Email: Still the Right Tool for the Job?

A few days back, Dennis discussed the need for Just One Version of the Truth – the need for sanity in knowing where the facts that matter are stored, reliably, always, definitively.Tombstone_squared_blank

Along that same vein, here’s another culprit: email.  Information stored in an email system is a disaster waiting to happen, a virtual sword of Damocles: how often does something slip and you later find the email that was supposed to alert you to the hazardous material recall — with the ‘obvious’ subject ‘sorry I missed you at lunch‘?   How long have you spent searching through emails knowing one of the replies to a reply by somebody had the piece of information you need? Continue reading

RFIs – “A tier 1 control item”

Why is an RFI like a blood cell? Chances are you never heard that question before.

They parallel each other in many ways:

  1. The count of each is proportional to the size of the Project/Patient
  2. Each requires circulation to be effective
  3. Each has the ability to deliver and receive: RFIs deal with information whereas blood cells handle oxygen and carbon dioxide
  4. Each can instigate other actions: RFIs spawn RFQs and Change Orders whereas blood cells spawn defensive actions to attack pathogens (and where would we be if blood didn’t clot!)
  5. Each requires supporting systems to operate effectively: RFIs require management, control, storage and distribution whereas blood cells require the circulatory system, lungs and other organs
  6. When they are out of control, the Project/Patient is at high risk
  7. Each acts as a lifeline for the Project/Patient
  8. Without each, the Project/Patient is dead

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Prepping for a Demo

Vendor DemoPreparing yourself and your team for a vendor demonstration
Getting ready for a demonstration is an extremely important activity, since you’ll be evaluating a system that is going to be used to help you operate your business for many years to come.

Assemble The Team
Form a team of people who are intimately involved in the use of your current systems and workflows and who can clearly articulate the problems they are having.  Commit these statements to paper for review by others.

Before deciding on which vendors to call in, you must do your due diligence and research the systems that are available and that you feel most closely match your needs.

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What Goes Around…

Reflecting on 30 years of progress in computingComputers from yesteryear

Back in the “old” days there was the brand new kid on the block in the form of MS DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System), but there was also the somewhat “entrenched” standard of CPM, and of course the first generation of Apple OS. There was also a plethora of mini computers in that era, all of which had their own operating systems. So the poor developers were faced with the age old issue of which operating system to write their applications for. And by the way, for the large number of the current computer users who don’t know the genealogy of the word “App”, guess what, it’s an “Application” and  yes, we had “Apps” way back when. In any case most software developers bet the farm by writing their applications for a specific platform and hoped that platform had long legs.

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Just one version of the truth … please!

SpreadsheetsOne of the most ubiquitous documents in a Construction office is the common spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are used for everything: estimating, budgets, forecast, tracking of submittal – production statistics – performance metrics and other types of critical events and data, and even used to create Pay Applications and invoicing … and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It is no surprise why the spreadsheet is popular. The functionality of modern spreadsheet applications empowers even the novice users to develop effective tools to apply to specific tasks.

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