November 11, 2010
Yet another 10 Value-Adding Questions to ask before finalizing your Scope of Work .
These questions relate to what amounts to a ‘Reality-check' and cover the evaluation of our available Internal resources:
- 1) Is the intended Scope compatible with the Master Plan / Corporate Objectives?
- 2) Do we have the financial resources for the intended SoW (Budget)?
- 3) Is the intended SoW compatible with our Policies / Procedures?
- 4) Did we check our time-limits, schedule(s), criticality & urgency of the intended SoW in relation to the Master plan / Corporate Objectives?
- 5) Do we , internally, have the ‘competent' manpower required for developing the SoW?
- 6) Can they do it in time ?
- 7) Do we , internally, have the ‘competent' manpower required for preparing the tender ‘evaluation criteria' ?
- 8) Can they do the technical evaluation using these criteria ( Skills to develop criteria for evaluation are different from skills to technically evaluate these criteria )?
- 9) Did we check the compatibility of the intended Sow with the existing systems / infrastructure ( e.g. availability of hardware that can support the intended software)
- 10) Did we identify the proposed Contract Managers/ Administrators / supervisors and evaluated the need for further training for the implementation of the Contract?
November 11, 2010
Yet 10 more Value-Adding Questions to ask before finalizing your Scope of Work .
These questions relate to what amounts to a ‘Reality-check' and cover the evaluation of available External
- 1) Are there enough suppliers/ contractors who can do the job in our traditional market?
- 2) Did we approach them requesting that they ‘show interest ‘ in bidding for the intended SOW?
- 3) Do we need to expand our reach ( regional, international sources)?
- 4) Do we have a Pre-approved list of potential bidders to draw from?
- 5) Do we need to short-list or go ‘open'?
- 6) How do the present market conditions affect our intended SoW ?
- 7) Are there ‘alternatives' that can (better/cheaper) achieve our intended objectives?
- 8) Did we approach potential bidders for information that can help formulate the intended SoW ?
- 9) Are we up-to-date on the latest / most economical technology available in the market that can be used in the intended SoW?
- 10) Did we check the availability ( and cost) of the after-sale services available locally / regionally?
November 06, 2010
Ten Value-Adding Questions to ask before finalizing your Scope of Work:
1) Although ‘ in the budget' do we REALLY need it ?
2) Are all the included criteria / features needed ?
3) Can we ‘reduce' the required Sow (less numbers, less weight, less features etc... ) ?
4) Are there ( more economical) ‘ alternatives' that can ( almost ) serve the same purpose ?
5) Did we include too many ‘proprietary' features that may reduce competition and increase the cost ?
6) Did we consider ‘ the whole life cost' (as opposed to least expensive) of the major components of the intended SoW ?
7) Did we calculate ‘ the Value for Money' (as opposed to least expensive) of the major components of the intended SoW ?
8) Do we have existing contracts that we can re-negotiate in order to include / accommodate the intended SoW ? ( will save on the bidding process as well as mobilization and other costs)
9) Can we combine the intended SoW with other existing or planned contracts?
10) Did we review our data base of ‘Lessons Learned' to benefit from previous ‘successes' and avoid previous ‘ mishaps' ?
October 21, 2010
Your Scope of Work - SoW- ( or part of it) includes a service / product that is available from just the ‘one source'. Efforts to negotiate better terms (including more reasonable price) with the provider fail.Here are some suggestions as to how to deal with the situation:A) Short to medium term choices:
•B) Longer-term choices:
- ‘Reluctantly and temporarily‘ go with the deal, possibly until you figure out a longer-term solution.
- Negotiate a Long Term Price Agreement ( you may get better terms if you commit for a longer period)
- Scrap / replace the service / product in the SoW.. whenever possible !
- Go for a ‘substitute' ( similar not identical).
- Use an alternative service / product that may (somewhat) achieve the purpose.
- Amend some features of the service / product in order to remove the ‘proprietary' aspects.
- Approach other suppliers for suggestions.
- Approach other suppliers outside the ‘Monopoly' area (including possibly the original supplier of the service/product)
- Combination of two or more of the above.
- Explore possibilities for a Barter (scratch my back, I'll scratch yours) . The supplier may need some of your products /services and therefore may show some flexibility.
- Explore possibilities of ‘ Who knows whom' in your / supplier organizations. Personal relationship (especially at the Top) may work miracles!!
