Sustainable Water Project Inaugurated

Background

A few months ago we published a post on the foundation of FESTAS. On February 24, 2015, the FESTAS foundation was officially inaugurated.

Objective of the Foundation.

The objective of the foundation is to raise funds to develop educational and research programs in the area of sustainable drinking water production and usage.

Inauguration

FESTAS Inauguration
FESTAS Inauguration

As mentioned above, this project was inaugurated on February 25, 2015 and was attended by many local and international supporters and sponsors.

Sponsoring FESTAS

FESTAS is a private initiative and is sponsored by companies and individuals.  Anyone interested in sponsoring this sustainable initiative should contact the President of FESTAS at festasaruba@gmail.com

Sustainable Water Technology Project

 

Introduction

Sufficient drinking water continues to be a serious problem in many countries around the world. In an effort to alleviate this problem, the FESTAS foundation was recently founded on the island of Aruba. Following is an interview with the founder of this foundation, Dr. Filomeno Marchena.

Who is Filomeno A. Marchena?

FAMs picture Filomeno A. Marchena is the founder of FESTAS. He has more than 25 years  of experience in  seawater desalination     for the production of drinking water. His expertise also encompasses the drinking water conditioning and drinking water quality with reference to both the physicochemical and bacteriological aspects. He holds an MSc-degree in the Chemical Engineering of the Delft University of Technology and a PhD-degree in Technology Sciences of the University of Twenty in the Netherlands.

He is also a guest lecturer and BSc- and MSc-graduating students support at the University of Curacao and the Focal Point of Aruba for the UNESCO International Hydrological Program for Latin America and the Caribbean.

His passion is research and education in Sustainable Water Technology and he has three international patents for innovative seawater desalination technologies.

 

What is FESTAS?

FESTAS is an education foundation in Aruba with the primary objective of generating and managing funds for the whole academic program of the UNESCO Sustainable Water Technology Chair at University of Curacao and for the development of water education program for pre-primary -, primary – and secondary schools in the Caribbean region. FESTAS will also develop agriculture projects to promote sustainable agriculture. The intention is also to establish a research facility in Aruba to support scientific research and academic science in the field of sustainable water technology and green agriculture and zero discharge wastewater treatment and reuse.

The strategy and commitment of FESTAS can be recognized in its mission statement, vision and slogan which are formulated as follows:

The Mission statement:

FESTAS is a trustworthy support and energetic propulsion to improve the Quality of life in especially Small Island Development States through excellent education, science and technological innovation toward green environmental protection and sustainable water cycle management.

The Vision:

FESTAS envisions globally recognition as an excellent strategic partner for education, science and development and application of innovative green sustainable technology providing solutions for goal-directed green environment protection and sustainable use of healthy water for all.

The Slogan:

WE stand for Water Education toward Water Excellence

The education foundation FESTAS is established by Dr. Ir. Filomeno A. Marchena on December 3rd, 2013 in accordance with the Law of Aruba at the notary office of Mr. Dr. Ralph Elias Yarzagaray, civil-law notary of Aruba and is registered at the Chamber of Commerce of Aruba. The statutory legal information of FESTAS is as follows:

Name of the foundation                : FESTAS

Address of the foundation            : Savaneta 225-C, Savaneta

Statutory name                               : Fundacion pa Educacion y Sciencia Technologico di Awa Sustenibel

Statutory seat                                  : Aruba

Foundation number                       : S1356 (Chamber of Commerce of Aruba)

Memorandum of foundation        : December 03, 2013

 

What does the name FESTAS stands for?

FESTAS stands for “Fundacion pa Educacion y Sciencia Technologico di Awa Sustenibel” which means in the native language “Papiamento” of Aruba: “Foundation for Education and Science in Sustainable Water Technology”.

For whom is FESTAS?

FESTAS objective is to promote Sustainable Water education at all the schools and Sustainable Water Technology Science at all universities in the Caribbean Region to promote the production and distribution of healthy drinking water, optimal sanitation engineering and green sustainable agriculture for all in the “Small Island Development States “ (SIDS) in the Caribbean Region.

According to the preliminary information received from the Central Bureaus of Statistics and the Water Companies from the Dutch Caribbean Islands and the Department of Agriculture, Husbandry and fishery of Aruba a total of 75,441 direct beneficiaries can be estimated for FESTAS’ educational and scientific program. This includes about 67,583 pupils and 4,654 teachers at the pre-primary-, primary- and secondary schools and about 2550 active farmers and 184 operators and about 200 students in the Dutch Caribbean. The total amount of schools, colleges and universities is about 324.

