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Archive for March, 2015

SPECIAL: 3 QUESTIONS FOR HILLARY CLINTON

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 12, 2015

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Inquiring minds want to know…

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I watched Mrs. Clinton’s press conference on Tuesday regarding her recent e-mail troubles. For some strange reason, she began by discussing women’s rights and the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Perhaps this was a smoke screen. I listened to her explanation about e-mails during her tenure as Secretary of State but wasn’t satisfied. As citizens, we want assurances our government workers are working diligently and not exposing themselves to hacking of information, thereby allowing the misappropriation of our country’s intelligence. We also do not want to see our systems inappropriately used for personal purposes, just like any business. In addition, the government needs to be able to control and safeguard all pertinent records for future reference, which is the purpose of the National Archives.

The first question is, why didn’t Mrs. Clinton use the government’s e-mail system? According to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 on Diplomatic Security, “It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized AIS (Automated Information System), which has the proper level of security control…” It goes on to read, “The Department is expected to provide, and employees are expected to use, approved secure methods to transmit SBU (Sensitive But Unclassified) information when available and practical.” This begs the question, Who approved her use of her e-mail server (clintonemail.com)? If it wasn’t approved, it wasn’t proper to use it.

Some journalists point out every Secretary of State for the last couple of decades has used private e-mail. Such claims are attempting to establish precedence, but it certainly doesn’t make it right. I never understood this logic. If you want precedence, let’s consider U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration who, in 2012, was forced to resign his post for using private e-mail outside of the department’s secure system. If this is good for an Ambassador, how about the Secretary of State?

Mrs. Clinton should answer why she needed a separate e-mail server. Unless she can come forward with valid answers, the assumption will be she has something to hide. Certainly, it cannot mean a person can only use one e-mail account on a handheld device, as she suggests. People have used multiple e-mail accounts on a single device for a long time.

Second, did Mrs. Clinton transfer all of her records to the National Archives as prescribed by law? Obviously not. If she had, Congress could readily obtain them and this wouldn’t have flared up into an issue. If she is still in private possession of any e-mails on her server, she is in violation of the rules she was obliged to enforce.

Third and final, did Mrs. Clinton instruct the employees in the State Department as to security of e-mails? Allegedly she did, but I have scoured the Internet and cannot find anything to substantiate this.

The policies regarding e-mail security are universally applicable for all federal government agencies. This means people like Lois Lerner, formerly of the IRS, is probably guilty of violating federal policy.

Not surprising, the federal statutes were written by attorneys and appear to be voluminous. It will likely take some time to sort them out and determine if Mrs. Clinton is guilty of anything. However, let us not forget she is also a graduate of the Yale Law School and served a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, Senator, and former Chair of the Legal Services Corporation, not to mention she is married to another attorney. In other words, she should have known better.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

 

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Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

THE DICHOTOMY OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 11, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– If we cannot publicly discuss certain subjects, it seems perfectly reasonable the media shouldn’t either.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

When it comes to political correctness, the media has no qualms in dictating to the public what should be considered appropriate or inappropriate for such things as race relations, sexual content, violence, religion, actions at work, even humor. If you happen to make a faux pas, you are quickly taken to the woodshed where you are disciplined and re-instructed in terms of what is right and wrong. From this, we now know what racial expletives and jokes are permissible and which are not, what we can or cannot say about sex in public, violence, and what behavior is appropriate in the work place. As I mentioned, this is primarily being driven by the media, particularly television and movies.

Yet, have you noticed the media doesn’t exactly follow its own rules? I have seen too many sitcoms who cannot seem to get a rise out of their audience without some mention of male or female genitalia. Basically, they have defaulted to toilet humor. Had we made the same comments in public, the PC police would have likely taken us to the woodshed.

Television commercials alone are aplenty discussing erectile dysfunction, women lubricants, sexually transmitted diseases, condoms, feminine protection and hygiene products. Even for senior citizens we are bombarded with ads for diapers. Whereas public discussion of such subjects is frowned upon by the PC police, television has no problem with such subjects. For example, we are now warned about four hour erections, genital yeast infections, and how to stimulate sexual arousal.

So, my question is simple, if we have to be politically correct, why isn’t the media asked to do likewise? What is good for the goose, should be good for the gander, right?

