J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Time Management Tips #17-Identify Outcomes

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    Untitled

    One of the best ways to win back time is to use outcomes.  An outcome is simply an end-result, or an end-in-mind.  You identify outcomes by asking, "What do I want to accomplish?" or "What do I want to achieve?"

    Time management tips #17 is identify outcomes.  When you know your outcomes, you know your target.  Now you can focus on that.  You can shave everything else off.  By knowing the outcomes, you can focus on the most essential activities or steps to achieve the outcome.  Or, as Bruce Lee would say, "Hack away at the unessential."

    For example, consider these scenarios:

    • Before you start the meeting, what are the outcomes?
    • Before you dive into the code, what do you want to achieve?
    • Before you start that task, what's the outcome?
    • Before you start your slides, what are the three outcomes you want?

    As a quick test, take any activity that you are about to do, and identity the outcome for it.  This becomes your little test case.  Now, when you execute, you can check yourself with your test case -- have you satisifed your test case yet?

    If you get lost in asking about outcomes, simply start asking, "What's the goal?"   By asking, "What's the goal?", you can quickly get back on track.  Similarly you can ask, "What are you trying to accomplish?"

    In either case, the point is to identify your target so that you can narrow your focus, and optimize

    Outcomes help you hack away at the unessential, and they are your piercing lens of value.

    For free time management training , check out 30 Days of Getting Results, and for a time management system check out Getting Results.com.

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  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Time Management Tips #21 - Create an Achievements List

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    You need to take stock.

    Stopping to smell the roses, includes reviewing your achievements.   You can review your achievements very simply:

    • Achievements for the day
    • Achievements for the week
    • Achievements for the month

    Simply write down a list of your achievements for the day.   Write down your achievements for the week.  Write down your achievements for the month.  If they aren’t worth writing down, then they probably weren’t worth doing.  If you are doing things that aren’t worth doing, that might be a problem – unless you have infinite time, and your boss or your customers reward you for doing things that don’t matter.   Usually, the real problem is you did a bunch of valuable stuff, but you haven’t stepped back to identify it, label it, and put it down on paper in a useful way.

    It’s a simple thing to do, but the key is to write them down, and say them out loud.  Say them out loud?  Yes.  When you speak them, you learn to simplify them.   When you simplify them, they start to stick.  When they stick, now you are learning how to tell and sell your value both to you and others.

    On paper, I might write the following:

    • Created a set of end-to-end scenarios that show how to use the Office 365 capabilities in ways to improve productivity, and how to make more business impact, in measurable ways.

    Yuck.  It’s descriptive, but it’s not sticky, and my manager won’t remember that, and I won’t remember that in the hall, if I wanted to give a quick summary of my impact.

    Let’s try again, and let’s say it out loud:

    • End-to-end scenarios for Office 365 that showcase business value in the Enterprise.

    It’s simpler.  It’s easy to say.  It’s sticky.  It’s more benefit focused, than on the “how.”  I’ve just given my manager an easy way to talk about the work without getting tongue-tied.  I’ll drill into the details where he wants to, but now he has a mental “hook” and a label for the work, and can easily express it as a win.   When you find a sticky way to say your achievement, write it down the simpler way.  You can always elaborate, but don’t let elaboration get in the way of your short and sweet wins.

    If you don’t review your achievements, then a few things happen:

    1. You lose touch of your impact.  The potential impact of your achievements gets lost, while you chase the next thing.   You do more, but feel appreciated less.  
    2. You start to lose the ability to articulate the value you delivered, both to yourself and others.
    3. You fail to appreciate your effort.  Effort is a big deal, and it doesn’t always appear to pay off.  The problem is it always pays off, but only when you reward yourself internally.   You have to reward yourself for making the effort.   You will win some and you will lose some, but for the long haul, your game winning strategy is to reward yourself for the effort.   That’s the part you control.  When you stop acknowledging and appreciating your effort, you start depending on the luck of the Gods and you start hoping the wind will blow your way.   Gradually, you erode your ability to produce outstanding results, because you erode your ability to put in the effort.

    Simply having your lists of your achievements and wins is good for you and good for others.  It helps you tell and sell your work, and it helps others tell and sell your work.

    Most importantly, having your simple list of achievements helps you acknowledge and appreciate your effort, and that’s your edge.

    For work-life balance skills , check out 30 Days of Getting Results, and for a work-life balance system check out Agile Results at Getting Results.com.

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  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    The Power of Annual Reviews for Personal Development

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    Talk about taking some things for granted.  Especially when it’s a love-hate relationship.  I’m talking about Annual Reviews. 

    I didn’t realize how valuable they can be when you own the process and you line them up with your bigger goal setting for life.  I’ve done them for so long, in this way, that I forgot how much they are a part of my process for carving out a high-impact year.

    I know I might do things a big differently in terms of how I do my review, so I highlighted key things in my post:

    The Power of Annual Reviews for Achieving Your Goals and Realizing Your Potential

    Note that if you hate the term Annual Review because it conjures up a bunch of bad memories, then consider calling it your Annual Retrospective.  If you’re a Scrum fan, you’ll appreciate the twist.

    Here’s the big idea:

    If you “own” your Annual Review, you can use taking a look back to take a leap forward.

    What I mean is that if you are pro-active in your approach, and if you really use feedback as a gift, you can gain tremendous insights into your personal growth and capabilities.

    Here’s a summary of what I do in terms of my overall review process:

    1. Take a Look Back.  In December, I take a look back.   For example, this would be my 2013 Year in Review.   What did I achieve?  What went well? What didn’t go well?  How did I do against my 3-5 key goals that really mattered.   I use The Rule of 3, so really, I care about 3 significant changes that I can tell a story around for the year (The value of a story is the value of the change, and the value of the change is the value of the challenge.)
    2. Take a Look Forward.  Also in December, I take a look ahead.  What are my 3-5 big goals that I want to achieve for this year?  I really focus on 3 wins for each year.  The key is to hone in on the changes that matter.  If it’s not a change, then it’s business as usual, and doesn’t really need my attention because it’s already a habit and I’m already doing it.
    3. Align Work + Life.  When the Microsoft mid-year process starts, I figure out what I want to achieve in terms of themes and goals for the year at work.  I’ve already got my bigger picture in mind.   Now it’s just a matter of ensuring alignment between work and life.  There’s always a way to create better alignment and better leverage, and that’s how we empower ourselves to flourish in work and life.

    It’s not an easy process.  But that’s just it.  That’s what makes it worth it.  It’s a tough look at the hard stuff that matters.  The parts of the process that make it  a challenge are the opportunities for growth.   Looking back, I can see how much easier it is for me to really plan out a year of high-impact where I live my values and play to my strengths.  I can also see early warning signs and anticipate downstream challenges.  I know when I first started, it was daunting to figure out what a year might look like.  Now, it’s almost too easy.

