Tag Archives: management

Aiim social roadmap white paper

Aiim (site here), for over 60 years, AIIM has been the leading non-profit organization focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, and business processes.

Now among other interesting articles, Aiim proposed a”[…] roadmap [that] is a tool to help organizations effectively develop social business processes and to help identify and address potential issues before they become real problems. […] The social business roadmap consists of eight primary steps. Each step is briefly described here and is addressed in substantially more detail over the course of the document. Links to the eight steps take you to our wiki, where we discuss the “what’s next”, case studies, and your additional thoughts and feedback. […]

Main steps are

 

  • Emergence. In this step the organization is not using social technologies in any formal or organized way. Instead, individuals or small groups within the organization are experimenting with social technologies to determine whether there is business value to them.
  • Strategy. Once the organization begins to develop experience with social technologies and has identified potential business value from their use, it is important to create a framework that identifies how it expects to use these technologies, and the goals and objectives for their use.
  • Development. With the strategy in place, the organization can make informed decisions about what tools to implement, how to implement them, where to implement them, and how they will potentially scale more broadly within the organization.
  • Monitoring. Initially the organization should spend time monitoring and listening to the conversations taking place in and around a particular tool to get a sense of the nature of the tool, the content of the conversations, the target audiences, and who the leading participants are. This is perhaps more visible in externally focused processes but is important for internal ones as well.
  • Participation. Once the organization has done some listening it will be able to participate more meaningfully and should begin doing so according to what it has learned about the target market and the nature of the conversations on the various tools.
  • Engagement. The goal is for participation to move to engagement – from speaking at or to customers to engaging with them. This means creating processes to respond to issues, both internally and externally, and ensuring that communications are clear, accurate, and authentic.
  • Governance. This step describes the process for developing an effective governance framework for social business processes. Some of the steps are specific to certain tools or capabilities, while others are more broadly applicable, such as an acceptable usage policy.
  • Optimization. Once social business processes are in place, they should be actively managed and reviewed to ensure that the organization is realizing the expected benefits. This includes but is not limited to monitoring the tools in real time, identifying and measuring specific metrics, and training users on new or evolving tools and processes.
  • […]” (full article here, direct download link for white paper here)

    In a complex contest like the one of “going social” I think that a rationalization effort is really important also to avoid smaller organizations getting lost into fuzzy and fancy words.

     

     


    Daily Mumble: meritocracy for all

    I often find how difficult is for people really capable to emerge if they have not some prerequisites (university degree in some university, find the “good train” to follow an a merging leader, do a good corridor management,…).

    Is very sad, because this determines even more often a management where relational skills are more important than operational skills.

    But this brings value to a company only if those skills are applied to bring benefit to the company and not to make the management survive.

     


    Why I bet that Apple future without Steve Jobs is as bright as the past

    Many sites and authors (among them Matt Hartley at Lockergnome, full article at http://www.lockergnome.com/it/2011/01/17/is-steve-jobs-critical-to-apple/, Joe Wilcox at Beta news, full article at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Apples-future-without-Steve-Jobs-wont-be-as-bright/1295327829 and at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/What-future-does-Apple-have-without-Steve-Jobs/1295286850 and at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Steve-Jobs-takes-another-medical-leave-from-Apple/1295278306, Juan Carlos Perez at Computer world, full article at http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9205362/With_Apple_s_Jobs_on_leave_many_questions_and_few_answers, Peter Sayer at Computer world, full article at http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9205342/Update_Apple_CEO_Steve_Jobs_to_take_medical_leave_of_absence, Chris Foresman at Ars Techinca, full article at http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/01/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-back-on-medical-leave.ars, Matthew Humphries at Geek.com, full article at http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/steve-jobs-goes-on-medical-leave-of-absence-20110117/, Mike Halsey at ghack.com, full article at http://www.ghacks.net/2011/01/17/steve-jobs-to-take-leave-of-absence-from-apple-for-health-reasons/) covered the anouncement of Steve Jobs leave for absence due to medical problems. Most of them also told that Steve Jobs is strictly related to Apple future in terms of positive impact. On top of this Apple shares declined after the announcement has been made.