I believe what we are witnessing is a reversal of censorship. Years ago there were public censors monitoring the media and instructing them what was permissible and what was not. Such censorship boards have long since disappeared and, seizing on the opportunity, the media is now dictating what we should think and say. Interestingly though, they fail to police themselves.

It’s not that the subjects or words are particularly offensive to me (although I cannot bring myself to openly discuss “menstruation”). It is the hypocrisy of the media I object to. If the media is going to be critical with the words and actions of the public, I see no reason why the public should hold the media to the same standards. If we cannot publicly discuss certain subjects, it seems perfectly reasonable the media shouldn’t either.

Could it be the almighty advertising dollar sways the conscious of the media? No, it couldn’t be. After all, they have too many scruples for that; don’t they?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  ADAPTING TO THE CORPORATE CULTURE – There are both logical and physical aspects to be considered. 

LAST TIME:  METHODOLOGY DESIGN 101  – “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

METHODOLOGY DESIGN 101

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 9, 2015

BRYCE ON PROJECT MANAGEMENT

– “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

When we introduced “PRIDE” as the first commercial methodology for system design in 1971 we never realized the impact it would ultimately have on the industry. It spawned several competitors, both commercially and academically, many of which were various interpretations of the classic “waterfall” approach as implemented by colleges and CPA firms. Today, many companies avoid the use of methodologies as they are considered bureaucratic paper mills. In some instances, this is true, but the fact remains, you cannot build anything of substance, be it a system or otherwise, without a methodology. The question then becomes, how to construct a methodology suitable for your company or a given project. To this end, I offer this tutorial on designing methodologies.

INTRODUCTION

If we lived in a perfect world, there would not be a need for managers. Everyone would know precisely what their assignments were and would successfully accomplish them on time and within budget. However, the reality is we live in an imperfect world. We as human beings make mistakes; we work on multiple assignments concurrently, and require guidance. It must be recognized from the outset that project management does not come free, nor does it come naturally to people.

Traditionally, the typical approach to project management has most often been to find a project manager, provide resources, and then give them an assignment with no direction as to how the project will be conducted or controlled. Under this approach, the success or failure of the project is dependent on the abilities and experience of the project manager and how well the manager can organize and train the project team, plan the project, estimate, etc. Consequently, there is significant trial and error in the process. This approach usually results in a unique method for the particular project because it reflects the thinking of the project manager. Different managers use different techniques and ideas. In other words, it is quite common for systems projects to lack uniformity and consistency, thereby workers have to learn the methodology with each new project assignment.

Another common approach used was the “brute-force approach.” Simply stated, “I don’t care how you get the job done; just have it completed by (date).” This approach shows a lack of sensitivity to the complexity of project management.

There is more to project management than maintaining costs and time schedules. It is the process of applying resources to a defined goal and attaining this goal within time and cost objectives. Fundamentally, it is a people oriented function as opposed to an administrative or clerical function. Project management, therefore, is not a tool or technique, but rather a philosophy of management.

Project management is to a methodology, what production control is to an assembly line. Without the assembly line, production control is a useless exercise. Conversely, without a methodology, project management is useless.

The ultimate test of a methodology is if it can operate independent of project management. The two are not synonymous. Although they work in concert, there are distinct differences. Whereas a methodology dictates what work is required, project management controls the application of work. Just as an assembly line can produce a product without production control, a methodology can produce a product without project management. Therefore, a methodology is independent of project management, but project management is totally dependent upon a methodology.


A project is an application of effort towards prescribed objectives through the execution of a defined sequence of events. All projects have a life cycle; a beginning for planning, a middle for execution, and an end for review. Each project has a unique scope, set of objectives and defined sequence of events. The methodology thereby is the “road map” for a project. It provides organization and direction.

For any methodology, there should be a conceptual foundation explaining the rationale for its structure. In the case of “PRIDE,” we introduced the concept that “a system is a product that can be engineered and manufactured like any other product.” This was a revolutionary idea at the time, and still is to many system developers today. Nevertheless, this concept allowed us to use a hierarchical product structure to decompose a system top-down, and test/install bottom-up. This permits us to design and build the various parts of a system in parallel and concurrently, just as engineering and architectural projects are conducted.

“PRIDE” was a departure from the conventional wisdom that systems were developed using a linear approach, such as that found in the “waterfall” approach.

WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE (WBS)

In order to perform project planning, we must resolve the following questions:

1. What is the scope of the project? – The scope must state the project’s objectives and the parts of the organization involved, both directly and indirectly.

