Amazon Detective, a smart security tool, is now generally available

Amazon Detective, a new AWS service, is now available to the public. It logs and visualizes security anomalies across AWS workloads.
The tool, which was first announced at AWS Re:Invent last year, was rolled out in preview by Amazon in December. It automatically collects log data from resources, and uses machine learning and analytics to generate interactive visualizations.
These visualizations can be used by customers to detect anomalies or improve security processes.
Sebastien Stormacq is an Amazon senior developer advocate. He explained in a blog post why such tools are necessary to facilitate faster and more effective investigations in today’s cloud environments.
Stormacq said that analysts must analyze many data logs in order to determine the root cause and the wider impact of security issues.
This task can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, and may include scripting and ETL to get a complete picture of data generated by multiple siloed system.
Analysts face a daunting task to establish a baseline for what normal looks like in the cloud environment.
Amazon Detective was created to automate some of the tedious admin involved in processing log data.
Detective is a fully managed multi-account service that allows users to automate the processing and refining of large chunks of log data coming from different services such as AWS CloudTrail and Amazon VPC Flow Logs.
Amazon Detective, according to AWS, can analyze trillions events from these sources across up to 1000 AWS accounts.
The graph model then funnels the data into a graph model, which highlights patterns in behaviors or interactions across the entire AWS environment.
The service uses machine learning models to help users identify unusual and expected behavior. This allows them to focus in on legitimate threats or suspicious occurrences without the need to code, configure, tune queries.
Amazon Detective can now be launched from the AWS Management console.
Amazon Detective is free for AWS customers. There are no upfront commitments and there are no additional charges. You only pay for data that you have ingested from other services.
Pricing starts at $2 perGB, per region, and per month, dropping down to $0.25 for more than 10,000 GB.
The tool is available in 14 AWS regions currently and is being used by Warner Media and T-Systems.
What should you pay for AWS professionals? The Jefferson Frank Salary Survey gives you an exclusive insight into the Amazon Web Services community. Get your copy now.
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SMART Project Objectives (With Mackenzie Dysart from Reason One) – Digital Project Manager

This podcast is part a published article on The Digital Project Manager. You can read the entire article here.
Clarizen, a leader in enterprise project management software and enterprise projects, brings you this podcast. has more information
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Apple Podcasts – The Digital Project Manager’s Podcast
Audio Transcription:
Ben Aston:
Welcome to the DPM podcast. We go beyond the theory to offer practical advice for better digital projects. Thank you for tuning in. I’m Ben Aston.
Do your teams understand why they do what they do? What about your client? Do you think it is crystal clear? Is it precise? Is it quantifiable? Is it possible? Is it possible? Is it realistic? Are all parties on the same page about what success looks like for the project?
If the information was clearer, would it change the course? Yes? You should. Keep listening to this podcast about creating SMART project goals. This will help you align your projects and give you direction.
Mackenzie Dysart joins me today. She is a senior PM at Reason One and they are a full-service, digital marketing agency. She is familiar with all the letters. She is a PMP, a CSM, and has experience on both the agency and client side. This includes everything from app development, website building, and campaigns. So hi, Mackenzie.
Mackenzie Dysart:
Ben Aston:
We are grateful that you joined us today and for your amazing post on project goals. What’s new this year for you? What projects are you currently working on?
Mackenzie Dysart:
One of the coolest things I’ve done is participate in marketing projects for our company. Reason One launched recently as a brand. It’s a merger between two agencies, ecentricarts. BlueKey. I was involved in the creation of the Reason One website and brand. Now I’m trying to do the marketing strategy. That’s been interesting.
Ben Aston:
What are your tips? It’s funny how agencies are often terrible at marketing themselves. Being our own client is a tricky thing and one of the things that I find most amusing. Agency websites are often very bad because they are always at the bottom of the priority list, and there are competing stakeholders. It’s the nightmares of a client, but it’s your agency. So how can you make this work? How can you make it happen?
Mackenzie Dysart:
Yes, I agree. It’s been a great experience. It was difficult, I think, to find time in your resource schedules to work on something not profitable or billable. It’s hard to say “Well, we’re going take this person off the project work and bring him in.”
That was the biggest thing about being like “No.”

