Revenue Management Is A Sign Of Success |

Nitty-gritty of Revenue ManagementRevenue management first noticed and accepted by the airline industry. Many travel and hospitality companies have been focused to the “adapt or perish” hymn while moving towards revenue management. Today, revenue management processes and systems are implemented in number of industries, including manufacturing, advertising, energy, hi-tech, telecommunications, car rental, cruise line, railroad and retail. In the future, companies that ignore revenue management will be at a serious disadvantage.Actually, revenue management is the concept of adopting the number of implementation of emerging and changing business strategy to revenue management, where you can generate additional revenue from 3% to 8 % and it resulting in possible profit increment of 50% to 100%.Revenue Management is the application of exercised strategy that estimates consumer behavior at the micromarket level and make the most of product availability and price to maximize revenue growth. Revenue Management is about optimizes revenue from offered business.Revenue Management is a solid management science that utilizes statistical and mathematical concepts, based on operations research and management science methodology and tools in changing marketing environment to provide information to:. Precisely review prospecting consumer behavior under dynamically changing market environment
. Establish the most effective way to price and assign inventory to reach and every prospecting consumer, each and every day, formulate real-time modification as market conditions change, with the consumer in real-time
. Convey this information immediately to distribution and sale outlets which deal with the consumer in real-time
. Work as a decision-support reserve for marketing and operational purpose, containing but not restricted to: pricing, product development, advertising, sales, scheduling, distribution, human resource utilization and capacity planning.Businesses worldwide are going under remarkable pressure by having giant capital investments occupied to their capacity/resources up to bottom line and to optimizing and recovered revenues from their fragile capacity, products and/or services. So, what can be done to execute RM effectively is very important.How to reduce the execution pains and optimize the benefits?In fast changing supply and demand circumstances, how do you handle your resources and price your products and services? The challenges are find out the following:. How do you predict requirement for distinct products and services?. How do you assign and set aside the capacity/resources for high revenue/profit customers and products?. How do you optimize capacity employing as well as revenue realization?. How do you rework capacity/resource allocations set up on demand on a customary basis to optimize revenues?. How do you maximize overbooking to lessen service failures costs?. How do you distinguish product arrangement to maximize revenues?. How do you chase surplus capacity and propose discounts at the right time to speed up demand without mitigate revenues.. At what time you change capacity/resources to compete long-term supply and demand?Adopting the right method of revenue managementFrom a CEO’s point of view, revenue management is serious as it allows companies to successfully direct the challenges of supply, demand and other issues. Revenue management is a course of action and method brings in to order a company, provides it a strategic benefit over the competition by allows the company to sell the “right product to the right customer, at the right price, at the right time.” Revenue management strategies stable the tradeoffs amid revenues, capacity utilization and service failures. Revenue management has been shown in many purposes to offer strategic, competitive and financial rewards.Revenue management systems and processes can provide marvelous strategic return. By implementing revenue management systems and processes, American Airlines observed more than a billion dollars in incremental annual revenues after airline deregulation.Though RM concept is very simple but execution of revenue management systems has kept very difficult. The availability of current RM system are either in-house or vendor-related and are very costly and time intensive to put into practice and very complex to use in which they upset the processes and people during and after execution.Unluckily, revenue management execution and applicability have not been focused appropriately and stay behind with two of the biggest obstruction for companies to entirely assign to and profit from such systems. Many users of current systems have objection about the “black box” method used in applying compound revenue management prediction and maximization models. There are many revenue management models available like hybrid class of revenue management, advanced pros revenue management system, Navitaire’s Revenue Management System, Portal’s Revenue Management System etc to achieve the additional revenue and are vary depending upon the industry in which it is applied. Before implementing a revenue management system any organization must study whether the methods can be useful in their business and the necessity in which, it can push further to develop.Reducing the Execution PainSo how do you reduce the pain related with revenue management execution and applicability? Here are some implications:Open Systems (Internet, Intranet or LAN client/server platform): Companies should force collectively made to order Internet / Wireless application standards, protocols and platforms. By applying software and using open standards investment in IT infrastructure, it can be maintained and comprehended for long periods of time. Revenue management software should harmonize a company’s accessible investment in the infrastructure. By leveraging accessible software/hardware/networking infrastructure, companies can reducing the cost of execution and prevent training or failure costs.Framework flexibility: Components-based and completely integrated revenue management software solutions should be chosen and it should available with existing database and Web/application servers of software built on a flexible framework and can be easily integrated. To apply revenue management systems it should avoid monolithic proprietary systems that propose very little flexibility for ad-hoc decision support or future improvement and software that does not combine with the bequest systems well.Execution of Phase: Revenue management includes composite estimation and maximization models. When executing such systems today, benefits cannot be completely grasped until all models are entirely incorporated. This could get cost of millions of dollars and more time. Companies should evade ideas that need two to three years and multi-million dollars. A phased approach that gives entry to essential revenue management metrics should be adopted. Although optimization models will be required to maximize supply and demand or maximize resource allotment, the real emphasis in first phase should be to make out and collect the precise data, obtain users comfortable with RM metrics, and apply and make small adjustment of forecasting models until adequate historical data is pull together. This will reducing predicting fault and set up self-assurance in predicting models to lead better RM applicability. Maximizing models should be executing in second phase or soon after. Revenue management systems and processes should address business problems and give activity that generates a path for maximization twelve months after implementing first phase.Front-End Platform (as opposed to back-end transaction processing platform): In general extremely automated and closely integrated with reservation or transaction systems of companies executes revenue management system at a large. The systems are operating in the back-end and compel extremely practiced analysts to control and manage this method. An easy to use front-end to the compound revenue
management system can develop analyst productivity and get better results. Revenue management systems should agree to users to make what-if analysis to study the influence of parameter or input changes on the prediction and maximization model yield. It should be in such a manner it create any type of ad hoc report as users reflect and analyze.Time & Cost: Cost of revenue management systems is generally $1 million to $3 million and takes more than two years to put into practice. Companies should look at low-cost, high-value substitute and choose solutions with lessen inadequacies in designing, developing and executing revenue management software. By offering resources to high-priority matter and functionality and by claiming on reducing avoidable functionality and consulting actions, costs and execution time can be considerably lessen.Demand forecasting and pricing: Demand forecasting is the key tool from which all other revenue management subject goes around. While implementing revenue management systems some times an Achilles heel appears so CEOs should look to demand forecasting and consider that point too. Without precise demand forecasting there will be no optimization of resource provision to products/customers completed. It also include the question, what prices should be specified to which customers through which channels for all products? (Including group, corporate, incentive, Internet.). For example, various demand forecasting methods are used in revenue management in cargo industry are, booking profiles, moving average models, exponential smoothing models (with seasonality and/or trend effects), causal (regression) models, auto-regressive time series models, kalman filters, neural nets, adaptive forecasting models etc.Automation of Revenue Management:Automating the method to take out, transform and load data into revenue management data warehouse, run statistical and mathematical models on a periodic basis, and provide easy interfaces to execute the operation are necessary for considerably improve analyst productivity and business performance.Inventory Control and Sales Management:The sales strength is also a user of information from a revenue management system. Whether it is computerize inventory control or relationship-based sales, companies recognize noteworthy progress in revenues if appropriate RM ideology is incorporated at all sales levels. The buy-in from sales management and cooperation in set up procedure to pursue RM techniques and in generating corresponding incentives plan is serious for long-term success.Apart from the above the following points and analytical procedures are also to be considered.The Revenue Management LifecycleRevenue management is a lifecycle of course of action to create, confine, and accumulate revenue for each customer. It has become a significant element of the enterprise. The Revenue management lifecycle also covers a continuing process of examines, appraise, and maximize each phase of the lifecycle.Revenue CaptureRevenue capture optimizes market share by means of rival pricing models and flexible balance and credit control to allow any service for any subscriber.Revenue AnalysisOn the total revenue management lifecycle revenue analysis is considered and to recognize the revenue relationships with customers and partners it builds up satisfaction. Revenue analysis guarantees all transactions are carrying out with the fullest viable control, integrity, and completeness. It gives real-time verification, reporting, analysis, and control of all procedures and actions which assist optimize revenue and minimize loss linked with fraud and revenue leakage.Profits of implementing Revenue Management and its futureCompanies that want to accomplish something, not just to survive, must put into practice strategic technologies that permit them to constantly alter to vibrant and real-time supply and demand circumstances. Although airlines initiate and exhibit revenue management, it is showing to be a very efficient cutthroat tool in many industries. Unlike other technology vogue, revenue management is extremely rooted in management science and information technology and above all, brings discipline to an organization.Today, many manufacturers and service providers are facing the problems of revenue generation due to intense competition, margins are shrinking more and more, customer loyalty is spoiling gradually and segregation is critical. More than ever before, industry toppers require reacting rapidly to varying market conditions and shifting customer necessities. To meet these threats, global leaders are heavily shiftingtowards revenue management solutions that facilitate them to increase an in depth understanding of the services that customer’s value and how they can be brought for maximum profit.Because creating revenue and optimizing profit are greatest in mind for service providers, they should depend on revenue management solutions to allow them to react to new market opportunities and squeeze the competition by attracting the customer, introducing new services, and in the end driving value to the bottom line. End-to-end management of customer revenue across offerings, channels and geographies are achieved only through revenue management.The future of revenue management was aptly explained in The Wall Street Journal as follows: “Re-engineering has run its course. You manage your quality totally. Where do you turn for future gains? Perhaps to the marketplace, with ‘revenue management.’… Now with computing costs plunging, revenue management is poised to explode.”

