Unsuccessful meetings take you to new unsuccessful meetings

The title of this post is moving the management staff of our account.

We are working in an environment where, there are thousand of regular meetings with the customer: operational, applications, finance, end user technologies….

This environment makes there are so many relationship with our client, what is very good.

Now we are trying to improve the way all these meetings are planned, celebrated and closed:

  • Is this meeting useful?
  • Are the key people attending to it?
  • Is the client feeling s/he is losing time?
  • Are meeting minutes right?
With the map of regular meetings we have discovered some stakeholders were not involved in meetings, what improve the relation with some key stakeholders that are not in front of a decision but that have influence on all of them.

So it’s being a long term exercise that is trying to improve our account communications. Let’s see how it works.

(Tarifa, April 2010)

Test activities & SAAS

With the appearance of software as a service (SAAS), the test activities of a software disappears!!!

There will be a generation of people who won’t understand what is to be involved in a test phase.

There will be a generation of people who will know what is to be constantly doing proofs of concept in order to check if some software or other fits with their business goals,

but no more tests????

Well, really SAAS tools requires test activities. These complex environments where the SAAS tools are implemented makes the testing activities more complex, so we need new capabilities and tools.

We need to test big load of traffic, users, data transaction…. we need to have the availability of having dedicated servers or shared servers…

We need applications that allow us to generate all the test cases with their elements available for a given web application, the ability to simulate the access of a desired number of virtual users…

With this scenario we will be able to check the performance of:

  • Our systems; network Mb received/sent, CPUs usage, # of connections, memory usage,
  • Our users ; average response time provided to all the virtual users, count processes completed, Mb received/sent, clips completed, average durations, errors

The lazy Project Manager

I have enjoyed reading this book , the experiences, the way to face problems, and the approach through the continuous prioritisation following the pareto principle, where in 80% of the cases, the solution requires only 20% of the resources needed to solve all cases.

Just to remind it, the Decalogue proposed for success the lazy way,

  1. Stay ahead of the game, start confidently, dress appropriately and anticipate.
  2. Understand your sponsor, and take clear what they want from you and the project
  3. Manage the project creep, it’s there but it’s manageable
  4. Avoid a communication breakdown through an open and honest, effective communication process that suits each individual
  5. Have fun,
  6. Breathe normally and stay calm, plan, filter problems, delegate and prioritise
  7. Make your project attractive,
  8. Avoid swamping yourself with communication and demands,
  9. Be always in learning mode,

Automotive coatings, a review

The typical process is that a vehicle takes through a series of immersion or spray baths by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

These baths are: pre-treatment, electrocoat followed by a layer of primer, basecoat and clear-coat.

These five layers protect the vehicle underneath from corrosion, scratches and chips, while also improving its appearance, it is both expensive and time consuming.

Three leading global players are PPG Industries, BASF and Dupont.

The global downturn hit the automotive coatings sector hard.

In part, thanks to incentives introduced by many governments worldwide the industry is facing a more positive picture about the future. In Spain for instance these incentives has increased a lot the sales.

Sales are still very slow and this is going to be a difficult few years, (2012??).

Main goal now: cost and efficiency;


Through innovation: trying to reduce the time required to apply the numerous layers of coatings to vehicles or compacting process technology.

The approach is to remove some of the baths after improve some of the others, so you reduce the time and the cost of the process.

Roger Shank, about learning and education

Reading the newspaper, I found an article about Roger Shank, who was visiting Spain to give a lecture, show La Salle´s online MBA program

and I was interested to read a little bit more about it, so I looked for more information about principles, vision…

I found the lecture (42 min.) done in Barcelona,

Some notes:

  • Didactic -> crap, too authorative
  • Predictions, provoke the learners have to predict.
  • Judgement,
  • You need to have experience things,
  • Diagnostic,
  • how to learn negotiation: practice, practice, practice,

Open Text (ECM)

Enterprise content management through Open Text solutions is very demanding due to the deep collaboration between SAP and Open Text.

SAP DMS seems to not support big volumes and Open Text integration is a recognized alternative that the industry has accepted as good solution: reduce implementation risks, reduction of TCO (of your SAP system), aligned with regulations.

Some notes to remind:

  • Open Text Data Archiving for SAP® Solutions (link),
  • 769 SAP Archiving Bootcamp Training Program, 10 days, 7k€,
  • Distance learning is offered,

I have joined a webinar to learn more about these capabilities