    In my opinion, Steve Jobs is very important for Apple because of charisma, innovation, leadership and vision. But times are different now form those when Steve came back and reseurrected Apple from ashes.

    Apple is now a company with a stronger brand, that goes over the geeks and is more linked to marketing.

    Apple is a strong company with cutting edge technologies and more patents that can turn in billion dollars ideas.

    Apple has now an industrial approach for going live.

    Apple has also grown or acquired lot of professionals and managers that can continue the business.

    Apple also has a marketing and commercial model for applications selling that is something that is a step beyond also for new coming devices.

    I don’t work for Apple (in fact I work for another very big company that is a competitor for part of Apple business), but I think the Cupertino company is stronger than ever.

    With Steve at the helm also has the plus of a Guru, but without can continue the business without problems.

    This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Apples-future-without-Steve-Jobs-wont-be-as-bright/1295327829, at http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/What-future-does-Apple-have-without-Steve-Jobs/1295286850http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/article/Steve-Jobs-takes-another-medical-leave-from-Apple/1295278306http://www.computerworld.com/comments/node/9205362#comment-716336http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/01/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-back-on-medical-leave.ars?comments=1&p=21225850#comment-21225850http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/steve-jobs-goes-on-medical-leave-of-absence-20110117/comment-page-1/#comment-3975084http://www.ghacks.net/2011/01/17/steve-jobs-to-take-leave-of-absence-from-apple-for-health-reasons/#comment-1295892 and at http://www.lockergnome.com/it/2011/01/17/is-steve-jobs-critical-to-apple/comment-page-1/#comment-250537


    Why client are not always right

    There’s an old motto that says customer’s always right.

    Despite the fact that underlying this sentence there’s a hidden continuation saying “…but even if is wrong you should make him feel is right”

    During years I came through a personal belief that having customers think they’re right every time and follow their needs “despite of” is something that is more poisonous than everything else.

    I’ve been working in “service” and consultancy firms since 1996 both as a freelancer, as employee and now as manager.

    Times have changed and clients have become more demanding and pretentious, especially in IT sector, sometimes with good reasons (because of firms -especially the big ones- having treated them in same way), sometimes simply because of an over offering of services.

    Now the battle is only on price and the quality goes a step back.

    Which is the typical situation that is faced?

    Client asks for more at same price, with contracts more likely to be shaped within a law firm or department also for technical components (meaning for technical not only IT things, but also service management levels, BPO,…).

    At this point there’s a no return point, because you as a service provider have two solutions: follow the client and face a risky situation, don’t follow the client and loose the contract. Is this second solution a problem for the client? No, unless you are the only provider for this type of service, because there’s always a second player coming in and accept the conditions.

    May sound strange , but I think that exist client that are not able to work with service providers, especially in consultancy. Every company has its own “black list” of clients, but few are those really applying the constraints. It’ sometimes a problem of single persons, but more often a problem of client company culture.

    The solution? Not easy and quite risky: have clients and service providers work in partnership respecting each other’s role. Otherwise some clients should be boycotted by service providers.

    I think that if a client is not able to work anymore with any provider, the client itself should go back to market and ask for different approaches at different prices, with whole market benefiting from this. Otherwise the focus goes always on price, not on quality and goes into a loop.

    I understand that everybody is struggling for reaching objectives, but I think is better to have less deals with no or less problems than having loto of presence with clients taking the helm of the contract.


    Productivity tips

    The guys at Project Management Knowledge give us some good hints on increasing productivity (full article at http://project-management-knowledge.com/top-7-project-management-productivity-tips).