    This gives me a great chance up front to play out a lot of “What If?” scenarios.  This also gives me a great chance right up front to ask the question, if this is how the year will play out, is that the ride I want to be on?  The ability to plan out our future capability vision, design a better future, and change our course is part of owning our destiny.

    In my experience, a solid plan at the right level, gives you more flexibility and helps you make smarter choices, before you become a frog in the boiling pot.

    If you haven’t taken the chance to really own and drive your Annual Review, then consider doing an Annual Retrospective, and use the process to help you leap frog ahead.

    Make this YOUR year.

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  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    How To Make Decisions

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    I find that action builds momentum.  The best kind of action is decisive action because then you are "all in."  Dipping a toe in the water doesn’t make the same splash as diving into the pool.

    When I'm under the gun, "satisficing" to make decisions serves me well.  Gary Klein wrote a great book on how experts make rapid decisions under fire. (The book is Sources of Power.)

    Some of the techniques I use include: criteria and weights, CARVER (Criticality, Accessibility, Return, Vulnerability, Effect, and Recognizability), and Six Thinking Hats.  At Microsoft, I tend to use criteria and weight when I need to get agreement with others on what the priorities are.  I also tend to use Six Thinking Hats when I need to rapidly have folks change perspective, and take a more holistic view.  To make the most of Six Thinking Hats, I use questions at the whiteboard to focus the thinking and work our way through the hats.

    At the end of the day, I've found that a lot of the decisions come down to who do you want to be and what experiences do you want to create.  Basically, the more you can connect your decisions to your "Why" or to your values, the stickier they are.

    In fact, the secret of changing habits is to first decide who you want to be and our identify helps us pattern match the best fits.

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    30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results: Free Time Management Training for Achievers

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    Getting Results the Agile Way is a time management system for achievers.  It combines some of the best practices for thinking, feeling, and taking action into one simple system to help you make the most of what you’ve got, and master your time management skills.  It draws from software development, project management, positive psychology, and sports psychology.

    Free Time Management Training
    As an introduction to the system, I created a free 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results.   It's called a boot camp because it's hard-core.  It's a 30 day, self-paced time management training course.  If you want to take your time management skills to the next level, then take the 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results.   Keep in mind that because it’s self-paced, you could do all 30 lessons in a day, if you choose to.  This may be one of the best time management training courses you ever take, and the price is tough to beat.

    Time Management Skills
    Here are some of the time management skills you will learn, tune, and improve as part of the time management training:

    • How to manage your time
    • How to focus and direct your attention with skill
    • How to spend more time on the things that really matter to you
    • How to be the author of your life and write your story forward
    • How to make the most of your your moments, days, weeks, months, and years
    • How to use a simple system to achieve meaningful results
    • How to achieve work-life balance
    • How to play to your strengths and spend less time in weaknesses
    • How to motivate yourself with skill and find your drive
    • How to change a habit and make it stick
    • How to improve your personal productivity and personal effectiveness

    You will learn time management tips and strategies as part of a system, each lesson can be used by itself or “better together” with other lessons.

    Time Management Training Lessons at a Glance
    Here are the 30 Lessons at a Glance that make up the time management training:

    • Day 1 – Take a Tour of Getting Results the Agile Way
    • Day 2 – Monday Vision – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Week
    • Day 3 – Daily Outcomes – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Day
    • Day 4 – Let Things Slough Off
    • Day 5 – Hot Spots – Map Out What’s Important
    • Day 6 – Friday Reflection – Identify Three Things Going Well and Three Things to Improve
    • Day 7 – Setup Boundaries and Buffers
    • Day 8 – Dump Your Brain to Free Your Mind
    • Day 9 – Prioritize Your Day with MUST, SHOULD, and COULD
    • Day 10 – Feel Strong All Week Long
    • Day 11 – Reduce Friction and Create Glide Paths for Your Day
    • Day 12 – Productivity Personas – Are You are a Starter or a Finisher?
    • Day 13 – Triage Your Action Items with Skill
    • Day 14 – Carve Out Time for What’s Important
    • Day 15 – Achieve a Peaceful Calm State of Mind
    • Day 16 – Use Metaphors to Find Your Motivation
    • Day 17 – Add Power Hours to Your Week
    • Day 18 – Add Creative Hours to Your Week
    • Day 19 — Who are You Doing it For?
    • Day 20 — Ask Better Questions, Get Better Results
    • Day 21 – Carry the Good Forward, Let the Rest Go
    • Day 22 – Design Your Day with Skill
    • Day 23 — Design Your Week with Skill
    • Day 24 – Bounce Back with Skill
    • Day 25 – Fix Time. Flex Scope
    • Day 26 – Solve Problems with Skill
    • Day 27 – Do Something Great
    • Day 28 – Find Your One Thing
    • Day 29 – Find Your Arena for Your Best Results
    • Day 30 – Take Agile Results to the Next Level

    Key Links

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Project Management, Productivity, and Leadership for Unstoppable You

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    What do you get when you combine the power of project management with proven practices for productivity and leadership?

    You get an extremely productive leadership … the kind that takes your execution capability to new heights and makes your competition jealous (or at least take notice.)

    I’ve put together a set of 10 Proven Practices for More Productive Leadership in a guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog.  It’s my take on how skills from project management, combine with productivity and leadership to create a deep ability to make things happen.  Project management skills are a force multiplier because they teach you to really understand the work, really understand the risks associated with performing the work, really understand the constraints and impacts of budget, resources, and time, really understand how to manage multiple stakeholders and competing concerns, really understand what progress truly looks like, and really understand how to get the right people working on the right things to drive change and flow value. 

    These are some of the hallmarks that underpin execution excellence and set the stage for high-performing teams.

    Productive leadership is more than just making things happen.  It’s creating compelling vision with clarity and conviction that inspire everyone around you to bring out their best.   It taps your talent in a way that amplifies and produces exponential results.  It provides meaning and motivation for everyone involved to give their best where they have their best to give.

    When you think of productive leaders, who makes your soul sing or makes the blood rush through your veins, excited by their visionary capabilities and their ability to mobilize the team to fire on all cylinders?   Who inspires you to believe that you can and will change the world in meaningful ways?   Who do you look up to, when the chips are down, so you can fight the good fight and keep on keeping on?

    Hopefully, you have several of these productive leaders right around you.   If not, why not step up to the plate and set the example?  People all around you are always looking to be inspired and leadership is a game where everyone can play, and everyone wins.  The price of admission is courage, conviction, and compassion.   If you have those, that’s a great start.   But there’s a little more …

    The boldest, the brightest, and the best leaders have several patterns in common and success leaves clues.   The most productive leaders share a set of practices that sets them apart from every Joe.  Productive leaders have a set of proven practices that gives them the edge to make things happen in any scenario.