The Value of Managing Performance |

Importance in ManagementJohn Kotter describes management as consisting of planning; organising and resourcing; review and control; and communication. All of these activities are heavily influenced and informed by performance management.Performance management is an absolutely essential business management process and an important tool for people managers to use in meeting their business objectives:· Organisations are increasingly realising that it is often not the quality of their strategy but their employees’ ability to implement it that will make the difference. Bossidy and Charan define this ability to execute as ‘the missing link between aspirations and results’.· In addition, in order to maximise an organisation’s potential for achieving its strategy, it is essential that the organisation both creates and develops the capability of its people. Improved business performance can really only be achieved through effective people management.The purpose of Performance Management is, therefore, to increase the effectiveness of people at work in order to improve business performance.Achieving this improvement in performance should be the number one priority for any line manager. A manager can achieve high performance much more easily by working through their team, rather than concentrating on their own day-to-day tasks.By managing their people effectively, managers gain greater productivity from all those in their team. This means less time concentrating on the things that go wrong, and more time on looking ahead to advance their team’s capabilities and improve both their own and their team’s value to the organisation.This is why Jack Welch at GE used to spend more than fifty per cent of his time on people issues.Bureaucracy is HistoryIn practice, many managers concentrate on their own responsibilities and on their own technical / functional expertise, fitting in people management around this. Management becomes an add-on when it should be the central focus of their job.So why is performance management often pushed to the side in this way?A common reason seems to be that performance management is often associated with paperwork, bureaucracy and difficult conversations. This is largely due to the way the process has developed over time.Up until the early 1990s, performance management was seen largely as an appraisal scheme for determining performance related pay increases. People may have used it for setting objectives at the start of the year and were then appraised against their achievement of these objectives at the end of the year. The results of this appraisal would determine pay and promotion.The whole process would have been fairly static with people only really looking at their objectives at the start or end of the year. Some more enlightened organisations may have had more regular reviews, however, common practice was still rather event driven.Since there was little ongoing conversation, the end of year rating would often come as a surprise. This would lead onto long debates about evidence, judgement and subjectivity and an overall deterioration in the line manager / employee relationship.Overall, performance management was rather monolithic, it was owned by HR, viewed as being something you had to do to get paid and certainly not something that was not seen as having real business value.Requirements for EffectivenessPerformance management is now usually seen as a process, rather than an event, with individuals and line managers much more likely to use the process regularly. When used like this, performance management is much more of a monitoring process that helps individuals and line managers take stock of where they are and plan what they need to do to achieve the right results. Performance management processes are also more likely to be used to engage and enhance individual, team and organisational performance.This has been helped by a number of things:· Clarity in performance objectives: whether through the use of scorecards (key performance measures spread over four or more quadrants, for example, people, finance, customer and process) or through Key Performance Indicators, the setting of performance standards is essential. Every member of staff should be clear about their role, what they are expected to do and the level of performance they need to attain. Only when individuals can clearly see how their efforts contribute to the achievement of the organisation’s overall objectives can they fully focus on moving the organisation forward. Individuals appreciate this clarity, become more motivated about what they need to do as a result and are encouraged to develop their capability to achieve as much as they can. Any performance management process needs to ensure that this strand is put in place.· Performance assessment and feedback: naturally enough it is not sufficient just to make it clear to people what they need to do. Effective assessment of performance at regular and appropriate times is also essential. The role of the line manager in this is crucial as they must provide the appropriate guidance, feedback and support to help their staff understand how they are doing; suggest ways of doing things better and to really focus their interactions on increasing effectiveness. Any assessment process must be simple, easy to operate and allow the interactions between the line manager and their reports to be the main focus.· Joint review: the use of a performance management process is much more about joint responsibility now that it once was. Line managers and individuals have to use the process together, each with their own responsibilities, in order that they get the most out of it. In this respect it is more like a performance contract between the individual and the line manager, with both signing up to helping the other achieve the right results and develop in the right ways.· The use of multi-rater feedback: multi-rater feedback has become a much more common part of the performance management process. This provides much greater levels of information and objectivity to the review process, enabling individuals to be more open to development opportunities. It also provides upward feedback and as such allows leadership teams to be much more aware of their areas of development.· Employee engagement: performance management meetings are one of the key ‘moments of truth’ where a line manager can show appreciation of a person’s contribution, identify their career and engagement drivers, and find ways to motivate the individual to perform, grow and stay within the organisation. Even when giving constructive criticism, when done when, performance management meetings should be positive and engaging events.· The development focus: people have seen that development is an essential element of driving up individual performance. Competence frameworks have often been used to assess the level of capability an individual has and identify where they need development. The individual can then undertake some form of development to reduce their capability gap. This focused development can then be seen to directly help the individual perform better in their role and thus increase their contribution to overall organisational performance.· Flexible and pragmatic approach: the processes that are used today are much better able to cope with different needs, requirements and abilities. When building performance management processes the accent needs to be on simplicity, usability and flexibility. This ensures that the process can be used, helps individuals understand what they need to do and how they need to do it (i.e., what are the right behaviours they need to demonstrate) and focuses the organisation on a performance culture. Once again the new performance management is not about control it is about enablement and whatever process is designed, this must be its key aim.· The use of systems and technology: technology can be an enormous help to making a performance process useable and attractive. With the growth of Intranets, a simple solution can be produced that makes the individuals objectives or performance criteria much more accessible. Individuals can be encouraged to look at the system on a more regular basis and see performance management as a continuous process.· This is not a HR owned process: one of the more potent changes has been that forward thinking HR practitioners have understood that they do not own the performance management process. They need to be responsible for creating, embedding and supporting the process but they do not own it; the business does. If performance management is to be a tool to enhance business performance (through enhancing individuals and their development) then the business needs to own it. HR has used this shift as a means of helping HR business partners achieve their objectives. This is a fundamental change that has helped in the understanding of the value of performance management and has significantly increased its usage.Line Manager CapabilityA critical role here is that the line manager is a ‘coach’; someone who helps an individual achieve to their potential and contribute to the overall success of the organisation.Many performance management processes fall down in this area if the development of the coaching skills is not done and if line mangers are not clear that this is their role.An emphasis on the education and development of the line manager should therefore be a significant element of any implementation of performance management.The Business BenefitsWhen done well, performance management provides substantial benefits to an organisation. These benefits include:For the organisation:· Alignment of objectives· Motivation of employees· Support for core values· Improvement in training and development· Development as a learning organisation· Focus on continuous improvement· Basis for career development· Retention of skilled employees· Support for culture change.For line managers:· Clarification of expected performance and behaviour· Support for leadership, motivation and team building· Basis for helping under performers· May be used to develop or coach individuals· Improving relationships with team members· Basis for non-financial reward, including recognition and development.For individuals:· Greater clarity of roles and objectives· Encouragement and support to perform well· Provision of guidance in developing abilities· Improving relationship with their line manager· Clarity over contribution to organisational performance· An objective and fair basis for assessing performance.These benefits are significant. In the private sector, a study by Morgan and Schiemann found that organisations using people measures to help manage their business had a five-year return on investment of 146 per cent, compared to 97 per cent in other organisations, and a one-year return on assets of 4.6 per cent compared to 1.9 per cent in other organisations.In the public sector, effective performance management helps organisations achieve their key performance outcomes, meet the needs of stakeholders and develop operational excellence in providing their services.Line managers should not view performance management as a chore – it is the key to their own effectiveness and to that of their employing organisations.

