IPMDAR in 2020

JSON Logo

Steelray is sponsoring the next meeting of the CPM Washington DC chapter.  The topic is Call for More Data?  IPMDAR in 2020.

When?
Thursday, July 23, 2020, 5:20 – 7:00pm

How I register?
Register using this link.

Meeting Details
The Integrated Program Management Data Analysis Report (IPMDAR) is the revised reporting requirement from the Integrated Management Report (IPMR) for EVM Reporting.  It was issued by DoD’s Acquisition, Analytics and Policy (AAP) in April 2020.  It is already finding its way on to both RFPs and contracts.

Join us for a lively discussion on how the IPMDAR provides for maximum flexibility and tailoring to increase cost and schedule integration and get buyer/seller conversations to be at the level where the work occurs, namely, the control account level. Questions are required to be submitted prior to the event.  There will be a subsequent event TBA focused on the JSON file requirements (DEI & FFS).

Panelists include NDIA IPMD Board members of the joint government/industry IPMDAR adjudication team Vaughn Schlegel, Scott LeFrance, and Dan Lynch.

Note: The June meeting sold out (tickets are free).  Register now to save your spot. Also, please note that when you login to the GoToMeeting, your name will show and you will have a choice to show video for the first hour or so.  Then, when the meeting starts at 6:00, we’ll ask everyone but the speakers to go off video unless asking a questions.

Our COVID-19 Relief Policy

We’re starting to hear from companies who are being impacted by the economic conditions created by the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re telling us about workforce reductions and furloughs and asking questions about their subscriptions, renewals, and license transfers. After some internal discussions, we came up with an idea of how to help our customers who are having a hard time because of the virus.

Effective immediately, we are adding a new policy for our Project Analyzer customers:

  • If your organization had to lay off employees due to pandemic-related economic conditions and want to transfer their subscription to another user, we’ll help you facilitate that license transfer and extend the subscription’s expiration by three months.  
  • If your organization furloughed employees due to pandemic-related economic conditions, contact us when they are back at work, and we’ll extend their subscription’s expiration by three months.
  • If your organization laid-off employees who were active Analyzer users and they will not be coming back, please forward this offer to them: if they contact us directly, we’ll offer them a complimentary 3-month subscription to help them get back on their feet. Terms and conditions apply. 
  • This offer expires on 9/30/2020, at which time we’ll assess whether or not to extend it further.

We hope that you and your colleagues and families are staying safe during this time.

 

Two New Year’s Resolutions

Today is January 2, the first workday where we get to practice our New Year’s resolutions.  Did you make any?  For Steelray, New Year’s resolutions take the form of annual objectives.  This year, we’ve made two big resolutions.

listeningFirst, we resolve that we’re going to do a much better job of communicating with you.  That includes sharing news about releases and events we’re attending.  Communication is a two-way street, so it also involves listening very carefully to your feedback, ideas, and suggestions.  In fact, the listening part is the far more critical part of communication.

sharing ideasSecond, we’re going back to our roots and delivering groundbreaking software — this time in the area of schedule delay analysis.  I can’t share the details yet, but that day is coming soon.  We’ve been in R&D mode for most of last year, working on the technology.

At times, we encountered roadblocks that made us question whether we’d be able to push through. And we pushed through. (If it were easy, it would have been done already.)  We’re not there yet, but we’re getting much closer.

phone usAnd, in keeping with our first resolution, I’m spending time every day speaking with potential users of the software, understanding how it can best help and how it would be used.  So, if you’re someone who looks at schedules with the purpose of understanding the impact of changes to the schedule, please reach out to me.

Let’s talk!

Women’s Empowerment & Bravery

We discovered another great TED Talk, this time by Reshma Saujani, the founder of the non-profit organization Girls Who Code which supports efforts to increase the number of women in computer science. Saujani draws attention to the tough issue of the gender imbalance in the technology industry. She recognizes aspects of our socialization that affect our inclination to take risks and further describes her efforts to encourage risk-taking and the acceptance of imperfection among young girls as a form of women’s empowerment.

Without sounding too much like a sociology lecture you slept through in college, it’s important to recognize that we don’t make our behavioral decisions (including those around our careers) in a vacuum. Some argue that “there are fewer women in STEM because they choose so,” which negates early experiences where we give young boys toy cars and young girls dolls and subsequently teach that technical skills are a boy’s trait. Girls Who Code combats these early lessons with their program and encourages young girls to embrace imperfections so that the future of the tech industry includes a more balanced gender parity. Here at Steelray, we’re all too aware of the gender imbalance and hope to continue to support women in tech.

Watch the TED Talk below.

Viewer Now Sold by Subscription

As of October 1st, 2018, we no longer sell “full” and “maintenance” licenses to our products. We only sell subscriptions.

Prior to October 1st, 2018, we sold our viewer as a perpetual license. On October 1st, 2018, we switched to a subscription model, which means that all new sales are sold as subscriptions.

For Perpetual License Holders

If you are a perpetual license holder, you may continue to use the product perpetually (as the name implies). The only change will be how you are covered under maintenance. Until your maintenance period expires, you are covered under your current maintenance period; nothing changes.

Should you choose to renew maintenance when it expires, you would be switching to a subscription license at that time.

When your maintenance expires, should you choose to not renew maintenance, you may continue to use the product but will not be eligible for technical support and new versions.

Seven Business Practices that Need a Second Look

According to this recent article on Nautilus, there’s a long-held belief in educational systems around the world:

Cursive handwriting is an important and valuable skill that should be learned by all children at an early age.

The thinking is:

  • It’s faster than manuscript
  • It helps with spelling
  • It helps with dyslexia

So, cursive is taught early and heavily promoted over manuscript (the simple, unconnected method we learn first).

But, according to research, there is no real benefit to cursive. On the contrary, manuscript may be?superior in most respects.

And, in today’s device-driven world where almost nothing is written by hand,?we hardly even read anything in cursive.

It seems like the notion to continue using it is, well, dumb ? a classic case of tradition trumping evidence.

This got me thinking about parallels in the business world. About?initiatives, programs and policies we continue to embrace that have little merit. Here’s a short list:

business?Practices that Need a Second Look

1. Rewards programs to boost performance

Performance programs are thought to boost morale and incentivize employees, but they often benefit only a few while disenfranchising those who don?t make it to the top.

2. Yearly and quarterly employee performance reviews

Ongoing checkins, properly done, can be much more effective at giving employees?and management?the insight they need to be more effective at their jobs day-to-day.

3. ?No meetings? policies, because meetings are boring and unproductive.

Meetings are critical for strategic planning and communication, so perhaps the solution is not to ditch them, but to learn how to have better meetings. Conversely, not all meetings are created equal. Are you swamped with ?status? meetings that are better served by reports and emails? Is the meeting actually serving a goal?

4. Corporate communication and knowledge sharing via an intranet.

Do people use it? Does it integrate into daily workflow? Intranets are hard to do.

5. Hiring people we ?like” during the interview

Research shows that the interview process is laden with personal, subconscious bias. Many interviews are highly unstructured and ineffective.

6. 360? feedback programs

Employee feedback initiatives easily fail, unless they’re ongoing, driven from the top, and result in tangible responses by management.

7. Customer-first policies

According to Richard Branson, putting your employees first results in the best customer experience possible (which, in a way, actually puts your customers first).

What’s on your list?