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Thursday, March 25, 2004

Reading a few business blogs today. Some examples...

THERE are many things that companies can do to aid service delivery, such as creating improvement teams and redesigning processes to prevent errors, increase revenue and boost employee morale.

Frank Patrick's blog - Friday, March 19, 2004 -
...So, if I'm unconsciously shifting away from the impersonal "resources" when referring to people, what word do I find myself using? Well, we already designate some people associated with project environments as "managers" -- project managers, resource or functional managers. "Contributors" has too much of a pro bono feel to it. "Team members" is an overused cliche. For some reason, I seem to have started using "performers", and kind of like the ring of it. Skills are resources, people who apply those skills are performers, individual and unique. Yeah, sounds good to me. (And on top of it, "project performers" is a nice bit of alliteration.)

And finally, from a software companies website -
Our solutions are designed to deliver tangible benefits quickly and make the implementation phase painless...By consolidating our process knowledge with our industry expertise and experience, our Process Frameworks comprise libraries of process maps and definitions, application templates and EAI steps for integration with leading industry applications.

Reminds me of a dilbert cartoon:
Dilbert: What do you do?
Salesman: We innovate processes.
Dilbert: What does that mean?
Salesman: Hey! If you don't want your processes innovated, just say so!

...it all sounds a bit shit if you ask me. The top quote (and ones like it) is pure management speak. I won't insult your intelligence with why I hate it so...

As far as the second: If you called me a resource, I would think you were a cold businessman. If you called me a "project performer", I would think you were a consultant - trying to make money by branding the same old thinking under a new set of buzzwords.

Here is a quote I actually like - that I think puts things in perspective...

Lynn Mercer of Lucent -
We make sure everyone is relentless in asking "Am I figuring out what's important and doing what's right?" And for managers the question is "Am I letting others do what's right and important?".

Simple. Hire good people. Don't hire people who do "negative" work (people who are so lazy / dumb / political that they hinder others). Once you have done that, let them do their jobs.

Good managers don't micromanage. They train. Teach. Spot new areas for investment. They help make your life easier by keeping political exchanges abstracted from your work.

Most workers in the western world are knowledge workers. They have knowledge about a particular subject that they are bringing to the table. They are not "resources" or "project performers" they are people. How should someone refer to me in a project plan? "Toby" works for me - thanks. How many "resources" does a project need? Depends on who, in particular, you have on the project. Do you have a team of bright - self-motivated people? How many people on the project will be doing "negative" work?

How do you hire a team of bright - self motivated people? Well, "A" people hire "A" people. "B" people hire "C" peopleā€¦

Thought of the day:
Business people use the word "critical" too much.

On a different note -
This is a neat idea for searching. I like the idea of presenting the information in an easily understandable / non-text format. ...but what kind of loser wants the stats of his / her stock portfolio to light up the room? (Link goes to news feeds on the product. The news feeds describe the product better then the website. Typical.)

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