On this historic day – one hundred years since the Battle of the Somme – this article by Richard Moir at Vanguard Consulting eloquently describes why modern management practices have so many similarities with World War 1.
“The common response to projects showing signs of failing has been to increase oversight by committees, boards and sponsors through increased emphasis on reporting in order to regain control.
Efforts to reduce bureaucracy and simplify project delivery are laudable and on the face of it very plausible, however in themselves they are unlikely to provide a sustainable change in project delivery performance.
The various artefacts and control mechanisms that may be the target of simplification efforts will not have appeared in organisations by chance or as a result of any physical laws of nature. They will have been introduced by somebody at some point in time to satisfy an assumed, but often unstated and misunderstood, need such as maintaining control of activity through compliance.”
I couldn’t agree more. The real battle, however, is persuading those who instigate these processes and controls that they are ineffective. Because doing that questions the value they believe they bring to the organisation. Tread carefully and carry a big stick.
An hour of hushed-up heady house music, with plenty of actual songs, designed for a lonely walk on a foggy morning.
Months in preparation. Not bad in execution.
Mixed in Traktor on a Control X1 (thanks to Mr V!)
There’s never been a better time to be a practitioner or a manager with user experience design skills. The opportunities presented by startup businesses, large FTSE-100 companies and consultancies like cxpartners are many and varied, and it’s a seller’s market for knowledgeable, experienced, well-rounded talent.
Continue reading “What to ask your future employer”
If you’ve worked anywhere near technology over the last 10-15 years you will probably be slightly wary of the phrase “black hat”. For those in tech, ‘black hat’ typically has negative connotations as it’s usually associated with devious hackers who can hack into systems to steal your personal data, or with clever search engine optimisers who can game rankings to drive additional web traffic. But that’s not where ‘black hat’ comes from.
Continue reading “The power of ‘black hat’ thinking”
Over the years I’ve been involved in plenty of competitive pitches and tendering processes. I’ve learned the hard way that not all tender processes are created equal and, try as I might, some of the clients and projects to which I thought my company was best suited we’ve ended up not winning. And sometimes vice versa. Here’s ten ways in which we think clients can improve tender processes to achieve better outcomes…
Continue reading “Life’s a pitch: 10 ways to run an effective tendering process”
While the market for user experience consulting has continued to grow over the last five years, some organisations are only taking their first steps in prioritising investment in professional user experience consultancy.
And it’s often these organisations who need it most – charities with internal disputes about their brand and what to publish online; small businesses who have a world of opportunity at their feet but apparently no money or time to grasp the nettle; local authorities who struggle to separate internal needs from user needs, and therefore navigating and reading their content is frustrating.
Continue reading “Is user experience really expensive?”
It took all my nerve, gaul and mental stamina to get up and suggest a session at the start of the #responsiveorg day in London last month. Here’s how it went.
Continue reading “How to get an “unconference” session wrong: my experience at the #responsiveorg London event”