Project Management Operational Problem Solving Implementation & Change Management Strategy & Alignment

Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The WOW Factor -- Good insight from rustybrick at the Search Engine Roundtable...
"I explained that we need to think up of an idea that makes you better then the rest. You need some type of marketing strategy, be it online or offline, that makes you worthy in the eyes of everyone, that your organization is simply WOW.

I explained that you can hire a room full of marketing people to sit there and think up unique ideas. It is done all the time with large companies. But if you can not afford that and most companies cannot, then you need to come up with the idea yourself. And guess what, he got it.

Marketing is discovering the Wow Factor. Search Marketing is utilizing the Wow Factor in the search world. Search Engine Marketing is implementing your SEO tactics off of that wow factor.

I told the individual, to come back to me, when he realizes his wow factor."
Reminds me of how Eli Goldratt used to describe the practice of determining and getting the right kind of corn (the market offer) to spread in the right place (advertise) to attract the ducks (prospects), so that the sales process can hit a sitting duck.

The right corn is the "wow" factor -- the unrefusable offer that comes from knowing how your different market segments value your products and services, and enhancing them -- sometime at their core but more often around their edges -- to enhance that value.

The opening in this situation is that our customers have their own constraints, their own problems, and their own headaches. To the extent that our offering and relationship with them is similar to our competitors, and that that offering and relationship can be tied to the customers' problems, we can create new offerings to augment or wrap-around our core product/service. If that new aspect of anoffering addresses prosepects' constraints, it can provide them with high value. For example, some customers prize reliability and on-time delivery far more than price. Figuring out what will solve the customer's/market's problems will then drives a look back into your own organization to see what it needs to address internally to provide these new solutions for our customers.

True marketing is not just a funnel for advertising content, but also for driving the operational improvements and changes to create more value -- more WOW -- for the customer.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Data Flow Diagrams -- Recently re-immersing myself in process management, and came across this quick tutorial on Data Flow Diagrams (DFDs).

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Book Suggestion for MS Project -- Over on the Critical Chain discussion group, Larry Leach suggests...
...the absolute best book I have seen on MS Project. I heard this guy speak last week at the MS Project conference in Seattle, and liked (most of) what he had to say, so I ran out and bought his book. It is a little pricey, but worth it IMHO...Dynamic Scheduling with Microsoft Office Project 2003 by Eric Uyettewaal
I've run into Eric a few times and he certainly does know his MS Project. From Eric, recommended by Larry...probably well worth checking out.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

No Evil -- From David Weinberger, Google holding the line that Yahoo and Microsoft cross.

Of course, if you disagree with the sentiment, you can always use Patriot Search.

Later - 1/20 - More insight on Google's stance with the DOJ - strategic import as well as being the right thing to do.

And later still - the real point...
...The issue here isn't protection. It never is. It's about control. Who gets to say what's safe on the Internet and when it can be read, said, heard or seen? The issue is how much and under what circumstances should the government be allowed to interfere in our on-line lives and our lives are increasingly being lived on-line...
[more from Chris Nolan]

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It's Round. You Know, For Kids. -- And now, wham-o, it's Chinese.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dirty Jobs -- A TV show on Discovery Channel for the next time you're feeling sorry for yourself in your job. (Another example -- "chick sexers" -- mentioned by Kevin at Worthwhile.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Science, the PMBOK, and Challenging the "Known" -- In the spirt of yesterday's post regarding "challenging the known," over at the Project blog, Jack suggests that...
"What PMI should be doing if they want to advance the knowledge of Project Management further is to commission some experiments to validate the claims which are implicit in the PMBOK. Rather than footnoting (if they even do that) conflicting schools of thought, they should mount an active challenge and seek to design experiments which validate - or invalidate - the positions that are implicit in their categorization of 'best' practices."
But then their software and consultant members might have to rely on more that individual, hard-to-repeat case studies to promote their wares. Note this can apply to other professional societies and organizations, including TOCICO, as well. We're all good at telling stories - Jack's anecdotes - and we're also all too willing to extrapolate our stories to other situations.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Known and Unknown -- Ur evangelist Guy Kawasaki has started blogging. One of his first postings is a speech he's been giving for a few years at commencements and other such events. It expands upon 10 pieces of advice...
#10: Live off your parents as long as possible.
#9: Pursue joy, not happiness.
#8: Challenge the known and embrace the unknown.
#7: Learn to speak a foreign language, play a musical instrument, and play non-contact sports.
#6: Continue to learn.
#5: Learn to like yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself.
#4: Don't get married too soon.
#3: Play to win and win to play.
#2: Obey the absolutes.
#1: Enjoy your family and friends before they are gone.
It's a little too late for numbers 10 and 4 for me, and most of the others make sense, but it's #8 - "Challenge the known and embrace the unknown" that resonates most.

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Off Topic Humor: How Far Would a Blonde Go for... -- Forgive me, but this joke that Mark points to is worth it, even if it is a blonde joke. It kinda sneaks up on ya, but then...

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Griffin Technology: Where's the IPO? - With an amazing pace of launches of nicely designed quality gadgets and gegaws, Griffin is the class of its market. They're not afraid to cannibalize their own products when they come up with a better idea. And they've topped themselves with the TuneCenter. Cool. Very cool. Just the thing for listening to my Battlestar Galactica commentary podcasts.

Almost made me forget the objet d'drool of the week. 16 times faster than my first generation version. Getting to be upgrade time.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Live from China -- No, not me. (At least not until March.) Public radio's business program, Marketplace, has a collection of special reports this week about the most important economic power of the 21st century. Things are different because of what's happening in China, and will continue to be different in important and unexpected ways.


Sure...Who would have thought that thriving free markets and capitalism were not dependent on democratic underpinnings? Who would have thought that a Beijing-Bentonville supply chain would have the effect on US retail and inflation that it has? Who would have expected that an "emerging" economy would be moving so fast toward R&D and product development independence? Who thinks that we know what's going to come out of China even 10 years from now?

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Looking for History of Management -- The recent brouhaha in the world of biology and science education has got me wondering to what extent management theory has evolved or been "intelligently designed" through history. I think I've got a possible framework upon which I can hang some of what I'm aware of, and wonder if some of the other disruptions and innovations along the way also fit. If anyone can point me to some good sources for history of management theory and practice, please drop me a comment on this post. Thanks mucho.


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Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Resolution -- Stephen Seay at ProjectSteps has offered up a succinct (a good thing) but interesting (also a good thing) list of ProjectSteps: Project Management Goals for 2006. One that I'm going to focus on is "Conduct more face-to-face conversations." Email and meetings are no substitute for one-on-ones.

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Symptoms -- Several thought provoking pieces this week on what some folks think of as good things being "symptoms", or rather, not-necessarily-desirable effects of project management environments.

One from Jack Vinson, commenting on a CIO article about backlogs.

And one from Jack Dahlgren on The Schedule as a Symptom. (also noted by Jack V.)

As some are wont to say, "it's all about context," but the interesting thinking comes from getting out of the box of usual context.

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