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Shortening Project Delivery Using Enterprise Services

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Volume 2 | Issue 12 | December 2008

Daniel Vitek, MBA, PMP

Product development teams often take advantage of past work by reusing code components in an effort to reduce development time and shorten delivery cycles. Unfortunately, few of these reuse efforts often extended beyond the realm of application development to address other parts of the enterprise and project life cycle. It’s often difficult to satisfactorily scale these small efforts across a much larger enterprise environment. The challenge is that these smaller efforts often lack a formal mechanism for accessibility, reliability, and support that project managers can rely upon to comfortably reuse the work of the organization at an enterprise level. Enterprise services address these concerns by providing a common framework for organizations to manage and control reusable services.

Enterprise services provide a disciplined and structured approach to understanding how enterprise applications can meet current and future challenges with a goal of reducing development time through the reuse of existing capabilities across the enterprise. Enterprise services can include application services such as web services, address verification, and infrastructure services such as application hosting, management, and monitoring. These services catalog and manage the enterprise in a manner that allows project teams to leverage existing services and rapidly develop new applications or extend the capabilities of existing applications.

Using enterprise services as a framework for application development is critical in a world where applications are expected to be interoperable, flexible, and adaptable. Traditionally applications may have operated with limited expectations in regards to sharing of data outside the boundaries of the parent organization. However, in today's interconnected world, organizations often need to share data in specific and measured ways. This places an increased burden on application development organizations to produce components that can be accessed and shared as discrete pieces of functionality.

The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Framework, developed by the Office of Management and Budget, provides a standard recognized method for cataloging and managing enterprise services. The FEA Framework consists of five integrated reference models. These reference models include the Business Reference Model (BRM), Data Reference Model (DRM), Service Component Reference Model (SRM), Technical Reference Model (TRM), and Performance Reference Model (PRM). Together these models assist federal agencies in identifying and capturing the capabilities of their organizations services at an enterprise level.

At the CDC, enterprise architecture and services are documented in a repository maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS captures the enterprise architecture of all of its operating divisions in an electronic repository titled HHS Enterprise Architecture Repository (HEAR). The HEAR is based on the reference models of the FEA Framework and allows project managers and enterprise architects to identify services that can be reused as part of their initiatives.

In order to effectively use enterprise services, project and development teams must adopt a service oriented approach to delivery, referred to as service oriented architectures (SOA). Applications developed using this approach are organized into discrete services that are loosely coupled to allow for their disentanglement from the overarching applications and for their functionality made available for use by other applications. HEAR is used to record and identify such enterprise services across HHS.


Keys to Successful Meeting Facilitation

Meeting facilitation is the process of designing, organizing, and running a successful, productive, and impartial meeting. Proper facilitation does not lead, influence, distract, or entertain the group meeting but instead promotes decision making, problem resolution, and exchange of ideas.

Meetings are often conducted to share information, discuss topics, make decisions, or produce products. Effective meetings are characterized by having a clear cut agenda that is distributed with adequate time for review and preparation prior to the meeting. Distractions during the meeting are managed and a planned agenda restricts topic timeframes, focusing the meeting on defined topics, objectives, and eventually consensus decisions.

Ineffective meetings are often characterized by unclear or no agendas, poor meeting control, and ineffective time management. Often incorrect people are invited because no clear topics or objectives have been defined, making it impossible to focus the meeting on obtaining a consensus decision regarding the meeting’s objectives.

Effective facilitators plan meetings. It’s not unlikely for an effective facilitator to take 2-4 times as long as the actual meeting to properly prepare, especially when the meeting’s focus is decision making or product development.

Effective facilitators use an agenda that defines goals and objectives, discussion points, decision making processes, and time allocations. Meeting expectations, participants, location, and required materials are communicated in advance. Meetings start on-time with a restatement of the meeting’s purpose to ensure that participants understand and agree upon meeting objectives. Meetings begin by distributing agendas and introducing participants followed by any appropriate background information. Group consensus often resolves disagreements and may be used to establish responsibility for action items. Meetings end on time with a review of action items, assignments, and deadlines. Notes are taken throughout the meeting to summarize discussions and key points, and then distributed afterwards to reinforce any decisions and action items.

Some key challenges encountered during meeting facilitation may include:

  • Group involvement - Increase group participation by mitigating dominant personalities, restating partial or poorly communicated ideas, redirecting questions, and preventing put-downs or ignoring of statements
  • Group focus – Ensure group focus by slowing or speeding the pace of the meeting as appropriate, managing digressions, emotional participants, disagreements, and side topic discussions.

Portions of this newsletter were paraphrased from a presentation by David A. Friedman, MGA during the October 2008 meeting of the CDC Project Management Community of Practice (PMCoP).

For more information and tools related to the topic(s) covered in this newsletter, the CDC Unified Process, or the Project Management Community of Practice please visit the CDC Unified Process website at

Please also visit the CDC Unified Process Newsletter Archive located at for access to many additional newsletters, articles, and management related topics and information.


The CDC UP offers a short overview presentation to any CDC FTE or Non-FTE group. Presentations are often performed at your location, on a day of the week convenient for your group, and typically take place over lunch structured as one hour lunch-and-learn style meeting.

Contact the CDC Unified Process at or visit to arrange a short overview presentation for your group.


The CDC Unified Process Project Management Newsletter is authored by Daniel Vitek, MBA, PMP and published by the Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services.

For questions about the CDC Unified Process, comments regarding this newsletter, suggestions for future newsletter topics, or to subscribe to the CDC Unified Process Project Management Newsletter please contact the CDC Unified Process or visit



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  • October 24, 2008
    Topic: Facilitation - A Key to Project Success
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