Blog

We enjoy sharing our experiences through blogs posts, as we continuously seek new ways to serve our clients.

Finding the (Often Hidden) Benefits of FI$Cal

Nearly all designated State departments have been using FI$Cal for at least a year now. And with such a complex system, it’s been challenging indeed. Many of us at Highlands are continuously evaluating how to help our clients take full advantage of FI$Cal and gain…

A Client-Focused Project Management Tool

Coordinating projects can be a challenge, even for seasoned professionals. During an engagement, you have competing deadlines, shifting priorities, client demands to meet, and a project team to coordinate. So how do you keep track of all that? You find a tool that works for…

A Special Day with Make-A-Wish

On August 17, the Highlands Consulting team walked to support the Make-A-Wish | Walk for Wishes. It was a special day, indeed. We were inspired by a happy, courageous young boy who battled a critical illness. We witnessed firsthand the amazing work of Make-A-Wish, and…

The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) and PAL

The California Department of Technology’s (CDT) Project Approval Framework (PAL) has been around for several years now. It describes the four stages that State agencies undertaking large-scale IT modernization projects must go through to obtain approval and establish a foundation for project success. Stage 1:…

Embracing Change at the PegaWorld Conference

Last month, Eric Norton and I attended Pega’s annual conference, PegaWorld2019, along with 5,000 professionals from across the globe. Pega is an innovative platform that has automated business processes for large and small organizations, including a growing number of State of California departments. Highlands Consulting’s…

Thinking about Change Globally, Acting on Change Locally

I recently attended the 2019 ACMP Global Conference in Orlando with a new perspective this year. Having recently been appointed as Treasurer to the ACMP NorCal Chapter Board, my mission was twofold: to absorb the latest global thinking about change management, then to bring those…

Team Bonding Fun

In March, the Highlands Consulting team enjoyed a group retreat to celebrate recent successes and join in some team bonding fun. Catching a break from the rain – for the most part – we spent the afternoon at Safari West, a 400-acre wildlife preserve in…

5 Ways to Manage Your Emotions During a Change

Maybe your organization’s big audacious goal involves changing technology and processes. Or perhaps you set some ambitious personal goals and are in the throes of marathon training or dieting. Whenever change is involved, some good, bad, and downright ugly emotions are bound to turn up.…

A Workflow Management Tool for Everyone: Kanban

Perhaps one of the things I love most about the consulting field is the ever-expanding, creative ways that project managers and teams look to increase communication and workflow efficiency. One of my favorite tools is Kanban. Developed in the late 1940s by Taiichi Ohno of…

FI$Cal: A Non-IT Project?

The Financial Information System for California, known as FI$Cal, is setting records for state IT project expenditures. But from the perspective of departments transitioning to this new technology, it’s not an IT project in the traditional sense. For these departments, success depends upon their ability…