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Project Managers Fundamentals

December 13, 2015 Leave a comment

If a Project Manager is serving something to his/her customers around; it is pretty certain that he/she must have certain fundamentals. All you may have familiar with Scope, Cost, Time triplet which leads performance or quality of a project or a product coming out as a result of project development process. But, it is not fair to tell something about fundamentals of a project manager, which may cause an epic failure in his/her management career. Fundamental is a known thing. It is like a footballer cannot stop the ball well enough, or an HR specialist who does not listen people in his account, or a senior manager who makes micro management and loosing focus. So, I want to make a list of qualities, a project manager must have:

Organizing Meetings: Agenda, Locations, Time, Attenders, Type of Attendance are key aspects of meetings. You must share an open agenda beforehand. By “open” I mean update-able/correctable list of things in the agenda. Place must be stated before, which means you need to make reservations beforehand. It is hard to check in rooms in last days in many organizations, you must find a way of overcoming this issue, for example making reservations one or two weeks before, despite you have not got any meeting ahead. You can give away your room reservation if you do not need to use it. For multi-location meetings you need agents or friends in other locations for finding rooms. Starting time of meeting is very important, you must be aware of organizational culture. Try to start on time, and if you have doubts about the attendance, send last minute updates like “We are starting our meeting…” Also, you can call the key attenders in advance, in order to be sure about their time of attendance. Even, using sponsor power for attendance can be needed for tough attenders. Recent years come with alternative technologies for attending meetings like phone call, video conference, lync, etc. Choosing the type of attendance needs more attention. Let’s have a look to these types…

An astute project manager must choose best way of attendance type. If a project manager is trying to meet 3 people with a call conference, it could be understandable. But, if you try this for 10 people, you need to worry about what you are doing. Do not tell me that, technology allows this, and it is an option. You must think of using videoconferencing, or dividing the attenders and agenda, according to focus areas of people. It is also a common mistake that adding people to teleconference is not one-way thing. I mean as a project manager you are calling someone, after figuring out that he is busy and you are eventually passing to another attender, and because your line is busy at that time the first called person may not attend to conference because you are not aware of incoming call. Can it be? Sure… If your phone is not showing incoming calls while your telephone is busy. In Turkish there is a saying in this situation, “Get well soon!”. So, you must take care of your attenders. Small things can cause big things, you must think in details.


Applying Correct Communication
Types: A wise project manager must
choose best way of communication. If you
adaptable to or aware of culture and technology, you are lucky. Company/country culture may play a great role for choosing the best way of communication. As everyone suggests use emails for making commitments or distributing the agreed topics in meetings. Use emails if you are certain that you really need it. Call your colleagues, why bother them to understand your email that you write in 20 mins, and needs another 20 mins for replying. In most of the cases talking solves the problems. Being native with other members of project team does not mean you are in same working culture. You may miss the opportunity of clues of success which may only possible via effective way of communication. A tea or coffee may solve your problems which may worth million dollars.

Escalation Skills: I have cases that people who are reporting to me, have escalations, in which they do not do everything and want to escalate this immature thing. I just say, do you want me to do your work.

Please, investigate your escalation need, if you are escalating a situation that you do not think or work on it, it will be inevitable that you will be assessed with your perception and skills.If not, in this case assessors skills must me assessed:) Escalation goal is also important. Why do you escalate, for punishing someone. Definitely no! Do you know that escalation can also be a way presenting or showing someone’s or team’s work or risk taking. By escalating or highlighting an issue you are playing a great role if you think like that. For example, we had a case with operation team that, they did not want to open a feature in an equipment, which may lead saturation  problems in the future. What did they tell me? Escalate this, in order to make them understandable by marketing guys. We could make it, you are causing something that you do not wan to be. What happened, we did not open that feature and marketing guys ware persuaded for more expenditures/investment for the product.

Being positive: Be positive about people! If there is human there may be errors and malfunctions. Appreciate for success, appreciate for five nines availability. Do not stuck on 0,001 failure… When is the last time you had thanked someone about his/her work. You will win if you could understand people… You cannot get something from a person, or make efficient communication; if you do not know about him/her. Look, listen, and try to be positive in order to be perceptive.

You must continually sharpen your fundamentals. Remember a common saying:  “If it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger!”

Categories: Uncategorized

Oracle RAC PSU4 Installation Notes

June 20, 2013 Leave a comment

Last month we had installed Oracle RAC PSU4 to Red Hat 6.4 (Santiago).

You could find below documentation in PDF format for each part of installation:

There you can find cases, may be specific to our environment.  In order not to re-install several times, clean OS side etc., I had preferred, first ensuring our OS and network environment is ready for installation by using Oracle cluster verification utility.

This environment is in production and working for more than 2 weeks.

Hope this helps to anyone installing Oracle RAC 🙂

blogging 2012 in review, sharing is everything

January 1, 2013 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 32,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

How to Apply Multicast Patch before

November 12, 2012 1 comment

Applying multicast patch is not trivial at all, and there is not clear instruction steps in readme of the patch, regarding with the order of patching, or when/where to apply.

Beware that this installation scenario needed because we need to install version. Below you could find the steps for applying multicast patch:

1. Follow installation instructions for grid infra, till Execute Configuration Scripts window ( script execution window)

2. As it stated in Configuration Scripts window, run script in both nodes.   [You may get orainst.loc not found errors, if you try to start following multicast patch here!]

