage of the project by giving you the tools, skills, and knowledge you will need to consistently deliver successful projects.

Communication

A vital key to successful project management is communication—not just any old kind of communication, but two-way, open communication. Quantity is never a good substitute for quality. Communication must be tailored for your specific audience. A one-size-fits-all approach is not going to work. You will be communicating with different groups of stakeholders that could include salespeople, marketing, product management, engineering, clients, quality assurance, senior management, accounting, and outside vendors. These different groups of stakeholders will be looking for different information from you with differing levels of detail. Personality types will also determine how much and how detailed the data you share/present needs to be.

So how do you figure out what information each group or person needs from you? One sure way of finding out is to ask them. You may talk to one stakeholder who tells you, “I only want to know if there is a problem. I will assume things are going well unless you tell me otherwise.” Another may tell you, “Don’t come to me with a problem unless you have a solution. If I cannot do anything about it, then I would rather not know. Let me know once the problem is solved, and just tell me what the schedule impact is and what plans you have in place to counteract the impact.” Then there are the people that want to know every little detail of what is going on: “Send me an email every day/week, and update me on where we are with every aspect of the project. Let me know when each and every milestone is completed, and inform me immediately of any potential issues that you anticipate in the following week.” The list of responses to this question can go on and on. Never assume that you know what someone needs from you, and never assume it is the same as what someone else needs. People always appreciate being asked for their opinions and preferences. It not only makes them feel that their opinions are important; it also makes you look like you are a good manager who is setting a solid foundation to ensure that everyone is informed appropriately, thereby giving the project the best chance of success.

Human nature is a strange thing. It is usually the case that if someone believes you value their opinions, they will also value yours. If you hold them in high regard, they will also hold you in high regard. After all, you must be really smart to have noticed how smart they are, right? Thus, it is always good to ask for others’ opinions and to pay attention to what you hear. You do not have to agree with them, but be respectful and thank them for their input. You do not have to comment on how useful, or not useful, it was! There will be situations where you will not be able to reach agreement. In these situations, you can agree to disagree as long as it is clear who the decision maker is going to be. By listening and responding to input from your team members and stakeholders, you are empowering them to continue to contribute to the process. They will feel that they are adding value to the project and to the project team.

Presentations and Reporting

Creating and/or presenting various project presentations to clients, stakeholders, and team members is an important and often time-consuming part of a project manager’s role. Throughout the project, there will be a lot of presentation work. Presentation meetings require careful planning and execution. During the design and development phases of the project, there will likely be weekly or monthly (or possibly even daily) project status meetings that will be much more informal. The overall length of the project, and the phase of the project that you are in, will determine the frequency of status meetings. For instance, if you are working on a year-long project, you may have monthly or biweekly status meetings during the development stage of the project and increase this to daily meetings in the few weeks or days prior to deployment (release) of the product.

Project Documentation

A project manager is often responsible for writing a certain amount of the project documentation. The amount and level of documentation you will be required to create will depend on your level, and areas, of technical knowledge/expertise and your knowledge of the product. Some of the documents are standard project management documents written by the project manager. The client, business managers, business analysts, engineers, or vendors will write others.

In addition to these documents, there will be numerous presentations and progress and status reports created regularly throughout the project lifecycle. If your project team is a permanent team (not created on a per project basis), you may need to create a Team Charter and/or Mission Statement for the team. If you are directly managing people, you will also be responsible for documentation such as Personal Development Plans, individual team member goals and objectives, and annual (or project-related) employee performance reviews.

Appendix D includes a flowchart and a list of all documents required during the project lifecycle. A template for every document is included in the download file that accompanies this book (available at http://www.mc-store.com/5131.html).

Even if you are not involved in the actual writing of these documents, you are likely to be involved in the reviewing of some, if not all, of the documents. The first time you see the Proposal Document may be when you receive it from your sales department. Be aware that you might get a bit of a shock (salespeople often oversell on the features of a product and undersell on what it will cost to develop). You need to read the documents and ensure that you understand what you are committed to. To fully understand your project, you need a good, solid understanding of what your product is and what your product can (or will) do. Reading the technical and user documentation is a great way to get up to speed on these areas quickly.

The project documents are covered in more detail in later chapters.

Estimation

Estimation of project tasks is a complex, and never exact, science. Project managers are responsible for working with their teams to produce the initial, high- level, detailed, and final estimates. Estimating complex projects takes a lot of coordination, and there is often a tight deadline for completion. Unless you are an experienced developer, you will need help from your project team to create realistic estimates. The rule of thumb is that engineers usually overestimate what they can accomplish by at least 20 percent, so be prepared to update their estimates accordingly. This will vary from person to person, and you will need to monitor their results with estimating to gauge what kind of adjustment you need to make before submitting your estimates. If you work on the same team/product for some time, you may be able to create the estimates yourself without additional technical assistance. It is great if you can do that, but remember to ask for a sanity check from someone else on the team before submitting estimates. You might have missed something really important that was not evident to you from the estimation request but will be to the engineer who will be implementing the feature.