Portfolio Management is Risky Business |

A friend of mine (we’ll call him Al) was out looking at daycare centers with his wife. Their two year old daughter was ready to expand her horizons and learn the intricacies of social behavior and all the risks inherent in her new world. To Al’s dismay, no daycare center met the standards of control he would have expected in a daycare. This new world was fraught with risk. Doors weren’t locked and children could escape. Gates were not on the stairwell and children could fall and injure themselves. Peanut butter was in the fridge and children could access it. Al wasn’t willing to run the risk of introducing his daughter to this environment. Oddly enough, Al didn’t have similar controls in his own house. No childproof door locks, no stair gates, and peanut butter in his fridge – sometimes on the counter!!It was clear to me that a person will hold an unknown environment to a higher level of scrutiny than a person who is familiar with the same environment. It also became clear that a person’s experience will determine the amount of risk they are willing to tolerate. For example, if I put three people in Al’s deficient daycare and put a jar of peanut butter on the counter, the first person with no children may shrug their shoulders. The second person with a child may say, “Maybe we should remove the jar of peanut butter.” While the third person who has a child with a peanut allergy may say, “I need a peanut free environment for my child. This is unacceptable.” This dependency on individual experience and individual risk tolerance becomes a greater issue to organizations. When trying to ascertain the level of risk inherent in a project portfolio at an enterprise level, it is difficult to compare like with like without a risk management process and model that will represent the enterprise’s willingness to accept risk.The ProblemRisks that are not identified cannot be assessed. While an organization is dependent on a project manager to identify risks associated with a point in time project, there is no clear way to determine inherent risks to the organization. Organizations that have made the move to portfolio management have been successful at time management, resource management and time and budget status reporting at the portfolio level. While each of these advancements is a major achievement on its own, an organization that makes decisions on this data does so without a sense of risk associated with the performance of the portfolio. Decisions get made and risks are reacted to. Many issues are created due to unforeseen risks.So what is wrong with this picture? After all, risk is an accepted part of business and life for pretty much everyone.Risk is inherently a function of value and as such the more value at stake the more risk one is exposed to. Therefore, the notion that risk is a negative situation to be entirely avoided is a flawed argument, as this can only be guaranteed if/when an organization invests in cash cow initiatives where high value can be attained with no risk. We all know that cash cow initiatives are not sustainable and are the exception, not the rule.The ultimate argument is found in the financial market where stocks and bonds are valued by level of risk tolerance. Bonds are considered safer bets and therefore yield lower returns while stocks are considered risky investments and are expected to yield higher returns. Over the past 100 years the financial market has designed numerous mechanisms to manage the dynamics of risk and reward with continued lessons learned along the way.Independent of industry, size and source of funding (i.e. capital market, private equity, tax dollars), organizations must be well versed in balancing risk and reward if they are to survive and succeed in the competitive and volatile economy of the 21st century.With Risk Comes OpportunityThe old saying that “the apple does not fall far from the tree” rings true when one takes a moment to reflect on why risk management practices are at such an elementary level. The answer lies in what organizations have come to believe to be good project management.So what happens to managing risk? Risks become issues, issues become actions, and actions get managed using the same project management processes designed to manage the value line. The problem is that project management practices designed to deliver value are based on nomenclatures such as deliverables, milestones, performance indicators, quality, timeline, budget, approval, benefit realization, etc. These notions work perfectly for the value line where the lingo describes value-based characteristics.To manage risks, organizations need to invest in elevating their risk management practices to the project portfolio level, to attain the same level of maturity as project management practices. Otherwise, risk management will continue to be at the mercy of an individual project manager’s experience and will be managed well by a few and missed by most. This key concept drives the requirement for organizations to baseline their risk tolerance and provide their project management team with a consistent set of risk management standards and practices. Absence of risk management standards and practices will result in an environment of inconsistent risk tolerance and management, since project managers’ personal tolerance for risk will driver their approach for managing project risk. The danger of such a notion is that some project managers will have high tolerance for project risks while some will have lower tolerance, which might or might not be applicable to the priorities of the organization.We have all come to appreciate the necessities of standardized project management tools and methodology, and there are very few organizations that allow a project manager to use his/her own favorite project management tool and methodology. Risk management is no different, and organizations need to invest the same level of diligence in their risk management practices as they do in project management practices.The FrameworkThe identification of potential risks within a project portfolio is of major importance to a proactive risk assessment process. It provides the opportunities, indicators, and information that allows for identifying all risks, major and/or minor, before they adversely impact an organization. An aggregate view of project risks within a portfolio will provide organizations with a holistic assessment of all risks, provided that the risk identificationframework at the project level is comprehensive.The first step in risk assessment is to clearly and concisely express the risk in the form of a risk statement. A risk statement can be defined in the following terms:o The risk assessment statement outlines a state of affairs or attributes known as conditions that the project members feel may adversely impact the project.o The risk assessment statement also articulates the possibility of negative consequences resulting from the undesirable attribute or state of affairs.o This two-part formulation process for risk assessment statements has the advantage of coupling the idea of risk consequences with observable (and potentially controllable) risk conditions.When formulating a risk assessment statement, it is helpful to categorize the risk statement within categories that best reflect the priorities of the organization. The project portfolio Risk Registry (Table 1) outlines the risk statement associated with “strategy” risk category. The project portfolio Risk Registry will have most value when customized to reflect organization risk categories and corresponding risk statements.Once the project portfolio Risk Registry is vetted to reflect business priorities and challenges, the risk statements need to be evaluated against the probability and impact of actualization. The variable chosen to measure probability and impact of risk actualization reflects an organization language, as it is critical that baseline assessment is understood internally and represents organizational risk and exposure.A quadrant analysis of risk category actualization in terms of probability and impact provides the organization with transparent disclosure of risk at the project and portfolio level. This assessment enables an organization to attain a baseline understanding of project portfolio risk based on the organization’s own internal knowledge and experience.The risk analysis model is designed to expand and normalize project management judgment, used in the risk assessment model, and apply a consistent baseline for the probability and impact of all risk categories. It is composed of the following steps:1. Industry sources are used to establish a complete repository of threats that are applicable to the organizations.2. Industry sources are used to determine the organization’s vulnerability to industry threats. Then, the organization uses internal knowledge to narrow the list of vulnerabilities to those most applicable to the organization.3. To further validate the applicability and relevance of threats and vulnerabilities, a processes of “so what” analysis is conducted where the probability and impact of identified threats and vulnerabilities are further validated. The “so what” analysis utilizes metrics similar to the probability and impact metrics used in the risk assessment model.4. COBIT control statements are used to determine the level of controls that an organization has in place or could have in place in order to effectively manage the risk associated with outlined threats and vulnerabilities. Although COBIT controls are mostly designed for IT, indepth testing has revealed that COBIT controls are applicable to both IT and non-IT threats and vulnerabilities.The outcome of the analysis phase is a repository of threats, vulnerabilities and controls assessed and validated through a series of workshops, where project and portfolio managers input is given the same weight as industry best practices. This ensures that the analysis result is applicable to the organization rather than a hypothetical environment.An organization’s risk tolerance is directly influenced by its ability and desire to invest in controls designed to adjust risk tolerance. The action model provides the framework to operationalize risk assessment and risk analysis findings based on the implementation of controls that provide the best level of risk mitigation for project portfolio priorities.The action model leverages “so what” analysis to determine which controls provide the optimal mitigation results for threats/vulnerabilities with the highest probability of actualization and/or most implications. Furthermore, the action model provides the ability to assess the utility of existing controls in order to determine portability/reusability opportunities.The action model also enhances the reliability of the quadrant report produced in the risk assessment and risk analysis phases, and specifically identifies the value of investment in controls as a means to mitigate threat probability and vulnerability impact.In conclusion, the action model enables organizations to improve the effectiveness of processes used to deliver projects through investment in controls. The action model also develops roles, responsibilities and processes required to operationalize the risk assessment and risk analysis models in the form of specific actions. Roles such as Risk Manager and Risk Analyst are defined and incorporated into the business process. Each role in the risk management process has responsibility and accountability, and specific tasks within the risk assessment, risk analysis and risk action model. Finally, the action model enables organizations to establish pragmatic risk management processes.SummaryOrganizations are expected to manage risks and deliver high value capital projects. Anything else is considered sub-optimal performance. Delivering high-value projects requires a project management workforce with significant talent for effectively managing both the value line and risk line.Managing project risk is no different than managing investment risk. In both cases, the “customer” who provides the capital demands that the investment is managed by professionals who understand and leverage risks to maximize return on investment. Failing to do so ends in the “customer” finding other alternatives, as capital investment is a precious commodity.Tools designed to automate risk management become extremely valuable once organizations have understood and implemented the appropriate level of management processes for risk management. Unfortunately, many organizations fall into trap of buying pieces of technology, without having an in-depth understanding of the requirements and processes to use the technology.Organizations have the technology and talent to deliver high value projects through effective and transparent management of risks and need to establish the supporting risk management processes. Start with a framework designed to build an enabling risk management process to manage project portfolio risk relative to organizational requirements. If we can all agree on the tenants of risk in our respective organizations, we won’t have to suffer through miscalculation and mismanagement of risk.After my friend Al communicated his concerns to his wife, they together created a framework to identify acceptable risk for a daycare provider. They discussed why they didn’t hold their own home (the primary daycare) to the same standard. They determined how much they were willing to spend to mitigate certain risks and the likelihood of acceptable risk they were willing to bare. In the end, Al and his wife were able to select a daycare provider that provided the most reasonably safe environment for their child. In addition, they were able to develop a clear picture of some of the deficiencies in their own home environment and addressed them accordingly. The framework was critical in defining the conversation and providing them with a basis for discussion that ultimately enabled them to make an important choice. If only all organizations were run that way.