SMART Goals: Examples and Template

It’s obvious: Goals are essential for growth in our personal lives, professional careers, and daily work. We are terrible at setting goals, it turns out.
A 2017 study by Project Management Institute found that 17% of projects fail. This is a significant number in a vast business world that is made up of projects. Surprisingly, 32% of those projects that failed outright in the study missed their goals.
You can also see a trend when you add the University of Scranton study that found that 92% of people fail to meet their New Year’s resolutions.
Why is this? Is it because we are too focused on achieving a goal? Are we not tracking our goals? Are the goals not clear enough
There are many reasons individuals and teams miss the mark. One reason is that we often set goals without fully exploring and benchmarking them.
Sometimes you might set goals but fail to achieve them. This doesn’t mean that your work is useless or that you aren’t good at your job. It’s important to be SMART when setting goals.
What are the SMART goals?
SMART goals are specific, measurable and achievable goals that meet the five criteria of the acronym SMART: Relevant, Time-bound, Relevant, Achievable and Specific.
These criteria will help you clarify your goals, set boundaries and think through strategies to help you achieve them.
How to write SMART goals
SMART goals are a framework that helps you create a measurable, achievable goal. They help you clarify what to do, how long it should take and when you can celebrate reaching your goal.
You can actually set expectations for your achievement and plan your path to achieving them by setting SMART goals.
When developing SMART goals, the most important thing is to remember the five key criteria. This is how to use each one to create solid SMART goals.
S stands for Specific
It is clear that if you are specific about your goal and do the work to uncover every detail, you will be able to remove any ambiguity that could prevent you from achieving that goal.
Knowing the details of your goal will help ensure that it is well-defined, well-intentioned and clear. This is your chance to get specific about the goal.
These questions will help you and your team get to the bottom of things.
What should be done?
Why are you pursuing this goal?
Who is responsible for the goal? Who’s responsible?
Where will this work have to take place?
Are there any restrictions on the work?
These questions will help you to arrive at a more realistic goal you are comfortable discussing with your team, stakeholders and management.
M stands for Measurable
A well-crafted goal doesn’t just specify what the goal is. It is also easy to quantify.
Find the best way to measure success. This can be done by tracking the total number of actions, percentages, dollar figures, or any other number that indicates movement towards your goal.
Are you having trouble coming up with numbers? You might need to rethink your goal.
A stands for Achievable
Experts will tell you to “Go for gold!” Although setting lofty goals is great advice, it’s important not to get too ambitious. It’s terrible when you fail to meet a goal. But it’s worse if you miss a goal that was never possible.
This step is a reality check to ensure that your goal is achievable. To ensure you don’t set yourself up for failure, look at your goal and then apply reality to it.
This is not an easy task, especially if your goal is to be aggressive, but you aren’t sure if you will be successful. Explore all options to assess the possibility of achieving your goal.

Six ways to avoid cloud spending

One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is the potential to save customers money on IT infrastructure costs.
The cloud’s pay as you go pricing model allows for operations and processes to be done online, which can dramatically reduce costs such as hardware upgrades and maintenance, running costs, and overheads.
Aaron Rees from Rebura, one the UK’s fastest growing AWS Service Providers, says that it is this simplicity that makes cloud computing so appealing to businesses looking to save money.
Aaron explains that the beauty of moving to cloud computing is that it’s all based upon a pay-as you-go model. This means that you don’t need to pay for infrastructure that you’re not using, and you don’t need to purchase servers that are overprovisioned to support growth.

“You only pay for what you use.” It makes perfect sense for any business to move to the cloud, especially if they have to replace hardware or new workloads.
Aaron Rees / Rebura
However, you shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that you could be paying unexpectedly high bills if you don’t properly monitor cloud costs.
A recent survey of cross-vendor cloud customers found that 64% of companies ranked optimizing cloud costs as their top priority. This is a surprising figure considering that companies without a proper plan for cloud cost optimization could be spending as much as 40%.
Here are some ways your business could be increasing cloud costs and how to avoid them.
Not taking advantage usage discounts and reserved instances
Many big-name cloud providers, such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google, offer plans that allow customers to reserve resources in advance and receive a substantial discount in return for their commitment.
AWS Reserved Instances are used by less than half of AWS customers. This allows users to reserve chunks of compute capacity up to three years ahead of time. Microsoft Azure’s reserved instance offer and Google’s committed usage discounts of 23% and 10% are less popular. Customers can also bid on shorter-term discounts with some vendors like AWS Spot instance.
You will be charged for reserved instances if you use them. However, if you are certain that you will have a long-term need for the resource, you can access it at a reduced price.
These reserved instances can save customers as much as 90% over using on-demand resources. However, they are not suitable for all workloads so be sure to read the terms and conditions before you buy in. These instances are often not guaranteed, which makes them unsuitable for work that runs around the clock. These can be a great option for handling demand spikes or occasional workloads.
Aaron and other AWS experts offer practical advice to help you weather the storm
Our new white paper contains extensive insights, advice and best practices from cloud experts. It is the ultimate guide for optimizing your AWS business.
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Not researching all of your vendor optionsMultiple-cloud or single vendor: Which is the most cost-effective? There is no one right answer. It all depends on the services you use and how much resources you require. It is important to explore all options available to you.
You can get the best price by having your eggs in several baskets. If you don’t have to stick with one vendor, you can shop around for the product that is most valuable and not be bound to one vendor. It’s a good strategy, used by 84% of businesses.

