31.12.11

99% Disambiguation


Disambiguous.  That's the plural of sale.  Also defined as clarification that follows from the removal of ambiguity.

With some of the grand and overt promotion that goes with Sales, there might well be some contradiction here in these two definitions. Some of the proportionality implied in those marketing materials might raise an eyebrow at the very least.

Here's some sale posters for a leading high street clothing retailer of over 100 years...


Notice the "selected lines" tucked in at the bottom under the "50% off sale".  Not much emphasis there.

Might we reasonably expect the space given over the the "50% discount, compared to the space given to "selected lines" to be in some way proportionate.  So the spatial emphasis gives us a fair sense of the lines in the "50% off sale".

Let's measure.


So in comparative terms, the "50% off sale" gets 100.8 sq units compared to 1,08 sq units for "Selected lines".

That works out at 99% of the spatial emphasis on the "50% off sales". Assuming some reasonable sense of proportionality, that might well lead us to assume that the discount might well apply to 99% of lines.  That's nearly everything (assuming of course that all "lines" have a similar number of items).  Perhaps we might be surprised if all bar 1% of the lines had 50% off.  Perhaps we're used to this so much, that we just know that's not going to be the case..... 

So perhaps Disambiguation might well be the right term, which intuitively seems to be more about disingenuous ambiguity.....

With the shift to more overt ethically produced clothing, then how about a shift to more proportionate marketing of those clothes....

30.12.11

I am what I am

Whatever the balance between nature and nurture, this phrase has some provenance.

Whether it's from the song made famous by Shirley Bassey and then most recently John Barrowman ... I am what I am, my own special creation, a notable Popeye phase from the 1930s, and with earlier biblical references too.

We are all different, and that's reflected in every personal interaction, and hence every work interaction too. That's why in the world of work there's a lot of time and effort expended in that understanding of self, as a steeping stone to understanding others.

One of the most popular models of types of us is the Myers-Briggs Type, based on the work of the Karl Jung. Here's my ready reconner that lays this out in a visual way to get a personal sense of where our personal preferences lay.







29.12.11

Numberator

This is one of my terms.

This is used to describe a number that should be berated for being presented out of it's context.  Most typically this is a number is a numerator, presented in the absence of any denominator context

27.12.11

Project Traction

Everything is a project.  With some combination of purpose, time and resources.  This applies to life in general too.  Going on holiday is a project, some purpose (maybe sun or surf or serenity), then some planning, then using resources and doing activities.  We think of projects more often in the workplace context , especially where project management methodologies start to be wheeled out.

Once project management methodologies get wheeled out then even the simpler projects can seem more complex, because with project management methodologies, there's simply more to do.  So not just to achieve the purpose of the project, but now also to construct and feed the project management machinery along the way.

So at this point it can be helpful to distinguish between what the project delivers to achieve it's purpose and what the project delivers to support the project management.  After 20+ years, PRINCE 2 is the de-facto project management standard for public and not for profit sector (originally developed through the office for Government Commerce (OGC), now subsumed within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills).

It can be more helpful to also think of this is a more accessible way.  And to maintain some explicit air gap between these things.   The things that the project delivers to fulfil its purpose are deliverables. products or outputs.  The things that the project delivers to support the project management can be more simply described as the project tools.  The same way a carpenter's toolbox contains things that enable the carpenter to achieve some purpose with wood, the tools are the means to that end,and while important - even critical  -to achieving that purpose - those tools are a means to an end, rather than an end in themselves.  (Sure for someone else their purpose is to make tools for the carpenter in the first place - probably making tools with machinery.

It's the project management that can reliably provide the traction for the project.  The way a tractor is designed to provide the traction in  range of circumstances - to pull different tools.  The tractor is that generic  tool, just just those project management methodologies. Both can be applied to different purposes in different circumstances....