- Redesign your Sow to :
- a. Exclude the subject service / product
- b. Use an alternative service/product
- c. Include an ‘in-house' product/service (available within your organization)
- 1) If you invest enough time and attention in preparing your SoW , you should be able to avoid including any ‘proprietary' service / product that may lead to a ‘Sole Source' situation.
- 2) When awarding a contract special care should be given to avoid putting ourselves in a ‘Monopoly' situation ( such as availability of ‘maintenance' services and spare parts exclusively from the OEM)
September 23, 2010
Does Employee Satisfaction Equal Employee Engagement?
A happy employee is an engaged employee, Yes/No?
According to all available research, including numerous global studies and surveys, the answer is a resounding and absolute No.A Happy Employee - But Not Engaged
Look at it this way. An employee who is not engaged at work might very well indicate a high level of satisfaction with their organization. This employee is getting everything they wish: a steady paycheck, benefits, sick leave and paid vacation. However, their actual contribution to the well being of the organization in terms of, the typical discretionary indicators such as, innovation, creativity, productivity and, improved customer service is negligible. But they are satisfied. It's an easy ride maybe?An Engaged Employee - But Not Happy
On the other hand, a fully engaged employee that is enthusiastic about their work is creative, innovative and who wants to contribute, might indicate a lower level of satisfaction with the same organization the opposite of the disengaged employee. Unhappy for various reasons, he/she goes on doing the "right things".
These are the employees you risk losing. Some surveys suggest that over over 50% of employees are ready to start looking for new jobs once the crisis eases. Typical Survey ResultsSatisfaction
In surveys Meirc has conducted on behalf of GCC/MENA clients, in the period 2008-2010, just over 50% of employees indicated that they were/are satisfied/very satisfied (not a great number).Engagement
Recent international surveys, including a recent Gallup international survey of over 100,000 employees, indicate that as many as 54% of employees are not engaged: they are at work physically but not mentally or emotionally and that another 17% are actively disengaged and unhappy, and worse still, spreading discontent, poor productivity and customer service levels as low as 17% satisfied customers.
Do You Know?
Some questions for you are "do you know whether your employees are happy?" Do you know how to assess whether or not they are engaged? Which is most important to you as a manager? Should you care? Do you want to know more?
have a great weekend wherever you are.
Leslie, Dubai, September 23, 2010
September 23, 2010
Leadership and Employee Engagement
In an article, recently placed on Blog on Meirc's website, titled Employee Engagement", the author highlighted the main employee engagement drivers as identified in a recent Global Survey*. These included:
- Senior management sincerely interested in employee well-being.
- Input into decision making in my department.
- Good relationship with my supervisor.
- Organization encourages innovation.
This survey identified that first and foremost amongst employees, and before
you can have an engaged workforce, organizations must have effective and engaged-leadership at the top.
An indication of how many participants (out of over 90,000 globally) agreed with the following statements on 5 key leadership behaviors is shown below.
Senior management in our organization is sincerely interested in employee well-being.
Senior management here communicates openly and honestly
Senior management we have tries to be visible and accessible
Senior management effectively communicates the reasons for key business decisions
Senior management's actions are always consistent with the organization's values
*Towers Perrin: Global Workforce Study 2007-2008
In all cases less than 50% agreeability. These confirm the results of some of Meirc's own regionally based employee surveys (2007-2010).
One critical observation you might make is that that many of today's leaders including those who aspire to these visible and challenging leadership roles do need to sharpen their interpersonal skills.
Part of the problem is that many top executives began their careers in specific technical disciplines such as finance or engineering. They bring primarily rational/analytical skills to their jobs, when what is an increasingly critical need is for skills and behaviors such as empathy and communication.
The need is obviously to combine both the left and right brain abilities. The new breed of leader needs to be ambidextrous for example displaying, emotional intelligence. This idea is of course is not new. In her 1924 published works, on creative leadership, author Mary Parker Follet summed up the total leadership experience with these simple and powerful words: "Leadership is not defined by the exercise of power, but by the capacity to increase the sense of power among those who are led. The most essential work of the leader is to create more leaders". ©
If we truly recognize that there is need to close the engagement gap (see the Meirc blog dated August 23, 2010 and titled Employee Engagement), the first change has to come at the top. Organizations should ask themselves:
- Do our leaders have the mixed set of competencies needed of the ambidextrous leader?
- Are we promoting the right people, based on the correct criteria?
- Do our performance management programs emphasize the importance of the key empathy touch points such as coaching, transparency and trust?
For further information on employee engagement contact Leslie Price on firstname.lastname@example.org
© Mary Parker Follet
August 23, 2010
Employee Engagement: Do you know what it is and how to measure it?
