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My web page won't come home!
I can only occasionally access my web page and e mails (yesterday was a good day - today it has gone again!) It started very slowly just the occasional failure on one of three email addresses but has progressed to nothing most of the time.
MS Access 2000 issue
I've got MS Access 2000 on a Win98SE machine. What's happening is this: it works fine if you only have one database open, but if you open a second (to transfer tables, whatever), Access slows right to a crawl and the second database never opens. It doesn't actually freeze...
Strange domain propagation issue
After working for many moons on a site for a client, we're finally ready to make it go live. The site is at http://www.hibiscusflorals.com (mirrored, apparently correctly, at http://www.hibiscusflorals.ca ). If it's propagating correctly, the new site should look like this (another mirror set up for development purposes):
Conversagent Kicks Up Customer Service
Every company is in the customer service business. They may say they're in the fast food business or the book selling business or cable TV business, but in the end business won't succeed if you don't offer good service to your customers.
The Four Ps of Selling Enterprise Infrastructure
Despite pockets of accelerating growth, enterprises overall aren't buying as much as infrastructure vendors projected.
Make Your Web Hosting Solution Portable
I'm not sure why some good web hosting providers go bad, but it happens and it's a hassle when you have to switch to a new hosting provider.
Message Board Security Problems
Security leaks can be a big problem for any site using a message board. Hackers can actually use your message board to go in and change things on your site.
Apple And Intel, Sitting In A Tree
For this lifelong Macintosh fanatic, the urge to react to the news that Apple would be making the switch to Intel processors over the course of the next year had to be suppressed for a few weeks.
Technology & Communication
A study a couple of years ago found that 63% of executives were making fewer business trips because of technology.
Searching For An IT Job
Looking for an IT job is one of the easiest to perform due to the incredibly high demand in the IT field.
CA Gets Clarity In Niku Deal
The all cash purchase valued at $21 per share brings the IT management and governance solution company into the Computer Associates fold.
To Motivate, Don't Demotivate
Recently, a couple of intended compliments threw me for a loop. Two people called me in the same week and wanted me to present keynote speeches at their conferences. Of course, that was the flattering part, but what got to me was that they both referred to me as a "motivational speaker."
Intranet - The Benefits Realisation Plan
By David Viney
The Millennium Experience
A successful project is one that delivers on-spec (`quality'), time and cost. Right? Well consider these two projects…
The Millennium Dome was delivered on time for the 31 December 1999 and safely within a budget (fixed in 1998) of £289 million. The Project was also delivered to quality, albeit against a Specification that had been adjusted several times during the project to simplify the scope of work required (and ensure that time and cost deadlines could still be met). However, visitor number targets were greatly overestimated, the business a total flop and the whole endeavour deemed a failure by many.
The Millennium Wheel (or "London Eye") opened one month late on a dreary February morning in 2000 (following problems raising the wheel and then safety & quality issues with one of the 32 pods). It was also over budget, with building costs of £70m (against the £25m British Airways had originally planned to spend). However, an average of about 10,000 people a day now ride the wheel, making the London Eye the UK's biggest tourist attraction (and generating £15 million of trading profit a year) - a healthy return on investment for the shareholders.
A New Mindset for Change Projects
Traditional methodologies for change / project management (of which PRINCE is an example) tend to focus primarily on time, cost and quality. Benefits are all too often only implicitly recognised and the accountability for realising them is assumed to lie outside the project.However, the pace of change within our society, industry and business grows ever faster. Somewhat paradoxically, there is an ever- greater need to ensure that changes `stick' (delivering sustainable benefit and competitive advantage to the organisations making them). Most businesses have already achieved greater efficiency and effectiveness within single functions or processes; The challenge of the 21st Century is increasingly how to realise end-to-end change across a boundary-less business.
Rarely (these days) will a single customer sponsor a single project, delivering a single system into a single department.
The leadership challenge is thus how to engage multiple sponsors and change agents across the whole business to deliver excellence in change and the ruthless pursuit of business benefits and true return on investment (ROI).
The Case for a focus on Benefits Management
Recent research from the Cranfield University School of Management finds that 78% of IT-enabled change projects (in large UK companies) fail to deliver business benefits. 47% believed assessment of business benefits in business cases was poor or worse and 79% said that all the available benefits were not captured during that assessment. 45% believed benefits were overstated in their organisation to get investment approval.
Arguably, this will only change when project managers and their people become accountable for - and obsessed by - delivering business benefits and value through Change, rather than simply projects to time and cost.
Soft Benefits (sometime called "non-quantifiable" benefits) are those intangible improvements to be obtained from a change, including improved employee satisfaction, better customer satisfaction, increased knowledge sharing and re-use of intellectual capital. Whilst it is often accepted that such benefits do lead to financial gain, it is deemed impossible to demonstrate a proven causal link that would enable one to place a financial value on the benefit.
Direct Benefits are those which lead to a measurable impact on the bottom-line of the organisation, including increased revenue, reduced costs of sale / improved margin, operating cost reduction (e.g. through reduced headcount) and improvements in working capital (e.g. through a faster debt collection cycle). An individual or team can be held directly to account for achieving them and providing evidence of their realisation.
Indirect Benefits are those which facilitate or enable bottom-line impact, without leading directly to realisable items for which can individual or team had be held accountable. Such benefits include cost avoidance (i.e. costs not currently budgeted that might otherwise become payable) and capacity creation (where efficiency savings free up people to undertake high-value adding tasks but do lot lead directly to the release of FTEs or other costs).
The Benefit Realisation Toolset
In the Benefits Realisation section of my free-to-read Intranet Portal Guide (see http://www.viney.com/DFV/intranet_portal_guide/), I outline a number of tools that can be used to better manage benefits on the typical portal project.
1) An enhanced Business Case:
Many business cases simply do not sufficiently reference Benefits. Make sure that you dedicate at least as many column-inches to benefits as you do to costs. Split benefits between soft, direct and indirect. Ensure that direct benefits are included in the ROI, NPV or IRR calculations and that the people who will be accountable for their realisation have signed them off.
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