Sunday, January 25, 2009

Joules and bosses

The Joule(1) is the derived unit of energy in the International System of Units. One joule is the amount of work done by a force of one newton travelling through a distance of one meter. If this definition is applied to a working environment, "the working joule" can be defined as the amount of work done by a force to push an activity, called " brown", to achieve a goal in a working environment. The weight of environment generates a resistance over the "brown" that it works as an opposite force that pushes against the goal. This is a graphic representation:

The force that pushes the "brown" has two components: The workers' force (Fw) and the bosses' force (Fb). The workers' force usually has the direction towards the goal, however, the bosses' force is more erratic. The composition of both forces generates many different paths but only three cases are analysed in this post.

When the boss's force has the same direction as the workers' force then the path of the "brown" goes through to the goal. These bosses help to achieve the objective and are called "Value Added Boss" or V.A.B.

When the boss's force has the same direction as the working environment weight the "brown" doesn't move, the path is null. There are several types of bosses with this profile: The red tape boss who buries the work under thousands of documents, the indecisive boss who never takes a decision, The lazy boss who sits over the brown, the transparent boss who only passes the "brown" and the evil boss who likes watching useless effort. These bosses belong to the class "Null Efficiency Boss" or N.E.B. The workers fall in a recursive circle without any possibility to move forward.

When the boss's force has an opposite direction to the workers, the "brown" doesn't move forward to the goal, it moves backward!. An example is the incompetent boss who doesn't know ANYTHING and generates a spiral of work asking about EVERYTHING. Other example is the star boss who is found by the head hunters to update the company culture with new ideas. This bosses belong to the class " Value Subtract Boss" or V.S.B. The effort of workers is dangerous to themselves. The more they work, the more work they will have.

The laboral ecosystem has a few A cases and many C cases while the B case remain stationary. The solution of the problem is easy: If the bosses are eliminated this improves the B cases and C cases though it has an adverse effect on A cases, but as they are only a few cases it doesn't matter.

(1) The word "juoule" means "julio" in Spanish. "Julio" is the name of a roman Imperator, the name of a famous Latin singer and is the seventh month. This means allow us to make a joke in Spanish but in English it doesn't have a double meaning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The seven capital sins

Childhood usually goes by slowly and follows us for ever like a shadow. The character was formed in early years as our genes allowed. Our parents and tutors tried to guide us by teaching us virtues, even if they were evil people. They taught us the cardinal and theological virtues and how to beat the seven capital sins.

When time passed I forgot this education, because problably it wasn't useful. To write this post I had to search on Google “cardinal virtues” and I pressed the I'm feeling lucky button. The engine search landed in the religious web page SCTJM which explained with detail some virtues and sins (they didn't explain anything about lust, maybe for inexperience or for embarrassment).

When I was a child nuns taught me the capital sins or its opposite virtues, depending on easiness to explain, but always with a sense of guilt. This put my self-esteem in eternal danger. In this valley of tears, full of sinners, pride was considered as leprosy of the soul.

When I was six, I knew with pain that I was a proud person. A nun slapped me saying “This girl is very proud”. I didn't know what that meant but I thought it was a bad quality. I didn't discern how to correct myself and I was continually slapped by the nuns until they explained to me that humility was the opposite virtue of pride.

When you didn't have anything it was difficult to understood greed. It was easier to explain generosity, its reverse virtue. In illustrations in books a rich child appeared giving money to beggars with a proud attitude. I learned someone couldn't be poor and proud at the same time. I discovered injustice and I knew that it wasn't a capital sin.

Nuns didn't give details about lust. They explained directly chastity. This is a passive virtue: at least doing something undefined you were more virtuous. However, if they didn't explain this virtue well you could fall in sloth that is defeated by diligence.

Anger didn't need theory, I learned it by practise. Every day nuns slapped me because their patience had a limit and it never passed Angelus time (12:00 pm).

Gluttony was inexplicable. How was it possible to feel the food of nuns as a pleasure? In the same way I couldn't considerer temperance as a virtue because not eating had no value, moreover it was punished.

