A “PM Corner” Excerpt – by Jay Demas, PMP

As an often under-appreciated or behind-the-scenes element of many Government or Commercial IT programs, “Project Management” is the discipline that provides the planning and resource scheduling necessary to turn IT budgets into clear and successful returns on investment. Blackstone Technology Group delivers program and project management consulting for IT implementation activities large and small, and we continually rely on the expertise and continuing education of our project managers to deliver success across all client engagements.

If you’re seeking training or more information about project management (whether you’re new to the project management field or already a veteran), there are many resources available to you. A great place to start is the Project Management Institute (PMI) at www.pmi.org. PMI is an international, not for profit, leading membership association for the project management profession. Your membership to PMI includes access to information on certifications, training, degrees, and jobs. In addition, you’ll have access to many PM publications, a virtual library, and a research area. As a member of PMI, you have the ability to extend to membership to local PMI Chapter, PMI Specific Interest Groups (SIGs), and PMI Colleges.

If you don’t find all the information you need from PMI, check out PMForum at http://www.pmforum.org/, the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm) at http://www.asapm.org/, or the International Project Management Association (IPMA) at http://www.ipma.ch/. Each of these organizations is looking at project management from different perspectives – be sure to evaluate multiple sites to find those that meet your needs.

Perhaps you’re looking to network with other Project Managers? Most people think you have to go to training to meet other project management enthusiasts. However, there are many project management events locally, stateside, international, and even some at sea! In the DC area, for example, you can be invited to attend breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and socials. In addition, there are symposiums, seminars, conferences, and webinars. Some of these events are free or require just a small fee.

More upcoming project management industry event information can be found here:

http://www.pmiwdc.org/events
http://www.pmi.org/pages/calendar.aspx

For more information or career opportunities regarding IT Program Management or Project Management, or to find someone with IT Project Management expertise (with either commercial or government contextual experience), contact Blackstone Technology Group.

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Blackstone Expands Its Ability to Serve California State Government

SACRAMENTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As a top provider of Technology Consulting Services to the California State Government, Blackstone Technology Group, Inc. announced today the expansion of its ability to serve the state of California through earning a CalPERS Spring Fed Pool Refresh Award. This Award will enable Blackstone to offer both expanded and enhanced IT services to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, a CA state organization that provides retirement and health benefits to 1.6+ million public employees, retirees, and their families and 2,500+ employers.

As part of the Spring Fed Pool Refresh, CalPERS awarded Blackstone classifications in six new IT service verticals, namely Project Management, Architecture, Data Administration/Data Modeling, Application Development, Release Management/Quality Assurance/Configuration Management, and Management Support Services. This now expands Blackstone’s capability to service CalPERS to a total of six different verticals and thirteen related job categories.

“This is a significant step forward,” said Rick Venegas, Sr. Director of Blackstone’s CA State Government Practice. “It was an intensive effort that involved several months of Blackstone’s work combined with a deep inspection by CalPERS of Blackstone past performances to ensure we met CalPERS qualifications and standards. Based on the scope and scale of award that CalPERS delivered to us, it shows that Blackstone has met or beaten multiple bars of performance criteria for CalPERS, and that Blackstone is further deepening its credibility in the CA state government marketplace.”

Contact:
Blackstone Technology Group
Rick Venegas, Sr. Director, CA State Government Practice,
916-565-1260, ext. 327
rvenegas@bstonetech.com
www.bstonetech.com

Here’s a look into Blackstone Technology Group’s SOA engineering and architecture practice, and some interesting capabilities we’re deploying right now for Federal, State and Local Government and Public Service clients. Contact us here, or provide comments via any one of our social media channels.

An SOA infrastructure environment provides the foundation and plumbing for business services within the enterprise. Business service providers and consumers rely on the SOA infrastructure to provide an expected quality of service that is often difficult to verify before providers and consumers begin to leverage the infrastructure. Once problems arise, it may be difficult to determine the root cause of an issue especially when the SOA infrastructure and business services have different owners. In order to separate issues between the infrastructure and the services and hopefully prevent the blame game, comprehensive testing of the infrastructure must be performed to validate its capabilities and performance.