    … But what are these proven practices for productive leadership?

    You can find out what these proven practices for productive leadership are in my guest post for Michael Hyatt:

    For those of you on high performing teams, you’ll nod your head in acknowledgement and the practices will resonate with you loud and clear.  For others, you may have to break past some of your mental models and paradigms, and explore the ideas with a curious mind.  

    I want everyone to get the edge and to use these practices to build more high-performing teams that flourish.  I believe that everybody deserves a chance to work in an arena that allows them to  bring out their best, and give their best where they have their best to give.   Work can be your ultimate form of self-expression and your ultimate dojo for personal growth.

    Enjoy and be sure to stop by and say “Hi” at 10 Proven Practices for More Productive Leadership.   Also, be sure to share your insights and actions that you’ve learned about productive leadership.

    I’ll be following closely and I’ll be looking forward to learning any new patterns and practices for productive leadership that you share.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Cloud Scenarios at Your Fingertips

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    If you don’t know the scenarios for the Cloud, it’s hard to make the case for the Cloud.  Whether you’re a Solution Architect, Enterprise Architect, Business Leaders, IT Leaders, CIO, analyst, etc., you need to know the pains, needs, and desired outcomes so that you can rationalize the technology more effectively.

    What you’ll find below are collections of scenarios large and small that will help you see the full landscape of the Cloud within the Enterprise landscape.  When you have the scenarios at your fingertips, you can better evaluate business strategies or technical strategies, as well as create more effective business cases, because you understand the pains, needs, desired outcomes, as well as the benefits that go along with each scenario.

     

    Business and IT Scenarios for the Cloud

     

    Category Scenarios
    Business Scenarios

    Achieve cost-effective business continuity
    Create new revenue streams from existing capabilities
    Decrease power consumption
    Decrease the time to market for new capabilities
    Easily integrate new businesses into your organization
    Improve operational efficiency to enable more innovation
    Improve the connection with your customers
    Provide elastic capacity to meet business demand
    Provide Enterprise messaging from anywhere
    Reduce upfront investment in new initiatives

    IT Scenarios

    Business Intelligence
    Cloud Computing
    Consumerization of IT
    Corporate Environmental Sustainability
    Innovation for Growth
    Low-Cost Computing in the Enterprise

    For details on each of the scenarios, including a description and key benefits, see:

     

    Cloud User Stories for Business Leaders, IT Leaders, and Enterprise Architects

    Here is a robust collection of User Stories for Cloud Enterprise Strategy.

    To do a deep dive on the pains, needs, and desired outcomes from around the world, I created a round up of user stories for the Cloud, from the perspective of business leaders, IT leaders, and Enterprise Architects.  I included many CIOs from several large companies in different industries to get a broad perspective.    I ended up with more than 50 user stories of the pains, needs, and desired outcomes for the Cloud in the Enterprise.  Note that while the list is a bit dated, many of the core user stories are still highly relevant and actually evergreen.

    With a prioritized list of the user stories for the Cloud, I then grouped them into a simple set of categories:

    • Awareness / Education
    • Architecture
    • Availability
    • Competition
    • Cost
    • Governance and Regulation
    • Industry
    • Integration
    • Operations
    • People
    • Performance
    • Planning
    • Risk
    • Security
    • Service Levels / Quality of Service
    • Solutions
    • Sourcing
    • Strategy
    • Support

    Cloud Scenarios Hub on TechNet (Public and Private Cloud Scenarios)

    If you haven’t seen it, TechNet has a Cloud Scenarios Hub.

    I like the focus on scenarios – it’s a great way to bring together a problem and a solution in context, while pulling together all the relevant guidance.  It’s a focusing anchor-point in action.

    I created a simple index to the Public and Private Cloud Scenarios.

    Key Links

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  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Getting Results the Agile Way - Top 10 Best Seller on Amazon in Time-Management

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    Colleagues, friends, and family have been asking me how my book, Getting Results the Agile Way, is doing.   It’s doing well.   Today it was #10 on Amazon’s Best Seller’s list in Time Management.

    image

    image

    Time Management is a great niche because time is such a unique and precious resource.   How you invest your time helps shape your happiness, your fulfillment, your work life balance, and your achievements in work and life.  I hope the insights and actions I’ve shared in Getting Results the Agile Way, serve you well on your journey and in your pursuit of mastering your time.

    I think what makes this book unique for people is that I’ve tried to integrate as much as I could from many amazing mentors at Microsoft, my personal trials and tribulations, and even lessons from software development that we can apply to life (Think “Agile” for life or “Scrum for life” and the value of personal kanbans, timeboxing, etc.)

    In related news, Getting Results the Agile Way will be featured in an upcoming article in a magazine with a reader base of three million.

    Probably the biggest request I get now is training.   I’m exploring different ways to share and scale training in a more effective way.  I’ll be experimenting and testing approaches in the near future.   While I’ve done one-off sessions and Webinars, I’d like to better package it up and productize it.   I’m a fan of building information products to share and scale information and empower people.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Getting Results Knowledge Base

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    I created a simple view of the Getting Results Knowledge Base for my latest book, Getting Results the Agile Way, which is a personal results system for work and life.  The Knowledge Base provides simple job aids including Cheat Sheets, Checklists, How Tos, Guidelines, and Templates.

    If you want a quick visual overview of Getting Results, then explore the Visuals for Getting Results collection, which is a simple set of figures and diagrams.

    I would also recommend you browse the Guidelines for Getting Results.   The guidelines are a very tight set of "what to do," "why," and "how" summaries for getting results.  What's special about this set is that I reviewed them with several folks inside and outside of Microsoft that have focused on personal productivity and team productivity for many years.  You might just find the gem that's a game changer for you.

    If you want a jump start for learning the system, see Getting Started with Agile Results.

    The book is going to edit soon, so your feedback would be appreciated. (Making changes gets tougher when the book is in edit.)

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Why Agile?

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    I thought I had written about “Why Agile” before, but I don’t see anything crisp enough.

    Anyway, here’s my latest rundown on Why Agile?

    1. Increase customer involvement which can build empathy and avoid rework
    2. Learn faster which means you can adapt to change
    3. Improve quality through focus
    4. Reduce risk through shorter feedback loops and customer interaction
    5. Simplify by getting rid of overhead and waste
    6. Reduce cycle time through timeboxing and parallel development
    7. Improve operational awareness through transparency
    8. Drive process improvement through continuous improvement
    9. Empower people through less mechanics and more interaction, continuous learning, and adaptation
    10. Flow more value through more frequent releases and less “big bang”

    Remember that nature favors the flexible and agility is the key to success.