2. What are the steps required to meet the project’s objectives? Performing work in a logical sequence gives direction to the project. The inability to do so results in lost time and effort. Therefore, not only do the required steps in a project need to be defined, but the precedent relationships between work steps must also be defined.

3. What are the deliverables and benchmarks of the project? In order to verify a particular project task has been completed, it is necessary to substantiate that all aspects of the task has successfully been executed. An impartial and objective mechanism checking the completeness of tasks is necessary. It is important to demonstrate tangible results from our project efforts in the form of accomplishments and deliverables. Any task that does not result in a reviewable or tangible result is an unnecessary step that should be eliminated.

4. What resources are required to perform the work? Assigning the correct resources to the appropriate work steps is a critical factor in every project. By properly defining the work steps and the benchmarks, it is possible to clearly identify the skills required to execute the steps. Resources with the appropriate skills and availability can then be assigned to the project tasks.

A WORK BREAKDOWN STRUCTURE IS A HIERARCHY

All projects have a structure depending on the methodology used. The methodology defines what is going to be produced. It can be as simple as one step or as extensive as several phases involving multiple activities and tasks. The methodology represents the selected approach for implementing a project. It is structured into a hierarchy consisting of one or more phases of work. A phase represents a major “key event” or milestone in the project. Each phase consists of one or more activities representing “sub-events” required to meet the milestone. Each activity consists of one or more operational steps or tasks representing the individual actions to be taken in the project.

Each phase, activity and operation of a methodology should produce a reviewable result (work product) to substantiate completion of assignments. Otherwise, a methodology becomes a meaningless series of tasks. In systems development, such deliverables include such things as reports (e.g., Feasibility studies, design documents, program source code (and executables), data base structures, test data, test results, project audit, etc.). If the deliverable hasn’t been produced, we can conclude the work step wasn’t performed. If the deliverable was produced, there should be criteria to evaluate it, thereby providing a mechanism to review and correct if necessary.

Bottom-line, for each work step, we should define:

* What is its purpose?
* What will it produce (deliverable)?
* What is the criteria for substantiating completion?
* Who will perform the work (e.g., project functions assigned to the work step, such as analysts, programmers, managers, carpenters, architects, etc.).

The level of detail required to perform a project is ultimately left to the discretion of the Project Manager. If a simple project, perhaps the manager will only define a phase with a few activities. However, if a project is large and complex, the manager may wish to define and manage at the operation level.

PRECEDENT RELATIONSHIPS (DEPENDENCIES)

Up to this point we have only defined WHAT work is involved, not its sequencing. A methodology defines not only the various units of work, but also dependencies between the work steps. Such dependencies are referred to as “precedent relationships.”

Project worksteps may be conducted either sequentially or in parallel (alluding to “branching”). Precedent relationships define what worksteps precede and succeed a single work step.

Precedent relationships can be defined between work steps in the same level of the methodology structure. This means:

PROJECT-TO-PROJECT relationships.

PHASE-TO-PHASE relationships.

ACTIVITY-TO-ACTIVITY relationships.

OPERATION-TO-OPERATION relationships.

This brings up two points:

* Progression between project work steps at the same level cannot proceed until the subordinate levels are fulfilled. This means you cannot move from one project to another until all of the phases from the first project have been performed; nor can you move from one phase to another until all of the activities from the first phase have been performed; nor can you move from one activity to another until all of the operations from the first activity have been performed.

* You cannot define lower level work steps until you have first defined the higher levels. In other words, you must define phases before you define activities, before you define operations.

The one exception to this is a PHASE-TO-PROJECT relationship where a separate project can be activated pending completion of a phase. This can be demonstrated by separate “PRIDE”-ISEM (Systems Engineering) and “PRIDE”-DBEM (Data Base Engineering) projects:

NOTE: Although Project-to-Project and Phase-to-Project Relationships are permitted, they are uncommon. Most projects will only show inner dependencies (phase-to-phase, activity-to-activity, operation-to-operation).

Although “branching” (parallelism) can occur at any level in the methodology, the project manager will typically find less need for branching at the lower levels of the methodology structure. This means phases are more apt to branch than operations. Most operational steps within an activity are performed serially (sequentially).

