16 December 2020

IT Project Manager




We are looking for a Service Delivery Manager to join our client team. You will be responsible for overseeing key functions within the IT department to enable the delivery of high-quality service. If you are looking to work with a high calibre team, we want to hear from you.

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16 December 2020

Portfolio Manager




We are looking for a Service Delivery Manager to join our client team. You will be responsible for overseeing key functions within the IT department to enable the delivery of high-quality service. If you are looking to work with a high calibre team, we want to hear from you.

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16 December 2020

Project Manager Data Landscape




We are looking for a Service Delivery Manager to join our client team. You will be responsible for overseeing key functions within the IT department to enable the delivery of high-quality service. If you are looking to work with a high calibre team, we want to hear from you.

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1 December 2020

Service Delivery Manager




We are looking for a Service Delivery Manager to join our client team. You will be responsible for overseeing key functions within the IT department to enable the delivery of high-quality service. If you are looking to work with a high calibre team, we want to hear from you.

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1 December 2020

Security Analyst




We are looking for a Security Analyst to join our team, in this role you will be working alongside the Cyber Security Manager on one of our client sites and assisting them in the day-to-day management of the Cyber Security portfolio. If you are looking to work with a high calibre team, we want to hear from you.

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1 December 2020

Senior Project Manager




We are looking for a Senior Project Manager to join our team. This role requires experience dealing with clients in a fast paced and innovative environment. If you are looking to work with a high calibre team, we want to hear from you.

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1 December 2020

Business Analyst




Are you an expert communicator, master workshop holder, superb at stakeholder management and have an amazing business analysis skillset? If you are then we have a role you might be interested in.

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16 July 2020

The Project Foundry Advice Series #1: Top Tips on doing the right projects for your company.




Is your company doing the right projects? Senior Project Manager at The Project Foundry takes a look at this question, and the solution – Portfolio Management!

Many companies successfully complete projects that are not adding value to their company, this means that other projects that could add value get delayed or worse do not get started. The overall impact on the business can range from a product getting delayed going to market, to the company reporting a loss for the given financial year! During this time of economic difficulty, it is essential that businesses focus on the right projects. How do you ensure you are doing the right projects? Portfolio Management!

Portfolio Management is a framework that allows companies to put in the needed controls to ensure that projects are strategically aligned and that an effective governance structure is implemented to ensure that every project gets evaluated in a uniform fair manner, hence ensuring that only the right projects are initiated.

A company has limited resources and it is critical that these resources are only used for projects that are aligned to the company’s goals; this is strategic alignment.

Checking that the project is possible; that the required documentation is being generated and sign off at the various phases of the project lifecycle; and having a formal meeting/process periodically involving the right stakeholders of the company to approve project initiation/progression; this is effective governance.

Portfolio Management is for any sized company that needs to ensure they are doing the right projects!

If you would like to hear more about how we can help with Portfolio Management, get in touch with our team of experts today.

3 April 2020

The Project Foundry Guide to Project Contracting




The Project Foundry began with a simple mantra: Plan. Execute. Deliver. and we aim to keep it simple. We believe that project management doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated. In fact, the power of simplicity is key to project success.

Keeping it simple makes things easier for our customers, so we will continue to espouse it. Simplicity, clarity, and honesty apply to our services, our publications, our people and our company. It’s who we are. To allow us to offer ultimate flexibility we have a flexible workforce, a high percentage of our workforce, work on a contract basis and we work with most of them time and time again.

The Project Foundry has built a community of contractors who work with us, want to work with us or will work with us again in the future so that we ensure the quality of our people matches our values and ethos.

Contracting is now common in nearly all business sectors and provides many benefits to the parties involved. Our clients get access to specialist skills on an as-needed basis while as a contractor you will generally get a far greater financial reward and independence than you would in the traditional employee structure.

There are two main ways of operating as a contractor either through an Umbrella Company or your own Private Limited Company. There are multiple factors to consider when deciding what the right option for you is and we recommend you get advice from a specialist firm or accountants before making a final decision.

The following article is a how-to guide on what you need to get set up as a contractor, the benefits or working for yourself and the financial gains you can expect. We have a high volume of contract positions on an ongoing basis and would love to add you to The Project Foundry Community.

Advantages of Contracting

There are many advantages to contracting and what the biggest advantages are, depends on what is important to the contractor. We have listed a few our top ones below:

Financial Gains

Due to the short-term nature of the work, most employers are prepared to pay higher rates to contractors than to employees. The employer benefits through savings in holiday pay, sick pay, redundancy, etc. and passes these savings on to the Contractor.

Tax Savings

Contractors can benefit from much greater tax planning and pension planning options through running your own business. Also, with tax not being deducted at source from your income, you can earn extra interest income. If you work as a contractor and set up your own limited company there are more tax advantages, although more expensive to initially set up ~€300 it can be advantageous. In addition, tax not being deducted at source from your income, you can earn extra interest income.

Experience and New Challenges

As a contractor, you have the flexibility to change jobs on a regular basis without the formality of notice and without associated stigmas attached ‘job-hopping’. This means you can gain exposure to multiple industries and different and interesting types of projects. Many contractors enjoy this variety as it challenges them continuously.