Envy, the most widespread sin, it was encouraged by competivity. Nuns always praised the cleverest, the best, the most religious and the others envied them. The praised were brown nosers and it was difficult to feel charity, then most children were green with envy.

I learned that if you don't bother or prejudice other people, you are on the right path. Moreover, if you help them, then you have high score as a good person. The worst is to push everybody although you are diligent, chaste and you eat like a little bird.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Productivity: MI matrix

Some friends have written about productivity lately. Telémaco showed a radical idea: Heretical Idea 1: Productivity is dangerous, later Julen wrote about Innovation and lifestyle. This encouraged me to type the Towando keys to give my personnel opinion.

Most people who speak about productivity do it from the rearguard. They look at the front line from far away. They never get their hands dirty with the trench mud. They are nearer to metrosexual boss than male boss. The big picture will be OK to see the whole environment but it loses the human relationship details

What is the formula to productivity success? It depends on environment. The Services Sector is different to the Industrial Sector, the Health Sector or the Civil Service. Each sector has its own characteristics. I feel productivity as an IT sector employee. I worked for more than 20 years in the IT trenches until I left voluntarily five years ago. Right now my experience is consolidated and I think I'm in a good position to do a productivity analyses.

I remember the post Bread with butter. It was written by Telemaco more than one year ago and it showed an SGD matrix from the blog “Nodos en la Red”. I have analysed the BCG matrix (Boston Consulting Group) too. These matrixes explain the project conceptual model in a graphic way. I feel a lack in theses matrixes, they don't include the productivity concept. I will try to show it by a relation money-incompetence in IT projects.

This is the visual representation of MI ( Money- Incompetence) matrix.

In this model the x-axis represents incompetence as the integration of the whole incompetence of project members, such as Clients or such as suppliers.

The y-axis is the project budget. This matrix has four possible status project.

Craftsman: There are projects which are done with rigor and without waste of money. They finish with success within the stipulated period. Professional experience takes priority over manpower, like the craftsman process. They exist under conditions of little money and low incompetence. They usually have little overhead, a short duration and they are very varied.

Sisifo's legend: This group of projects never finishes with success. They are structured in phases, all of them failed like Sisifo's legend. This legend tells how Sisifo tried to take up a big stone to the top of a mountain but he never achieves it. The big stone always falls before he gets to the top. Sometimes people who work on these projects aren't incompetent but they are trapped in an environment of incompetence. This project doesn't have enough money to live eternally and they have to finish and to start again without any hope of success.

Diaspora: This class of projects has a big budget and they finish with success. They achieve the money and the time goals. Only few projects can do it because they need to have a low incompetence percentage. This is becoming more and more difficult and is almost impossible now. In these projects the customers know what they want to do and the suppliers know the way to do the work. The overhead is low, each person can do several things in an efficient way. A lot of productivity has negative consequences: When the project concludes, the profits finish too. There isn't continuity in the project and the source of income stops. Then, the project members suffer a diaspora as punishment, in the company or in the worse case out of it.

Total impunity : It's the tastiest part of a pie, it's the object of desire of an experienced project manager who likely has suffered a disapora. This class of project has an ideal situation: a big budget managed by incompetence. The manpower takes priority over professional experience, on the opposite side to Craftsman projects. The human resources are very plentiful and cheap. As a consequence this brings a huge structure plenty of bureaucracy with a large overhead.

A critical point is getting the total impunity point as the next image shows

It's necessary to spend the budget money quickly to achieve a point of no-return. Nobody closes the project without losing his position or his prestige. After this point the incomes are consolidated independently of project results.

The companies tend to locate themselves in the total impunity, far from productivity

Monday, March 19, 2007

Blogs as a religion

Some days ago, Andres wrote the post Blogs ¿Tool or religion?. He expressed the opinion that blogs are a tool, not a religion. He's a Personal Branding professional and he uses his blog as an information channel. This vision is ok when there are profit goals. In my case, I write a blog in my free time as a hobby with an anonymous identity and I can allow myself to make a small joke about it. I choose the catholic religion because it is well known by me and it‘s easy to make a parallelism.

I think there are four columns which support the catholic religion: faith, liturgy, the faithful and the clergy. These pillars are easy to extrapolate to blogosphere. The parallelism between blogs and religion is structured in four parts: Genesis, The New Testament, Present and The Apocalypse.