To expedite the development of methodology structures, we have provided a “Methodology Definition Worksheet” which is used to define the Work Breakdown Structure and precedent relationships. To illustrate:

LEVEL-1: DECOMPOSING A METHODOLOGY INTO PHASES

METHODOLOGY CRITERIA

In order to effectively organize a project it is important to recognize the basic elements of a methodology:

Mandatory Requirements

1. A defined Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) – consisting of a series of work steps in various levels of abstraction (e.g., Phases, Activities, Operations).

2. Defines the project functions responsible for performing the various work steps.

3. Defines the project dependencies (the precedent relationships between work steps).

Without these mandatory requirements, a methodology is illegitimate and should be referred to as something else.

Optional Requirements

1. Have a single phase to initiate a project, and a single phase to conclude it. Multiple starts and multiple ends are not desirable from a management point of view.

2. The methodology structures should be based on reviewable work products to verify completeness. If the methodology is not defined accordingly, the “Dance of the Fairies” phenomenon occurs – this is where a series of meaningless work steps are defined with no verifiable end result.

3. The methodology structures should be reusable on multiple projects.

4. Provide for both sequential and parallel project execution.

5. The methodology structures should accommodate a product structure, thereby allowing parallel processing.

6. Although these latter requirements are not mandatory, they are highly desirable features and have been incorporated into the methodologies in “PRIDE”.

Project planning is made simpler by the existence of standard methodologies, such as “PRIDE,” which include defined phases, activities, deliverables, precedent relationships and the functions to perform the work. This saves time in project planning and brings consistency to projects of like kind.

Then again, system designers and programmers tend to resist the discipline of a methodology; as such, the old adage is true, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” However, it is inconceivable to build anything of substance without a methodology; it is how bridges and skyscrapers are built, automobiles, aircraft, consumer electronics, highways, even medical care and food service. Come to think of it, just about everything requires a methodology. So what makes system designers and programmers special?

For more information on the “PRIDE” Methodologies for IRM, see:
http://www.amazon.com/PRIDE-Methodologies-IRM-Tim-Bryce/dp/097861822X

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  THE DICHOTOMY OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS – If we cannot publicly discuss certain subjects, it seems perfectly reasonable the media shouldn’t either.

LAST TIME:  GREED AND IGNORANCE = TEMPTATION  – What the “Flim Flam Man” teaches us.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Management, Project Management | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

GREED AND IGNORANCE = TEMPTATION

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 6, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What the “Flim Flam Man” teaches us.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently happened to see the cult classic, “The Flim Flam Man,” a favorite of mine produced back in 1967. The movie features George C. Scott as Mordecai C. Jones, a notorious con man from the South. He meets up with Curley Treadaway, played by Michael Sarrazin (his first movie), who has gone AWOL from the Army and is being sought by the Military Police. The two form a partnership with Mordecai playing the role of teacher to Curley as a willing young student. They drift through the South conning people in various games of chance and swindles. It’s an enjoyable comedy which I highly recommend.

At first, Curley is unaware of the identity of Mordecai, but after pulling a few scams he realizes he is working with the famed, “Flim Flam Man,” whom he had heard about since his days as a youth. This impresses Curley who becomes fascinated with his partner. Throughout their travels, Curley asks Mordecai as to how and why he chose this line of work.

Mordecai: “Greed is my line lad, greed. 14K ignorance, will never let you down.”

Curley: “I don’t hold with cheating Mr. Jones.”

Mordecai: “Only the cheaters. You can’t cheat an ‘honest man.'”

This is an important premise; an honest man cannot be cheated simply because he resists temptation, but a cheater cannot resist. It is like the old proverb, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” From this perspective, Mordecai’s conscious is clear and he holds no regrets knowing it is impossible to cheat an honest man. He also recognizes greed is an inherent part of temptation, as he explains to Curley:

Mordecai: “One day it come to me. If everybody so determined to be greedy and being ignorant, maybe what they need is a little old liberalized education. So, in order to teach them, I qualified myself with an honorary degree: Mordecai Jones, MBSCSDD.”

Curley: What does all that mean?

Mordecai: “Master of Back Stabbing, Cork Screwing, and Dirty Dealing” (laughs). “Ours is a society of goods and services, and I think I’m performing a service. Cause after meeting up with me, maybe they ain’t so eager for the edge next time. Son, you would be amazed at the hundreds of satisfied students I have matriculated over the last fifty years” (laughs).