Project Management 2.0 – The Ultimate Benefits Of The New Approach To Project Management |

NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR BUSINESSES BROUGHT BY ENTERPRISE 2.0The social network phenomenon has already transformed the consumer Web into so-called “Web 2.0.” Now Web 2.0 is affecting business processes in thousands of organizations by offering incredible communication and collaboration opportunities known as “Enterprise 2.0.” “All these things that are thought to be consumer services are coming into the enterprise,” says former Oracle Corp. President Ray Lane, now a general partner at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Major corporations all over the world, such as IBM, Procter & Gamble, and Walt Disney, have embraced Enterprise 2.0 technologies. We are witnessing the transformation of traditional ways of doing business, and this transformation is caused by the new-generation applications.The term Enterprise 2.0 was coined by Andrew McAfee, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, in spring 2006. Professor McAfee introduced this term to describe the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their peers (partners or customers).Through the adoption of wikis, blogs, collaboration planning tools, social networks, and other “weapons of mass collaboration,” as Don Trapscott calls them in his book Wikinomics, collaboration patterns are changing in today’s organizations. Enterprise 2.0 software and business practices provide managers with access to the right information at the right time through a system of interconnected applications and services. Examples of thousands of small companies as well as giants like Microsoft, Toyota, and many others show that Web-based Enterprise 2.0 applications let businesses obtain a huge competitive advantage in the form of enforced innovation, productivity, and agility through access to the collective intelligence of many professionals.Efficient gathering and sharing of information, facilitated social connections within enterprises, and improved customer interactions are not the only benefits that Enterprise 2.0 software delivers to small companies and huge corporations. Let’s see how these tools can help to manage projects.THE NEW APPROACH TO MANAGING PROJECTSThe Enterprise 2.0 movement is naturally affecting and captivating project management in organizations. Blogs, wikis, and other second-generation tools offer better opportunities for communication and collaboration. Thus they provide a great potential for improving existing project management practices.Traditionally, a project manager is the major link in all project-related communications. This directly influences the efficiency of the team, as well as the manager’s own productivity. Nowadays, many companies still utilize Microsoft Excel spreadsheets or traditional project management applications, like Microsoft Project, for tracking their projects. E-mailing text documents and spreadsheets is still very popular, despite its many shortcomings.E-mail is a closed communication medium, and many companies confirm that it does a poor job of capturing and sharing knowledge. For example, if you e-mail a document to two people, you then have three copies of this document to manage, merge, and differentiate. It is hard to work on this document simultaneously. This is not the only problem. Knowledge is buried in e-mails, as it is available only to the sender and the recipients, so all the other team members cannot benefit from it. For example, if an employee e-mails a status update to his manager, the change will only be visible to other people after the manager manually updates the schedule. This produces unnecessary work and delays the exchange of information. There is little visibility and control over the project if all information is buried in thousands of e-mails residing in employees’ mailboxes. The list of disadvantages could go on.Traditional project management tools are not focused on collaboration, either. They were mostly designed with the top-down approach in mind and are not meant for open collaboration. These tools are focused on a project manager and make him the core element of the project communications. He first has to pull facts out of employees through meetings and e-mails, then put them into a file and communicate the project plan to upper management and clients. The process is then repeated every time something changes. The project manager also needs to play the role of an alarm clock, reminding employees of their deadlines and overdue tasks. The whole process turns out to be time-consuming and effortful, and it results in a heavy burden for a project manager. The amount of routine work sometimes does not leave the manager time for leadership.Enterprise 2.0 technologies catalyze innovations in project management. These innovations can be called Project Management 2.0. The term highlights a new approach to project management, characterized by a dramatic shift toward having collaboration as the heart of managing projects. The new-generation tools take care of the routine part of a project manager’s work: reminding team members about deadlines, merging status updates into a single plan, and communicating changes. New tools also let people collaborate and share information easily. The role of the project manager is changing; he is becoming a project visionary, instead of a taskmaster. New-generation tools give him more space for being a project leader.What makes the new technologies so effective? I will list the five key benefits below.Making It Simple to CollaborateOne of the major constraints associated with traditional project management software was its complexity. Traditional tools have hundreds of features, which take months to master. Adoption of traditional project management software is often connected with spending a lot of the employees’ time and the company’s money on training. In contrast, the second-generation project management tools are lightweight and easy to use. They provide an opportunity to start collaborating immediately, without any delays for extensive learning and initial set-up.New project management tools can be easily utilized even by unskilled computer users, making it possible to involve more people in project collaboration. A well-known example is blogging. It is very simple to share ideas in a blog and get feedback in comments. Simplicity drives adoption. When people like the software, they use it more often.New software tools provide a much better user experience, which helps to solve one of the biggest challenges of traditional software packages. One of the major problems with traditional tools was the users’ unwillingness to update data regularly. Plans often got outdated and became useless because of that. New tools are much more convenient to use. For example, they let you create tasks in the system by sending e-mails from their Blackberry devices. This level of simplicity and convenience engages users and thus helps to keep information up-to-date. This is a critical component for successful project management software implementation. The power of new tools comes to the surface when they turn simple actions of individual users into a great product of collective work. In Enterprise 2.0 terms, it is called collective intelligence and emergent structures.Collective intelligence is the capacity of human communities to evolve to higher order complexity and harmony, through differentiation, integration, competition and collaboration. In other words, it is a form of intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals. This notion is closely connected with the term “emergent structures.”Emergence is a way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. In plain terms it is a form of collective behaviour, when parts of a system do together that they would not do by themselves. Therefore, emergent structures are the structures that appear as a result of multiple, relatively simple interactions of a number of individuals. The interactions are uncontrolled, but are purposeful.Together these two powerful principles make project management 2.0 tools powerful instruments for improving teams’ productivity.Taking Advantage of the Wisdom of the Whole TeamThe new-generation, Web-based tools give team members an easy way to contribute to the common repository of tasks and plans. These tools unleash the power of collective intelligence and change the pattern of project management.In his book The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki states that “groups are remarkably intelligent and are often smarter than the smartest people in them. Groups do not need to be dominated by exceptionally intelligent people in order to be smart.” He also stresses that “decentralization’s greatest strength is that it encourages independence and specialization on the one hand while still allowing people to coordinate their activities and solve difficult problems.”With the new technologies, people get a more efficient working environment where they can gather and share knowledge from different fields that each project team member is an expert in. The project manager guides the team’s work and chooses the right direction, based on the information received from the individual employees. The tools even help the manager to merge this information, turning an e-mail mess into well-organized timelines.At the same time the new-generation tools let project managers control changes and the progress of the project work. Reporting is highly automated on all levels, including corporate executives, who get their view of the project automatically.The reports are pulled on the fly from real data, so they are up-to-date. All these factors boost the team’s productivity and help the company make the right decisions at the right time.
Collective intelligence goes hand-in-hand with emergent structures, another practice that has a great impact on contemporary project management.Many-to-Many Structure BenefitsMicrosoft Project and many other traditional management tools allow you to have only a strict, one-to-many work breakdown structure of tasks (and other similar items). This creates several negative consequences. First, there can be only one view of the project, while in real life there might be a need to have many different views of the same project. Project marketers, business analyst, engineers, and testers might want to slice the project in different ways. Often, the same person needs different slices – for example, by release and by feature. This inconvenience makes the software less usable and thus people become hesitant to check plans and update them regularly. On one hand, these factors lead to obsolete and useless project plans. On the other hand, the necessity to select one work breakdown structure greatly increases the cost of mistake for the project manager.The whole process becomes very tricky and requires a lot of up-front thinking, predictions, and responsibility for the project manager.Project management 2.0 tools have fewer restrictions. They let structures emerge, without strong central control. These structures are born from lots of little interactions that are designed to solve specific problems. For example, collaboration planning tools, like Wrike allow work-breakdown structures to emerge from the bottom up. What employees design as the best work-breakdown structure for their tasks becomes a part of a bigger picture seen by the manager.In these tools hierarchies are many-to-many, in contrast to the one-to-many hierarchy in Microsoft Project. This effectively means that you can pick any reasonable sub-set of tasks, create a view and share it with someone who needs this view. It is not like all-or-nothing sharing of a file. At the end of the day more people can collaborate. As the new tools allow team members to make changes to the initial structure simultaneously, more people can organize and reorganize their views, and more structures emerge. The resulting structures fit project participants much better than one stiff work-breakdown structure.This agility helps to bring iterative and incremental practices into project management without giving away the control.The project manager’s job becomes more about coordination and guidance than routine manual updates, and the whole team can react to changes much faster.Project management 2.0 tools allow you to start with one task, add twenty more, organize them, add more tasks, reorganize them, and repeat the process on a daily basis by many or your employees and managers. When seven employees share their daily to-do lists with a team leader, the team leader gets a bigger picture. When five team leaders share their teams’ plans with project managers, a picture gets bigger. When it goes through directors and the vice president to the CEO, the whole structure evolves from what was one task into a big ecosystem that perfectly suits the organization. All with a help of very simple tools and very powerful principles that stay behind those tools – collective intelligence and emergent structures.Empowered by emergent structures and collective intelligence, project managers can combine field knowledge coming bottom-up with the guidance coming top-down. There is also a significant benefit for executives: emergent structures emergent allow you to get complete visibility that bridges the gap between strategic corporate plans and daily to-do lists of employees. Getting the Bigger Picture
Full insight into what is going on in the organization is vital for aligning internal business resources with the requirements of the changing environment. For example, if we speak of software development, the bug fixing schedule may affect the next release schedule. The next release schedule in its turn may affect the marketing campaign, which may affect sales plans. Sales plans will naturally have an impact on financial plans. Having the whole picture helps corporate executives to make a better choice for allocating internal resources when there is a need to react properly to the changes in the business environment. Project management 2.0 tools empowered by emergent structures and many-to-many hierarchies are naturally able to provide this big picture view. Emergent structures help to turn separated strategic plans, quarterly plans, project plans and daily to-do lists of team members into one business development master plan. Many-to-many hierarchies let corporate executives see each project and their whole organization from different points of view. These two powerful principles allow managers to drill down to each team member’s tasks and follow the work of the whole enterprise at the same time.
When project managers can easily view every detail of their project development, and corporate executives are able to use their business resources most rationally, projects bring value faster.Productivity BoostWith new tools, project managers save hours on routine operations related to aggregating the information from e-mails and meetings and keeping it up to date. Reporting is simplified on all levels, as part of it can be easily achieved by sharing the related part of the collaborative workspace. Second-generation project management software gives every team member an opportunity to be aware of the changes in the project without unnecessary meetings, e-mails, and phone calls. The collaboration becomes much faster and much more productive. It results in faster project delivery and faster return on investment.To start innovation and improvements in your organization is easy. As was already mentioned above, new tools are very user-friendly and easy to adopt. You just have to pick the right ones.PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2.0 TOOLS: A NEW COLLABORATIVE SPACEPerhaps the most popular of the new-generation applications that companies can benefit from are blogs, wikis, and collaboration planning tools.BlogsBoth internal and external use of blogs can be advantageous for a project. The major benefit of internal blogging is that it gives the opportunity to facilitate direct communication between various layers of an organization. Blogs allow team members who otherwise would not have been aware of or invited to participate in a discussion to contribute their expertise. Thousands of companies now use blogging tools like Blogger, LiveJournal, Typepad, Movable Type, WordPress or Radio UserLand. For example, British Library and University College London collaborate on a project called the LIFE (Lifecycle Information for E-Literature) through a blog. A blog is a way for these two organizations to work together more efficiently and keep all the project information in one place.External blogging helps to encourage the strongest community goodwill, and this goodwill, in turn, promotes significant marketing and sales gains. Thousands of companies are already reaping the rewards of their investment in external project blogging. For, example, companies like Microsoft, IBM, Google, Sun Microsystems, and SAP write project blogs on a regular basis. The number of non-technology organizations that have their own project blogs is rapidly growing, too. One of the most prominent examples is the From Edison’s Desk blog – a blog for the GE Global Research project. It offers an opportunity for technology enthusiasts around the globe to discuss the future of technology with top researchers from one of the world’s largest and most diverse industrial research labs.WikisA wiki is another technology that can be successfully applied to managing projects. Its basic advantage is that it lets users to create, edit, and link Web pages easily. Wikis usually have very few restrictions, thus they tend to accumulate a shared knowledge that was traditionally kept out of stiff corporate enterprise software and intranets – the knowledge that was usually buried in e-mails. A good example of wiki usage would be Dresdner Kleinwort, the investment banking division of Dresdner Bank AG that gained an e-mail traffic volume reduction by 75%. They also slashed meeting time in half. Another example is a Linux-based operating system called Fedora, which uses a project wiki to bring the end user’s point of view into the product development. There are a lot of wiki solutions that are be successfully used by many companies. The most well-known is an open source wiki called MediaWiki, the one that is used by Wikipedia.Wikis and blogs are good generic tools that can help to share knowledge much more effectively than e-mails. To gain visibility and control over operations, companies also need to empower their managers and employees with a collaborative planning solution.Collaboration Planning ToolsNew collaboration applications and platforms combine the level of control associated with traditional project management software with the benefits of Web 2.0 applications to give a productivity boost to companies and bring better visibility. The best tools in this field are integrated with e-mail and easy and inexpensive to adopt. They democratize project management software. Can you provide some examples
Collaboration planning tools bridge the gaps between employees’ to-do lists, project plans, and strategic goals. With the help of these tools, a project manager gains complete visibility of all the projects he is responsible for. The upper management knows what is going on inside of every project and has the whole picture. The software takes a lot of routine operations on its shoulders – turning e-mail mess into a nice-looking timeline, reminding people about overdue tasks and building reports. These tools help to collect information and make it accessible to any team member anywhere. This expedites information sharing and accelerates decision making.Governmental, educational, commercial, and non-profit organizations all over the world are embracing project management 2.0 tools to improve their project management. Corporations like McDonalds, Walt Disney, Apple, Toyota and Capgemini utilize second-generation project management applications within their departments.CONCLUSIONThe use of innovative project management technologies promises to have a profound and far-reaching effect on how projects are managed today. These technologies let companies acquire the key ingredient to success in any business – they help companies make better decisions faster. Project management 2.0 gives a great productivity boost to project managers and their teams.Today, the project management landscape is changing, opening new competitive advantages for companies. While some companies are struggling with the pains of traditional project management tools and e-mail, others are becoming more efficient and innovative by leveraging the benefits of the new technologies. I hope this article will help you adopt some of the Project Management 2.0 tools and practices.

