Blog Archive

Check out all blog posts in my blog archive. Click on a headline to read the teaser.

Experiences with Implementing Technologies and an Overview of Systems Integration
Watch a video presentation to public health students sharing my experiences with implementing public health technologies as well as an overview of public health systems integrations. Read more ›

An Evolution of Digital Health Projects
This article describes common themes when organizations implement digital health projects. Read more ›

When the Signal Fades
The phones were out again. No voice. The only thing that could get through were SMS and queued outbound emails when a mobile data connection happened to grace us with its presence. “Do you have a signal?” we asked each other every 10 minutes... Read more ›

Use Case - Device Agnostic Offline Data Collection to Google Spreadsheets
A reader reached out to me last month with an interesting use case requesting the best system(s) to use. I thought I would share it here to show the capability of these systems. Read more ›

An Implementer's Notes
An implementer's task is to assess a situation, match technology and stand up a robust information system that sustainably meets the needs of an organization and their clients. Over the past decade, I have implemented small-scale projects at small businesses, NGOs and the government. Each of these positions have... Read more ›

Thoughts on Outcomes for My Computer Science Students
I have been teaching project management to the students at the Deerwalk Institute of Technology for the past year while here in Nepal. This post describes two outcomes I hope my students achieve before they graduate. 1) Become confident communicators. 2) Understand how they learn best. Read more ›

Purchasing Software-as-a-Service vs. Doing It Yourself
I subscribe to the idea that 'software is eating the world' and want to share some evidence in the international development sector. New entrants in the space have built businesses providing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to support organizations in the development sector. Long-term players in the international development space have transformed their software models from do-it-yourself (DIY) to Software-as-a-Service. As an implementer, I value this enormously and advocate for this model even though some challenges remain. Read more ›

Creating Scalable mHealth Solutions
Our team just had a great experience with the CommCareHQ deployment management reports. We just introduced them to the organization's administration and they clearly showed which users were awesome and which were not-so-awesome. As I said in my last post, we deployed formhub for our pilot and CommCareHQ.org for our production system. This got me thinking about data collection vs. enterprise systems and creating a scalable solution. Read more ›

Lessons Learned from Deploying the Systems Described in "Decisions, Decisions..."
I reviewed ODK, CommCare, Formhub, Ona.io and Enketo in my Decisions, Decisions... post which covered data collection from a smartphone. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my experiences and challenges when working with these systems that rely on mobile data (3G) to transmit information. Note that there are work arounds... Read more ›

Working with data on a PDF
Nepal's 2011 National Census Report is a challenging PDF file to work with. Here are some tips on extracting numbers with tricky character encodings. Read more ›

Decisions, Decisions... Which system should I choose?
The recent launch of the updated KoBo Toolbox adds an additional system to consider when trying to determine the best (free) hosted solution for your project. Here's a brief history of ODK, formhub, ona.io and KoBo Toolbox. Read more ›

mHealth resources to get you up and running
A number of excellent resources have come across my desk over the past 10 days related to mobile health (mHealth). Here's a list of resources that can help you get an mHealth project up and running. Read more ›

A new version of SAAS for areas with internet connectivity challenges
I have been trying to appropriately classify software systems that I use in mHealth applications and finally found a term that helps understand a new class of applications for areas with internet connectivity challenges. Read more ›

Quick Facts Related to Technology in Nepal
Information on mobile phone adoption across Nepal is readily available if you know where to look. Here is a list of information and sources that helps us understand the mobile landscape. Read more ›

Thinking About Customers
I've been thinking about my definition of customers and want to share it with you. I have worked in many different fields including small businesses, major corporations, nonprofits, the government and now a college. Each of these businesses have a different definition of customer. Read more ›

Product Development Life Cycle
This post outlines the nine steps I teach in my program management course at DWIT from idea generation to retirement of a system. Read more ›

Online Content Delivery to Nepal
When working on my various projects, I have had a number of challenges connecting to the outside world. The international connections from Nepal to India, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore have seemingly gone down for a period of time. It's a peculiar situation when this happens because our users are able to access government websites hosted in Nepal and Google cached items including [YouTube] videos. We faced a few challenges this week when trying to submit data to cloud servers in Singapore or India causing me to research how internet traffic moves through the region. Read more ›

Skipping Stones A Metaphor for Managing Projects
Thinking about agile project management, I realized that skipping rocks is a good metaphor for working through a project. Read more ›

Barriers to Entry - The idea for a web log
There are a number of obstacles or hurdles that we must overcome to achieve our goals. I've been fortunate to identify and work through a number of them as a professional, learner and parent. To obtain every goal requires a new set of experiences and skills. Fortunately, connectivity has allows individuals to share their experiences with a broad audience. Read more ›

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