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    Find Your Strengths Path to Accelerate Learning and Growth

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    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    When people ask me what my biggest game changer was in terms of producing more in less time, I have to say that it’s a combination.  It’s a combination of 1) spending more time in my strengths, and 2) finding my power hours.

    This was the biggest key to getting more done in less time, and keeping my energy strong.   Imagine doing the work you do in 40 hours in four hours.  That’s what it’s like.

    Hands down, this accelerated my learning and growth the fastest way possible.  Imagine taking something that you could already do all day, and honing that.  Imagine sharpening this blade to cut through any problem that comes your way, in the most effective and efficient way.  That’s what it’s like.

    It’s now my edge.   I’ve found ways to use this edge in any job I do.  You can do so too.

    Here is a blurb from my 30 Days of Getting Results on Day 10 – Feel Strong All Week Long:

    Get on Your Strengths Path
    What if there was one thing you could focus on that would help you get exponential results in all areas of  your life?  Well there is.  It’s getting on your strengths path.  When you are spending more time in the activities that make you strong, you automatically do great work, you renew and rebuild your mind, body, emotions, and spirit, and you dramatically accelerate your learning and growth.  Fighting to get on your strengths path is one of the highest ROI (Return on Investment) battles you will ever win.  It pays you back daily.

    If there are so many benefits to being on your strengths path, and spending more time in your strengths, then why doesn’t everybody just do it?  Because it requires self-awareness and you have to own it. Nobody comes along and puts you on your strengths path.  YOU have to own it.  YOU have to continuously find ways to spend more time in your strengths.  Only you know truly what makes you strong and what makes you weak.  You have to decide you want to spend more time in your strengths and you have to be deliberate about spending less time in your strengths.

    That really is the key message here.   You have to own it.   When you choose to give your best, where you have your best to give, you empower yourself up to operate at a higher level.   Your edge is at your finger tips.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Management Innovation is at the Top of the Innovation Stack

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    Management Innovation is at the top of the Innovation Stack.  

    The Innovation Stack includes the following layers:

    1. Management Innovation
    2. Strategic Innovation
    3. Product Innovation
    4. Operational Innovation

    While there is value in all of the layers, some layers of the Innovation Stack are more valuable than others in terms of overall impact.  I wrote a post that walks through each of the layers in the Innovation Stack.

    I think it’s often a surprise for people that Product or Service Innovation is not at the top of the stack.   Many people assume that if you figure out the ultimate product, then victory is yours.

    History shows that’s not the case, and that Management Innovation is actually where you create a breeding ground for ideas and people to flourish.

    Management Innovation is all about new ways of mobilizing talent, allocating resources, and building strategies.

    If you want to build an extremely competitive advantage, then build a Management Innovation advantage.  Management Innovation advantages are tough to copy or replicate.

    If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I’m a fan of extreme effectiveness.   When it comes to innovation, I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of playing a role in lots of types of innovation over the years at Microsoft.   If I look back, the most significant impact has always been in the area of Management Innovation.

    It’s the trump card.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Xbox One

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    image“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device” -- Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft

    Key Features of Xbox One

    • Integrates the cloud, voice control and gesture technology.
    • All-in-one entertainment solution: Live TV + video-on-demand + web chat.
    • Measure your heartbeat
    • Recognize your voice
    • Voice activation, motion, and facial recognition control the Xbox One
    • A new set of universal gestures to control your TV
    • Improved Kinect sensor will track wrist and shoulder rotations
    • TV on Xbox One“Navigate and watch live TV from your cable, telco or satellite set-top box through your Xbox One. Microsoft is committed to bringing live TV through various solutions to all the markets where Xbox One will be available.”
    • Snap Mode.   Offers a second screen and allows users to run two activities – such as watching TV and browsing the internet, or using Skype – simultaneously.
    • Home. Turn on your entertainment system with two powerful words, “Xbox On,” and a custom-tailored Home dashboard welcomes you with your favorite games, TV and entertainment.”
    • Skype for Xbox One. “Specially designed for Xbox One, talk with friends on your TV in stunning HD, or for the first time ever, hold group Skype calls on your TV.”
    • Trending“Stay on top of what is hot on TV by discovering the entertainment that is popular among your friends, and see what is trending within the Xbox community.”
    • OneGuide  “Find your favorite entertainment easily, searching by network or name, all with the sound of your voice and presented in a tailored program guide.”
    • Content maker + platform provider
    • Main camera can record 1080P RGB video at 30 frames per second.
    • Powered by 300,000 servers (more than the entire world's computing power in 1999)
    • 8 gigs of RAM, 8-core CPU and GPU SoC, and a substantial 500GB HDD
    • A Blu-ray drive as well as USB 3.0 and integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi.

    Microsoft Summary of New Generation of Xbox Live

    • Smart Match. “A new Smart Match matchmaking system virtually eliminates waiting in lobbies by estimating wait times and finding people you want to play with while you are enjoying other activities — reputation fundamentally matters and helps find best matches.”
    • Game DVR. “A dedicated Game DVR captures and accesses your magic moments, all saved to the cloud. Along with sharing tools, you will have the most amazing bragging rights with Xbox Live.”
    • Living Games. “Dynamic, living worlds evolve and improve the more you play, and advanced artificial intelligence can learn to play like you, so friends can play against your shadow.”
    • Expanded achievements. “A new and expanded achievements system captures video of your epic moments, continues to grow a game’s achievements over time and rewards you in new ways, and your Gamerscore carries over from Xbox 360.”
    • Xbox SmartGlass.“Xbox SmartGlass is natively part of the Xbox One platform, built in from the beginning with the ability to quickly render content directly onto your device, and now more devices can connect at one time for multiplayer and shared entertainment.”

    Microsoft Summary of Xbox One Look and Feel

    • “New Xbox One hardware is sleek and modern and complements any décor. The console is shaped in the 16:9 aspect ratio and employs a horizontal orientation optimized for its high-speed Blu-ray™ disc player. It is molded in a deep and rich liquid black color and includes a distinctive beveled edge.”
    • The completely redesigned, revolutionary 1080p Kinect is more precise, more responsive and more intuitive.”
    • “Xbox controller is refreshed with more than 40 technical and design innovations. Updated directional pad, thumb stick and ergonomic fit immerse all gamers in ways that are uniquely Xbox, and precision and control have been dramatically increased with all new vibrating impulse triggers.  The Xbox One Wireless Controller is designed to work in concert with the new Kinect, allowing the two to be paired automatically to create seamless player syncing.”