Project Scheduling

The project manager is responsible for the creation and management of the project schedule. There are many project-tracking software programs available that you can use for creating a project schedule. The basic principles of tracking project status are the same, or similar, in the majority of the programs. Some have better functionality and are easier to use than others. You may be able to choose what tools you can use for your project, or you may be required to use standard tools as defined by the company who is funding or implementing the project. This book includes a generic guide to creating a project schedule using any scheduling software. In addition, I have created a step-by-step guide to creating a project schedule using Microsoft Project software. Microsoft Project is one of the more popular project-tracking tools in technology project management.

Creating a project schedule can be relatively easy if you have a small project with few resources and minimum dependencies. It can also be very challenging, especially if you have a large, complex project with multiple engineers and skill sets and complex dependencies between tasks and features. For smaller projects, creating a schedule can be accomplished in as little as an hour or two. Larger projects can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks! Do a sanity check on your schedule with one or more of your team members before you finalize it. You may have missed something that will adversely affect the schedule.

Managing the ongoing schedule tasks and interim (or internal) as well as final releases is the most challenging part of scheduling. In your role as scheduler, you will need to recognize problems that will have schedule impacts and know what processes to follow if there is a problem. If you are a junior or assistant project manager, you will likely have a senior, or group, project manager to help you manage these problems. For smaller projects, or if you are the only project manager on the project, you will be required to manage this yourself.

Updating the schedule and ensuring that the implementation team is kept up-to-date on changes to the schedule are a part of the status reporting and management responsibilities of a project manager’s job. Proactively getting status updates from individual team members and communicating this status to the relevant stakeholders, with the appropriate level of detail, is the responsibility of the project manager. Keep in mind that the frequency of status reporting should be appropriate both for the length of the project and the phase of the project that you are in. You do not want to ask for progress reports from your team members on a monthly basis if the project is going to be only four months long. This will not give you adequate time to respond to issues. Similarly, it is unlikely that you will need daily progress reports during all of the phases of a two-year-long project.

Managing the Project Team

There are various management structures (which will be covered in more detail in the organizational structure section in this chapter), and some of those structures require the project manager to also be a people manager. This has advantages and disadvantages, and you will form your own opinions about which method you feel is most advantageous as you learn more about the different approaches to managing projects and project teams.

Project managers who are responsible for the management of their project teams have a whole host of additional responsibilities related to managing people. These include coaching and development; personnel issues; tracking work hours, vacations, and sick time; setting business and personal objectives; reviewing performance; technical training/development; team motivation; and individual performance management.

Virtual Management

In addition to various organizational structures, there are also different work environments. The days when everybody who worked for a company worked in the same location are long gone. These days it is very common for companies to have geographically dispersed teams or local teams where one or more employees or consultants work remotely some or all of the time. Managing people from a distance has similarities to managing people locally, but there are also a lot of differences. The differences are often subtle, and without the necessary adjustments to management and communication techniques, you may find that your remote team members become alienated from the rest of the team. Managing remote employees, full or part time, requires a proactive, and inclusive, approach to communication and teambuilding.

Conflict and Change Management

As a project manager, whether or not you are also a people manager, you will be required to manage relationships between your team members and with your stakeholders. This will include managing conflict as well as managing change. Regardless of how well planned a project may be, unforeseen changes and project demands can take their toll on you and your team members. Managing the impact of these changes can be challenging. Conflict resolution and change management are important aspects of the project manager’s core responsibilities.

Contributing to the Company’s Management Team

As a member of the management team, you are likely to have additional responsibilities directly or indirectly related to your project. These can often involve numerous meetings; reporting, collecting, and/or analyzing business/productivity metrics; process improvements; project proposals for future projects; planning for the next project while implementing the current one; and budget tracking and reporting, to name but a few.

Dual Roles

On smaller projects or within smaller organizations, you may find yourself in the dual role of project manager and lead engineer, or project manager and technical writer, or project manager and product manager; the list of combinations is endless. Being in the dual role of project manager and a contributing member of the development team can be challenging. You are, in effect, managing yourself, which means that you have to hold yourself as accountable as you hold the other members of your team. For smaller projects, there may not be enough work to keep a full-time project manager busy, so being in a dual role is the best way to accomplish at least some level of project management for the project. This can also be a good way to start the transition from engineer or engineering lead into a project management role. On larger projects, it can be much harder to split your time between two very different roles, and you can often find yourself trying to do two full-time jobs. This is where you must focus a lot of attention on your own personal time management and ensure that you are not overcommitted. Trying to do too much will result in you doing a passable job in each role but not excelling at either. This is not good for the project or for your own self-esteem or career goals.

