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February 27, 2009 [ More archived home pages here ]

American Paths


The above image, Left In Tears is also available as a Desktop Background

Today's song is Now You're Not Here by Swing Out Sister, released in 1997.

I am inspired by President Obama's recent speech. As a project manager, I appreciate the online access to the Recovery Plan. On that page is a link to the guidance process (pdf) for how the program works and the reporting on its progress.

As a proud American I continue to increase my knowledge and skills. Last week I enrolled in a Six Sigma: Total Quality Fundamentals course. That course will be followed in April by another preparing me for better understanding of business processes and quality improvements.

I continue to help my fellow Americans in ways that I can. I continue to volunteer as I am able to my community. This is what other proud Americans do too. I am not alone.

I do not know what the future holds. I do not look for guarantees in life because I know they do not exist, except for the ones I offer. I have lived through hard times before and I know as long as I can freely think and move about, I will stay standing. I am not alone.

My partner and I in Newbound, Inc., work hard for our clients. We continue to provide value for what we charge. Like other entrepreneurs, we could use more business. But even if that additional business does not arrive, if our business goes into suspension at some point in the recession, he and I will still be standing. Why? Because we are proud Americans and the almighty dollar does not rule our lives. We are not alone.

I studied, learned, struggled, and occasionally achieved in my middle-class career. I concern myself with helping my family, friends, and my country in various degrees as a regular citizen. In that way, I am like the greater majority of proud Americans; knowing We the People, will pull together during the crisis.

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Yesterday was the 13th anniversary of our moving here to San Diego from the Chicago area. Confession: I still use my turn signal to change lanes.

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My friend, DJ, gave me an early birthday present. I now own a printed and bound hard cover copy of the Honeyman Family book published in 1909.

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I found this great explanation of the credit crisis on my friend, Pete Yared's Facebook page.


The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

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President Obama's got it right!

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Like those who have endured previous recessions understand.

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My friend, Nicki, writes from her heart about horses.

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As mentioned above, I am studying in my first course on the Six Sigma curriculum. One of the lessons involved learning about the Taguchi Method. Here are a couple quotes of interest from that article:

"Research on the cost of quality, conducted by KPMG Peat Marwick, indicates that companies frequently estimate that unobservable costs of poor quality commonly run three times all measurable quality costs, and can run as high as 20% of the cost of sales."

"The cost of customer rejection may not be easy to estimate. However, some observers have found that 80% of measurable external failure costs come from customer returns. Thus the cost of processing a customer return constitutes a good beginning estimate of the cost of customer rejection."

As a project manager, another quote from a great book is important to keep in mind:

"The ability to complete projects efficiently and effectively is a competitive edge and enables and organization to continuously improve the way it serves its clients, shareholders and employees. When you compute the costs of late and over budget projects, substandard products, and dissatisfied clients, sponsors and performers, you have the cost of poor quality in project management. And that doesn't even address the alignment of projects to an organization's business strategy or the success of the products and services produced by the projects! While the tangible costs associated with these may be hard to compute, they are significant." -- Dynamic Scheduling® with Microsoft® Office Project 2007, pg.28

Here's one area concerning IT leadership and why project management and quality are important:

"According to research I conducted last year with a colleague, the annual cost of IT project failure across the European Union is a breathtaking ?142bn (£125bn)."

"The study looked at 214 projects between 1998 and 2005. Of those we examined, seven out of eight projects were classified as failures. Amid the current economic turmoil, such levels of project failure are cause for alarm."

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Hey, Microsoft is helping out this time!

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Need a place to vent about your workplace?

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Found on the web links for February 26, 2009 [ Link since removed ]

Don


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