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Hardfacts on Software – Christmas project truths

The year comes to a close. Everybody is starting to be in a good mood, since holidays are on the cards and it’s just a matter of days until one can relax. Many are already planning ahead for next year. Some of you will embark on small, some on big projects to keep your company in the running and/or to move it ahead. So I thought I’d stick to a lighter theme today.
Over the years, my simple project truths proved to be very popular. And because they all contain grains of truth, let me share with you more of them today.
“If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, you haven’t understood the plan.”
“Feather and down are padding, changes and contingencies will be real events.”
“There are no good project managers – only lucky ones.”
“The more you plan the luckier you get.” – Isn’t that true? Especially in light of the simple truth above?
“A project is one small step for the project sponsor, one giant leap for the project manager.”
“If everything is going exactly to plan, something somewhere is going massively wrong.”
“Overtime is a figment of the naïve project manager’s imagination.”
“Quantitative project management is for predicting cost and schedule overruns well in advance.”
“Metrics are learned men’s excuses.”
“For a project manager, overruns are as certain as death and taxes.”
“Some projects finish on time in spite of project management best efforts.”
“There is such a thing as an unrealistic time-scale.”
“The project would not have been started if the truth had been told about the cost and time-scale.” – This is true for many projects and IT projects are very prone to this as well, since estimating project effort is a very complex affair. In large business system installations, the scope of the project is not clear until the project is about 30% to 40% complete. It is seldom possible to predict the exact scope at the start of the project. Hence some companies (ours included) have resorted to giving project cost guarantees. These guarantees give the customer peace of mind that the project will not go over budget, but they come at a high price, since the risk of overruns is transferred to the implementing company.
“A two-year project will take three years; a three-year project will never finish.” – Ha ha, this one I like a lot as well. The reason here is that the customer (and sometimes the project team) looses interest in the project. It is therefore vital to break a long project down into many smaller ones so that successes are always around the corner.
“A badly planned project will take three times longer than expected, a well-planned project only twice as long as expected.” – Very true. See my point above about the scope of the project – especially complex IT projects.
“Warning: dates in a calendar are closer than they appear to be.
A project gets a year late one day at a time.” …and it’s Christmas already again…
“If you’re six months late on a milestone due next week but really believe you can make it, you’re a project manager.”
“No project has ever finished on time, within budget, to requirements. Yours won’t be the first to.”
“Activity is not achievement.”
“Managing IT people is like herding cats.” Haha – especially programmers – they live in a world of their own. It’s hard to be brilliant.
“Good control reveals problems early – which only means you’ll have longer to worry about them.”
And my favourite of all times: “Fast – cheap – good – you can have only two of these for your project”
Well, I hope you have enjoyed these simple project truths. Apply them to your Christmas shopping or the preparation of Christmas dinner and you know what I mean.
Until next time then, have a good rest and a joyous festive season – and remember – Keep it (A)fresh

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.