Management Vs. Leadership – An Assessment of Interdependence |

AbstractLeadership and management have been the focus of study and attention since the dawn of time. Over time leadership and management have been seen as separate entities, but those times have past. It is this paper’s intent to prove that good management is incumbent upon the success and quality of the leadership that drives it, and by proxy, so too will poor leadership bring poor management that will lead to poor results, and decreased levels of success.From the great minds in management theory: Fayol, Taylor, and Weber; homage being paid to Barnard and Mayo, as well as Maslow, Mintzberg, Drucker and Porter; to the great minds in leadership development: Jung, McClelland and Burnham, this paper intends to examine them all and bring them together as is required in this economy and these times.Much time, effort, and money has been placed into the study of both management and leadership successes. Mintzberg and Drucker have done some of the best and most informative work at bringing management and leadership together; now, with the rising costs of overhead and decreasing profit margins, now is the time to connect the dots, once and for all.Leadership and management have been the focus of study and attention since the dawn of time. Reference biblical scripture that questions the leadership decisions of King David and the managerial prowess of Moses and his exodus to the “Promised Lands” (Cohen, 2007); Plato helped us to manage the Republic while Machiavelli helped us to formulate our idea of what a Prince should represent (Klosko, 1995); Shakespeare questioned Hamlet’s decision making (Augustine & Adelman, 1999) and trumpeted Henry IV’s managerial effectiveness (Corrigan, 1999). John Stuart Mill gave us the “shining city upon a hill”, while Hegel taught us the “elements of the philosophy of right” and Marx taught us how to manage a people in his overly popularized (and oft misunderstood) manifestos (Klosko, 1995). Thomas Payne rewrote leadership to the basic levels of Common Sense, while Thomas Jefferson acknowledged that in the management of a people, you must remember that “all men are created equal” and that they maintain certain degree of”unalienable Rights”. Countless others have come to the surface over the span of time, all promoting a new or improved way to both manage and lead their people. (And hopefully yours, too, if you’re willing to pay for it.) However, through it all, one thing has remained constant; people are not autonomous entities that will respond the same to every situation. People are evolving, thinking, emotionally and socially aware of all that is around them; they are motivated through different methods and they are driven by differing levels of success (McClelland & Burnham, 1995). Over time, leadership and management have been seen as separate entities, but no more: it is, therefore, this paper’s intent to prove that good management is incumbent upon the success and quality of the leadership that drives it, and by proxy, so too will poor leadership bring poor management that will lead to poor results, and decreased levels of success. In today’s fast paced environments, management requires leadership; you cannot have one without the other and still attain the success that you desire.Reference any management text or publication and you will inevitably come across the obligatory references to the great minds in management theory: Fayol – the first to recognize management as a “discipline” to be studied (Brunsson, 2008), Taylor’s scientific management of industrial work and workers (Safferstone, 2006), and Weber’s bureaucracy; homage must also be paid to Barnard, Kotter, Bennis, and Mayo, as well as Maslow, Mintzberg, Drucker, and Porter (Lamond, 2005). These great minds have helped to forge the way for the management field and helped to better management teams across the world. The world of “leadership study” carries quite the similar pedigree; ironically, it also carries many of the same names. It is, however, this author’s opinion that many of the additions to the pool of knowledge on leadership were not made known until the study of psychology was made more fashionable by the likes of Freud and Jung. Management, it appears, is a tool to better the bottom line and productivity, whereas leadership is one of those studies that is to be improved through the person’s ability to be in touch with their personality, traits, motives and effects on the human elements of productivity.There appears be some coincidence in the timing of the juxtaposition of the terms “management” and “leadership” and the correlation to the fact that most literature post 1950 seems to cross pollinate the two phrases. It is quite possible that this, the historical time for post war boom, is where production was at record highs and management of production was not as key as the management of people Possibly drawn from a social recognition that people were not to be managed, but rather, they were to be valued members of the team, and therefore, to be led – it is speculative, but it appears evident that entering the 1960’s, most literature intertwines the “leaders” and the “managers” into the same professional classification.Carl Jung (1923) posits that people carry specific traits and that those traits cannot be altered. However, much time effort and money has been placed into the study of both management and leadership traits, tendencies, styles, and successes. Why is this? One belief is that Jung only half analyzes the person and that more than your traits influence your leadership potential (de Charon, 2003). This affords the opportunity for you to learn skills necessary to become a better leader, even if that means understanding who you are and what your tendencies are, in order to counteract them. Jung’s work with personality traits has become the hallmark to virtually every professional development and personal development course on the market. Jung stipulates that every person has any combination of sixteen different personality types. By definition, knowing these personality types helps you to better negotiate your way through the situation in order to attain the maximum output desired (Anastasi, 1998).Running in concert to Jung’s ideas are those of Henry Mintzberg. Mintzberg stipulates that much has changed since Fayol’s assessment in 1916; gone are the days when the “picture of a manager was a reflective planner, organizer, leader, and controller” (Pavett & Lau, 1983). Mintzberg breaks the manager’s job into ten roles, divided into three areas: interpersonal, informational, and decisional (2004):Interpersonal Roles
Informational Roles
Decisional Roles
Disturbance handler
Resource allocator
(Lussier & Achua, 2007).Ironically, in today’s interpretation of a leader, one would be hard pressed to find a leader whom is unable to do all of the above, and then some. Mintzberg, in later publications, however, goes much further in his assessment of managers and their roles in the organization. In a collaborative effort with Jonathon Gosling, the two determine the five mindsets of a manager (2003). They break the five mindsets into:1. Managing self: the reflective mindset; where the effective manager is able to reflect upon the history (current and aged) to create a better future moving forward.2. Managing the organization: the analytical mindset; here referencing a tennis match, where the manager must be cognizant of the crowd and their reaction, but also focusing on the ball itself.3. Managing context: the worldly mindset; thinking globally and looking for the unorthodox solution.4. Managing relationships: the collaborative mindset; where the manager is able to engage the employees and moves beyond empowerment [which “implies that people who know the work best somehow receive the blessing of their managers to do it (Kibort, 2004)] into commitment.5. Managing change: the action mindset; “imagine your organization as a chariot pulled by wild horses. These horses represent the emotions, aspirations, and motives of all the people in the organization. Holding a steady course requires just as much skill in steering around to a new direction” (Gosling & Mintzberg, 2003, p. 54-63).Gosling and Mintzberg conclude with one very interesting point. They stipulate that, unlike Pavett & Lau (1983) that good managers are able to look beyond the desire to fix problems with simple reorganizations. In fact, they argue that hierarchy plays a very small role in the actual completion of tasks on the unit level and can only lead to more bureaucracy. Which leads one to ask the question: who is to complete those unit level tasks and solve those problems associated with people?There is no definitive definition of what leadership is, as it appears to change form and focus for each individual study. For the purposes of this paper, however, the definition set forth by Lussier & Achua (2007) seems to fit best: “Leadership is the influencing process of leaders and followers to achieve organizational objectives through change” (p.6). How do we compare leadership and management? The common misconception is that it is something that should be compared “straight up”, or “even Steven”. Obviously, there are natural leaders and persons in positions of social authority throughout every facility, and yes, it is incumbent upon the managers and leaders to empower those people to support the overall mission. Admittedly, some of these people may never become managers, but their role in the facility is of the utmost importance.However, as managers are an industry specific entity, it is ridiculous to try and compare leadership to management outside of the constraint of the management role. Recognizing and accepting the constraint of the comparison, it must be acknowledged that in industry, you cannot have good leadership without good management; and in obvious juxtaposition, poor leadership leads to poor success rates for the management. It seems apparent that our management staffs should concentrate on growing employees into leaders, to eventually become managers; but if the managers themselves are not leaders yet, then much difficulties will soon befall upon that company. As Peter Drucker will tell you, it is imperative to build a strong management team, centered around strong leadership. In thinner times, gone are the days of two people for every position. Here are the days when a successful company is able to package good managerial skills into every leader, and good leadership skills into every manager. Failure to do so will result in failure to succeed.”Drucker devotes considerable effort and space to defining the nature and role of management. This discussion also focuses on the nature and value of leadership in the organization. According to Drucker, leadership gives the organization meaning, defines and nurtures its central values, creates a sense of mission, and builds the systems and processes that lead to successful performance” (Wittmeyer, 2003).References