First there wasn't connection. The protocols were closed and autistic. DARPA said: It is not good that the computer should be alone” and they created the Internet. Some time later the community around the net was formed only for initiates and it didn't grow up until a prophet called Tim Berners-Lee rose up from Europe. He invented the WorldWide Web (WWW). That allowed computers to connect to each other. He created the browser to navigate through the net. That caused many people to embrace faith in Internet and new communities based on the collaboration and meritocracy were developed.

But men forgot the right way and they started to worship to the golden calf (somebody called it The Free Market). They corrupted those communities and they created a speculative bubble that exploded a few years later. Faith was damaged and the communities suffered a “time in the wilderness”. After a long time in the darkness they could see the light again. Some groups built Content Management System(CMS) that allowed the development of the other communities.

The New Testament

Like Colombus's egg anecdote, Dale Dougherty had the idea to give the name Web 2.0 to all new things that happened in Internet.

In that huge egg, blogs were highlighted. The community of the faithful grew exponentially because they had “the Holy Trinity”: Blogger, WordPress and Myspace, three different platform and only one true blog. Like the miracles of bread and fish, blogs reproduced on “the face of the Earth ”.

The believers of blog had faith in free content movement, in collaboration and in transparency. Its was necessary to graze this disintegrating flock and blogs started to meet, first by language and later by region. The authors of blogs became known in directories and they linked among themselves. People wanted to know the relationship of the blogs and Technorati was created. Every body could see who linked him. That gave place to rankings and the race for a long-tail started. Whose was longer?

The clergy was formed with the first positions in the ranking. There were several types such as the cloister with closed comments, the Franciscans without advertising, the Salesians focused on education, the Jesuits with international projection and the Roman Curia made up of A-List bloggers with global influence. Somebody blinded by his ego started to speak “ex catedra”, someone thought that he deserved St. Peter's staff.

The clergy promoted a doctrine focused on lay brothers whose tails were very short. Besides The Ten commandments, they taught a blogger catechism structured in a quantitative form to learn how they could rise in the ranking, such as: 23 Questions for Prospective Bloggers - Is a Blog Right for You?, 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog , 19 (More) Strategies for Finding Readers , 7 Ways to Get to the Top of the Popular Page, etc…But the lay brothers liked the bad blogger manifiesto and Ten advantages of having fewer visits, more.

The faithful and the clergy began practicing their liturgy in monthly parties named Beers&Blogs (B&B). Instead of wine they drank beer as an agglutinative element of the conversation. Bloggers talked in small groups as an alternative of the homily. Events instead of procession when lay brothers wore black clothes and the clergy distinguished themselves by their immaculate Macs. The Air was filled with Wi-Fi spirituality.

The graphic below shows a summary. Time that put everything in its place is represented in x-axis and Marketing which disrupts everything is represented in y-axis


When the blogger clergy thought they were the blogosphere owners then the Masonic lodges arose. They were dark communities that selected and voted blogs entry. The first was digg and later they were cloned in local lodges such as menéame. They began to impose shady criteria to evaluate the post and astutely they called it democratic news. The faithful, confused by the mermaid song, hoped to improve their statistics and they put links to Masonic sites.

The Apocalypse

Blogs have their Apocalypse but not according to St. John. The Gartner consultancy said: : The end of blogs will be in 2007. It will be the crying and the grinding of teeth. The end of a wonderful dream.

Many thanks to my English teacher "Big Peter"

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My broken heart

Continued from black Friday...

When my husband and I went to get the baggage, my laptop case was missing… I was confused because I couldn’t understand how it happened and I didn’t know when the thief had taken it. I couldn’t accept my terrible loss, first I lost my laptop and second my data because I hadn’t done a recent back-up.

My friend Muxfin says: A laptop is like a baby. It arrives naked and you look after it to fill it with knowledge and experience. When a laptop goes memory vanishes, but when children leave home only memories remain.

My mood changed from the incredulity to distress, I felt a pain in my heart, as if it was broken by sadness. I Never could see my fourth child, my lovely little laptop(1). I planned some actions to go back to the past. I thought if I bought the same laptop and the same case, maybe I could forget that black day like it never existed.

