Belbin team roles

The concept of the Dr. R. M. Belbin comes from the recognition that people contribute to a team in a different ways. He described two roles the “Functional Role” and the “Team Role”.

The Functional Role describes your experience, your technical skills, your job or the department you head, whereas your Team Role describes a pattern of behaviour, your approach and the way in which you interact with other people.

I attended to a training course last week and we did a basic survey to try to clarify where we are. It was so good to understand how each role was present in each sub-team and how each one contributed in different ways.

More information:

I’m late but…

I have been working on an opportunity where I’m really late.

We are not going to win this one, but this work is helping me to move some contacts and being recognized by the customer as a vendor that can provide different things apart of the standard things we deliver.

So, it’s not summing up for the P&L, but is contributing to the relationship we have.

Innovation, improvement culture

For the customer I work, innovation is more related to an “improvement culture” than other thing. If the its IT environment is improving, they say we are doing daily innovation.

They believe that new ideas come from the work on the ground, people doing daily activities and thinking about how to improve the applications, some functionalities and speeding up details. There is a lot of value there and they appreciate it.

We have been talking about continuous improvement and how an incremental innovation is a valid parallel concept. It’s a pleasure to share ideas and concepts.

If you pay peanuts you get monkeys

Services work with the same rule: services should not offer more value than is being paid for.

There is SLAs that measure all the variables your service is measured. The rest is added value you have to play with.

To play with them?

Right, there are services with the unique objective of provide the outputs for what they are created for. If the customer wants more, they have to pay more and cannot be discussion about it.

But there are other services that enables you to generate other type of value for your business and that generates ineterest for other business initiatives that could fit with your service model.

What type of services have you in your portfolio? do you have clear what are the services that provides more value to your customer? Are they well delivered?


SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively.

SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”)

In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in Wikipedia opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet.

Some companies are planning a 24 hours blackout on the English version of the Wikipedia.

Interesting, we have in Spain a law commonly named “ley Sinde” that really is a copyright protection law that facilitates the close of web pages. This law is so unpopular because the law would overtly skirt due process, violate personal privacy, and limit freedom of expression.

The “web life” is changing and the way we live Today is not going to be there for so much time.


FEL phase, assessment exercise, project initiation

Some ones call it project initiation, some others assessment exercise or project, some others FEL phase. In any case it’s related to the study, analysis of a business initiative that wants to be translated to IT activities, organizational actions, investment with the purpose of obtaining business value.

Since 2 years ago I have been hardly participating and proposing some of these exercises, in fact now I’m facing 2 more of them.

These exercises are very different: their nature, their size, the organization, the activities.

With respect the nature.

  1. Some of them comes from a new business process generated internally in the department and that turns into a proven process that requires to be supported by an IT system because the manual work is not enough.
  2. Some others comes because the platform where these processes are implemented are obsolete or they are going to reach the end of the lifecycle.
  3. The third source of these FEL-phases (I have one of them now) is related to the environment for small data size was Ok, but there is new data volumes coming and the existing architecture is not able to gather all these new volumes. This is easy in some way because the functionality is clear.

With respect the size, as it’s my reality.

  1. Big size, they take 2 or 3 months to complete the complete set of activities. In our case there is a extreme big implication of the customer.
  2. Medium size, they take around 4 to 6 weeks: prepare workshops, celebrate them, gather requirements make decisions and complete the documentation. Decisions come later.
  3. Small size, 2 weeks of work for an specific part of a major assessment managed by the customer and participating in a bigger project team providing specific expertise.

Major activities we use to perform during these assessments:

  • Organize the project team
  • Prepare a proof of concept or a pilot
  • Gather requirements (functional and non-functional)
  • Define statements of work for the solutions
  • Do a benchmark study with some proven tools, doing a SWOT analysis and/or establishing relationship about how they fit into the requirements
  • Analyse specific products
  • Propose solution alternatives
  • Write down a project definition with the detailed efforts for the project.

I love this type of activities because they are so creative exercises; and at the same way I hate these activities because there is so much pressure on them to obtain the project behind them. That’s life!!

(Sierra Grazalema)

Joomla versions roadmap

I have to make some decisions about the joomla portals I have. Both are in 1.5 and new long term versions are coming.

The main reasons to migrate them are easy:

  1. Joomla 1.5 reaches its end of life in April 2012. After this point, no more security releases for Joomla 1.5 will be available.
  2. The new extensions are less and less developed on 1.5, and the extensions are from my point of view one of the Joomla key strengths, and I don’t want to loose this strengths.

So first step is to know the roadmap Joomla is going to take.

1.- This videois key to understand it: The interesting point is the explanation about how they are going to move from a release based lifecycle to a date based lifecycle (18 months for long term releases).

2.- This other link mentions other important things:

  • Some kind of method will be available to move from 1.5 to 2.5
  • Take care with 3rd party extensions containing lots of data.

3.- Features in Joomla! 2.5, here.

El libro rojo de las marcas

Lectura navideña recomendada por Michele.

Tal y como Luis Bassat describe en su Web: “253 páginas repletas de verdades sobre cómo construir marcas que funcionen”.

Yo añadiría que es un libro muy bien escrito que explica las ideas de una manera clara y que viene acompañado de ejemplos y vivencias que no se olvidan.