Anastasi, Thomas (1998). Personality negotiating: conflict without casualty. Boston University,
Boston, MA: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Augustine, Norman & Adelman, Kenneth (1999). Shakespeare in charge: the bard’s guide toleading and succeeding on the business stage. New York, NY: Hyperion
Brunsson, K. (2008). Some Effects of Fayolism. International Studies of Management &Organization, 38(1), 30-47.
Cohen, Norman. (2007). Moses and the journey to leadership: Timeless lessons of effectivemanagement from the Bible and today’s leaders. Woodstock, VT: Jewish LightsPublishing.
Corrigan, Paul (1999). Shakespeare on management: leadership lessons for today’s managers.
Dover, NH: Kogan Page Charon, Linda. (2003). A transformational leadership development program: Jungian
psychological types in dynamic flux. Organization Development Journal, 21(3), 9-18.
Gosling, J., & Mintzberg, H. (2003, November). The Five Minds of a Manager. (cover story).
Harvard Business Review, 81(11), 54-63
Jung, Carl (1923) Psychology Types. New York, NY: Harcourt Press
Kibort, Phillip M (2004). Management vs. Leadership. Physician Executive, 30(6), 32-35.
Klosko, George (1995). History of political theory: an introduction. Volume II; modern politicaltheory. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group / Thomson Learning.
Lamond, David. (2005) On the value of management history: Absorbing the past to understandthe present and inform the future. Management Decision, incorporating the Journal of
Management History, 43, 10.
Lussier, Robert N. & Achua, Christopher F. (2007). Leadership: Theory, application, & skilldevelopment, 3e. Mason, OH: Thomson Higher Education.
McClelland D. & Burnham, D. H. (1995) Power is the great motivator. Harvard Business
Review, January, 81(1), p117-126.
Mintzberg, H. (2004, August). Leadership and management development: An afterword.Academy of Management Executive, 18(3), 140-142.
Pavett, C., & Lau, A. (1983, March). Managerial work: The influence of hierarchical level andfunctional specialty. Academy of Management Journal, 26(1), 170-177
Safferstone, Mark J. (2006). Organizational Leadership: Classic Works and ContemporaryPerspectives.
Wittmeyer, C. (2003, August). The Practice of Management: Timeless Views and Principles.Academy of Management Executive, 17(3), 13-15

Seeking Artist Manager – When and How to Seek Representation From an Artist Manager For Your Music |

I just watched 10 minutes of an 18 minute video blog from an artist who is seeking a personal (music) manager. He says he hasn’t gotten ahead like he should since he has not had a manager- and this future manager needs to make him a priority client, yet he doesn’t say anything about his own success or what he is doing that needs management.  I turned it off. I had heard it all before.On a weekly basis I get up to 20 myspace friend add-requests from artists who say “I need a manager. Listen to my music.” I hit “deny” almost every time. I meet artists all the time who want a manager because they want the manager to “take us to the next level” or “hook me up with labels” or “get me shows.”Enough is enough. They all are singing the same tune. Artists- if you seek a manager and don’t fully understand artist management, not sure what your needs are and don’t know how to go about properly introducing yourself to a prospective manager, this article is for you. So that artist managers like me won’t turn off your video blogs, deny you on myspace, and duck out of sight in a networking situation.UNDERSTANDING ARTIST MANAGEMENTIncredibly, so many artists who seek management actually have no idea what it is. They just know that the manager is their ticket to greater success. Managers help guild the artist’s career towards the accomplishment of established goals. Managers are an integral part in finding new ways for an artist to effectively compete in the marketplace. The artist manager is involved in establishing, promoting and sustaining the artist’s career in conjunction with the efforts of the artist. But managers do a varying degree of this as their is no industry standard.QUALIFYING The first step is qualifying yourself (the artist). Qualifying yourself means sizing your (music artist) self up. What are your accomplishments? Have you finished a demo, including mixing and mastering and manufacturing it or are you in the initial stages of recording? Have you been performing live? Have you sold songs on iTunes or had radio play? Do you have a buzz with press? What is noteworthy about you? Do not start bragging you are the hottest, best so&so to hit the streets, because to us managers that means nothing if you have nothing concrete to back it up with. You need real, measurable progress that we can back-check. There should be some momentum to your career before you seek management; that is, something to manage. This doesn’t mean you have to be wildly successful yet, but you should be able to articulate clearly and directly what you have achieved in your career so far and also be able to articulate what goals you have for your career growth and development. After you qualify yourself, you also need to qualify the manager you seek. Just getting “a manager” should not be the goal. Managers tend to be connected better in certain regions, and also many focus their work within a particular genre. Time to find out who fellow artists are represented by. Do research on these managers. Do they have good reputations? If so, ask for a meeting with them explaining your success and why you seek representation from this particular manager. There are many good managers out there, but there are just as many unqualified, unprofessional managers too. I realize so many acts write me because they see “manager,” but know nothing else about me- including the genres I work with or the state I work in. Knowing who you are pursuing is a critical first step.NEEDSWhen you did your self-analyzation, you should have identified your strengths and your weaknesses. It will be imperative for you to be able to articulate what needs you have beyond the broken record of the your desire to get to “the next level.” Managers have different strengths (some have great experience developing an act, some have industry ears and can help you pick a song, and some have strengths in touring, ie) and so by you identifying what you need, you can get closer to finding a manager who is the right fit.Many hungry artists think their success rests in some manager’s rolodex and they seek this person out for one reason only- to get access to the manager’s connections in the business. A good manager will, in fact, have a large contact list of qualified professionals. But as managers, we guard these contacts like precious gems. The manager must have a strong belief in the artist’s future success before he/she would be willing to set up meetings and engage their colleagues about you.A better focus for you to have is to start with self-management or have a friend assist you in the business parts of your career. Work on your artistry and your popularity (fans online and offline). Seasoned managers keep their eyes and ears open to who’s next and if you are creating a lot of buzz (selling out shows, selling CDs independently, thousands of hits on YouTube, etc.), that manager will find you. Another option is to seek a management consultation which will allow you to tip-toe into a working relationship with the manager. Sometimes managers will be willing to consult you on a project-by-project basis and that way you have some business support why you audition for the manager and they audition for you to see if it’s a right fit.RECIPROCALThe best management relationship is built on trust and respect. If the manager truly believes in the artist’s talent and the artist completely trusts the guidance of the manager, it can be a very rewarding relationship. Both parties should work equally hard. Remember, managers are paid a commission of the artist’s income. So, if you have no income coming in yet, make an offer to pay for the managers time in a different way (like hourly or by project), until some income is generated. Make that be the first benchmark, for you both to achieve together, finding income streams for the artist and their music.So to recap:
Identify your strengths & weaknesses and qualify yourself.
Be able to clearly articulate who you are and what success you have had.
Learn what artist managers do.
Consider self-management while you build your fan base.
Have something to manage before approaching a manager! Identify what your needs are.
Research managers to approach that work in your genre of music and have good reputations.
Build trust and respect with the manager before demanding they open their rolodex, and come up with a fair way to pay the manager for their services.
These few things will set you apart from the zillion other artists out there aimlessly reaching out to “a manager” in cyberspace. And hopefully help you start a mutually rewarding relationship to further your career.