On Friday night I surfed on the Internet looking for the model of my lost laptop. I couldn’t find the same model and I had to broaden the number of brands and models. In a couple of hours I had a market report about the best prices. As it happens, the best shop was near home, so I went to bed a little relaxed.

On Saturday morning I got up early and I went to the shop. At 9:00 a.m. I ordered my new laptop but I couldn’t find the attaché case. I went to a big market but I couldn’t find either, then I bought it on the Internet. I only had to wait, but I haven’t patience.

On Saturday evening I started to feel anxious. I stayed at home and I couldn’t do anything, I couldn’t sit down, I couldn’t watch TV, I couldn’t listen to music, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write… I Only walked from one place to another without a clear objective. Then I felt the need to have a drink.

I like drink beer, wine, and rum with friends when we meet in bars or parties, but I never drink at home when I’m alone or I’m sad. However , that day I had some rum and coke until I felt my heart beat without pain. I went to bed more relaxed that last day.

On Sunday morning, apart from my broken heart, the alcohol had evaporated from my body leaving my head in terrible pain(2). I had to drag my body all day, like a snake. Time passed slowly until I went to bed without alcohol in my veins.

A week later, I went to the shop to pick up my new laptop. I swore that I would never forget my lovely little laptop, more older and slower than the new but the best mate for me. Right now, four months later, I remember it with sadness and I even hope the police(3) will find my laptop and they’ll give it to me.

(1) When I came back home and I told my children that the laptop had been stolen, they told me: “we were lost our younger brother”
(2) Some bad tongues said that it was a hangover
(3) I told them the serial number

technorati , , ,

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Black Friday

I'll never forget the 24th of March. I was going to Málaga with my husband but we missed the train. We arrived at the station at 8:08, two minutes before the departure of the train when the train was still on the platform, but the stewardess didn't allow us to go through the passenger's gate because it was closed and the supervisor was on the platform.

The supervisor didn't have a mobile phone nor another communication gadget and the stewardess made gestures with her arms to get the supervisor's attention. it was a pathetic scene at a high technology station like Atocha-Ave. The supervisor didn't look at the stewardess and the train left the station, leaving us stranded.

We went to the Ave customers services office to make a claim. My husband was angry and he wanted to know the stewardess name, but she hid in the office. The person in charge asked us for the reasons of our claim. My husband didn't give her any reason and he asked her for the claim form.

The person in charge wasn't kind and she called the station's security guards and when they arrived, they asked us about the reasons for the claim again. My husband gave the same explanation as before. We called the police and they told us that we had to go to the station master office.

We went downstairs and asked a security guard for the station master office. He didn't know where it was (incredible incompetence) and he spoke via walkie talkie and said “the couple is here and are asking for the station master”.

Immediately another security guard came and he told us where it was, but he followed us as if we were delinquents. The station master wasn't in the office at that moment and we went to another Ave customers services office that was opposite.

When we went in, Jaime Ostos , a famous bullfighter from Ecija (1), was here. He had a problem and I tried to listen the conversation(2). He usually travels to Seville by train and he uses the Ave customers services office for personal business. On this occasion he was picking up his car keys that a friend had left in the office for him. He was wearing a narrow dark blue blazer but he wasn't thin enough for it. ¡Time passes even for the bullfighters!.

In this Ave customers services office, they allowed us to make a claim. My husband wrote (he writes slowly, like everything he does) while I made some telephone calls. Some people came in the office but I didn't look at them because they weren't famous (terrible mistake).

Finally, my husband wrote two pages (it took a long time) and we asked about how to change the train tickets. At that moment I wasn't angry although I missed the train. I thought the evening was funny, the pathetic stewardess made gestures with her arms to the supervisor, the security guards followed us as if we were criminals and we met Jaime Ostos. But the tempest was near, when we went to get the baggage my laptop case was missed.

But that is another story……..


(1) Ecija is a town near Seville. It is called “Andalucía's frying pan” because in the Summer it's very hot, about 50 degrees

(2) I'm a gossipy woman, of course

Tuesday, April 04, 2006