Working in different companies, and industries with different tools, approaches and, methodologies, increases your skill spectrum and makes you more marketable.

Independence

The satisfaction and independence of being self-employed, in some cases choosing where you work from and the times you work. In some contracts this will mean you can work from remote locations and travel as you work, or if staying at home is important, working from home.

Holidays

As a contractor, you are not fixed to set annual leave as you would be in a permanent role. You have the freedom to take extended holidays between contracts and additional annual leave in contract. You don’t get paid for leave but the higher daily rate allows for this.

 

Disadvantages of Contracting

Like the advantages there are also disadvantages to contracting, what these are again is very much dependent on what is important to an individual. Once you are aware of the ins and outs of contracting, the disadvantages can be offset by the many advantages. We have listed some of the most common ones below:

Administration

Additional paperwork and tracking are required as you are running your own business. This, however, can be easily managed by third parties who provide the setup, maintenance, invoicing and management of your company as a service for a small monthly fee which, great news…. It is also tax-deductible. We are happy to recommend some great companies who provide this service to our teams.

Holiday and Sick Pay

You receive no remuneration for periods when you are sick or on holidays and not working. Annualised salaries for contractors are based on an average working year of 230 days which accounts for holidays and bank holidays taken. Good money management will ensure you have money put aside for these periods.

Future Proofing

It is essential that as a contractor you don’t see a huge non-taxed sum in your account and think of what you can spend it on. Ensuring you have enough money to pay the tax when it falls due and for times when you are looking for your next contract is critical.

Security

As a contractor you don’t have the same rights as permanent employees and are not entitled to the same wage increases, redundancy payments, etc., You are however paid significantly more and if you negotiate your contract will have a notice period that they must give if your contract is finishing earlier.

Career Development

You have fewer opportunities for career development as a contractor and most of the time would need to be a permanent employee to have a clear career path. You can, however, gain huge experience contracting and move into different positions. You can also upskill yourself through courses and qualifications which in some instances are also tax-deductible.

 

Setting Up as a Contractor

This can be completed in a day or two depending on the route you choose to take but is a critical step as you cannot work as a contractor without doing this. You also need to be set up correctly so that you can be paid as a contract. Beware that managing your own taxes can be tricky so it’s a good idea to partner with an umbrella service or at the least, speak to a good accountant so that you have all the information you need.

Umbrella Company

This is generally the starting point for most contractors, and some choose to remain contracting in this way and never set up their own company. It is especially effective for individuals who are on quite a low contracting rate and/or those who are going to contract for a short period of time.

You, ‘ the contractor’, can become an employee of the umbrella company run by a third party (usually an agency). You submit timesheets to the umbrella, and they invoice the end client for completed work. You will then be paid as a PAYE employee through the umbrella, in most cases, there will be a fee for this it and it depends on your contractual agreement. The advantages are that this approach avoids the administration & taxation tasks of running your own Company. The Umbrella Company will ensure all tax obligations are complied with as well as ensuring that you are covered for standard workplace insurances.

You will still be able to reap financial rewards from this option but not to the same extent a Private Limited Company will allow.

Private Limited Company

A Private Limited Company, also known as a PLC, is the option most career contractors choose as they can build their brand and reputation through their own Limited Company. It is also a great option to get the most out of the tax benefits.

Professional contractors tend to earn significantly more than their permanent peers. Partnering with tax advisors or a specialist contracting service agency who specialise in professional contracting will help you to make your additional earning potential work in the best way possible allowing you to optimise tax efficiencies.

This is the best option for those who want control of their finances, to build revenue in the company and have longer-term gains. For anyone starting out contracting for the first time we usually recommend using an Umbrella Company initially as it is a more simple setup and as you progress your career as a contractor, you can then look to set up a private limited company.

 

Top Tips

Get a Signed Contract

Whether you are going through an agency, professional services firm or directly with a client always make sure you get a signed contract from them after they offer you the position. This is a contract for the provision of services, and you want to know what is agreed, especially if you are leaving a contract with a potential extension pending for another active contract.

Read the Contract

This might seem like common sense but ensure you read the contract from front to back. When you use a contracting service provider, they will generally review the contract and give you advice but you should always read it thoroughly yourself. Make sure you are happy with all the terms you are signing up to, understand the payment terms as companies work differently and if you have queries, raise them before signing.

Keep a Copy

Ensure you and any service provider you use have the most recent and final contracts and keep them on file for reference.

Is Contracting right for you?

If you are excited by having independence and flexibility in when, how and where you work then it is an option you should consider. Most of our contract team have been doing this for most of their careers and wouldn’t choose to be permanent employees, others choose to contract for a couple of years to gain experience faster.

Contracting is an increasingly popular way of working as employees become more focused on work-life balance and increased control in their employment. For others, it gives them new challenges on a more frequent basis keeping them interested and motivated rather than working in a BAU environment.

