Worth reading, before you blame the developers for failed IT projects. In many cases they are just trying to do their job, but are hindered by management. As a developer I try to understand why a certain functionality is needed. Is there a better way? May I join the brainstorming session with the business units to better understand the business need?
Ever been to one of those meetings, where you don’t know the agenda, or even why you are invited? This TED talk brings up the issue in a entertaining speech, about how to avoid bad meetings.
Description from Ted.com:
An epidemic of bad, inefficient, overcrowded meetings is plaguing the world’s businesses — and making workers miserable. David Grady has some ideas on how to stop it.
I believe a lot of meetings could be heaps better, if we would have a clear & concise agenda. The participants should be well prepared, and know why they are invited. Oh, and please, do arrive in time.
I found an interesting and educational article, which describes how to do storytelling the right way. Storytelling is a means to market, or introduce yourself as a business to potential partners or customers. By telling stories the right way, you involve the listener in a dimension they can relate to. Combined with images and video to deliver your story, it may be a powerful combination.
Storytelling is widely used when crowdfunding a project, but are also widely used, when Apple, Microsoft and other large companies run ad-campains.
Back in the day, we had “protocols” for what you were about to send over the net. A lot went P2P, a lot went to BBS, a lot went to IRC.
Then came the web, with its own use area. Namely, web pages for distribution of information, «homepages» and the likes.
After the web took off, and we got web-apps, absolutely everything should be accessed from your browser. Web 2.0.
In a way, you could say that we’re heading back to distributed services again.
The number of apps on smartphones have increased exponentially. More and more of the communication is happening in dedicated channels.
More and more of our content is being consumed on pads and phones, and in a less degree on traditional PCs. With the introduction of smart watches, I wonder how we will use our watches in two years.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the same degree of standardisation as before.
It is interesting to follow the progress. I note that we can see an expanded degree of commersialization of services, most of wich is ad-funded.
In many cases, you end up being the product by using ad-funded services, even if that isn’t necessarily always the case.
It has been a while since last upload of desktop wallpapers. In this upload, however, the resolution have been increased to 2880×1800. You know, laptops with a high screen resolution are more common nowadays. Click the images for full resolution.
The image below is one of my better wallpapers, in my opinion. It is actually three images layered on top of each other. It is called high dynamic range (HDR) photographing. See the wikipedia article for the facts, or my other attempts and some thoughts on the software needed.
Another HDR image below. The sunset almost looked like a red northern lights. There was northern lights the night before, but I forgot to bring my camera that night. Bad luck.I will definitely do more HDR images. I think they look stunning, once you get the hang of it.
Leave a comment if you like the images. All photos are taken by yours truly, in Hemsedal, Norway.
Todays post is about electronic mail. It occurred to me, that I might be writing to the generation 40+. Everyone from 13-30s think they have it all figured out, especially in regards to computers.
Lots of companies depreciate the use of email. An argument I’ve heard often is: «But, the young generation today doesn’t use email, they use the hippest social media tool around!». Another argument is: «our employees spend too much time reading, sorting and answering mail».
Well, I like email. For me it is all about using the right tool for the job. I won’t use email for collaborating on a document, we have file repositories for that. I wouldn’t use it for marketing, as we have social media for this. On the other hand, email is a very versatile tool. It is widespread, and although it has its flaws, email is used by everyone and every company.
We do spend a lot of time organizing and answering e-mails. In my opinion it is because it has become a part of how we communicate at work. Email will not die for a very long time. The key is knowing when to send a mail, and when not to. Read through your email before you send it (link in norwegian). Lastly, use automated email sorting rules, and sort your inbox. In my opinion, the inbox should have less then 20 emails. The rest is sorted into folders.
I might be old and dull in the sense that I often prefer email communication. I do have my own blog, and I even use IRC from time to time. Yes, IRC, you know the old chat protocol one could use, which didn’t involve in sending all your personal information to third party advertisers.
Note, I do use social sites when I’m off work. Mostly, to keep up with companies I like. For example, I follow Tim Wendelboe (coffee roaster), and lots of artists, so I get the news on what’s up. By the way, Guy Kawasaki has written a book (excerpt in link) for reaching those hip-young-curling-generation, and not to seem clueless on social sites.
So, you have some sort of responsibility. It may be work related, voluntary or maybe you plan on taking more responsibility in your own life.