    Interesting Deals for Xbox One

    • NFL Deal - Integrate coverage of the sport with game-like elements such as a Fantasy Football app, allowing viewers to manager their own fantasy sides while watching the real thing in action.
    • Stephen Spielberg Deal - Stephen Spielberg will be producing a TV series based on the best-selling Halo game, exclusively available to Xbox One.
    • EA Games - Four new titles exclusive to Xbox:  FIFA 14, NBA Live, UFC and Madden.

    Analysts on Xbox One

    • Gartner: "The Xbox One really looks to advance the state of video game technology and entertainment in a way that we haven't seen before," said Brian Blau, a director of Gartner Research."
    • Greenwich Consulting: "The Xbox One is set to mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment." -- Fred Huet, a managing partner at Greenwich Consulting

    Key Links for Xbox One

    You Might Also Like

    Microsoft Secret Stuff

    The Microsoft Story

    Microsoft Explained: Making Sense of the Microsoft Platform Story

    Microsoft Developer Platform at a Glance

    Office 365 at a Glance

    Windows Azure at a Glance

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    My Arm’s Broke, Fix Me - Three Levels of Guidance in patterns & practices

    • 4 Comments

    Early in my patterns & practices days, each time I built a new team, we had a hard time figuring out what level to cater our writing for because we had such a variety of audience, even among architects.

    After a lot of pain, we finally adopted a three-level system that serves us very well.  It helped us focus our writing and nail problems in an incremental way.  You’ll never see this in our docs, but it shaped how we prioritize our docs.  We used three levels …

    Three Levels of Guidance
    Here is the behind-the-scenes look at how we talked about these three levels of guidance on the team:

    1. Level 1 - “My Arm’s Broke, Fix Me” – This is where a customer is in pain, and just wants the fix.  You’re in the emergency room, and you just want the doctor to do their job and just fix it.  Sure, there might be lots of ways to fix it, but for now, just give me one that works.  Make it step by step.  Don’t’ make me think.  Level 1 – “My Arm’s Broke, Fix Me” guidance is great for scenarios where you are either under the gun, don’t have the time, or just don’t care about the intimate details and just want to make it work.  (If you’ve ever been presented with a bunch of options and can’t figure out a single path, you can especially appreciate this.  This was our answer to, just give me a proven practice and be done with it.)  We turned this level of prescriptive guidance into How Tos.  Here are examples of Security How Tos.  We also turned these into whiteboard solutions, or "Application Scenarios.”  Here are some examples of Application Scenarios.
    2. Level 2 –“Show Me All the Options” – This is where you want the options on the table.  Don’t just give me a recommendation, give me the options, and I’ll pick my path.  Or if you are going to give me a recommendation, lead up to it.  Give me all the options, then suggest what might work for me.  Level 2 – “Show Me All the Options” is good for scenarios where, the reader is smarter than the canned solution, or is a skeptic, has the time to think through the options, or wants to be involved in the solution.  It’s about exposing the thinking.   Here is an example of Level 2 – “Show Me All the Options” where we exposed Authentication and Authorization patterns in ASP.NET.  Eventually we found a way to combine the benefits of Level 1 – “My Arm’s Broke, Fix Me” with Level 2 – “Show Me All the Options” by creating a matrix of options + adding scenario-based recommendations.  Here is an example of a matrix of options with scenario-based recommendations, with our Cheat Sheet – Data Access Technology Options.
    3. Level 3 - “I Live for this Stuff” – This is where I’ve got all the time in the world and I love reading about this stuff on the weekends.  Throw all the “blah, blah, blah” my way and the intimate details and I will happily engulf it to no end.  You can’t overload me with too much minutia and I want all the stories or elaboration you can muster.  Your knowledge of the nooks and crannies is my amusement.  Explained – Forms Authentication in ASP.NET and Explained – Windows Authentication in ASP.NET are good examples of this level of guidance.  Security Fundamentals for Web ServicesThreats and Countermeasures for Web Services, and Authentication, Authorization, and Identities in WCF is another good example of this level of guidance.

    Prioritizing Guidance
    As a rule of thumb, we decided that we would focus on first addressing Level 1 – “My Arm’s Broke, Fix Me.”  This way, we could at least leave a trail of proven practices and pave a path of success.  As a result, many of the guides I shipped from patterns & practices are heavy on “How Tos.”  In fact, the guides are really “action guides.”  The first half of the guide, sets the stage by sharing mental models, key concepts, and principles.  This is optimized for reading in a sequential flow, but still modular so you can hop around.  The second half of the guides is a focus on “action” and is a set of action modules (Cheat Sheets, Checklists, Guidelines, How Tos).  It’s optimized for random access, and the individual modules link back to the related items.

    This simple way to think about the majority of our guidance helped us significantly priorities the work we did for the following projects:

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    The Mission of Microsoft Enterprise Services

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    I've heard it before, but it's good to put down on paper.

    The mission of Microsoft Enterprise Services:

    “Our mission is to lead and serve our customers and partners as they realize their full potential through software and services.”

    It sounds like servant leadership in action.

    I found this blurb that describes Microsoft Enterprise Services:

    “Microsoft Enterprise Services is the consulting, support and customer service arm of the world’s leading software company. Microsoft Services focus on top enterprise customers in each of the 82 countries where we operate. The organization includes 17.300 employees in Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) and Microsoft Premier Services (Premier).”

    What's your company's mission? 

    Does it inspire you to give your best where you have your best to give?

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    IT Drivers for the Cloud

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    While putting together lessons learned from our Cloud-related Enterprise Strategy engagements, we consolidated a set of recurring IT drivers.

    The improvement of IT services and operations can deliver benefits such as improved service levels and cost savings. The Cloud offers numerous routes to IT optimization.

    10 IT Drivers for the Cloud
    Some of the key IT drivers for the Cloud include:

    1. A lack of internal skills, leading to increased external resource costs.
    2. Existing outsource refresh cycle points can generate the opportunity to consider alternative approaches.
    3. IT refreshes falling behind accelerating business-cycle demands.
    4. Joint collaboration, outsourcing and provisioning discussions that need more than transactional outsourcing models.
    5. The desire not to rely on specialists for commodity capabilities such as email.
    6. The desire to focus investments in core business areas and not IT – given IT is not what the business is about.
    7. The desire to move away from in-house development in order to lower cost.
    8. The desire to reduce the growing levels of external and internal resources needed to support day-to-day operations.
    9. The need to accelerate the improvement of infrastructure maturity to drive cost savings and to deliver new IT and business capabilities.
    10. The need to scale up and down IT to meet increased demands and changing markets, together with the introduction of new business organizations for example caused by mergers and acquisitions.