To help you decide if contracting is a great option for you, we would love to discuss how The Project Foundry supports their contracting team. You will be part of our team should you choose to take a role with us and have senior team members to provide guidance throughout your contract, we hold community events, monthly conference calls for all of us to keep in touch, consistent communication and we love our team to get involved in building our business. We aim to create a community that you will feel part of while having all the benefits of contracting.

 

If you would like to hear more, get in touch today at careers@theprojectfoundry.com or give us a call on 01-4452218

19 March 2020

Transition to Remote Working with The Project Foundry




Contact us today to find out more!

With these options and the assistance of The Project Foundry, read on to see how to combat the challenges of Remote Working as a result of ongoing risks from COVID-19. Our Cloud Consultancy team, led by Mark Carragher are here to help in implementing a range of solutions to enable remote working without the need for large investment or upscaling your infrastructure.

These options include current incentives and discounts while covering more traditional & cloud technologies that can assist your workforce to work remotely quickly and more importantly, securely.

Log Me In

Allows you to deploy remote access agents to your systems via Group Policy, SCCM, or any compatible software distribution method.

Once deployed you can delegate users access to their corporate device, without the need to upscale, one limitation to be aware of is network capacity and your ability to upload the connections.

Users remotely connect to their systems desktop from a remote location, which ensures they maintain the customisations, security, and policies as if they were in the office.

Click here.

 

Zoom Meetings & Chat

Allows anywhere hosting for your meetings and conferences via PSTN, Video, VoIP and Whiteboards form any browser.

Zoom provides a free license that covers 1-on-1 meetings with up to 49 video participants.

Advantages: you don’t need to deploy any software or upscale any infrastructure, there are slight limitations if users overall internet speed is less than an average of 10Mbs to support the full features.

Click here.

 

Microsoft Teams

Teams have a free tier that allows all users to collaborate via Video, Call, IM, and Whiteboarding, while also providing cloud-based file storage.

It must be connected to your on-premise activity directory by a single sync utility.

It’s important to set up security policies before allowing users access. It also has a WebApp so there is no need to deploy the desktop client unless you want the full features.

 

Office 365

Many companies already utilise this platform your users have remote access to their email, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive and the office suite via Web App versions.

This allows users to remotely work on their files, and collaborate with Teams (or Skype). It’s important that security policies for DLP, 2FA are configured and auditing is set up in advance.

Should you not have a cloud-based solution but use on-premise solutions like Exchange, you can leverage OWA access for email only, or create a hybrid link to a new Office365 tenant to benefit from 30 days of access for free.

 

On Premise VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)

Can be utilised for remote access if you already have a system in place, it may need to be scaled to support the additional users.

If you have a solution already in place like VMware Horizon, Citrix XenApp or similar you have the basis of a remote access solution available to be scaled for remote access.

It’s important that scaling is measured and addressed before allowing remote access, various calculators exist to assist with this.

 

Citrix Managed Desktop Business Continuity Program

Citrix have been the market leader in remote access technologies and have been offering their solution on the cloud for some time now.

If you have Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop currently this can be scaled to account for your user base and remote access can be configured using NetScaler appliance or other reverse proxy firewall solution.

If you don’t have the technology its available to consume on the cloud, integrate with your on-premise Active Directory, then deploy the desktops either from a pre-configured template, or an image of your corporate desktop.

This solution can be enabled and presented to users quickly, the time must be taken to build the master corporate image, which can be a clone for a real desktop, and security restrictions for 2FA, auditing should be configured in advance.

One thing to constantly be aware of consuming cloud solution is the potential cost, scaling is a powerful and useful feature of cloud, but the ease of scaling can be offset by the cost if not managed correctly, usage and consumption billing alerts should be configured and actioned.

They are currently offering special offers for their Managed Desktop which offers a turnkey Desktop-as-a-Service (Daas).

Click here.

 

Windows Virtual Desktop

The relatively new kid to the block is a preconfigured solution for what was once RDS (Remote Desktop Services) from Microsoft.

The advantage of this solution is it allows rapid deployment of a virtual desktop solution, within a few hours, more time may be needed if you have to build or close a master image.

Once the master image is configured, you can deploy as many desktops as you need, one of the key benefits and is unique to this solution is it provides Windows 10 Multi-User, whereby users share a Windows 10 desktop.

The other advantage for Office365 users is that it fully supports OneDrive and its index search, this is not available on other platforms (yet). The implementation involves connecting to your on-premise AD, or Azure AD if your cloud-hosted, and defining the basic profile for the number of users and size of the desktop image you need (2core CPU, 8GB RAM, 110Gb disk as an example).

In addition, if you need to use Windows 7as its support ended on Jan 14, 2020, but you get extended security updates for free if you use WVD, although ideally, you should plan to move to Windows 10, this option is available if your LOB apps required Windows 7.

You must have a valid license to support the Windows 10 WVDPage.

Click here. 

 

Cloudfare for Teams

Are providing free 6 months access which allows users secure, fast and stable access to your on-premise resources without the need for a VPN.

The traditional access for remote users doesn’t scale well and can present a bottleneck or performance issues for users.

Providing a single access solution, with security and auditing controls that scale with demand, you can upscale this to provide caching, edge firewalls and reverse proxies when needed.

Click here. 

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