From this perspective, Mordecai is correct, he is providing an important lesson to the people he cons, something they won’t likely forget. After being stung by this southern scalawag they may become angry at first, but will be less likely to be tempted a second time. In short, greed and ignorance are Mordecai’s tools, without them he would not have a profession, but since there is still plenty in supply we will likely have Flim Flam men for time immemorial.

Towards the end of the movie, the two are captured by the police who imprison them pending trial. To escape, Curley calls upon the lessons he has learned from Mordecai and devises one last con job. I do not want to spoil the ending for those of you who haven’t seen the movie, but let’s just say Curley learned his lessons well.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  METHODOLOGY DESIGN 101 – “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”

LAST TIME:  CONQUERING YOUR MATH  – You can run from math, but you certainly cannot avoid it.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Morality | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

CONQUERING YOUR MATH

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 4, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– You can run from math, but you certainly cannot avoid it.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

I recently sat down with a local college professor of management to talk shop. Like me, he understands the necessity of tracking numbers in business, but appreciates the need for mastering socialization skills to engage people in completing project assignments and solving problems. In the course of our conversation, I asked him what should a high school student master before embarking on a business management curriculum in college. He pondered this for a moment, then, without hesitation, said, “Conquer your Math.”

I asked him what he meant by this remark. He explained a degree in business management involves a variety of skills to be mastered. Sure, students will use math in finance and economic classes, but they shouldn’t be learning Algebra and Calculus at the same time, it will only slow them down. Instead, they should come with such courses already under their belts, thereby not wasting time and making management courses more meaningful.

It has also become apparent high school students do not appreciate the role math has in our professional lives after school. “Why do I need to learn it. I’m just going to use financial software, spreadsheets, and computer calculators to manage my finances.” It is this growing dependency on technology which is ultimately deterring the need for mathematics.

Math teachers have difficulty articulating how it is used, and they certainly should not say something like, “I teach it because that is what I am paid to do.”

Just about every profession requires some form of math in one capacity or another. You would be hard pressed to find a job that does not require it. For example, math is essential for building contractors and construction workers, including plumbing and electrical workers. Architects and engineers cannot possibly design anything of substance without math, not just height and length, but structural capacity and load limits. Chemists require math in order to mix chemicals and create compounds for pharmaceuticals. Accounting involves the use of ledgers and other financial tools. Insurance companies use math to make claims adjustments, adjudications, and property appraisals. Math is used to solve crimes, extinguish fires, and tending to farms. Even the preparation of IRS Tax Forms (1040, Schedules A and B), which is something all adults must address, is a form of math we cannot avoid. Homeowners must also be cognizant of their mortgage and other loans, not to mention their bank and financial accounts. Oh yea, let us not forget credit cards, other expenses, and how our paycheck is calculated.

In my niche, the Information Systems world, math is actively used in both systems and programming. For example, a Feasibility Study is used to analyze a business problem or opportunity. There are several components to this study, such as the project scope, current systems analysis, requirements definition, system solution, and a cost evaluation summary. It is this last component, cost evaluation summery, that is critical for making a project decision (go/no go/revise). This involves estimating the time and costs involved in a project, calculating a schedule, and performing a cost/benefit analysis.

The cost/benefit analysis considers both the project costs and operational costs (before and after). From this, we can calculate the Break Even Point for the project, which a point in time where cost savings match accumulated development expenses. Typically calculated as: BEP = Investment divided by Average Annual Savings.

Also included is a Return on Investment (ROI), which is the ratio of projected cost savings versus amount invested. Typically calculated as: ROI% = (Average Annual Savings divided by Investment) X 100

Such figures are extremely important to executives. For example, I know of companies who will not touch a project unless it has a minimum of 200% Return On Investment.

In addition to Feasibility Studies, you find math in programming, particularly when analyzing transaction processing (volume of transactions versus time to process). This is critical for determining a suitable software solution, not to mention calculating data base capacity.

You also see math in such things as project/system audits where project expenses and schedules are evaluated, Request For Proposals (RFP), and Business Plans in general.

You can run from math, but you certainly cannot avoid it. This is why the professor’s comment about “Conquer your Math,” is so well put.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  GREED AND IGNORANCE = TEMPTATION – What the “Flim Flam Man” teaches us.