How do you make sure that you have momentum, and a direction according to where you want to go?
Lets consider this: You lead a team of motivated people. You want to make sure the team is getting somewhere.
Get a vision
So what do you do? You need a vision, a higher goal. Point of having a vision, is to say “this is the direction we are heading».
Examples of vision for a team might be: «We are going to be the leading sales team for this company in this specific area». For a personal vision «I am going to become a distinguished doctor».
There is a whole lot to say about this point alone, and theres a lot of articles on the web about how to form a vision, my advise is thus, to start with a dream and build a vision.
Since a higher goal often is quite abstract, you want to break your vision into parts. I call them targets.
Set measurable targets
So, break your vision into measurable targets. You want to measure the momentum and direction of your team. Are we delivering accordingly to our vision?
If you would like to use a business term, it will be similar to a «Key Performance Indicator».
Some measurable targets for your sales team may be «the amount of sales this period versus last period» and «the increase in sales relative to the other top performing sales teams»
Actions are where we lose the abstract ideas and get concrete. Specify what you need to do to be able to get to those targets. This is where you brainstorm and get input from other sources. Make sure to get input from people who have come further than you.
My point for today
If you fail at setting a vision or a course, you are probably heading for a mediocre result. It will be harder to know how to measure success. In my opinion this applies especially when you are leading a team, a department, or the likes, but these things are also of worth in what you want to achieve in your personal life.
I have backed a number of crowdfunding projects. I find it particular interesting to participate in music projects. This way, by backing their projects, I may follow their studio recording sessions, listen to samples and give feedback. For artists composing music, it enables a complete new way of involving the listener (or fans if you like).
Most crowdfunding projects work like this: Bob has an idea for a music project, business plan, product or something of the likes. Bob needs cash to make it happen. Bob makes a prototype, some sample songs and signs up at a crowdfunding site. Bob does a huge amount of social networking to get the word spread. People like me gain interest, and backs his project with cash, in the hopes of getting the perks when his project is finished.
Some might say that crowdfunding is «so 2012» or the hype of last year, but i think it might be the future for small businesses and entrepreneurs with an exiting idea.
If you think this is something for you, i would recommend an article «the basics of crowdfunding», or the shorter and more tabloid version «five tips for running a successful crowdfunding campaign».
There is also a Norwegian version of the last one.
Lately, I have spent some time on the future of BI. We know we need reporting, and data warehouses. What about going beyond data warehousing and business reporting?
Instead of asking the question:
How many leads did our last campaign result in?
We turn the question around to:
Which campaign should we run? This question is based on common sense and insight in customers.
Eventually we will ask:
How many leads will our next campaign return? Now, our answer will rely on statistical data.
Hindsight vs Prediction:
“[…]you still need business intelligence to know what really happened in the past, but you also need predictive analytics to optimize your resources as you look to make decisions and take actions for the future[…]”
For more information regarding this topic:
I have found that the blogs at EMC.com provide thoughts and concepts from one of the bigger players in the market. Look up the articles of Bill Schmartzo for more thoughts around this topic.
BI Analyst vs Data Scientist, what is the difference?
Begin to set focus on predictive analysis. Discover who is the most valuable customers.
IT Transformation storymap (in pdf). IT and related processes are always changing. This illustration and its linked articles brings up this topic.
Jeg liker å lese hvilke tanker andre har om emner samfunnet. Ikke tanker som i kommentarfeltet på dagbladet, men velskrevne kronikker, kommentarer og blogger. I dag fant jeg en lettlest side med tanker om økonomi. Etter å ha jobbet i banksektoren i noen år, vet jeg at det ikke alltid er lett å beskrive økonomiske årsakssammenhenger på en lettfattelig måte. Man behøver ikke å være enig i alt de skriver, men det er alltid artig å lese hva andre tenker.
Nettstedet heter www.oekonomi.no
Sitat fra “om oss”:
Oekonomi.no er et nettsted som ble startet i januar 2008 av tre tidligere studiekamerater fra Norges Handelshøyskole, NHH.
Nettstedet er tenkt å være et ikke-kommersielt, ikke-politisk nettsted for økonomiske kommentarer og debatt. Vi håper å kunne bruke økonomisk teori for å belyse spørsmål av samfunnsinteresse.