October 2021: For what purpose is a project activity network diagram used? In project planning, the activity network diagram is a step in creating the project schedule, and is considered a form of project time schedule. The network diagram is used for depicting the project activity sequence and dependencies, showing the different paths in the project, starting from the kick-off point and up to the closing point. The purpose of the activity network diagram is to identify the critical path(es) in the project, which is the longest path that can threaten to delay the closing of the project. This diagram also shows the time tolerance of each activity and every path in the project, identified from the early and late start and end dates of each activity, and known as the float of the activity. The critical path activities are always of zero float and no delay tolerance. This allows for attention and proper risk planning related to project time and successful delivery.
September 2021: What is RACI Matrix? RACI matrix is a popular form of responsibility matrix, an acronym standing for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. These four terms indicate the corresponding responsibility level of each role within the context of a certain project or activity being managed. It is usually depicted in a tabular form, with rows representing roles or entities, and columns representing tasks, or vice versa. The intersection between rows and columns include one or more of the four letters of the acronym, showing the level of responsibility each role holds with regards to performing each task. One role can hold more than one responsibility level as necessary for each task, and it's not mandatory that all of the four levels be present for a given task. However, usually there would be one role accountable for a task, and one or more responsible roles.
August 2021: How can AI benefit your organization? Most popular Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques utilized in business include machine learning, data analytics, automation and robotics, etc. Businesses use these techniques for enabling processes and optimizing operations, which should in turn yield higher business growth and better business results. For example, historical business data can be analyzed to train machine learning models to be able to predict future results based on new collected data, for the purpose of decision support and insights. Another example, is use of smart objects and robotics that can adapt their behavior according to sensor information, as used in manufacturing and heavy industries. Even small scale businesses can benefit from AI techniques within their scope, for example by working with industry wide data analytics for predicting market trends.
July 2021: Why to prioritize your tasks? Prioritization is a daily practice, and we need to prioritize because our resources are limited, in terms or time, money, staff, materials, equipments, and other sorts of resources. Prioritizing tasks will entail to which task resources will be assigned first, so that when they are freed and the task is done with using them, they will be allocated to the next task in priority queue. Priority can be determined based on several criteria, that normally will differ depending on the objective of prioritization, for example to minimize risk, increase return, maximize throughput of deliverables, etc. Priority is not a permanently fixed value, and it should be reviewed and recalculated periodically.
June 2021: What is meant by Situational Leadership? There are several leadership styles that could differ according to the individual leader's character, or the overall prevailing organizational culture towards leadership. However, it may be intuitive to adapt your leadership style based on several factors in each situation, instead of monotonous tone. In situational leadership model, the leader will change their approach of leadership depending on the task in hand as well as the individual or group being led. The ultimate objective of adopting this model is to increase effectiveness of results, since there are situations that call for autocratic leadership, while other situations will require engagement and participation from teams, so that the task is completed successfully, and teams are developed and directed correctly. To be able to adopt this model of leadership, the leader will need to possess a set of skills, including emotional intelligence, decision making, communication, etc.
May 2021: Do you pay attention to opportunity cost? Most decisions, especially investment decisions, involve selection between alternatives. These alternatives are evaluated and scored based on defined criteria, so that best option is selected. Part of the costs associated with alternatives evaluation is opportunity cost, which is the expected return on other alternatives that have been denied in favor of the selected alternative, since this return is considered missed opportunity in case other alternatives are pursued. Neglecting opportunity costs during the evaluation and selection process could be misleading and results in selection of a sub-optimal alternative. Calculation of opportunity costs should be on comparable basis, for example by taking in consideration time value for money and the time span of the cash flow, in addition to non-monetary returns that should be valuated as well.
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