Managing Employee Writing |

The ProblemEnlightened organizations throughout the world are embracing the concept of total quality management (TQM), but at a time when many organizations ask their employees to “do it right the first time to improve productivity” the application of TQM to writing is overlooked. In fact, memos, letters, reports, instructions, proposals, and the many other forms of writing tasks in organizations are not done right the first time. Often, the third or fourth revision is still not “right.”The average professional employee (those with a college degree) spends 10 to 12 hours a week writing documents beyond the time spent on email. According to a survey by Boeing Aircraft, two-thirds of all memos and letters produced by employees and used by managers to make decisions required revision because the original was not clear. Most managers list good writing ability among the top three traits most desired in an employee without realizing that bad writing is a management problem, not an employee problem.If, as managers believe, an employee who cannot write is a problem, then a good writing training program, of which there are many available to corporations, should fix that problem. It does not. Millions of dollars are spent by organizations on training programs thought to help their college-graduate employees write better. It doesn’t work because training employees to write without also training their managers is wasted money.”Well, I don’t agree with that,” managers sometimes snap at me when I am hired to consult with them to solve problems they are having with bad writing among their subordinates. They continue, “People with college degrees should be able to write excellently. But I have to rewrite all their stuff because they can’t do it right the first time.” When a writing project doesn’t turn out right the first time blame is focused on the writer, and so begins a series of revision back-and-fourths that cost valuable professional time, and a great deal of money. And irritate managers.Myths about WritingThere is a mythology in organizations about writing. Here are a few of the more prominent ones:1. Managers have no responsibility for what is being written between the time they delegate the task and the time they see the result.2. Part of a manager’s role is to edit everything written by subordinates.3. Everyone should write on a computer.4. The English rules never change.5. Engineers can’t write.None of the above myths have any foundation in fact. As for number 5, I hear
the same thing said of computer programmers, geologists, physicists – almost any professional! Nonsense!Observations about Writing in OrganizationsFollowing are a few observations about the causes of writing failure in organizations gained from12 years as a writing consultant to a Fortune 500 clientele.1. Employee writing cannot be improved without changing the culture of the organization first. The “culture” of an organization is the sum of all socially transmitted beliefs, myths, and all other products of human work and thought. Culture is passed down from one generation of employees to the next, including the mismanagement of the writing process.An example of this was the corporation that hired me to improve their proposal writing efforts. Many organizations depend on competitive proposals – bids – to keep their business going. There are both commercial proposals, and proposals for the defense industry. I worked almost exclusively for defense contractors. One Fortune 500 client I worked with had lost 32 bids in a row. Employee strength dropped from 2,000 to 400. I was hired to teach people how to write winning proposals. From the 1960’s to the 1980’s proposal writing remained about the same, but in the 1980’s the style of proposals changed, and the organization wished to change to the new style. They spent thousands of dollars on training. It didn’t work because of a guardian of corporate culture, a senior manager, took it upon himself to rewrite every “new” proposal back to the style of the 1960’s. The last time I checked, they were still losing.Another example of the importance of organizational culture was the Space Station proposal to NASA by McDonnell Douglas. A colleague and I were hired for two weeks to train 176 engineers and others how to write well so a nine-volume proposal would sound and look alike throughout. It was apparent within the first hour that the company had no coherent process for managing the writing of the many departments involved. Worse, the strategy for winning the bid that had to be integrated into every section was going to be lost after Volume One because there was no knowledge of what it was below the management level.On our recommendation, McDonnell Douglas made a courageous decision to change the corporate culture about the way writing was managed, and we spent the next two weeks training 176 people to manage the process. This was 2 years before NASA issued the Request for Proposal (RFP). A year later I was asked to return and to oversee a “trial run.” The company took all 176 people off their jobs for two weeks to actually write a mock-up proposal. From that experience, every department and every writer had an opportunity to make the process work. McDonnell Douglas won the bid for $9 billion.2. Managers do not manage the “process” of writing because they think of writing as an “it.” We hear managers say, “I needed it yesterday.” or “I need it as soon as possible.” They perceive writing as an object.Problems that arise from the it orientation include 1) shallow insight, 2) compromised thinking and reasoning, 3) lack of logical connections between ideas, 4) abortive or omitted collaboration with others, and 5) time-consuming rewriting and editing by managers to correct the shortcomings that arise from these weaknesses. Writing is a process, and processes need to be managed!3. True delegation of accountability and ownership rarely occurs. When a manager delegates a writing task with the intention of editing it after it comes back, responsibility and ownership of the work stays with the manager. Many managers believe part of their job is to act as editor-in-chief, and they squander huge amounts of their expensive company time doing the job of secretaries or company editors.Managers who edit have the illusion that they are doing important and useful work. But their problem is not bad writing from subordinates. It is bad delegation.
When I ask writers in the ranks how writing assignments are delegated to them, this is what I hear:My manager, on her way out the door, throws stuff on my desk and says, “Take care of this.”My manager believes in progressive revelation. Every time I give him a revision, he reveals more information about the project that I should have had in the first place.My manager communicates writing assignments on post-it notes.With managers like these, employees adopt a foxhole mentality. They sayto me, “I just throw some words together and send it in. Why bother making it good. It’s just going to be changed anyway.” So much for ownership.4. Managers do not think to negotiate the time it takes to write a document when they delegate the task. A computer programmer asked me how to write faster. “My manager wants me to completely rewrite these 50 pages by Friday. Meantime, I’m supposed to get all my regular work done on time. I’ll be working overtime with no pay to get it all done.”When a manager does not consider the amount of time it takes for writing to
get done, writing becomes an unplanned activity sandwiched between ongoing daily duties, meetings, phone calls, email, and a variety of other interruptions. And unplanned activities lower productivity and profitability.5. Managers are insensitive to the need of writers have for uninterrupted time. Writing is difficult intellectual work. It requires concentration. But interruptions in many organizations are epidemic. They are frequent, uncontrolled, and tolerated.Overcoming inertia to start writing is hard. Interruptions cause the writer to stop, and afterward, the writer must collect their thoughts, reread what they just wrote, and overcome inertia again. Interruptions can change a 15-minute writing job to a 2-hour marathon of stop-and-start effort.I was recently working with six managers as they wrote a proposal that was critical to the company’s survival. The room was quiet as they were working on how to word their win strategy. A secretary entered the room and interrupted one of the managers with a question about scheduling a not very important meeting. Everyone in the room stopped writing to listen. When the secretary left, the group turned back to their writing. Some began rereading what they had just written. Some stared off into space. Two tinkered with paper clips. Haltingly, they resumed writing. Twenty-five minutes were wasted.Think of the ramifications for people who work in cubicles!The SolutionWriting has both an internal and an external manifestation. The internal manifestation is the complex, problem-solving, reiterative process of the writer. The external manifestation is what the manager sees happening. Good managers put steps in place to improve both the internal and external process of writing.Package the AssignmentEnlightened managers prepare a writing assignment before they delegate. They 1) establish the standards that will be used to review the completed document, and 2) provide the needed tools.Writers can not read minds. If standards are only in the mind of the manager, the first draft will be changed as the manager applies those standards. Standards are style guides, such as APA or Chicago. English is changing faster now than at any time since the 17th Century, and the “rules,” or standards that were taught in the classroom 20 years ago may not apply today. Managers provide writers with tools such as recent-edition dictionaries because meaning, spelling, and technical use of many words is changing. For example, nouns and adjectives are being changed into verbs. A perfect example from an Environmental Impact Statement, “We will tier to the Forest Plan,” or “Got milk?”Some people write better in longhand. Some like laptops, and some like the PC. If a writer does best in longhand, the manager should provide the writer with the ability to translate the longhand to the computer, such as a secretary, or Secretaries are few and far between in modern organizations as managers increasingly expect their employees to do their own secretarial work. But is there anything more pathetic than watching a professional type on a $10 thousand computer with two fingers? A simple keyboarding course would solve the problem.A quiet place to work is a tool. One strategy is to set aside “quiet time” one morning or afternoon each week during which noise and interruptions are discouraged. Traffic in hallways and between cubicles is curtailed, phone calls are rerouted to message centers, and visitors are asked to wait or come back later.Finally, the manager creates an assignment sheet that contains specific directions and standards for the task such as 1) purpose of the assignment, 2) audience, 3) scope, 4) format, and 5) deadline. “I needed it yesterday,” and “I need it as soon as possible” are not deadlines. Such evasive directions signal a lack of planning, lack of respect, and lack of knowledge about the writing process. A deadline is a day and a time, “I need it by 8 a.m. Tuesday”. A reason helps, “I have a 10 a.m. meeting and I need to look it over before I go.”Touch Base as Writing ProgressesSome writers gather the wrong information because they misunderstand the assignment. Some gather too much, some too little. Some discover information that changes the nature of the assignment, as well as the deadline.The time to adjust the assignment is before it deviates into unacceptable territory.
A simple phone call, a quick meeting, or a short email can inform the manager of any potential problems; in fact, a verbal exchange of ideas helps both the manager and the employee clarify content, as does a review of brainstorming notes, sketches, or new information.Teach a Time-Efficient Writing TechniqueWriters everywhere say to me, “I have to make the first sentence perfect before I write the second sentence, and the first paragraph perfect before I can write the next one.” Ouch! Micro editing as the mind is trying to put thoughts together is a vice. It comes from the micro editing that goes on in school when students try to shorten the time required to write a paper by both writing and editing at the same time. In fact, they are two different tasks. Micro editing appears first in English classes where writing habits are formed, and appears next in department where the manager waits for it to appear and then tears it apart.Sad to say, but many English teachers, and many managers and employees are stuck in the past. When English teachers give students a writing project, they never teach their students how to get ideas out of their heads and down on paper in an efficient manner. In the 1980’s the firm I worked for was the first consultant organization in the United States to teach a rapid writing technique to employees in business, industry, and government organizations. I was one of four consultants traveling 48 weeks a year all over the United States and to some foreign countries to teach people how to write quickly and effectively. When I left, the organization had 60 consultants doing the same thing, which is an indication of the recognized need for more efficient writing in organizations everywhere.”What makes you think you know anything about how I can write better,” is a challenge I heard frequently as I challenged the habits and behaviors of employees and their managers. “I’ve been writing the same way since seventh grade and it’s working just fine.” Okay, but during WWII the US Army hired the finest English teachers they could find to come up with a technique they could teach recruits in 6 weeks of basic training that would result in fast, efficient writing. Armies run on writing, and personnel were taking hours to turn out documents that should have taken minutes. The result was a technique for rapid writing and editing that was ignored outside the military until the company I worked for adopted it for organizations in general.I once taught 2,000 engineers at Northup Aviation a 2-day rapid writing course. It took me one year. Most of them were very receptive, but I heard from class after class the same complaint, “This is all very interesting, but you need to be training my managers because they make me do things their way, not the right way.” Corporate culture invalidated the training program because managers thought their employees needed the training, not themselves.Managers need to recognize that writing problems begin with them, and although they teach their staff members rapid writing and editing techniques, they are part of the problem and need to be part of the solution.Manage Time-Efficient EditingEnglish teachers and other engaged in teaching writing fail to teach people a strategy of attack for editing documents. Most people adopt some kind of a strategy, such as the micro editing writer mentioned above. Others concentrate on punctuation, spelling, and grammar because experience has taught them that those things will determine acceptance or failure of their document. They leave everything else virtually untouched.What is universally forgotten is that reading is a visual process, and that people read a page from left to right and from top to bottom. They start reading at the first sentence of the first paragraph. If they do not find information that is important to them by the second sentence, most of them skip to the first sentence of the second paragraph. If they again cannot find a key idea immediately, most skip to the bottom of the page, or turn the page and try again. I am not talking about fiction writing. I am talking about technical writing.”Wait a minute,” people will say. “I have to put down all the facts before I get to the conclusion. And paragraphs have no less than five sentences.” Oh my. There go those pesky seventh-grade teachers again.With the way people really read a document in mind, it is clear that the most important ideas need to be up and left on the page, at the top of the page, at the beginning of paragraphs, and in headings and other devices that make the key ideas stand out. The body of the text may be technically perfect, but if the main ideas are buried, the writing will fail to communicate with the hurried reader, and people in organizations do not have time on their hands and are not reading for pleasure!Finally, peer review, if introduced well and managed well, can save a manager time, but the ground rules must be clearly set to protect writers from overzealous critique and irrelevant micro editing. Lastly, managers frequently do not think to provide positive rewards for good writing. Such rewards are energizing, motivating, and encourage writers to continuously improve. A simple “Good job!” can go a very long way to improve morale and productivity.SummaryWhen managers pre-package the assignment, delegate carefully, teach their employees how to write and edit quickly and effectively, they have little to do when the documents reach them except sign and send. Writers have ownership and accountability. They take pride in their work.Writing should be recognized as a process, and managers should be as interested in managing the writing tasks of their employees as they are managing the annual budget. Ineffective writing among employees has to be cured from the top down, not from the bottom up. Bad writing is a management problem, and only management can affect a permanent, workable solution.Copyright 2007