    Their hints in bold, the other my comments:

    • Prioritize and Take Action: never postpone until you’re forced to do, because  things unresolved cumulate. This does not mean to everything in one shot, but is to act when needed and in the priority you decide.
    • Revisit Goal Setting Daily: Things change and so do your goals. No route is straight; at least it needs some corrections on the path.
    • Get Your R & R: means rest and recreation (and that is really true, because if you’re working hard you need it to perform at best), but also means for me reality and reality (to mean that aiming at difficult objectives is challenging, aiming at impossible ones is frustrating. So always maintain your feet as much on the ground as you can.
    • R & R Revisited: this is *rewards and recognition* and is valid also if you think of yourself only.
    • Do what you hate: but not for too much time, otherwise (also if you’re over payed to do this task you hate) the little breach becomes bigger and bigger and you cannot deal with it anymore.
    • Reinforce your boundaries: as you may know saying no it’s an art difficult to teach and even more difficult to learn. The easiest thing is to find a good balance between doing things only for you and being a subsidiary for others work.
    • Stop juggling: Elephant is eaten one spoon at a time….

    This post as a comment also at http://project-management-knowledge.com/top-7-project-management-productivity-tips/comment-page-1/#comment-6064


    PM and his team

    Daisy at Project Management Knowledge writes an article on the importance of team (full article at http://project-management-knowledge.com/tips-for-managing-your-ever-changing-project-team).

    The importance of a team in a project is undoubtfull. Too much often there’s a superiority attitude where is said that when you have contents and determination you can overcome team problems.

    Is not like this.

    Having the right team is THE successfull key.

    Unfortunately much of the attitude is reactive, meaning that too often you deal with team problems when you have people onboard (this because is very difficult to have a clear and objective evaluation of a person, since is easier for many managers to say good things instead of real things).

    So what to do with your team? Each one of us has its own management style, but, adding to those reported in the article I can say:

    Be honest with team, because they are part of the game. Most of the times they are the game.

    Let them know what they really need to know (e.g. if you’re dealing with internal organizational problems, is not something they need to know).

    Delegate to them, while maintaining control.

    Be a unique thing externally and say the things before inside the team.

    This post as a comment also at http://project-management-knowledge.com/tips-for-managing-your-ever-changing-project-team/comment-page-1/#comment-6001


    Communicating in projects

    The guys at Project Management knowledge write an article on the importance of communication and how to avoid pitfalls (full article at http://project-management-knowledge.com/avoid-communication-pitfalls-in-project-management).

    I agree on the fact that communication is a basic point of PM.

    In my experience, I also have to add the “translation”  option: as I started to work as a PM on complex programs ranging from business plan to system development, I always found the need to make people speak same (or similar) language. Too much often I found the teams working on strategic design, having lot of difficulties to talk with those implementing the systems and viceversa. I think that communication in Projects is als to enable this kind of discussion.

    This post as a comment also at http://project-management-knowledge.com/avoid-communication-pitfalls-in-project-management/comment-page-1/#comment-5985


    Project management lessons

    The guys at Project management knowledge underlined the importance of lessons learned in project management (full article at http://project-management-knowledge.com/lessons-learned-in-project-management).

    Here are my comments:

    • That a project’s scope, time, and costs were woefully underestimated: True, and in this times of crisis at most time, you have very little contingency inside estimations.  I also feel that having a planned “incremental” scope is usefull instead than having unreacheable goals.
    • Which vendors to use and which to avoid in the future – and why: This is part of team shaping and is definitely a part of experience each one of us has
    • Which members of your project team need extra supervision to get things done: this is quite tricky, because team members vary and is not said you will have your team well formed and ready when starting a project
    • Which members of your project team can be given additional responsibilities and opportunities for leadership development : as above.
    • That certain instructions and communication are unclear leading to confusion: communication is the key for success and makes the difference between skilled professionals and a team
    • That your current tools/equipment/technology aren’t up to the task at hand : agree on this
    • That some corporate policies are outdated and decrease the efficiency of project processes: This is an old story every time true 🙂

    This post as a comment at  http://project-management-knowledge.com/lessons-learned-in-project-management/comment-page-1/#comment-5981


    The first myth of management

    The first myth of management is that it exists.

    Anonymous


    First rule of project management

    Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.

    Anonymous


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