    My Related Posts

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Out for December

    • 4 Comments

    Just a quick note -- I'm out of the office through December.  Here's what I'm up to:

    • Improving Sources of Insight.  That's where I share my lessons learned from books, quotes and people for improving effectiveness for mind, body, career, financial, relationships, and fun.
    • Improving Shaping Software.  That's where I share my lessons learned on software success.
    • Improving my body.  I'm running Monday through Friday and taking Pilates.  I'll be working on my flexibility and kicks too (from Kick Boxing)
    • Improving my mind.  I'm reading some stuff that's supposed to make me smarter.  I'll test how well it works when I'm back at work ;)
    • Testing my limits.  It's the end of the year, so it's a good time to see where I'm waxing and where I'm waning and where I might want to retool.
    • Writing books. This is more of an experiment, but a promising one.  I'm attempting to crack the nut on human potential.  How anybody can go from ordinary to extraordinary.  I'm chunking the problem down and focusing on personal productivity.  I'd like to see more people unleash their potential.  I'm distilling the best of what I've learned for getting results.  It's early, but I think I'm on to something.  This can seriously change people's lives.
    • Slacking.  I'm a fan of downtime and I like a lot of movies ;)

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you can follow along the Application Architecture Guide 2.0 project at the following sites:

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Quotes for Moving On

    • 2 Comments

    “You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run.” – Kenny Rogers

    Dealing with setbacks is tough.  Sometimes we get knocked down so hard, we wonder if we’ll get up again.  Such is life.

    But why do some people rise and triumph from their trials and tribulations, while others stay down for the count?  I believe a lot of it has to do with the way we program our minds.  It’s the sayings we say, it’s the thoughts we think and it’s words we use to express our condition.  In other words, it’s not what happens to us …  It’s how we respond.  It’s how we frame it.  It’s how we think about it.  It’s what we do about it.

    Just like a picture is worth a 1,000 words, the right quote is worth a 1,000 books.

    The best way I’ve found to bounce back, or to find a way forward, or to make the most of the unthinkable, is to fill our mental toolbox with a cornucopia of the world’s best wisdom at our finger tips.   Quotes are a powerful way to lift us, inspire us, and keep on keeping on.  

    Here is a hand-crafted collection of some of the best quotes on moving on:

    You can use them for work, when you need a reminder of how to stand strong when tested.  You can use them for life, when you need a firm foundation for rolling with the punches, and dealing with the setbacks that hold you back, or try to knock you down.  It is a serious and significant collection.  You will recognize many of the moving on quotes and hopefully find some new ones.

    It’s a living collection so please feel free to share any of the best quotes on moving on that have served you well in work and life.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and tough minds get built from the sayings we say, and the beliefs we adopt.

    Enjoy and please share with whoever needs a little lift in life.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Personal Growth: 30 Days of Free Training for Getting Results in Work and Life

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    Personal growth is one of the best ways to get more from life.   How do you achieve personal growth?   Well, one way is to take on big, hairy challenges.   Personal growth is what happens to you in the process of testing your skills and experience against the real world.

    I like to think of personal growth as expanding your capabilities.  

    You can grow deeper in a particular domain, or you can grow your cross-cutting abilities.  Sometimes, the best way to grow deeper in a domain, is to focus on cross-cutting concerns like focus, setting goals, motivation, productivity, time management, etc.    For example, when I was working in security, I had to do a lot of stakeholder management across teams.  It required a great deal of influence without authority.  I had to deal with extreme conflict, and negotiate for win-wins in a number of highly-competitive scenarios.  I had to practice emotional intelligence under high-stress scenarios.  I had to stay focused, and use goals to help drive the team forward.   I had to achieve our security goals, while making sure the team was highly productive.   I had to improve my own personal productivity.   All of these skills, helped me learn about security in a much broader way, from a much wider set of people, and in a way that was much more profound that if I simply focused on the principles, patterns, and practices of security.  It was through personal growth, that I expanded my abilities to be effective at driving security changes in a much wider range of scenarios and situations.

    Personal growth is powerful.  It’s the backbone of personal empowerment.  For example, sometimes when you wonder what’s holding you back … it’s you.   Whether it’s limiting beliefs, or having a limited toolset, or simply having a limited perspective or experience.   The key is to expand your capabilities, along the journey of work and life.

    My 30 Days of Free Training for Getting Results, is a collection of self-paced modules to help you achieve personal growth.   When I originally ran the self-paced training, I did it as a daily release for 30 days.  It was highly effective for many people because they liked the little daily actions, and the focus for the month.   Since that original series, I’ve made the 30 Days of Free Training for Getting Results available here:

    It’s a highly-focused set of personal growth exercises at your finger tips.  It’s also a very simple system for time management.  I’ve tried to keep the layout as simple and as clean as possible.   If you’ve seen the earlier version, then this should be a marked improvement.   I put each day on the sidebar, so that you can easily hop around.  For convenience, I’ve listed the days below, and provided a link to each lesson.  This way you can get the bird’s-eye view and quickly explore any lessons that might interest you.  (Personally, if this is your first time, I would check out Day #27 – Do Something Great.)

    30 Days of Getting Results

    1. Day 1 – Take a Tour of Getting Results the Agile Way
    2. Day 2 – Monday Vision – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Week
    3. Day 3 – Daily Outcomes – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Day
    4. Day 4 – Let Things Slough Off
    5. Day 5 – Hot Spots – Map Out What’s Important
    6. Day 6 – Friday Reflection – Identify Three Things Going Well and Three Things to Improve
    7. Day 7 – Setup Boundaries and Buffers
    8. Day 8 – Dump Your Brain to Free Your Mind
    9. Day 9 – Prioritize Your Day with MUST, SHOULD, and COULD
    10. Day 10 – Feel Strong All Week Long
    11. Day 11 – Reduce Friction and Create Glide Paths for Your Day
    12. Day 12 – Productivity Personas – Are You are a Starter or a Finisher?
    13. Day 13 – Triage Your Action Items with Skill
    14. Day 14 – Carve Out Time for What’s Important
    15. Day 15 – Achieve a Peaceful Calm State of Mind
    16. Day 16 – Use Metaphors to Find Your Motivation
    17. Day 17 – Add Power Hours to Your Week
    18. Day 18 – Add Creative Hours to Your Week
    19. Day 19 — Who are You Doing it For?
    20. Day 20 — Ask Better Questions, Get Better Results
    21. Day 21 – Carry the Good Forward, Let the Rest Go
    22. Day 22 – Design Your Day with Skill
    23. Day 23 — Design Your Week with Skill
    24. Day 24 – Bounce Back with Skill
    25. Day 25 – Fix Time. Flex Scope
    26. Day 26 – Solve Problems with Skill
    27. Day 27 – Do Something Great
    28. Day 28 – Find Your One Thing
    29. Day 29 – Find Your Arena for Your Best Results
    30. Day 30 – Take Agile Results to the Next Level

    Note that just because it says 30 days, that doesn’t mean you can’t flip through at your own pace.   Find what works for you.   Explore the ideas that you find the most interesting.