3. Execute script in first node, (check that ASM, grid processes become online after then)

4. Apply Multicast patch (9974223) on first node, without skipping any CRS related step in patch readme.

5. Multicast patch on second node(for configuration B), skipping below locking steps because is not executed in 2nd node:
<CRS_HOME>/crs/install/ -unlock
<CRS_HOME>/crs/install/ -patch

[We inspired from, thank you flying amigos.]

6. Execute script in 2nd node.

7. Install database software.

8. Stop HAS and cluster. And apply multicast patch to database home by:

<CRS_HOME>/bin/./crsctl stop crs

<CRS_HOME>/bin/./crsctl stop cluster

opatch lsinventory -detail -oh /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1

opatch napply custom/server/ -local -oh /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1 -id 9974223

Thank you Tamer Onem, from Oracle, this note could not be “complete” without his enrollment.

Infrastructure Consolidation Projects

November 10, 2012 1 comment

What is consolidation? At first, it seems a process which enables making things with smaller number of resources.

Below picture that depicts the economy of using one resource, one jar, for many fish, which forms a real motivation to managers, and initial understanding of the concept.

I had a chance to coordinate and enroll in operational standardization, consolidation projects.

At first glance,  you may wonder why do we need consolidation or normalization projects? We may find the answers with more questions like following… Why systems fall in a state that are not economically operable? Why whole service responsibility is given on one or two super-persons who never gets ill, or goes to holiday,  having roles like database administration, application server administration, hardware&software procurement, application administration etc? Why not divide and conquer responsibility of service management? Why do we try to use one resource for all problems?

Why people tends to put one fish in one jar, instead of putting more fish in one jar. This maybe because of less knowledge/specialization/expertise in operation, fast, unplanned installations, badly managed projects and vendor driven configurations/installations for applications/services.

Let’s continue on consolidation projects… They took place among different divisions, teams, outsource companies, and tens of people, having goal of responsibility transition to several technology specialized groups such as database, application server, disk, test, security, resource management, procurement  from single responsible group.

After consolidating/normalizing our service/application infrastructure we found a pot of gold, here comes, what is in this pot:

– Opportunity to technology improvement like filesystem to ASM, legacy Sun Cluster to Oracle RAC. It is an opportunity, because you are not renovating, it is a process that designing the underlying infrastructure from scratch.

– Decreasing the number of hardware & software, licenses, operation personnel which lead great savings, which means decreasing OPEX (operational expenditure).

– Combining above two issues, recall that technology inevitably occurs in infrastructure every 3-5 years, due to organic growth of business, and maintenance cost increase, and manager’s will to prefer CAPEX with compared to OPEX.

– Have a chance to harden the underlying infrastructure, because we deal with fewer system. Hardening matrix example

– Adopt “service” concept to infrastructure, for example an application will go to database infrastructure over application server with its database service connection. This lead flexibility in locating services to database instances.

– Applying operational standards (backup, maintenance, patch, etc.), database security standards, change management, not using production for everything, change through development to test and to production environments.

– Compliance with security standards. In our case, compliance with ISO and SOX security requirements. Enabling segregation of duties or simply separation of duties. Centrify, guardium like technologies makes things easy.

– Specialization in operations: Special tasks must be operated by specialized people, in order to make it faster with high quality.

– At last, which is simpler? Defending tens of castles or only one. Such as monitoring a large database, application server, is always a lot more easier than managing tens of them. For example, you will only get one RMAN backup, instead of ten; this is not only database task, but also backup, and first line monitoring task. You could increase the examples for application server administration, Oracle Gateway administration, Oracle EM grid agent administration etc.

A picture which may lead understanding the compliance to security/operational standards, shows the real outcome value of consolidation projects. This is like putting the fish in a bag, and changing the water again and again because it is impossible to use air pump due to its cost or technology. Why not put these fish to modern aquarium with air pump, light, plants, thick glass.

I want to add more words for specialization… In Turkish, there is a saying, “If you own only a hammer, everything seems nail to you.” In real world, do you really have only hammer in your hand, and  nails to be nailed… or specialized tools like screw driver, pliers, saw for screwing a screw, gripping/bending a copper cable, cutting woods etc? You must utilize from specialized tools, people, in your systems… You must divide your service into specialized responsibility areas…

HP returns the Oracle game

August 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Despite the dbas murmuring about Oracle working on HPUX,it seems unfair a vendor is disqualified after years of contribution to Oracle technology.

And good news, HP wins the Itanium lawsuit against Oracle.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Why PLSQL is efficient than any other PL on Oracle database?

August 1, 2012 Leave a comment

12 years ago when I argued on the performance of  Programming Languages with an experienced Java programmer, who was developing CORBA like communication infrastructure and preferring only Java, confessed that a dba might develop better performance code than him in PLSQL.

In Turkish, there is a saying “tools work, hands take pride on”.  So why not use PLSQL much more…

PLSQL is really on database and closer to database layer any other Programming Languae could manage to be .

After years passed, using SQL instead of PLSQL was my first goal while implementing any requirement.

I had first seen below statement nearly 1 year ago, and it really fit my thoughts which I have not been clearly stated before. I really appreciated it and compelled to get my knowledge world.

My mantra, that I’ll be sticking with thank you very much, is:

  • You should do it in a single SQL statement if at all possible.
  • If you cannot do it in a single SQL Statement, then do it in PL/SQL.
  • If you cannot do it in PL/SQL, try a Java Stored Procedure.
  • If you cannot do it in Java, do it in a C external procedure.
  • If you cannot do it in a C external routine, you might want to seriously think about why it is you need to do it…

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