Mike Mitchelmore

Mike Mitchelmore

Mike Mitchelmore is an IBRS advisor specialising in the areas of ICT strategy, program and project management, ICT service delivery and telecommunications. Mike has more than 40 years of experience in the ICT industry during which he has successfully led engagements in the design and deployment of a global telecommunications networks and IT platforms, negotiated managed telecommunications services, introduced new capabilities for call centres and consolidated ICT systems to focus on service delivery for citizen facing services. Mike has also assisted clients in ICT strategy, support planning, system design and architecture, and procurement strategies. Mike is a graduate of the Australian Army Command and Staff College, and the Royal Military College of Science (UK). He holds a degree in Social Science (human resource development), and graduate diplomas in Management Studies and Telecommunications Systems Management. Mike is a certified PRINCE 2 Practitioner and an ITIL (V2) Manager.

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Conclusion:

This advisory, as the second in the series, will address the necessary inclusions in your project management framework (PMF) and the value of developing a community of practice (COP) to ensure continuous improvement. In addition to these foundation stones of good project management, IBRS takes a pragmatic view of how the choice of methodology used for each project impacts the organisation’s approach to its PMF and the value proposition of the COP.

The key to predictable outcomes is to make sure the processes and products of your PMF are of value to both those executing the project and those overseeing the development of each capability. Too often, poor take up of an organisation’s PMF, and the subsequent increased risk of failure of a project is a result of a bureaucratic and overly complex framework. The keep it simple principle is essential so that compliance with the PMF can become routine.

Likewise, the COP is key to learning, improvement, and ownership by those involved in your organisation’s capability development and project management. An effective COP will look to improve skills, apply lessons learned, and improve the PMF processes, outputs, and tools.


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Conclusion: This advisory will be presented as a series of five instalments, culminating in a Webinar. This first instalment will focus on an introduction to key concepts in project, programme and portfolio maturity. The next instalments will address:

  • the necessary inclusions in your project management framework (PMF) and the value of developing a community of practice (COP) to ensure continuous improvement,
  • a discussion on the value proposition for the project and/or programme management office (PMO), and
  • a discussion on the value of project assurance.

The final instalment will be a Webinar, which will both present the findings from the three instalments and provide an opportunity for subscribers to question the findings.

The ability to provide consistency in the management of projects and programmes is a reflection of the organisation’s maturity. Whether your organisation runs waterfall, agile or a mix of both, the need for effective project and programme management processes and effective governance is essential for success.

Organisations that are not mature in their approach to projects often find themselves in difficulty resulting from inconsistency in application of management practices, reliance on individuals that represent single points of failure, and ineffective governance that is unable to meet its responsibilities.


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Conclusion: One of the immediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic was the closure of offices and the move to remote working conditions. Some businesses were able to immediately execute this as part of their business continuity plan (BCP). Now that the crisis has become the business-as-usual state, challenges have also begun to appear and BCPs need revising to adapt to this new situation.

The employer’s ability to provide the right set of tools goes back to technology and infrastructure investments made prior to the crisis. With a huge percentage of the population online, not just businesses but also schools, government agencies, and communities, there may be a need to update systems and invest in more infrastructure. However, it will not be as easy as purchasing products. It requires understanding workforce behaviour, emerging needs, and trends. As with any change, it will be crucial to maintain organisational culture and connection.


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Disaster Recovery (DR) planning is much more than just developing a DR plan. Building your organisation’s maturity to successfully recover from a disaster scenario is an exercise in continuous improvement. Recently, IBRS hosted a webinar to address four IBRS advisory papers focusing on the steps needed to successfully plan for DR and build the maturity of the organisations DR planning processes. The end game; to improve the likelihood of mitigating an ICT disaster event to ensure business success. Disaster Recovery Must Work!


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When your business faces a disaster it is key to address the issue head on. You must first understand who's problem it is to solve and create an effective disaster recovery (DR) plan. Both business and ICT need to be comfortable that the DR plan has been verified to ensure a reasonable expectation that recovery will be successful. IBRS has created a 4 part series to help organisations plan for and recover from disasters successfully. Download the 'disaster recovery must work ebook' and prepare your organisation.


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Conclusion:

In the modern business landscape, ICT products and services are becoming more and more critical to the success of the business. It is now more common than not that ICT products and services are being delivered through outsourcing of some kind, using Software-as-a Service (SaaS) or Cloud service providers (CSPs). Innovating improvements to the business can become a challenge when your organisation is tied to delivery of ICT services under contract; most very specific in nature but key to delivering success.