Why Prophet Contact Manager? |

Competition is very tough in today’s business world, and companies and businesses are always looking for a way to beat their competition and be more successful. One of the tools executives and managers are using to do this is contact manager software, which allows a company or business to track clients, business and networking contacts, and sales opportunities. In addition, some types of contact manager software can track all correspondence, meetings, appointments, etc. with the contacts listed in the contact manager software, while tracking your business activity and revenue. Prophet contact manager software is one type of contact manager software that does all of this. If you are an executive or manager looking for something to give your company or organization an edge on the competition, you should consider Prophet contact manager software. Prophet contact manager software has many features and benefits that will help you and your employees be more efficient and more successful.Prophet contact manager software makes keeping track of your business contacts easy.Anyone purchasing Prophet contact manager software will be amazed by how easy it makes keeping track of your business contacts. Prophet contact manager software works in conjunction with the Microsoft Outlook email program, and this contact manager makes organizing, managing, and monitoring your business contacts easy. This contact manager software allows you to see all the communication that you have had with each of your contacts. This contact manager is great if you are trying to determine what you and a business contact discussed or decided on a particular item, or if it has been awhile since you last touched base with a business contact and wanted to bring up some things from previous conversations. For example, if you are contacting someone in your network but who you rarely have contact with, you might want to use your contact manager software to check back to previous communication with them to see what the name of their kids are so that you can ask them about them and make it personal.Prophet contact manager software has a search function.One of the most frustrating things at work that can take up a significant portion of time is searching for files or other information on your computer. Usually this is information you know is on your computer, you just don’t remember where you put it, but Prophet contact manager can help. Prophet contact manager recognizes that no one wants to spend half of their day at work searching for something, so they incorporated a search function into their software. The search function of the contact manager allows you to access the information you want very quickly, so you can move on to doing more important things.A calendar and a task manager are also features of Prophet contact manager software.Avidian didn’t design Prophet contact manager software to simply replace the rolodex sitting on your desk. Instead, they designed the contact manager software to not only keep track of your business contacts, but to also provide you with a calendar to help you schedule and a task manager to help you ensure you are completing the projects and tasks you need to. Prophet contact manager software also allows you to sort your business contacts based on the appointments, meetings, and other items on your calendar and the items on your task lists. The contact manager allows you to see all the communication, appointments, meetings, tasks, etc. that are associated with a specific business contact.Prophet contact manager software can help you increase salesIn addition to managing your business contacts; Prophet contact manager software can also help you manage your current clients as well as any potential future ones. Prophet contact manager software can help you track and manage your different sales opportunities with just a few clicks of the mouse. By having all this information available to you, using your contact manager software, you can increase your sales and increase your profit, making you more successful. Prophet contact manager software can also help you improve your sales and your relationships with your clients to make them more satisfied. Prophet contact manager software keeps track of all your contact, correspondence, and interaction with each client, so you can review over time to see where you are doing well with your clients and where you are failing to meet their needs and expectations. Then you can use the contact manager to take the necessary steps to fix wherever you are falling short.In addition, Prophet contact manager software allows you to view the revenue you make from your clients. With Prophet contact manager you can view each individual client or have an overview of your entire company. Finally, Prophet contact manager software allows you to customize how you view your sales information. Prophet contact manager software allows executives and managers to customize and filter the information in the contact manager so they see only what they want to see. Competitors’ contact manager software offers the option use the contact manager to break down sales into smaller groups, but don’t allow for the customization offered by Prophet contact manager software..Prophet contact manager software is easier to use than competitors’ contact manager software.One of the most important things executives and managers look for in contact manager software they are considering purchasing is how easy it is to use and how compatible it is with the software the company already uses. Avidian recognizes that businesses and companies need contact manager software that adds to their productivity, not contact manager software that takes away from it if employees have to spend many hours learning how to use the software or it is constantly having problems. Prophet contact manager software has been designed to be easy to learn to use with tutorials and help applications should you need it. In fact, several executives and managers have switched to Prophet contact manager software from its competitors’ contact manager software because it is much easier to use. Prophet contact manager software is also compatible with several different other types of software. Information from Prophet contact manager software can be saved and opened in Word, Excel, PDF, and HTML formats.