 

The ultimate goal is to reach out to all pupils, students, teachers and farmers of the Caribbean and promote student culture diversity.

How is FESTAS funded?

The current marketing and funds strategy of FESTAS is primarily based on sending letters requesting donation to prospect companies, manufacturers, consultants in the global desalination and water management world and foundations supporting globally sustainable water and environmental solutions.

The prospected fund raising companies and agents are:

  • Water Utilities Companies of the Dutch Caribbean.
  • Global Desalination Manufacturing companies.
  • Global Beverage companies.
  • Global Water, environment education and scientific foundations.
  • Global consultancy companies.
  • Government of the Dutch Caribbean Islands.
  • European Union funds.
  • Banks of Aruba and the Caribbean Region.
  • UNESCO.

 

Why should I sponsor FESTAS?

By sponsoring FESTAS every one can give a hand to solve the water shortage problem in the world by starting to increase the consciousness of the importance of healthy water, the conservation and sustainability of it and not to misuse the precious water already at the youngest age. Furthermore you can help FESTAS to reach its intended objective to comply with its driving force and passion which is primarily based on the statement of the United Nations as quoted:

“Problems of poverty are inextricably linked with those of water- its availability, its proximity, its quantity, and its quality. Improving access of poor people to water has the potential to make a major contribution towards poverty eradication”

(World Water Development Report of the United Nations)

Does FESTAS have a business plan?

FESTAS has developed a business plan for 2014-2019 programs with all necessary detailed information of the academic program of the UNESCO Chair Sustainable Water Technology, the education programs, scholarship and the research facility. The Business plan 2012-2019 is available on request.

Who are the current sponsors?

Already some local companies, utilities companies and beverage companies of abroad has committed and promised to support FESTAS, such as: CocaCola Aruba, Polytechnisch Ingenieursbureau N.V., PC-MAC Aruba N.V., Schlumberger Water Services, Inc., Seven Seas Water Corporation, Specialized System Integration (USA), Inc., Nativa Holding N.V., ACE Firm Engineering, EcoVision, C.A.R.S. Automall N.V., Utilities Aruba N.V., Brown Lawyers, Amast N.V., Rotary Club of Aruba.

 

How to sponsor FESTAS?

 Those interested in sponsoring FESTAS can cantact the President of FESTAS at famarchena@gmail.com.  Grants and donations can then be deposited on the current account of FESTAS:

Stichting FESTAS

Fundacion pa Educacion y Sciencia Technologico di Awa Sustenibel

Savaneta 225-C

Current account number: 62626904

Caribbean Mercantile Bank

SWIFT transfer number: CMBAAWAX

Caya G. F. (Betico) Croes # 53, PO Box 28

Oranjestad Aruba

 

For transparency, all sponsors will receive a copy of the yearly financial statement of FESTAS which FESTAS is obliged to deliver to the Chamber of Commerce of Aruba after each financial year. On request the mandatory yearly evaluation report to UNESCO concerning the performance of the Chair will also be available on request to all sponsors.

How to contact FESTAS?

FESTAS can be contacted through the President by a letter or an email or by phone as indicated below:

Name                      : Dr. Ir. Filomeno A. Marchena, President of FESTAS

Telephone             : + (297) 584 0520

Mobile                    : + (297) 594 5644

Email:                    famarchena@gmail.com , festasaruba@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budgeting Best Practices Part 6 of 6

Part 6: Wrap-up

Background

Determining your project budget has been discussed several times on this website. The reason is that many projects experience budget overruns. Many project managers are still having problems determining a good project budget. Based on these facts, I decided to run a series on budgeting best practices.

 Wrap-up

In part 1 to 4 we went through the steps to develop a project budget, going from project scope to project budget.

The main thing to remember is that developing a project budget is not a stand alone process. Developing a budget involves the scope, the WBS, the schedule and finally the budget. It is a stepwise process as depicted in the following chart.

project scope to budget
From Project Scope to Project Budget

 

I know that in real life we often do not want to go through all the steps. What to do when you are in a hurry, is to work fast, maybe using a preliminary scope and go through the steps to develop a preliminary budget, since it was based on a preliminary scope. However, you should never skip a step.

Also realize that there are also other methods to come up with a preliminary budget, such as parametric estimating. However for project approval you need a good budget, not a preliminary budget.

Yes, good project management, requires some self discipline!

