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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

The Cost of Making Decisions

September 25, 2009 Comments off

How much does a decision cost to make? Do we know? Do we care? The time and money spent analyzing options must be considered against the overall risk of the decision. Failure to understand the risk and cost will result in less value realized for each decision.

For example, consider an investment decision of $50,000. In justifying this amount, how many hours of time should be consumed in analysis? If we assume $50/hour cost of time (for easy math), 1,000 man hours matches the entire risk of the decision. It would have been less expensive for the decision to be made blindly!

How much should we spend? I suggest a general rule as 10% of the risk. For the above example, this would be no more than 100 hours. After which it should be put to a Go/No Go decision. This reduces the true total investment to $55,000 rather than $100,000 in the example.

This practice is often described as analysis paralysis for projects and new products. But this is also important, but far less visible, in the day to day decisions in a business. How much time money do we spend talking about decisions and when should we just commit?

Categories: IT Governance, Leadership Tags: , ,

The Unspoken Truth About Managing Geeks

September 22, 2009 Comments off

Earlier this month, Jeff Ello over at Computerworld wrote an excellent piece on the Unspoken Truth About Managing Geeks. I think he very elegantly described some of the disconnects that often exist between technical staff and technical leadership.

Unlike in many industries, the fight in most IT groups is in how to get things done, not how to avoid work. IT pros will self-organize, disrupt and subvert in the name of accomplishing work.

The challenge opportunity for IT leadership is to empower (trust and respect) the talented people in their department to focus on getting work done – and less on the absurdities of day-to-day bureaucracy.

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Categories: Leadership Tags: ,

Google and Internet Advertising

February 19, 2009 Comments off

I often ponder what it would be like BG. Before Google. How small and confusing the world would be if we couldn’t find the answer to all our questions after a few short keystrokes. In today’s world, understanding how to find information quickly is the most important skill.

What does Google get for this?

Google pioneered a new form of search advertising that is more effective at driving conversions (customers buying something) than any other method of advertising. It is effective because when a user conducts a search, unlike watching TV or even viewing a webpage, the user has provided intent to discover a product or service.

When I’m watching Hero’s, have I shown intent to buy a new car?

When I’m reading the newspaper, have I shown intent to buy groceries?

When I search Google for appliances in Minneapolis, I have shown intent to find (and perhaps buy) appliances in a specific city.

Last week, I, along with my study group, prepared a delivered a presentation on this topic to the Management of Technology program at the University of Minnesota. Below are my slides from that presentations. Enjoy!

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