    If you experience a breakthrough, be sure to share it with others.   Even though this is free, it’s pretty intense.   Folks have told me about their amazing breakthroughs … somehow dots have connected, and they’ve gotten over hurdles they’ve faced for years.

    Enjoy.

    BTW – If you do start with Day 27 and decide to do something great, I’d love to hear about what it is.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Where the Focus Goes

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    It’s always interesting to see where people put their focus, as well as how their patterns show up.  Here are some patterns of focus, which reveal how people show their values on the job:

    • Some focus on the process
    • Some focus on the thing/results/deliverables
    • Some focus on the impact
    • Some focus on the learning
    • Some focus on the journey
    • Some focus on the score
    • Some focus on the beans
    • Some focus on directing
    • Some focus on doing
    • Some focus on thinking
    • Some focus on creating and innovating
    • Some focus on completing
    • Some focus on policing
    • Some focus on correcting
    • Some focus on aligning
    • Some focus on schmoozing
    • Some focus on excuses
    • Some focus on solutions

    … some focus on giving their best where they’ve got their best to give, finding their flow, lifting others up, and changing the game.

    Of course, we’re all hybrids, but it’s interesting to see where some people dominate and drive from.

    Knowing the patterns makes it easier to bridge and switch perspectives, spot problems, and uncork potential.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Alik Levin on Getting Results

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    This is a story of a person, who started a new chapter in their life.  They decided to follow their dream and write their story forward.

    Meet Alik Levin.  Talk about changing your life.  Earlier this year, Alik came to the U.S. with his family in search of his dream job.  Not only did he land his job, but he's been making amazing impact on his new team and driving change in powerful ways.  He's in his element and truly unleashed.  Alik is now a successful Microsoft programming writer.  He's living his passion while he’s helping customers succeed on our platform, by sharing success patterns with customers around the world.

    Every now and then, somebody does something that just blows your mind.  I've known Alik for a long time, but When Alik first told me that he was coming to the U.S. to find a job and make his dreams happen, I was in disbelief.  It was the type of thing you read about or watch in the movies, but to see it unfold right before my eyes was nothing short of spectacular.  You see, this was not a story of somebody simply hopping from one mountain peak to another.  It was a story of personal triumph.  I got to watch Alik climb a mountain from scratch, based on his conviction and courage for a better life.  Watching him uproot his family and start a new life, in this new world, has been one of the most amazing transformations I’ve seen in a long time.

    While I'm happy that the story had a happy ending, and a wonderful new beginning, I'm truly proud of this guy.  In a world of turbulence, he decided to take the bull by the horns and live life on his terms.  He's no shadow of his former self.   Instead, he is a model for leading a life of action and making the most of what he’s got.  He truly is the author of his life.  Wow.

    You can imagine how ecstatic I was when Alik offered to share his story of how he uses Getting Results the Agile Way, as his secret weapon for getting results ...

    You can find the original video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2creyf13eVI.  If you know somebody who needs a lift in their day, feel free to share Alik’s story with them.   It just might make their day.  I know a lot of people who could use a shoulder to lean on or a helping hand, or even just a story of hope.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Steve Jobs Lessons Learned

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    What a terrible loss for the world.  Steve Jobs was one of my personal heroes.  He was an amazing blend of engineer, entrepreneur, and designer.  He knew how to bring ideas to life, and he lived with zest.  In fact, that’s what I liked most … he had a crazy drive to live life to the max, and push people to new heights.

    I’m always a fan of people that take life to a new level, and raise the bar on what’s possible.  I have to respect how Steve Jobs made design a first class citizen and baked beauty into the user experience. 

    Even though he is gone, he has left an amazing legacy and there is much that I will continue to learn from him and the examples he’s set.

    It’s old post, but I’ll be reading through my Steve Jobs Lessons Learned.  There’s no way I can do the legend justice, but I tried to capture some of the key insights that Steve Jobs shared with the world.  I’ll be reading through the post and remembering his contributions, his ideas, and how he influenced our little world in big ways.  Most of all, I’ll be reflecting on how he influenced me.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    A Language for Your Strengths

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    I wrote a post on A Language for Strengths on Sources of Insight.  It's my attempt to consolidate and share the best information I've found for learning and talking about strengths and talents.  I'm a big believer in focusing on your strengths.  I know that when I spend more time in my strengths, I have more energy, I get more done, and I improve my impact.  It's about giving my best where I have my best to give.  It sounds simple and obvious, yet, before I had a lens for strengths and talents it was more hit or miss.  Now, I can more effectively zoom in on my strengths because I have a vocabulary for them.

    As I've been helping people find jobs, write their resumes, find their passions, and unleash their best, I've been relying heavily on first helping them find their natural strengths and talents.  This gives them the drive and the staying power to deal with whatever life throws at them, as well as gives them a competitive edge.  The key in today's landscape, is to bring your unique combination of strengths to the table.  I think that while it's a skills-for-hire economy for the short-term, it's a play-to-your-strengths life for the long term.

    To learn the map of the 34 strengths and get started on your strengths quest, read my post, A Language for Strengths.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Power Hours + Creative Hours = The Productive Artist

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    One of the big ideas in my book Getting Results the Agile Way (a best-seller in time management, thank you everybody for your support) is the idea of The Productive Artist.

    I’ve seen too many people with bunches of brilliant ideas that never see the light of day.

    I also see too many people that are incredibly productive, but don’t use enough of their creative side.

    I wanted to create a simple system that could help create more Productive Artists.

    I wanted to debottleneck and unleash artists to flow more value to the world, and I wanted to unleash the creative side that many people have as a kid, but lose somewhere along the way.

    They forget how to dream big.

    They forget how to play with possibility.

    They don’t operate anywhere near the level that they are capable of.

    I want to reduce the Greatness Gap between what people are capable of, and what they share with the world.

    There are a lot of powerful tools within Agile Results, but I want to hone in on two right here:

    1. Power Hours - A Power Hour is a way to turn ordinary hours into extraordinary ones.  You can use Power Hours to set your productivity on fire.  A Power Hours is when you’re “in the zone.”  It’s when you’ve got your “groove on.”  You can use Power Hours to bring more zest into what you do, as well as find more “flow.”
    2. Creative Hours - A Creative Hour is simply an hour where you explore ideas from your most creative mindset.  Creative Hours are a powerful tool for performing creative exploration and creative synthesis.