Simple Project Management Framework for Smaller Projects

Small projects face unique challenges. PMBOK(r), Guide is not enough. Or any other. You will need to follow a specific workflow in most cases. It includes tools and practices that have worked in the past. They are not necessarily the best.
How can you approach small-scale project management? Sincerely
(Source: it the same logic as for the larger projects. It is important to understand the life cycle of the project. It is also important to consider the efficiency and effectiveness of the tools and processes.
This article will discuss the considerations you should make to find the perfect small-scale project management strategy.
But, before we begin:
There are two distinct types of smaller projects:
Small-scale project in a large organization. They usually follow a predefined framework.
A small project within a small company. This is where the project management framework is developed over time, usually based on gained experience and expertise.
These tips are mainly useful in the second case, which is a smaller project.
1. Know your internal stakeholders
It all starts with stakeholders. But, you must also pay attention to internal stakeholders.
A small project usually has only a few stakeholders. It could be a client manager or the client. The client may also combine the traits of a customer with a sponsor or user.
Your efforts should be directed at involving internal stakeholders in your project. Small companies are often lacking in subject matter experts. It is often difficult to get their attention and time for your project.
This is a good thing. It is best to only do it once. Most of the information will be the same for all your projects. However, you shouldn’t take the expertise of experts as a given. Their involvement could be vital for your project.
2. Prepare a Communications Plan Upfront
Small-scale projects are often short-term. There is little time to waste. Communication during the initial stages is still inefficient.
Also, take a look at the following.
On a large project you will usually see people who have at least some experience in the area. Your client and key stakeholders will therefore be people who are proficient in management.
You may have customers who have never managed a project. They may not even know the nature of the project.
This is a serious risk.
They don’t realize how much time they will need to communicate with you.
Be prepared to provide at most a draft of your communications plan. It is important to set expectations from the beginning.
My suggestion is to try to avoid email as much as possible. Emailing back and forth is better than using a collaboration application.
3. Collect Requirements
The requirements will change dynamically if you take into account the previous points. Customers will learn more about the project, and the capabilities of the team.
There will be many changes during the process.
Transparency is key to ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of any changes made to the requirement.
It is important to use a tool that tracks changes to the original document. You can use a simple MS Word document or Confluence page to track changes. It can also be done manually. You can mark all changes at either the end or start of a document.
Another important aspect you need to communicate is
Revision of the project plan is required for any changes to the requirements that your team has analyzed and estimated.
4. Create Scope Baseline
Scope creep is a problem with all small-scale projects.
Your estimate will be impacted by many small tasks that are not visible on large projects. You must clearly define the scope of the project if you want to complete the project on-time and within budget.
Here you can find

