Sunday, December 23, 2007


Frank Lloyd Wright-designed FallingWater in Bear Run, PA, USA never ceases to amaze. Here is a shot from a recent trip there, with my parents.

Meet Your New Favorite Browser - Flock 1.0!

I had been using OmniWeb and Firefox on Mac OS X, but read an interesting review about Flock, a browser based on Firefox but geared more toward the Social Web. Here's what Shawn at Flock had to say about the 1.0 release:

It is my sincere pleasure to announce the release of Flock version 1.0. The Social Web Browser is now available to download from This event marks a significant milestone for our company. When I arrived at Flock one year ago, the primary goal I set for the company was to transform us from a great idea company into a world-class innovation and execution company. Since that time, the tremendous work from all across Flock’s expanding organization has demonstrated this team’s appetite and capability to do exactly that: we upgraded the underlying technology platform for Flock with version 0.8 in Q1 of this year, we enhanced significantly the dependability, discoverability and feature integration with version 0.9 in Q2, we released over two hundred bug fixes and feature enhancements with version 0.9.1 in Q3, and today we are launching the full release of Flock 1.0, with the integration of “people in the browser”, available as a free download for Mac, PC and Linux.

The 1.0 Social Web Browser incorporates all your friends across numerous popular social services (Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter). We hear from our 1.0 beta users every day that this product has changed the way they are engaging with and experiencing the Web. The most frequently used adjective describing this version of Flock is ‘addictive’. We take that as a real compliment, and a strong vote that Flock is onto something very special.

Flock 1.0 is also a platform, and you will see an expansion of the social and media services with which Flock is integrated early in the New Year, along with the formal release of our 1.0 API for developers and third parties around the world to leverage, add services and further contribute to Flock’s capabilities.

With your help, and the millions of new users we plan to serve in the year ahead, we will continue to be champions of open-standards, and strive to continually deliver unique and meaningful experiences that place the user at the center of everything, and are made possible only from within the browser.
We’re incredibly excited by the launch of Flock 1.0. The Flock team is both grateful and enormously proud of the overwhelmingly positive response to our 1.0 release, and I want to personally thank all of the passionate community members and Flock users who have emailed enthusiastic notes of encouragement. Your tremendous feedback fuels our desire to push the boundaries of browser innovation. We have great ambitions to continually improve and evolve Flock, and hope that we can continue to count on your passionate engagement to help us guide our course.

I welcome your comments and feedback – either here or via email (shawn at



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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Digital Practice of Law: On the Spot Training

Digital Practice of Law: On the Spot Training makes a good observation that JIT/JE is "the new thing." I have about 10 years of training experience, and coined the term "ConsulTraining" to describe the type of interaction where the trainer is being asked to arrange the training as the recipient wants it, and deliver it one-on-one with a consultative style.

When the trainer executes JIT/JE or as I call it "ConsulTraining", he or she should remember: To emphasize the value of ConsulTraining, and price it as such. I'd recommend not selling out on this process, which can be very effective for your client. To maintain discipline even in a one-on-one situation. It's easy when you're inexperienced to let this sort of situation get away from you and turn into a Free-For-All. Don't do it. To define and stick to the agenda. If your client wants an on-the-fly change, politely make it known that "this is an agenda change, and we might not be able to cover the important topics of x, y and z. Is that OK with you?" I always write down changes that my clients request, so that when the inevitable instance of forgetfulness comes up, I can tactfully remind. To recommend normal classroom training when you know the curriculum is not suitable for a quickie JIT session.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

PM Process - Make sure it's done right.

In any project, there are varying levels of these broad-stroke activities, including Initiation, Controlled Implementation, Closure and Maintenance. I have arrived at this definition which we use at my company eSolia, by combining the PMI and Critical Chain methods, and massaging them based on a lot of experiences during projects over the last 14 years. One of the most important points is to do all the activities - don't skimp or flinch.

Initiation: The objective of the Initiation process is to assemble an organization's ideas and intentions to solve a certain problem, and organize them into a formal, planned, resourced and funded project. Initiation involves defining project terms of reference such as organization, objectives and scope, creating a workable and realistic schedule for the overall project and each stage, and establishing a business case to get commitment from project sponsors. A successful Initiation will ensure the project is set up to be successful, and increase the probability that high-quality product is delivered on-time and within budget.

1. Agree - rough project definition, agreement and contracting for Initiation.
2. Kickoff Project - arrange sponsor, high-level definition, team brief and kickoff.
3. Define - detailed requirements, objectives, scope, deliverables, solution outline, business case outline, training requirements, organization, administrative methods for change and QC, success criteria.
4. Planning / Scheduling - create project network from deliverables, identifying dependencies and special needs, task resource requirements and constraints, hand-offs, initial schedule, completion criteria, and task and iteration variabilities. With network, create realistic time schedule, with buffers, links and clearly identified critical path.
5. Close - update all documentation, update business case, present, assess stage, review next steps.

Controlled Implementation: The objective of the Controlled Implementation process is to manage work being performed during a stage, and to prepare for the next stage. Controlled Implementation involves synchronizing introduction of work, and then controlling and managing progress, quality, change, integration, issue management, reporting, team commitment, client expectations and provision of information for decision-making. When the process is successful, it can be expected that the stage can reach a successful conclusion and the project will progress to the next stage.

1. Kickoff Phase - review of phase details, kickoff.
2. Synchronize - Introduction of work carefully considering resource constraints.
3. Execute - perform tasks, controlling project buffers and handling project administration.
4. Close Phase - reporting and preparation for next phase.

Closure: The objective of Closure is to formally close the project. Closure involves tying down any loose ends, evaluating the final products of the project, establishing product improvement mechanisms, reviewing estimation and project process, and formally presenting and closing the project with signoff. A successful close ensures project value is communicated and understood, and allows project resources to be re-deployed.

1. Task Completion - complete any loose ends.
2. Evaluation - perform a post-mortem on project, evaluating performance and products.
3. Process Improvement - check process and make improvements as needed.
4. Project Close - formal document presentation and signoff.

Maintenance: Once a project is Closed, the maintenance of the situation or products which were implemented can be defined, planned and performed. Skillful maintenance ensures the benefits of the project are enjoyed in an ongoing manner.

1. Define - define maintenance objectives, budget, scope.
2. Plan - plan and schedule.
3. Execute - perform maintenance.
4. Review - periodic review.