    Your Creative Hours are really a state of mind—a state of daydreaming. It’s the mindset that’s important. Whereas your Power Hours may be focused on results, your Creative Hours are focused on free-form thinking and exploration. You might find thatCreative Hours are your perfect balance to Power Hours. You might also find that you thrive best when you add more Creative Hours to your week. Ultimately, you might find that your Power Hoursfree up time for your Creative Hours, or that your Creative Hours change the game and improve your Power Hours. Your power hours might also be how you leverage your ideas from your Creative Hours.

    When you combine Power Hours + Creative Hours, not only will you be unleashing The Productive Artist in you, but you will also be creating a new model for working that will take your experiences, talents, and abilities to a new level of self-expression.

    You will set your productivity on fire, catch more bursts of brilliance, create more breakthroughs, and generate new value at a whole new level.

    Here’s to your greatness, and your fire within.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Cognizant on the Next Generation Enterprise

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    As a strategist, I need to stay on top of how the world of business is changing, especially from an IT perspective. 

    The world of business is changing faster than ever.  

    Changes are happening in the ways we work, business models and processes are evolving, customers are changing what they value and how they buy, and technology is transforming and shaping the next generation Enterprise.

    Likewise, the smart CIOs and IT organizations are significant shapers of the next generation Enterprise.  They are doing so by rethinking business models, reinventing the organization, and rewiring operations.

    In their whitepaper, Making the Shift to the Next-Generation Enterprise, Cognizant shares 8 future-of-work enablers you can evaluate against to help you build a strategy to future-proof your business.

    Key Challenges Shaping the Next Generation Enterprise

    According to Cognizant, the following are unprecedented, relentless and perplexing challenges that organizations of today face:

    • Economic volatility
    • Globalization
    • Changing consumers
    • Changing workplace
    • Technology advancement

    The 3 R’s:  Reinvent, Rethink, and Rewire

    According to Cognizant, the following are the 3 R’s of corporate model transformation to future-proof your business:

    1. Reinvent: Updating the Business Model.   Cognizant says: “In some cases, companies are putting customer opinions and ideas at the center of their R&D model to ensure new products and services will succeed in the market. In others, business-to-business suppliers are using social networking to improve their delivery and replenishment models. In all these cases, moving to a collaborative business model opens new channels of talent, knowledge, expertise and capability.”
    2. Rethink: Creating New Process Models.  Cognizant says: “Next-generation enterprises will master these two elements — breaking up the value chain in core and non-core activities and orchestrating a virtual network of service providers for the latter. The idea is to leverage virtual teams of talent and knowledge wherever they exist geographically, rather than relying on what is embedded in the organization.”
    3. Rewire: Focusing on a New IT Architecture.  Cognizant says: “The challenge for IT is to undertake significant shifts in its traditional thinking to support the new areas of focus. This includes customer-facing core competencies; intuitive user interfaces inspired by consumer-facing mobile applications; collaborative business models involving customer and supplier co-creation; and virtual, globally dispersed teams focused on executing knowledge-intensive business processes.”

    8 Future-of-Work Enablers

    According to Cognizant, the 8 future-of-work enablers are as follows:

    1. Community Interaction.  Interacting/engaging with users through social media.
    2. Innovation.  Creation of an environment to breed and enable innovation of products and services, in the form of open, closed and virtual innovation.
    3. Worker empowerment.  Empowering the workforce to be location-agnostic through communication-rich mobile devices and enabling a culture of collaboration and creativity for millennial employees.
    4. Virtual collaboration.  Building platforms of collaboration to enable the virtual environment.
    5. Customer empowerment.  Empowering customers by providing cutting-edge tools and media to improve the customer experience.
    6. Commercial model flexibility.  Flexibility to choose between being asset heavy vs. asset light (Cap-Ex vs Op-Ex; buy vs. lease), as appropriate.
    7. Value chain flexibility.  Flexibility to choose and source value chain elements from anywhere; disaggregating people from functions.
    8. Flexible service delivery.  Flexibility to choose and source infrastructure from anywhere (e.g., cloud, mainframe, client/server, etc.).

    Mapping the 8 Future-of-Work Enablers to the 3 Areas of Transformation

    According to Cognizant, you can map the 8 future-of-work enablers to the 3 R’s of corporate model transformation as follows:

    Future-of-Work Enabler Business Model Business Processes Technology
    Community Interaction     X
    Innovation X X  
    Worker empowerment X X X
    Virtual collaboration   X X
    Customer empowerment X X X
    Commercial model flexibility X   X
    Value chain flexibility X X  
    Flexible service delivery   X X

    Hot Spots for Future of Work Maturity

    According to Cognizant, you can evaluate against a specific set of KPIs within each area of corporate model transformation:

    Business Model Business Processes Technology
    1. Global marketing effectiveness
    2. Supply chain optimization
    3. Value chain optimization
    4. Millennial channel focus
    5. Talent acquisition and retention
    6. Virtual teaming policy
    7. Facility footprint optimization
    8. Customer interaction through systems of engagement
    1. Business process agility
    2. Process regional adaptability
    3. Process componentization
    4. Process standards management
    5. Customer engagement and involvement
    6. Potential for personal development
    7. Process virtualization pervasiveness
    8. Collaboration effectiveness
    9. Remote operational effectiveness
    10. BPaaS adoption rate (or "as a service" adoption rate)
    11. Adoption potential of systems of engagement
    1. Application portfolio extendibility
    2. Workload asset optimization
    3. Infrastructure management globalization
    4. Customer empowering application portfolio
    5. Worker empowering application portfolio
    6. Degree of "any device, anytime, anywhere" realization
    7. Enabling virtual collaboration
    8. Mobile and remote device communications
    9. Data storage and processing agility
    10. Social architecture development

    Outperforming the Competition

    According to Cognizant, there is a prescription for outperforming the competition:

    Tomorrow’s corporate winners have already started to adapt their corporate operating models. Based on a survey of 25 Fortune 500 companies, we have found that, on average, organizations are aware of future-facing concepts and capabilities, and they have begun enabling these capabilities in pockets of the organization. However, the initiatives are inconsistent and not always focused on the strategic business agenda.”

    The Role of the CIO and the IT Organization is Evolving

    According to Cognizant, CIOs and IT organizations are shapers of the next generation Enterprise:

    “Woven into this trend, we are seeing that the most mature adoption is happening at the technology layer of the corporate operating model. This suggests that the IT organization, and perhaps the role of the CIO, are evolving as drivers and shapers of the next-generation enterprise. This is not all that surprising, given that a large aspect of this work is underpinned by technology that powers long overdue business process transformation. We believe the real opportunities will present themselves as the business models are rethought and the operations/ processes are reinvented, along with this trend to rewire the technology.”

    Additional Resources

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