Steve Harvey, Ms Philippines, Ms Colombia, Top Posts, 2015, Toby Elwin

Top 10 blog posts for 2015, 5 to 1

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Steve Harvey, Ms Colombia, Ms Philippines, Ms Universe, Top Blogs, Toby Elwin, 2015

Let’s just say there are two number ones and not speak of this again

Top blog posts from 2013, from number 5 to number 1, a follow-up from Top 10 blog posts for 2015, 10 to 6

I need to rename this, annual, Top 10 to Top 10 Posts that are not Impact Assessment or Stakeholder Analysis.  The impact assessment post gets three times more hits, per year, than any other post and the stakeholder post almost two times.

My executive decision:  retire, but, annually, if this maintains, acknowledge, the two, repeat posts.

5. Buyer persona for organization strategy and development —

Software companies, product companies, and service companies have turned attention from customer transaction to customer experience. Buyer persona methods help companies identify motivation and desired experience a customer seeks.  It is a great method to help move from what a company wants to sell a segment to what someone’s objective is that they need to solve.

I began to adopt this method for internal change management to craft better efforts that empathize with unique user need.  To many enterprise change management methods deliver one message that generically meets no one’s need.  This post introduces what I call a community persona method, note:  the best of buyer persona for internal communities as well as non-profit strategies.

4. Led Zeppelin page of project management —

At initial blush Led Zeppelin has little to do with project management, but this post reviews multiple threads projects can take to go over like a lead balloon.

The project that commits time to review historical information on what exists, before project launch, before project planning, at project initiation, itself, presents the difference between a project getting things done versus getting things accomplished.

There is more to a project than written on a page.

3. Mergers and acquisitions failures are project management failures —

The goal of a merger or an acquisition may meet the following business goals:

  • New technology
  • New market
  • Increase customers
  • Foreign direct investment
  • Improve tax position

Without a scope of what to attain a merger without an objective met leaves little more than a vanity endeavor for the executive suite and other captains of industry to crow about total market capitalization.  That does little to meet the objective to maximize shareholder profit?

2nd runner up:  Impact Analysis — project management SharePoint template —

SharePoint’s centralization and transparency replaces scraps of emails and files strewn across folders, drives, networks, and version control.  SharePoint provides project teams ways to:

  • Share assessments and templates,
  • Schedule feedback,
  • Foster collaboration,
  • Collect data,
  • View data:
    • Gantt charts,
    • KPI (Key Performance Indicators),
    • Dashboards,
  • Analyze data,
  • Filter data,
  • Update data,
  • Provide transparency, and
  • Create self service model

Yes, your executives will embrace it, so slough off the constant communication badgering by holier-than-though executives and design a site to convey their metrics and transparency towards their project’s business objectives.

1st runner up:  The best meeting icebreaker to break the ice —

Icebreakers run the risk of turning people off before you have even started the heavy lifting on why you are there; that is no good.

I particularly like this icebreaker as it directly lends context to different perspectives and how people communicate.  I use the icebreaker with groups, I share the concept as an analogy in one-on-one meetings, and I find it not only resonates, but people find the metaphor immediately practical.

2. Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; stakeholder analysis template  —

A stakeholder is anyone, or any group, who can positively or negatively impact the project outcome.

Risk is anything that can positively or negatively impact the project outcome. So, identify and manage project stakeholders is important to identify and manage project risk.

1. Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; impact analysis template  —

The impact analysis is an early-phase assessment to unearth all stakeholders, their needs, their awareness, and their insight into the project.  Many times the people impact happens to, not only, sponsors and customers, but the people required to change.  Any of these folks could easily disrupt or halt all progress.

The impact assessment is an invitation to commitment, understanding, and ownership to the change they will work and live within.  Their involvement impacts success, improves adoption, and uncovers latent project risk.

Compare to: Top 10 blog posts for 2014, 5 to 1

Painful postscript:

2015 was a crazy year for this address.  Despite writing the fewest posts in any year I exceeded my site traffic 7%.  I believe focus on user experience was the key.

In a never-ending effort to improve site performance to deliver the fastest site possible this past June I crippled my site so thoroughly that I had to rebuild my entire site.

My first couple of years I focused on content and the social learning curve.  Site-ready images that did not drag on load time, if any image at all, was not a priority.  I had few images and the images were small.

I had to relaunch on new theme to fix the site and found my current design outdated.

Also digital technology, namely smart phone and iPad viewing experience, require high-definition images as critical design element.  I then had to track down, source, and upgrade more than 302 images on about 300 pages.

I took the effort to update the site design experience, but the new design proved too much custom coding and I moved my site to second theme altogether, here is where it got fun:

  1. Every image on my site I provide the image source. I found that the new theme had a code conflicted with the on-page image, none of them showed. So, I had to untangle that hairball and rewrite (clean) image code for 302 images, on each page.
  2. To provide faster image and file delivery I created a new Content Delivery Network (CDN) an Amazon’s AWS system to deliver the files, no matter where you are in the world, from the nearest server.  I had to, a third time, recode, this time all my image and file urls were change http://media.tobyelwin prefix

Once stabilized I took more advantage of the new Theme X styles and added:

Site design is not easy, or ever complete. Experience design is never-ending and always built on incremental feedback. I write, design, and code this site, myself, in fits and starts I try to learn about delivering thoughts across mediums.

Thank you for the feedback. I look forward to more collaboration than ever in 2016.

Now to fix the email newsletter …

Compare to: Top 10 blog posts for 2014, 5 to 1

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