LAST TIME:  INSPIRATIONAL VIDEOS TEACHING MORALITY  – Some films which will touch your heart.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

SPECIAL: Netanyahu’s Speech: A Churchill Warning

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 3, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before a special joint meeting of Congress on Tuesday, March 3rd. Prior to his address, he was presented a special bust of Winston Churchill, the legendary PM of Great Britain and only other person to address Congress three times. During his address, Netanyahu capably played the role of Churchill, warning America about Iran and the pending nuclear negotiation deal. This was similar to Churchill warning America of the Nazi threat and the difficulties Britain faced.

During his speech, Netanyahu stressed the Iranian problem was not just a Jewish problem, but a world problem. He encouraged Congress not to consider the nuclear deal until such time as Iran ceases aggression against its neighbors, stop supporting terrorism around the world, and to stop threatening to annihilate the state of Israel. The only path to peace is if Iran changes its intentions and becomes a proper member of the world community.

Netanyahu’s speech was brutally frank and factual. He told us what the president will not. For several minutes during his 40 minute speech, he held the Congressmen spellbound as he lectured them about the realities of Iran. So much so, you could hear a pin drop in the chamber. Such a speech was refreshing to hear as opposed to listening to politicians dance around a problem. This resulted in both Democrats and Republicans applauding Netanyahu zealously. Again, the parallel to Churchill was uncanny.

This speech was not about the relationship between the Israeli PM and the President. It was about finding peace in a practical manner, not by hoping Iran will change its ways.

Netanyahu’s address was so powerful, he just established a template for politicians to follow as we enter the 2016 presidential contest. People want more facts and honesty, not more sound bites with superficial rhetoric.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached attimb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

INSPIRATIONAL VIDEOS TEACHING MORALITY

Posted by Tim Bryce on March 2, 2015

BRYCE ON LIFE

– Some films which will touch your heart.

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Many people believe we experience too much sex and violence in American entertainment, be it on television, the movies, even in today’s music. It almost seems like there is a premeditated attempt to subvert our culture. I do not believe Hollywood knows how to tell a story anymore without some form of perversion. No wonder morality is declining in this country, there is not enough people teaching it, least of all the entertainment industry. Have we become so jaded we can no longer appreciate a simple film aimed at inspiring people to do good? Let’s hope not.

There are some glimmers of hope. Several videos have come to my attention recently which are trying to teach various lessons of morality. There is not many of them, but enough to know people are trying to make a difference. Interestingly, most of them are coming from Asia, particularly Thailand, Singapore, and India. Latin America is also starting to produce some remarkable films in this regards, but far too few in America.

Here is a list of some of the better videos I have found on the internet, mostly from YouTube. As a warning, some of these will pull at your heart strings. You may want to have a box of tissues nearby as you watch them.

An important life lesson (from Thailand) – A short film showing how a small act of kindness can one day be repaid ten fold when you most need it. It stresses the importance of helping others.

“Teachers” (from the Singapore Ministry of Education) – based on a true story, the film describes how teachers can positively influence their students.

“A simple act of caring creates an endless ripple” (from Thailand) – a “pay it forward” type of film with an interesting twist at the end.

“Believe in good” (from Thailand) – illustrates why it is necessary to help others.

“Gift” (from Thailand) – A very touching video about a father and son.

“A Mother, A Daughter and A Pineapple” (from Thailand) – how a mother teaches in important life lesson to her daughter.

“Inspirational Unconditional Love Will Touch Your Heart” (from Thailand) – also based on a true story, discusses self-sacrifice.

“The Most Beautiful Thing” (from United States) – award winning film by Cameron Covell which describes a love story between two unlikely people.

“Your Wishes Delivered: UPS Driver for a Day” (from United States) – discusses the bond formed between a UPS driver and a boy.

“The Fork” (from United States) – a touching film describing how a couple is reunited.

“The Blind Girl” (from United States) – a simple slideshow discussing how life is a gift which should be enjoyed.

Most of these films were well staged and filmed. The last one though was assembled using some rather simple software tools which just about anyone can use. This means the tools are now available for anyone to tell a story, not just motion picture companies.

It is interesting to watch these films, but also watch their effect on others, particularly those who have trouble maintaining a dry eye. These videos are very inspirational and a welcome departure from the evening news and the comic book violence emanating from Hollywood.

We should encourage the production of more of these films and encourage people to watch them.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  CONQUERING YOUR MATH – You can run from math, but you certainly cannot avoid it.

LAST TIME:  INTELLIGENCE  – What are the attributes of an intelligent person?

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

Posted in Life, Media, Morality | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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