Funny e-mail wars

People behavior is something that is usually reflected on e-mails and if you know the people behind the e-mails you can know a lot of things between the lines.

The funny situation is when someone is asking to other something without knowing him/her. And then the disconnection starts. This week I saw it and it returned to be a funny story.

One guy sent a note to other asking for something, without knowing the receiver is a detail geek. The answer was something as “I need more details for each one of the things you are requesting to me”. The request was simple and complex at the same time, it was true that if you do not know the environment the way to perform it was not easy.

The requester replied with sections, from 1 to 7 points, but it was not well detailed so the answer was specific clarifications for each one of the 7 points. For sure at this point the e-mail ping-pong game started to be ridiculous.

The ping-pong game took 2 e-mails more and finally the receiver decided to make a call. In a 5 minutes call, all was clear, and the 7 points were done.

We live in rush professional lives and everything happens so quick. But reading these e-mail ping-pong games, sometimes I just can smile.

Succession plans

All companies, and specially consulting and IT companies, change people from one position to other by different reasons.
For more defined roles or less complex roles, the transition from one person to other is smooth and there is not major issues for the new person and for the quality of the outputs delivered from this role.
But for some other roles, where the complexity is high or the relationship component is key, you cannot change a person in 15 days.
For sure there are things, as an employee leaving the company, that cannot be forecast, but for other situations, there should be a potential succession plan for key roles and key people that enable the company to maintain the quality levels and keep the relationship with the customers.
I have seen succession plans initiatives in companies, that first their attrition is very low (for sure not an IT company), where they evaluate people to detect high potential employees, then define a career path forward, and then a set of activities are done across the year/s. Finally the evolution is measured.
Easy thing?
Not at all, this implies the company has a clear direction and strategy in terms of human resources. This also implies the company takes seriously the human resources processes, being senior management the people leading the execution of these processes.
There are so many companies making advertisement about how important are for them their people, but there is a small amount of companies taking care of it.

Old store, new store

After one year using webnode there are some features that invite us to move to other solution. The main reasons are:

  • Look & feel on the pictures is not configurable, and pictures cannot be shown with the enough size we require.
  • Look & feel on the pictures on lists is not configurable.
  • When you sell a product the model, size and amount does not decrease by one, allowing a customer to purchase something that does not exist.
  • There is not continuity on the evolution of the solution. On a SAAS premise I expect as customer that the company evolves the solution and improves different features. This is not happening.
  • No easy / clear way to make the store multilingual.

For sure there are impressive things on the solution:

  • Easy to manage.
  • Good SEO, no very good SEO.
  • Quick start-up.
  • Easy to maintain.

So now it’s time to look for new solution, any suggestion?

This is the short list I have:

  • Magento.
  • Prestashop.
  • Mobicart.

(Bahía de Cádiz, desde Puerto Real, al fondo San Fernando)


Windchill (basic things)

For my learning purposes, revision of documentation related to this product.

Windchill is a PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) software product that is offered by PTC.

  • In 1998 Windchill was the first to market with an internet based PLM solution.
  • In 2001, Windchill ProjectLink launched as a solution for project collaboration.
  • In 2002, Windchill PDMLink launched as a solution for product data management.

Processes and modules:

  • Windchill ProjectLink – A collaborative management tool.
  • Windchill MPMLink – A PLM application for manufacturing engineers.
  • Windchill PDMLink – A web-based master product data management repository that also helps teams manage critical processes such as change/configuration management, and detailed design. Windchill PDMLink also serves as the foundation for many optional modules such as Pro/INTRALINK, Windchill MPMLink, Windchill PartsLink and Windchill Supplier Management.
  • Windchill PPMLink – Provides Program Portfolio Management (PPM) capabilities to discrete manufacturers.
  • Requirements Management – A combination of PTC’s Integrity product and Windchill PDMLink to manage product software and hardware requirements.
  • Windchill Compliance – Tracks and manages product compliance throughout the product lifecycle.
  • Windchill Materials & Substances – Integrates with existing enterprise systems to provide materials and substances in products based on an accurate BOM.
  • Windchill Cost – Provides real-time product cost estimates and analysis.
  • Windchill LCA – Allows manufacturers to use LCA (Lifecycle Assessment) data to quantify the environmental impact of products over their entire lifecycle.
  • Windchill FRACAS – FRACAS (Failure Reporting, Analysis, and Corrective Action System) manages corrective action processes to improve product reliability.
  • Windchill FMEA –Helps identify potential failure modes in a system.
  • Windchill FTA – Constructs a graphical representation of an issue and provides an analysis tool.
  • Windchill Prediction – Helps assess product reliability early in the design process.
  • Windchill CAPA – Helps manage the intake, tracking, resolution, and analysis of quality issues.
  • Windchill Nonconformance – manages the intake, evaluation, resolution and tracking of nonconforming products.
  • Windchill Customer Experience Management – Helps manage and address customer complaint.
  • Windchill Service Information Manager – Helps organize and manage service information to ensure accuracy and relevance.
  • Windchill Service Parts – Uses engineering CAD data to define spare parts information.


The Service-Profit Chain

This article talks about the elements that contributes to make the services to be successful.

The service-profit chain establishes relationships between profitability, customer loyalty, and employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity. The links in the chain (which should be regarded as propositions) are as follows: Profit and growth are stimulated primarily by customer loyalty. Loyalty is a direct result of customer satisfaction. Satisfaction is largely influenced by the value of services provided to customers. Value is created by satisfied, loyal, and productive employees. Employee satisfaction, in turn, results primarily from high-quality support services and policies that enable employees to deliver results to customers.

Good concept to remind and review.

III Trial Valgrande-Pajares

As 2 years ago, this weekend I run the Trial Valgrande-Pajares.

  • Distance around 21 km,
  • Total gradient 3100 m

This time I stopped the clock in 4:14:05. Better feeling than 2 years ago, the training sessions on the mountain during 2 weeks helped a lot. The speed used since first kilometer also helped a lot.

(Distance & Gradient)

(Coming from Cuetu Negro)

Ball park estimates

There’s a time every year when all people perform their foresee for coming year.

When this time arrives, IT leads and business people start to ask for estimations they are going to use for incoming years.

This happens and the summer this will not happen, it will mean my customer does not want to work with us anymore.

The tricky thing is that you have to be very carefully with the estimations you provide and define all the assumptions properly, due to at the end of the year these guys are going to come with these figures approved, so you cannot fail.

SAP technical upgrade go-live successful

Today is a date to remember. 3rd and 4th August 2012, the day we moved to production the ECC6 version of the HCM environment.

Not the end of the project but a great milestone.

After the go-live there are some activities for the closing the project, that are:

  • Back-up of the new system,
  • Fix some errors on the SAP business connector,
  • Decommission the old servers.
  • Finish the tuning of the Solution manager for support activities.
  • 2nd go-live verification from SAP.
  • And for sure, lessons learned and celebrations.

Team changes, why?

I’m facing a weird situation where a team member is going to be replaced by other person.

I’m happy with the employee, the employee is happy with the position… so what’s wrong?

The line manager is not good and does not have the enough maturity to understand the things we perform for our customer and the added value of the employee in front of the customer.

It takes at least 6 month to 1 year to enable that a position like that will be replaced with a good level of productivity, and it is not because complexity of the environment or the services, but by the relationship that this person has to create with the different customers. The person to be replaced has been on board for 18 months, and I have to say that s/he was fully productive after 10 months.

Working with people who report to me, I evaluate how it’s going on measuring the nature and amount of affairs I have to push to the other and how they turn into autonomy and proactive actions from the other side. The right level for me is: just escalation of real service support issues, enable proactive actions on the services, and ability to look for new business.

Changes is the only constant in our life, but some of them are not fair or come at the right moment.