How Digital Agency Kitchen Sink Studios manages its projects

This is a transcript of our webinar with Kyle Gilbert, Phoenix Arizona digital agency Kitchen Sink Studios. Kyle explains how TeamGantt project management software helps them finish their projects on-time and within budget.
My name is Kyle Gilbert. I am currently the production manager at Kitchen Sink Studios. I’m the project manager for the entire agency. I also serve as the production manager for our film team and ensure that all film projects run smoothly. TeamGantt is my daily tool to organize all our projects and track their progress. Today, I will give you some insight into the project manager and show you how TeamGantt works and its benefits.
Kitchen Sink Studios is a creative design and consulting firm in downtown Phoenix. Kitchen Sink Studios is a creative and design consultancy in downtown Phoenix. We offer everything: branding, web design, development. Renderings, animation, illustration. Copywriting. Photography. Social media. We do all of our work in-house, with dedicated teams for each service. TeamGantt is the perfect platform because all sections of the business operate at their own pace. TeamGantt’s timeline feature is crucial in order to see how these projects relate and how they overlap for clients.
Why use gantt charts?
TeamGantt has been our customer for three years. We have been very happy with the results both on our side and from our clients. They love the way we share our project plans. It is crucial to be able to visualize the project in a timeline. As you can see, I have created sections for each section of the business. We have a section for web development, a section for film, photography, branding, identity, and even a bit of account management.
What I will do is create a Gantt chart that covers the entire scope. This allows me to see how these sections relate to one another. It’s a great visualization of these timelines. You can see how many weeks they span and where different parts overlap. If a graphic designer delivers a graphic element to the movie team, they can look at the Gantt chart to see when the graphic was supposed to be coming in from them. It helps me and all our employees visualize when they get stuff done, how long they have to work on it, as well as what other departments or tasks depend on them. We’ll get to that later.
Quickly judging team capacity
TeamGantt also gives me an instant assessment of my capacity. The most frequent question I receive from business development personnel is “When can we get a job in?” When the account manager approaches me, I can tell them what I can do. They ask me “How busy are we on the web development side of the business in March?” I can look at my chart and see the development group to see how many tasks or hours they have each day, week, or month.
I love this color-coded synopsis. It allows me to see exactly what they are working on. The busier they are, the more red a box is. If the account manager approached me today and asked when they could take on development work, I would click on one of these boxes to gauge. I would estimate how long it will take to complete these tasks and depending on how large a project it is, I might tell them to wait until mid-April to start another development project.
Client communication
At Kitchen Sink, we believe in transparency. Kitchen Sink is transparent. We share our gantt charts to our clients so that they can be part of the project team. What I will typically do

Hourly Gantt chart Task Assignment Live!

Your gantt charts should be used to allocate resources hourly
TeamGantt now allows you to estimate how long it will take for a person or resource to complete a task. You can view the Availability tab to see how many hours each resource or person is working on a given day. This feature is useful but not for all projects. This feature can add complexity to your project and can also be used to detail your hourly estimating or resourcing.
You can enable or disable hourly estimation by going to: Menu > Project Settings > Allow Hours and selecting Yes or No.
You’ll find a drop-down menu with several options under the Availability tab. It defaults to the Number of Tasks per Day, but you can also choose Hours per Day. You can now see how many hours each person is working per day by selecting Hours Per Day. For example, Jason is given 2 hours and Meredith 4 hours respectively on the given dates.
You can filter availability by active projects or this project.
The task list now includes 2 columns. To see the estimated hours for each task, check the Estimated Hours option. To add an hourly estimate, click or tab into the Estimated Hours column of the task you wish to estimate and enter the required hours.
We also added a People Assigned column to make it easy to see task assignments. The People Assigned column is available regardless of whether you use hourly estimates.
Want to learn more? You can see hourly estimating in action in the video below:
Tip: While it might be tempting to try and see all 8s and 10s depending on how long your work day is, this will not be possible in most cases. These are estimates and will not be exact in the real world.
Give hourly estimates a shot today and let us know your thoughts!
Resource allocation using hourly gantt tables
Resource allocation is easy with hourly estimation. You will have all the tools you need for accurately capturing project scope, while keeping your team busy but not overwhelmed. This results in happier project personnel!
Do you want to improve your project management skills? These 8 resources allocation tips are for managers.
The easiest way to create a project plan
In just 10 minutes, you can create a beautiful project plan. You can switch between gantt and calendar views with a single click.
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Hiring for success: Attracting top talent for your startup in this new normal