Without leveraging business services, an approach to testing an SOA infrastructure is to develop mock-scenarios that simulate real world use cases. To minimize complexity, each mock-scenario will often include just a subset of components within the SOA infrastructure and may not utilize all possible transport interfaces for a particular component. To provide full coverage of the infrastructure, a series of mock-scenarios will need to be developed with each scenario testing a particular area in the infrastructure. This approach gets the job done by ensuring that every component is tested, but will quickly show its limitations when scenarios need to be altered to perform root cause analysis, understand the diagnostics of an individual component within the infrastructure, or when new components are introduced.

For a current Federal Homeland Security Information-Sharing initiative, we’ve implemented a highly-efficient and data-driven framework to test an enterprise-scale, highly available SOA infrastructure environment. In the same amount of time that it took to previously build a single test scenario, we were able to develop the initial framework implementation that can quickly support multiple scenarios that include any permutation of components and transports.

Contact Blackstone Technology Group for more information regarding implementing Services-Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions for your business or mission needs, and to learn more about our industry-leading SOA development and testing capabilities.

Hot opportunity in Blackstone Technology Group’s Washington DC Office, Federal Government Practice – Federal Technology Solutions Director

Position Description
As the Federal Technology Solutions director for Blackstone Technology Group, you will responsible for defining and building this Enterprise Application Integration and Information-Sharing Federal Practice.

You will serve as a thought leader and chief architect, building out service offerings focused on Application Integration, Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), Enterprise Services Bus (ESB) implementations, Enterprise Content Management (ECM), MDM, NIEM, Governance, etc. The ideal candidate will have a proven record of developing architectural solutions to facilitate intra and inter-government integration challenges using various frameworks. You will be responsible for managing client relationships, building and managing several accounts, managing partner relationships and selling new opportunities.

In addition being a key member of the Blackstone management team, you may also be directly involved in client engagements.

Qualified resources must have seven to ten years experience with large system implementation engagements as both a lead architect and program manager, covering the full life-cycle of program management, requirements, process design, implementation, testing, and change management. architectural solutions to facilitate intra and inter-government integration challenges using various frameworks.

Contact Blackstone Technology Group, or send resumes and referrals to MGREENBERG (at) BSTONETECH.COM .

Blackstone technology Group has immediate openings for TIBCO Solution Architects to lead two exciting new programs. One is supporting DHS (The Department of Homeland Security) in Washington, DC and the other is in San Francisco, CA. Learn more and contact us here.

Blackstone Technology Group is an industry leader in providing Services Oriented Architecture solutions, including SOA Governance and Organization Transformation, Business Process Management (BPM) and Automation, IT Governance, Enterprise Services Bus (ESB) Implementation, Information Management Architectures and Engineering, SOA Information Assurance and Security Policy Enforcement, and many other related Systems Integration, Architecture and Engineering capabilities.

Here at Blackstone Technology Group, we’re leveraging Web 2.0 and social media channels for both our internal and external corporate dialogue, as well as helping clients and partners do the same. One of our bloggers recently wrote about a method for establishing social media presence (for commercial or government organizations) – let us know if this resonates, and/or more information would be helpful.

Read more about Initiating a Corporate Social Media Presence – Unleash Your Inner Star Power over at the Govloop Community.

Kenneth Lo, a Blackstone Technology Group Microsoft Sharepoint Consulting Architect, will be speaking at the upcoming “Sharepoint Saturday” conference 6/25 in Baltimore, MD. His topic “Designer or Custom Workflows – Do I Look Fat In This?” answers questions including “what is a workflow?”. “How can it be applied to automate and manage business processes?” The concepts of workflows and the different ways to quickly develop lightweight workflows that integrate with SharePoint will be covered. In addition, the pros & cons of developing workflows in SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio and K2 blackpearl will be examined.

From the Sharepoint Saturday site:

“Join SharePoint architects, developers, and other professionals that work with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for ‘SharePoint Saturday’, on Saturday, July 25th, 2009 at the UMBC Training Centers at 1450 South Rolling Road in Baltimore (Halthrope) Maryland 21227. SharePoint Saturday will be an educational, informative & lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals & MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint-orientated topics. SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint!”