 

Related References

Budgeting Best Practices Part 5 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 4 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 3 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 2 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 1 of 6

Determining Your Project Budget

Scope Control Best Practices

Project Management Quick Start

 

 

Budgeting Best Practices Part 5 of 6

Part 5: Develop Budget

Background

Determining your project budget has been discussed several times on this website. The reason is that many projects experience budget overruns. Many project managers are still having problems determining a good project budget. Based on these facts, I decided to run a series on budgeting best practices.

Interested?

If you are interested in knowing more about budgeting best practices,  SIGN UP on this blog (to the right, if you have not already done so)  to have all the blog posts of this series delivered to your inbox.

Step 5: Develop Budget

In part 4 of this series we developed our schedule. Many project managers think that budgeting is a stand alone process. It is not. Your budget depends on your schedule. Remember that time is money!

What you do when developing your budget is cost each one of the activities you came up with when determining your schedule. The cost of an activity is usually composed of labor, material and equipment. We use a spread sheet to calculate the cost of each activity. You then get your budget by adding up the costs of all the activities.

Budgeting Best Practices

  • Make sure your scope has been verified
  • Make sure your WBS corresponds with your scope
  • Make sure your schedule corresponds with your WBS
  • Make sure your budget is in line with your schedule.

Related References

Budgeting Best Practices Part 4 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 3 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 2 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 1 of 6

Determining Your Project Budget

Scope Control Best Practices

Project Management Quick Start

2014: What to Expect

Happy New Year 2014

First of all thank you for your continuous confidence during 2013.

I sincerely wish all of you and your loved ones love, peace, joy and health for 2014. May you find direction in this changing world of project management .

 Lasting Relationships

During 2013 I had the opportunity again to work with many project managers/consultants. Many of these contacts resulted in lasting friendship relationships, both local and international, something I really cherish. For me that is the most exciting part of Project Management. I am looking forward to building more lasting relationships in 2014.

Outlook for 2014

Based on the feedback I received from many of you I formulated my Vision and Mission as follows:

My vision is to use my 34+ years of  experience in project management to help project managers and consultants develop their career and  consulting business.

My mission is to achieve this by providing:

  • Training
  • Consulting
  • eBooks
  • Blog Posts

   Training

  • Class room training: The class room training given in connection with International Project Management Day  2013 was a great success. Several suggestions have been received to implement in future class room trainings.
  • Online training: An online course based on my latest eBook is under development. Hopefully it would be ready during 2014.

 Consulting

  • Face-to-Face consulting is given mainly to local project managers.
  • Online consulting is available to everyone and is very popular since it does not involve travel expenses.

 eBooks

The eBooks I write are based on questions I receive from aspiring project managers/consultants. The idea is that the eBooks are for you and by you. All my eBooks are reviewed/commented by my readers. For more information on my eBooks, visit my eStore

Blogging

During 2014 I will continue blogging about project management best practices. Blogging is a very interactive way to serve you.

Social Media

Social media is becoming more and more popular among my audience. Because of this, in 2014 I will be switching to social media instead of email for sharing my blog posts.

So follow me on Facebook , Twitter , LinkedIn and Google+

 

Related Information

About Victor Hunt Consulting

Project Management Training

Project Management Consulting

eBooks

 

 

Budgeting Best Practices Part 4 of 6

Part 4: Develop Schedule

Background

Determining your project budget has been discussed several times on this website. The reason is that many projects experience budget overruns. Many project managers are still having problems determining a good project budget. Based on these facts, I decided to run a series on budgeting best practices for the rest of this year.

Interested?

If you are interested in knowing more about budgeting best practices,  SIGN UP on this blog (to the right, if you have not already done so)  to have all the blog posts of this series delivered to your inbox.

Step 4: Develop Schedule

In the previous step we developed the WBS. The next step in getting our budget is to develop the schedule. You do this by scheduling each activity you have in the WBS.

To schedule an activity you have to determine the duration of the activity and the dependencies of the activities. Dependencies are needed because some activities cannot start before other activities are finished.

 

Scheduling Best Practices

  • Make sure to use all the WBS elements as activities in your schedule. A schedule is not a stand alone activity: it is derived from your WBS which in turn is derived from your scope.
  • Use realistic durations for your activities. We are often tempted to deliver a schedule with short durations. Be aware of this, and make sure your durations are realistic.
  • Add dependencies to complete your schedule. Visualize in what sequence the activities have to take place and then add the dependencies accordingly.

Next Steps

In Part 5 of this series (Determine Budget) we will cost each of the activities we scheduled in this part of the series.