Do know what the top engagement drivers are? Five things that engaged employees' value?
Do you want to learn how to improve your customer service KPIs through improved employee engagement?
Are you a professional who wants to add more value to the organization?
For answers to these questions, to know more about the motivations behind improved employee productivity, to understand how to develop a better customer service profile and ultimately improved organizational and financial performance, participate in this blog.
Share your views and participate in real time, meaningful discussions with myself and other like-minded professionals.
Start making the difference that counts now!
August 19, 2010
Meirc Training and Consulting is introducing a new training program for professional project managers to learn about advanced tools to manage their projects. This training course will provide an in-depth knowledge on creating and managing project from planning phase to execution.
The certified program will cover topics in project selection techniques using financial and non-financial models, advanced project planning, budgeting, resource management, slack management and risk management. It will also cover tools that are used to monitor, control and report the progress and the status of the project such as variance reports and earned value. The course will also cover tools that used to manage complex projects such as system anatomy, kokotovich Triad and program tool.
Meirc certificate in advance project management will be in premiered in May 2011.
August 17, 2010
Do you want to become organized? Do you want to spend less time retrieving documents, files or items?
The answer is to follow the (5S) program. Originally designed by the Japanese, the program is a simple road map to get organized and save time looking for tools, files, spare parts, etc... Lean is about eliminating waste in processes and one of them is time spent looking for things! So What is a Five S Program
A Five S program is usually a part of, and the key component of Visual Factory (Workplace) Management (VFM). And 5s and VFM are both a part of Kaizen -- a system of continual improvement.
5 S focuses on creating visual orderThe Five S program focuses on having visual order, organization, cleanliness and standardization. The results you can expect from a Five S program are: improved profitability, efficiency, service and safety.
The principles underlying a Five S program at first appear to be simple, obvious common sense. And they are. But until the advent of Five S programs many businesses ignored these basic principles.What types of businesses benefit from a Five S program?
Everyone and all types of business benefit from having a Five S program.
Improve manufacturing with a 5S ProgramManufacturing and industrial plants come to mind first, as those are the business that can realize the greatest benefits. However, any type of business, from a retail store to a power plant -- from hospitals to television stations -- all types of businesses, and all areas within a business, will realize benefits from implementing a Five S program.
A clean, neat, arrangement of the workplace which provides a specific location for everything, and eliminates anything not required.
5 S is the starting point for ALL improvement activities! Each S stands for a Japanese word. The following are the words:
Remove unneeded /Sort
2 Seiton Arrange for ease of use /Store
3 Seiso Cleanup campaign/ Shine
4 Seiketsu Maintain the system /Standardize
5 Shitsuke Make 5S the Culture / Sustain
Good Luck with your 5S program.
June 17, 2010
Is a written policy report considered a solution to occupational health and safety issues? Does management commitment to safety make a difference?
Before we answer those questions, allow me to state few useful statistics:
- - Nearly 50 employees are injured every minute of a 40-hour workweek and almost 17 employees die each day (USA).
- - According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, USA), nearly one/third of all serious injuries and illnesses stem from overexertion or repetitive motion. These are disabling, expensive injuries.
- - Establishing a safety program to prevent injuries is not only the right thing to do, it is the profitable thing to do.
Based on the above few useful statistics, it is safe to assume that Management not only has an ethical and moral obligation towards organizational Safety, but also a "dollar and cents" obligation. Studies have shown a $4 to $6 return for every dollar invested in health and safety within the organization. Therefore, it is essential for management, top management in particular, to demonstrate not only an interest but also a long term strategic commitment to protect every employee from injury and illness on the job.
Let it be clear that management commitment to organizational health and safety will occur to the extent each member of the management team clearly understands the positive effects and benefits derived from that commitment including the direct and indirect costs of accidents. As studies and analysis of accidents have shown, accidents are more expensive than many managers realize. The reason being, there are many hidden costs that are not truly apparent and obvious. The direct costs such as medical bills, indemnity may be covered by workers' compensation claims. However, the hidden cost will encompass the cost to train and pay a replacement employee, the cost of downtime of equipment, and also the cost to repair the damaged machinery or tools or properties. It makes good sense to reduce the costs and risks associated with accidents, whether they cause injuries or not. Therefore, having a "visible" safety program will definitely help setting the stage for a much improved employee attitude towards such a program. To achieve this goal, management must put in place a roadmap as well as an implementation to help to convince employees that the program is a real concern and not just another administrative action to meet some government regulations.
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