Managing multiple projects is also common. The likelihood is that you will be working on more than one project at a time. This may mean that you are managing more than one project team or that you have overlapping project teams. In this situation, you need to ensure that you and your team are giving each of your projects the appropriate amount of time and attention.

Being an Employee

So, let’s imagine that you are employed as a project manager for a large company. The chances are that your manager will set formal goals and objectives that you need to accomplish over the following year. You will be required to keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date. You will have some personal objectives that require you to improve on some aspect of your job (communication, for instance). This is your role as an employee and as a team member. It is an important role for the project manager and one that is sometimes neglected in the rush to get the project implemented. This is an area that requires focused attention if you are to continue to grow and develop as a project manager. It is an essential ingredient in meeting your own career goals.

In conclusion, a project manager has many functions that constitute this role of project manager. It is hard to get bored in a project manager role when there are so many functions that need simultaneous, and often equal, focus. It is an important position in a fast-paced environment. Consequently, it is easy to get burnt out. For this reason, it is very important that you manage your own time effectively and not feel pressured to set unrealistic deadlines or consistently work long hours.

__________________

* A product manager is the business owner for a product. His or her role is to define what products are needed, what they will do, and who they are for. They perform market analysis to determine the feasibility and potential profitability of a product. They manage the business and customer-facing aspects of developing a product. They are involved in the functional design of products. They are not involved in the technical design or development. The product manager defines what; the project manager defines how.

 

Colleen Garton

Colleen Garton is a highly respected and experienced writer, consultant, and speaker. She is the author of two management books: Fundamentals of Technology Project Management and Managing Without Walls. Recognized internationally as an expert on virtual and global management, Colleen is an experienced and in-demand public speaker for numerous events and conferences around the world. She is also author of the blog Working With or Without Walls.

 Colleen has extensive management and training experience in the United States and internationally, with more than two decades of practical experience in traditional and virtual management spanning multiple industries. She is the owner of the Garton Consulting Group. Before founding the Garton Consulting Group, Ms. Garton held senior management positions at some major U.S. corporations.

You can follow Colleen on Twitter at @ColleenGarton and on Facebook.


MC Press books written by Colleen Garton available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

Fundamentals of Technology Project Management Fundamentals of Technology Project Management
Master the specific project management issues that technology professionals must face.
List Price $69.95

Now On Sale

Managing Without Walls Managing Without Walls
Optimize the effectiveness of your teams...no matter where they are.
List Price $37.95

Now On Sale

More Articles By This Author
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

LATEST COMMENTS

Support MC Press Online

RESOURCE CENTER

  • WHITE PAPERS

  • WEBCAST

  • TRIAL SOFTWARE

  • Mobile Computing and the IBM i

    SB ASNA PPL 5450Mobile computing is rapidly maturing into a solid platform for delivering enterprise applications. Many IBM i shops today are realizing that integrating their IBM i with mobile applications is the fast path to improved business workflows, better customer relations, and more responsive business reporting.

    This ASNA whitepaper takes a look at mobile computing for the IBM i. It discusses the different ways mobile applications may be used within the enterprise and how ASNA products solve the challenges mobile presents. It also presents the case that you already have the mobile programming team your projects need: that team is your existing RPG development team!

    Get your copy today!

  • Automate IBM i Operations using Wireless Devices

    DDL SystemsDownload the technical whitepaper on MANAGING YOUR IBM i WIRELESSLY and (optionally) register to download an absolutely FREE software trail. This whitepaper provides an in-depth review of the native IBM i technology and ACO MONITOR's advanced two-way messaging features to remotely manage your IBM i while in or away from the office. Notify on-duty personnel of system events and remotely respond to complex problems (via your Smartphone) before they become critical-24/7. Problem solved!

    Order your copy here.

  • DR Strategy Guide from Maxava: Brand New Edition - now fully updated to include Cloud!

    SB Maxava PPL 5476PRACTICAL TOOLS TO IMPLEMENT DISASTER RECOVERY IN YOUR IBM i ENVIRONMENT

    CLOUD VS. ON-PREMISE?
    - COMPREHENSIVE CHECKLISTS
    - RISK COST CALCULATIONS
    - BUSINESS CASE FRAMEWORK
    - DR SOLUTIONS OVERVIEW
    - RFP BUILDER
    Download your free copy of DR Strategy Guide for IBM i from Maxava today.

     

  • White Paper: Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization

    SB Profound WP 5539

    If your business is thinking about modernizing your legacy IBM i (also known as AS/400 or iSeries) applications, you will want to read this white paper first!