The pandemic rocked the foundations of the globe and left no industry or organization unaffected.
As the dust settles and the world looks to rebuild its economies, we are in a unique situation to decide whether we want to remake what we have or build something new.
After all that we have experienced over the past year and all of the forced experiments we’ve had to endure, there is a growing consensus that people around the world want to keep some of the good habits we learned during our lockdowns. This is especially true for our work lives. What does this mean for hiring?
What is talent acquisition in the next normal? These are important questions with major implications, especially for businesses that rely on the talent they hire, especially startups and innovative companies.
McKinsey’s report found that businesses with annual revenues below $20 million had the worst effects from the coronavirus crises. Many startups were forced to lay off employees as investment dried up and cash reserves ran low. It is estimated that three quarters of all startup businesses have had to lay off full-time employees since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The light at the end is getting closer, and the surviving startups are looking to map their long-term growth plans. This brings us to a new challenge.
Recent Harvard Business School research has revealed that startups could face risk aversity if they try to hire job seekers. Many professionals are turning away from smaller employers because of the uncertainty associated with a pandemic. They prefer to work for larger firms that offer stability.
According to the report, job seekers were targeting mature and larger companies when searching for work. These companies are more likely to withstand economic turmoil. This was particularly true for the most educated and experienced professionals. This could lead to a potential “brain drain” for new businesses.
Although it is understandable, companies that are hesitant to gamble on startups can be detrimental to their ability to attract high-value talent. Startups’ ability to innovate and grow depends on their ability to attract top talent. However, in uncertain times, it is unfortunate that incumbent organizations have the advantage by having more cash in reserve and therefore a greater airof solidity.
The good news is that talented people, especially those in tech roles, aren’t completely afraid to work for startups. According to Talent Works, 73% of tech talent would consider joining a startup in 2021.
How can startups compete against business giants and attract the talent needed to get back on track in this new landscape?
Demonstrate your people-first, committed culture. Make sure to plan your onboarding and recruitment process before you start your hiring drive. This will ensure that your candidate experience is smooth, efficient, and communicates how reliable you are as an organisation.
Your website’s careers section (if it doesn’t already have one, create one) should be clear about your plans. Job ads should also include clear information about your goals. You should outline what you have done, your goals, and why you are in a position now to hire. According to reports, global venture funding rose by 4% annually at the end 2020. If you have been able raise capital recently, let us know.
Development is another important aspect to consider. The most qualified candidates today want to grow and develop with their employers. Respondents to the Talent Works survey cited opportunities for growth and development, and more involvement in the company as reasons why they would consider working for a startup instead of a large corporation.

Gratitude: The Leader’s Most Powerful, Underused Tool

Most people think of leadership as character traits such as being strong, confident, honest, passionate, persuasive, and trustworthy. Grit is a trait that is rarely mentioned. It’s not exactly leader-like to hear the word “gratitude”. Gratitude? It’s great, but it’s not essential for leaders. Why gratitude? Why would it be included in a list of leadership tools, specifically?
The Power of Gratitude
Research is expanding to show the remarkable impact gratitude has on every aspect of our lives.
Two researchers from the University of California, Davis published the results of their research in Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology (Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 56-69). Drs. Crumpler and Emmons gathered evidence from a variety sources.
Here are some of the most important findings.
Gratitude is a virtue that almost all major religions promote.
In psychological theory and research, it has been shown that gratitude can lead to personal improvement.
Empirical research has shown that gratitude is linked to overall well-being and achieving one’s goals.
Their conclusion was easy:
“Gratitude…is a source of human strength in enhancing ones personal and relational well being.” Jo-Ann Tsang and Michael McCullough wrote that gratitude is the parent of virtues in their essay in The Psychology of Gratitude. Gratitude not just elicits behavior from the person expressing it but also elicits a response from the person receiving it.
The Department of Psychology at Northeastern University also conducted a study on gratitude. Bartlett & DeSteno presented study data in their Psychological Science article. Their findings showed that gratitude drives helping behavior, increases assistance given to strangers, and builds connections. It’s a simple emotion.
Another study suggests that gratitude is stronger than most people realize. It’s more than being grateful. The Psychological Bulletin published a groundbreaking article in 2001 titled “Is gratitude an moral affect?” It stated that gratitude is not just about being thankful. Gratitude is expressed in virtues.
Emmons and McCullough also found the same results. They conducted three studies with a variety groups and found that the gratitude-outlook group had a higher well-being.
Grit is not a feeling that we can turn on or off. It is a whole approach to life that requires intentionality and thoroughgoing internal change.
Scientific research shows that gratitude can make a difference in our lives and improve our well-being.
However, experience should prove the opposite. Is it any coincidence Thanksgiving is associated with higher levels of happiness While some may spout a bah-humbug on BlackFriday, it is not Thanksgiving!
Popular articles have benefited from the scholarly research. Forbes author, “Feeling grateful could make you more successful,” outlined the reasons.
To be grateful is being emotionally healthy.
These are the obvious lessons for leadership from this mountain of research.
Leadership: Gratitude
Grit is a powerful behavior that can transform one’s leadership. Gratitude requires a response. The response is always positive.
Leaders who are grateful to their employees gain respect.
Simple acts of gratitude can lead to other behaviors. Leaders who take the time to thank their employees in a thoughtful way gain their respect. B

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The easiest way to create a project plan
In just 10 minutes, you can create a beautiful project plan. You can switch between gantt and calendar views with a single click.
Get your free plan