The key to successful innovation is situational awareness across both the business and the ICT environment. The result of being able to achieve situational awareness will enable both business units and ICT to innovate with their eyes wide open to both the opportunities and constraints impacting the business. The true cost and time to market the innovation presents, can then be clearly understood against the benefits envisaged.


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IBRSiQ is a database of Client inquiries and is designed to get you talking to our advisors about these topics in the context of your organisation in order to provide tailored advice for your needs.


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Conclusion:

Part four in this series of advisories looks at how to improve the disaster recovery (DR) planning maturity of your organisation. The focus of improving maturity in DR planning is to improve your probability of successfully meeting the needs of your business in the event of a disaster. Ensuring your DR plan (DRP) and business continuity planning (BCP) are fully integrated and that all elements of the organisation have a high degree of familiarity with DR processes.

Importantly, your organisation must understand that maturity is both a journey and a target. To maintain the target maturity, your organisation must put in place a number of strategies that will be continually repeated to ensure the target is both met and maintained.


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Conclusion:

Part three of this four part series looks at how the disaster recovery (DR) plan can be verified. The DR plan is in effect a contingency plan to deal with risk of a disaster. The DR test plan is a validation of the preparedness of the organisation to address these risks.

The need to have a DR plan verified is therefore essential if the contingency is to be effective. Just having a plan in place is not enough to mitigate the risk. The plan must be tested and verified as part of business as usual (BAU) to both increase familiarity with the plan, its standard operating procedures (SOPs) and processes, and most importantly, improve the likelihood of success.


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Conclusion:

There is no denying that the incidence and severity of ransomware cyber attacks, both real and fake, are on the rise. Whether the attacks are State-based or purely criminal in nature, organisations need to address their ability to both defend against such attacks and respond appropriately when they occur. The impact of a successful breach can have a high cost in the areas of productivity, reputation and the potential for financial losses. A good defensive posture against cyber attacks will make your organisation a harder nut to crack for the attackers.


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Conclusion: 

The need to have a disaster recovery (DR) plan that is understood, agreed, and jointly owned by all elements of the organisation is essential in preparing for a disaster event. An effective DR plan will focus on managing the risk associated with completing a successful restoration and recovery in a time, and to a level of effectiveness, acceptable to business.

To ensure the plan is effective at mitigating the risks associated with completion of restoration and resumption of services after a disaster event; the DR plan must also clearly identify how the plan is to be verified and therefore reduce the risk of not completing a successful disaster recovery.

The key focus of the DR plan must always be about the restoring delivery of business functions. The technical delivery may be from ICT services on-premise, outsourced providers, or Cloud. Regardless of technical delivery to business, the impact of an ICT disaster event needs a verified plan!


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Conclusion

With the growth of dependence on ICT for business to perform effectively, many organisations have increased risk associated with the ability of ICT to provide service continuity. ICT downtime means business is negatively impacted. Many organisations believe the DRP is a problem that is ICTs to solve. Whilst ICT will lead the planning and do a lot of the heavy lifting when a disaster occurs, it can only be successful with the assistance and collaboration of its business partners. It will be the business that sets the priorities for restoration and accepts the risk.

Both business and ICT need to be comfortable that the disaster recovery (DR) plan has been verified to ensure a reasonable expectation that recovery will be successful.


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Conclusion

Traditionally, vendor lock-in was associated with deliberate vendor-driven outcomes, where software and hardware forced the client to align their business processes to those offered by a specific software or ICT platform. Vendor lock-in often limited the flexibility of organisations to meet business needs as well as increasing costs. As a result, information and communication technology (ICT) was often seen as a limiting factor for business success when agility was needed. Historically, vendor lock-in was therefore seen as a negative. Poor timing, bad decisions and clumsy procurement practices may still see organisations fall into unwanted vendor lock-in situations. But is vendor lock-in always a negative?


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Conclusion:

For many years Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have faced endless questions about whether Microsoft (MS) and other suppliers meet the requirements for an enterprise-grade solution. The main components of the office suite (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) and the Windows operating systems for desktops and servers, has been de facto standards for most organisations for many years.

With Microsoft’s success with Azure (Cloud and infrastructure), Dynamics (enterprise resource planning (ERP)), Office 365 (collaborative workplace platform) and the PowerPlatform (analytics and low-code workflow development), MS is now competitive in almost every aspect of the enterprise solution space. Your organisation’s approach to determining the value proposition for any supplier is the same as it has always been – maximum gain with minimum pain. The MS offering in both terms of capabilities, service support and security has matured significantly and now offers a much-improved value proposition that organisations should consider.


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