    Download this paper and learn how Node.js can ensure that you:
    - Modernize on-time and budget - no more lengthy, costly, disruptive app rewrites!
    - Retain your IBM i systems of record
    - Find and hire new development talent
    - Integrate new Node.js applications with your existing RPG, Java, .Net, and PHP apps
    - Extend your IBM i capabilties to include Watson API, Cloud, and Internet of Things


    Read Node.js for Enterprise IBM i Modernization Now!

     

  • 2020 IBM i Marketplace Survey Results

    HelpSystems

    This year marks the sixth edition of the popular IBM i Marketplace Survey Results. Each year, HelpSystems sets out to gather data about how businesses use the IBM i platform and the IT initiatives it supports. Year over year, the survey has begun to reveal long-term trends that give insight into the future of this trusted technology.

    More than 500 IBM i users from around the globe participated in this year’s survey, and we’re so happy to share the results with you. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful as you evaluate your own IT projects.

  • AIX Security Basics eCourse

    Core Security

    With so many organizations depending on AIX day to day, ensuring proper security and configuration is critical to ensure the safety of your environment. Don’t let common threats put your critical AIX servers at risk. Avoid simple mistakes and start to build a long-term plan with this AIX Security eCourse. Enroll today to get easy to follow instructions on topics like:

    • Removing extraneous files
    • Patching systems efficiently
    • Setting and validating permissions
    • Managing service considerations
    • Getting overall visibility into your networks

     

  • Developer Kit: Making a Business Case for Modernization and Beyond

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.

    Having trouble getting management approval for modernization projects? The problem may be you're not speaking enough "business" to them.

    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    Our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC GenericWatch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!

     

  • Profound UI: Unlock True Modernization from your IBM i Enterprise

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.

    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).

  • 5 New and Unique Ways to Use the IBM i Audit Journal

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data? Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts discuss:


    - Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    - Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    - Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    - How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    - High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!

     

  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIt’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success. You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

    • Access IBM i data faster
    • Deliver useful information to executives and business users
    • Empower users with secure data access

    Ready to make your game plan and finally keep up with your data access requests?

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericLet’s face facts: servers don’t hack other servers. Despite the avalanche of regulations, news headlines remain chock full of stories about data breaches, all initiated by insiders or intruders masquerading as insiders.
    User profiles are often duplicated or restored and are rarely reviewed for the appropriateness of their current configuration. This increases the risk of the profile being able to access data without the intended authority or having privileges that should be reserved for administrators.
    Watch security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses a new approach for onboarding new users on IBM i and best-practices techniques for managing and monitoring activities after they sign on.

  • Don't Just Settle for Query/400...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    - Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    - Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    - Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    - Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

    • Capture documents faster, instead of wasting everyone’s time
    • Manage documents easily, so you can always find them
    • Distribute documents automatically, and move on to the next task

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

    SB_PowerTech_WC_GenericGet actionable info to avoid becoming the next cyberattack victim.
    In “Data breach digest—Scenarios from the field,” Verizon documented an AS/400 security breach. Whether you call it AS/400, iSeries, or IBM i, you now have proof that the system has been breached.
    Watch IBM i security expert Robin Tatam give an insightful discussion of the issues surrounding this specific scenario.
    Robin will also draw on his extensive cybersecurity experience to discuss policies, processes, and configuration details that you can implement to help reduce the risk of your system being the next victim of an attack.

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

    • Manage multiple platforms from a central location
    • View monitoring results in a single pane of glass on your desktop or mobile device
    • Take advantage of best practice, plug-and-play monitoring templates
    • Create rules to automate daily checks across your entire infrastructure
    • Receive notification if something is wrong or about to go wrong

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

    • The main sources of disk consumption
    • How to monitor temporary storage and QTEMP objects in real time
    • How to monitor objects and libraries in real time and near-real time
    • How to track long-term disk trends

     

     

  • Stop Re-keying Data Between IBM I and Other Applications

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

    • The data dilemma
    • 3 ways to stop re-keying data
    • Data automation in practice

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.

     

  • The Top Five RPG Open Access Myths....BUSTED!

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"

     

  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    SB Profound WC GenericHave you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.
    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.
    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).
    Watch Now.

  • The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security

    SB Profound WC Generic The Biggest Mistakes in IBM i Security
    Here’s the harsh reality: cybersecurity pros have to get their jobs right every single day, while an attacker only has to succeed once to do incredible damage.
    Whether that’s thousands of exposed records, millions of dollars in fines and legal fees, or diminished share value, it’s easy to judge organizations that fall victim. IBM i enjoys an enviable reputation for security, but no system is impervious to mistakes.
    Join this webinar to learn about the biggest errors made when securing a Power Systems server.
    This knowledge is critical for ensuring integrity of your application data and preventing you from becoming the next Equifax. It’s also essential for complying with all formal regulations, including SOX, PCI, GDPR, and HIPAA
    Watch Now.

  • Comply in 5! Well, actually UNDER 5 minutes!!

    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

    TRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms.

    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.