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Sharing a common operating picture is essential to effective management.

“There’s a visual revolution that’s taking place as more organizations are addressing their wicked problems by collaboratively drawing them out.”

tom wujecTom Wujec stumbled across a simple design exercise that helps people understand and solve complex problems, and like many of these design exercises, it kind of seems trivial at first, but under deep inspection, it turns out that it reveals unexpected truths about the way that we collaborate and make sense of things.

Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec, the speaker of the TED talk: Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast, loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work.

We all are seeking to be more collaborative and innovative. Collaborative visualisation of data by your team provides a 360-degree view of operations lets you make informed, accurate decisions, fast. Will you run this exercise yourself?

So next time you’re challenged with an interesting challenge, think of this TED talk and remember what design has to teach us. Make your ideas visible, tangible, and consequential.

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Do you spend an average of one out of every 10 hours on file management?

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According to GISTICS research, professionals were found to spend an average of one out of every 10 hours of their time on file management, mainly searching. The average employee looks for media 83 times per week, and fails to find what they need 35% of the time with no Digital Asset Management in place. That same study found that estimates that a DAM system, like OpenAsset, will help cut the rate of failing to locate the media will fall to 5%.

There is a high cost of not finding information.

An average of $8,200 per person is spent on asset management activities. $8200 per year per person!  How many people in your company deal with asset management per year? Multiply that on a 1-year or 5-year basis and you can see how much money you may be wasting. That’s time your staff could be working on something else, possibly something billable.

Digital Asset Management has always made sense and always had clear benefits and process efficiencies.


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Business success = working together

henry fordDefining success for your business is a critical step for any business. According to Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”. I understand this to mean that merely coming together and remaining together is meaningless unless you are working together, which in turn will produce results. Although, only working together can be called success, the first two, ‘coming’ and ‘keeping’ together, are necessary preparations for it.

How are you and your team working together?

Helping employees understand how all of the functions working together as a team contribute to their own team and ultimately the business, therefore, collaboration is still key – do you agree?


Culture vs. Strategy or Culture and strategy?


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Why project firms need integrated project life-cycle management to thrive.

Learn what project-based business leaders say about the threats and opportunities across the whole project life cycle

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Ever asked yourself:

Why project firms need integrated project life-cycle management to thrive?

How project firms can improve win rates by pursuing the right engagements?

Why should project firms improve capacity to execute by fixing hiring and retention headaches?

How project firms can improve project execution and profitability by streamlining the back office?

On behalf of Deltek, Forrester Consulting surveyed 170 leaders in project firms to understand their concerns about managing each stage of the project life-cycle – from winning, executing and billing to monitoring. Read what project firm leaders say about threats and opportunities across the whole project life-cycle and key recommendations from Forrester.

Download the Forrester Consulting research report, commissioned by Deltek, ‘Fragmented Processes Jeopardize Project Firm Buoyancy. A Guide to Profitably Winning and Delivering Projects for Project-Based Businesses’.


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Email Superseded by Social Collaboration Tools.

Businesses have grown more social in nature, and with it many companies are introducing social collaboration solutions.

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Here at Smartsoftware, we discussed last year how email is great for communication, but not collaboration and project management. Why not? Well, with emails there is;

  • A loss of context when project information is shared in disconnected responses.
  • A trend for duplicated information as multiple people reply to one email thread and there being no central repository.
  • A lack of visibility into how a project is progressing, making managers spend time manually gathering project status updates from each contributor.

As early as 2010, Gartner predicted that by 2014 Greater availability of social networking services both inside and outside the firewall, coupled with changing demographics and work styles will lead 20% of users to make a social network the hub of their business communications”With social collaboration software helping create environments that improve how teams and communities perform, it seems as if Gartner was right. Social collaboration provide the tools to stay on top of projects and make communication more efficient between team members. It also encourages informal interaction and helps people organise themselves based on information sharing.

Are you already using social collaboration in your projects? If not, will you be using social collaboration in 2015?


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Which of these horizontal lines is longer?

“We spend our time responding rationally to a world we understand and recognise, but no longer exists.”
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Did you answer ‘they’re the same’ to the line question above? In fact you’d be wrong!

Watch the TED talk from business educator Eddie Obeng and see how rapidly the world is changing in the modern age and how learning has remained at a similar state. Just because the answer in the past was the lines were the same length, doesn’t mean it still is today.
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In this spirited talk, Eddie Obeng highlights three important changes we should understand for better productivity, and calls for a stronger culture of “smart failure.”  He gives tangible examples and visual supplementation supporting his claim and asks the audience to adapt to our changing world to improve productivity.

The world is changing much more rapidly than most people realise and creative output cannot keep up. People are not changing the way that they need to in order to keep up with their environment.

It feels safe and comfortable to rely on the old paradigms. Do we need to shake up the system and promote creative innovative thinkers and doers that Eddie Obeng says we need in our turbulent world.

What did you think about the ideas of Eddie Obeng? Do you think people need to change and adapt in order to be more productive? Please comment below.