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I get this request on a semi-regular basis and given the work I’ve done with Microsoft, Oracle and other technical partners over the years, I’ve been involved in a number of early-release software programs.  So, let’s talk about what people mean when they talk about Beta Test Programs.  The first thing to know is that the perspectives of what the vendor is hoping for and wants are often different than what the users want. First…

I have an expression that my staff and clients have heard me use often.  It’s a favorite of mine.  “If you are a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.”  It’s a paraphrase I know and as I was writing this article, I thought it behooved me to look up the source.  It wasn’t much of a surprise that the author was someone who I read a lot of a long time ago, Abraham Maslow. …

I admit it.  I’m a black-hat thinker.  I think I always have been but many years ago, my first partner gave me a copy of Edward de Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats”.  The book is tiny but the impact was profound.  De Bono was interested in how people think and in how people could train themselves to think more creatively; more laterally.  There’s no one hat that’s perfect of the six, each has its own attraction…

In Canada, operating a private motorboat requires having a Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card.  Now, after you get over chuckling about which bureaucrat made up the term, the basic principle is quite sound.  If you are running a boat with a motor, you need to get this competency card.  I’m proud to say I’m the holder of such a card to use my Chaparral motorboat during the summer. Getting my operator’s card required passing an exam…

It’s a brand new year! The Christmas tree is down and the ornaments packed away. The relatives have left and the New Year’s champagne is gone to the last drop. Now, you can return to work rested and ready to jump into the new year and get those projects back underway! Not so fast. For most project managers, there is a big checklist of start-of-year activities which are impossible to avoid. These challenges can be…

For everyone who has followed the EPMGuidance.com blog this year I wish you the very best of the holiday season.  I hope you and your families are happy and safe this season and I look forward to our discussions in 2017. Chris Vandersluis Author: EPMGuidance.com

All in one thinking is built into our industry Many years ago I wrote several articles about the differences in choosing an all in one Finance system vs best of breed functionality.  My focus was mostly about project management, but the concept can carry across many systems. The notion of all-in-one corporate systems became popular in the 90s.  Large integrated systems like SAP or Oracle Financials were able to point to multi-function systems which included…

My staff have heard me use the expression all too often. “Tail wags dog! Film at 11.” As though it were a breaking news headline on CNN. I use the expression though to talk about organizations that approach our company with an interest in deploying our enterprise timesheet system or an enterprise project management system but have somehow gotten the cart ahead of the horse (Yes, I know. It’s another expression). The conversation usually starts…

Perhaps you’ve heard the proverb “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  The expression can be traced back to a novel from the early 1800’s called Mrs. Dymond but the sentiment of the expression is understood by everyone.  If you do something for someone else that’s a good thing but teaching them to do it for themselves is a much greater…

Many years ago I was forced to take an Economics Statistics course at McGill University in Montreal.  It was a requirement for my Economics Major and one of the most miserably tough math classes I’d ever encountered. The class was taught by an older gentleman who was maybe 150 or maybe 160 years of age.  He had tenure, he immediately informed us so there was no one we could complain to when he would fail…