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"