 

Related References

Budgeting Best Practices Part 3 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 2 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 1 of 6

Determining Your Project Budget

Scope Control Best Practices

Project Management Quick Start

Budgeting Best Practices Part 3 of 6

Part 3: Create WBS

Background

Determining your project budget has been discussed several times on this website. The reason is that many projects experience budget overruns. Many project managers are still having problems determining a good project budget. Based on these facts, I decided to run a series on budgeting best practices for the rest of this year.

Interested?

If you are interested in knowing more about budgeting best practices,  SIGN UP on this blog (to the right, if you have not already done so)  to have all the blog posts of this series delivered to your inbox.

Step 3: Create WBS

In step 2 you defined your scope. The scope can be just one paragraph saying what has to be done. a one paragraph statement can be difficult to schedule and cost. So for practical reasons you have to breakdown your scope into smaller steps, you have to create a WBS (Work Breakdown Structure).

For example if you have to build a highway. What steps do you have to take to complete this project? Steps in building a highway could be:

  • Preparation Work
    • Survey
    • Clearing
    • Leveling
  • Construction
    • Gravel layer
    • Sand layer
    • Asphalt layer
  • Finishing
    • Lights

Note: this highway example is taken from my eBook Project Management Quick Start

WBS Best Practices

  • Your WBS elements should be tangible deliverables. Tangible deliverables are easy to schedule and to cost and will help you when doing your Earned Value Management later in your project.
  • The best way to create a WBS is to take your scope and then do a “mental work through” of all the things (tangible deliverables) you need to do to realize the project.

Next Steps

In Part 4 and 5 of this series (Schedule and Budget) you will then be able to schedule and cost each of the activities you have described in your WBS.

 

Related References

Budgeting Best Practices Part 2 of 6

Budgeting Best Practices Part 1 of 6

Determining Your Project Budget

Scope Control Best Practices

Project Management Quick Start

Budgeting Best Practices Part 2 of 6

Part 2: Define Scope

Background

Determining your project budget has been discussed several times on this website. The reason is that many projects experience budget overruns. Many project managers are still having problems determining a good project budget. Based on these facts, I decided to run a series on budgeting best practices for the rest of this year.

Interested?

If you are interested in knowing more about budgeting best practices,  SIGN UP on this blog (to the right, if you have not already done so)  to have all the blog posts of this series delivered to your inbox.

Step 1: Define Scope

As mentioned in part 1 of this series, determining you project budget is a four step process:

project scope to budget
From Project Scope to Project Budget

The first step is to define your scope. Can you get a good budget if you do not have a good scope?

Defining your scope does not consist of collecting requirements alone. A very important part of defining your scope is verifying you scope with ALL stakeholders.

Who are ALL stakeholders?

When identifying stakeholders look at your project sponsor, the end user(s) and all that could be effected by the execution of the project. Collect requirements from all your stakeholders, include the requirements in your scope and then go back to the stake holders to verify your scope. I know, this can be a lengthy and repetitive process, but it has to be done. If not, you run the risk of creating a product or service that will be rejected.

A Practical Tip

In real project life you sometimes have end users who give their input while you defining your scope, and during the execution of the project they have additional wishes (gold plating)

Other end users see the execution phase as the time to give input, not the scoping phase.

The way to handle these end users during the execution phase is to use judgment (interest of the sponsor and interest of the end user) and assertiveness (know when and how to say no). For more on how to handle these end users see

Next Step

Only after you have verified your scope, you are ready to proceed to the next step: Create WBS.

Related References

Budgeting Best Practices Part 1 of 6

Determining Your Project Budget

Scope Control Best Practices

Project Management Quick Start

 

Budgeting Best Practices Part 1 of 6

 

Part 1: Introduction

Here I am after a good summer vacation. As promised in July, after my vacation I would start our “Back-to-Work” series discussing budgeting good practices.

Determining your project budget has been discussed several times on this website. The reason is that many projects experience budget overruns. Many project managers are still having problems determining a good project budget. Based on these facts, I decided to run a series on budgeting best practices for the rest of this year.

Interested?

If you are interested in knowing more about budgeting best practices,  SIGN UP on this blog (to the right, if you have not already done so)  to have all the blog posts of this series delivered to your inbox.

Ok, let’s get started.

 

A Four Step Process

When asked to make a budget, many people start by making a budget, only to find out further down the road, that what they budgeted is not what the client wanted. Can you make a budget if you do not know what is needed?

Another often heard scenario is that “I have so much money to  do this project”.  Do you really know what is needed in this case?

Budgeting is not a stand alone activity. Budgeting is actually a four step process as shown here.

project scope to budget
From Project Scope to Project Budget

 

In this series we will discuss best practices of each of the steps needed to get a good project budget.

 

Related References

Determining Your Project Budget

Project Management Quick Start

 

 

The Importance of Good Project Budgets

Background

Determining a project budget is sometimes not taken serious. You will hear people say: Let’s get the project going, people want to see action. I have even heard someone say that budgeting is for sissies.

Another thing we often see or hear about is that some project managers/companies only use cost-reimbursable contracts because they do not determine budgets for their projects.

All those who are involved in the above practices are overlooking the reason project budgeting exists as a project management knowledge area.

Measure Your Money
Your Project Budget

Why do we Determine Budgets?

 

 

 

The reason we determine project budgets is embedded in the reason we manage projects: NOT TO LOSE MONEY

If your budget is not good or if you do not have a budget at all, you will end up losing money one way or the other.

Why will you lose money?

If you do not have a good budget, you cannot judge contract proposals. You will always leave money on the table if you do not come to the table equipped with a good budget.

Not having a good budget also upsets the project sponsors because you have to go to them every time you realize your need more money, which is usually the case or not?

Here is another scenario where we need a good budget: imagine starting a MEGA project without having a good budget. This will probable result in this project not being completed: MEGA money down the drain.

Good News

The good news is that good budgets can easily be determined. All you have to do is discipline yourself to follow the steps depicted below.

From Project Scope to Project Budget
From Project Scope to Project Budget

Yes, I have seen budgets that even did not have a scope properly defined.

Believe me, good budgets can be determined if you follow the steps above.

Having a good budget is very important for every project. I will spend the rest of this year (after the summer recess), September through December, discussing the importance of the steps shown above. Let’s call it our back to work series.

I also realize that many project managers are not given the time or resources to determine a good budget. I encourage those of you who are in such a situation to join this discussion so that we can address these issues and help each other.

 

Related References

Determining Your Project Budget

Scope Control Best Practices

Project Management Quick Start

 

 

 

 

Cost and Schedule Control Best Practices

Introduction

A few weeks ago I received a request to write something about cost and schedule best practices. Thank you Edward for the (very educative) request. I honored the request because scheduling and budgeting are fundamental to project management. This request also relates to several of my blog posts and gives me the opportunity to discuss a fundamental rule in project management.

Cost and Schedule Best Practices

In order to discuss cost (budget) and schedule, you have to understand how a project budget and schedule are made. Both your budget and schedule originate from your project scope:

From Project Scope to Project Budget
From Project Scope to Project Budget

So in order to have a good schedule, you must apply scoping and WBS best practices. The same goes for budgeting best practices: it is based on scheduling best practices. And scheduling best practices is based on……….

So it is not that scheduling best practices is one thing and budgeting best practices is something else. The are all tied together as illustrated in the graphic above. In order to have a good budget, you need to have a good schedule, a good WBS and a good scope. This is a FUNDAMENTAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT RULE!!

So the title of this blog post is not correct: you cannot have cost and schedule control best practice by them selves. They are all linked to scope and WBS best practices.

 Best Practices

Best practices for scope control to budget control are all available in the related resources listed below.

I encourage you to comment. This is a very  important (fundamental) aspect in project management.

 

 

Related Resources

From Space Shuttle Project to Wedding Planning

Background

During my recent interview on Blog Talk Radio . I was asked what my favorite industry is. My answer was: project management is about applying project management processes to go from project initiation to project closing. This approach is the same for any project. So I do not have a favorite industry. For me project management is project management. Note that PMI’s PMBOK® does talk about specific industries, but about project management processes. For me doing a Space Shuttle project or planning a wedding is the same. Let me show you how I would approach both projects if I was asked to manage them.

Space Shuttle Project

Managing a Space Shuttle project sounds extreme, but we have the technology and there are project managers that have managed Space Shuttle projects. So I would start by contacting such a project manager and including him or her on my team. Next we would plan, execute and close the project. Sounds simple, but those are the main steps that have to be taken.

Wedding Project

My approach to managing a wedding project would be the same: I have a friend who plans weddings for tourists that want to get married on Aruba. I would get her on my team to plan the wedding for me. Once we reach to an agreement, we plan, execute and close out the wedding project.

 Conclusion

The approach is the same for projects in different industries. Managing projects is about the process, not the industry (content).

You may be thinking: doesn’t the Space Shuttle project have more risks than a wedding? Well, messing up a bride’s wedding can be risky also.

I have the confidence that i can handle both projects. I hope that my recent eBook Project Management Quick Start will help you start building that confidence also.

Sincerely.