Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What motivates you?

I like to find out everything about Discoverer, Application Server, SQL and so on. Because of this, I like to have some quiet time to myself to figure things out, to do my what-if analysis, and to try out all those little ideas that popped into my mind since the last time I had some quiet time. This ability to have such leeway in my work really motivates me, but does it make me a geek? Probably. However, what motivates me might not be the same as what motivates you.

A very interesting article entitled Top 10 ways to motivate geeks (link) was posted today on The Retrospector blog. I think the author hits on most of the important ways, but not necessarily in the right order for me. Number 6, though, is an interesting concept because I for one do like to pick up meaningless items at conferences. I can't be the only one either because everyone I saw leaving the recent Collaborate and Kaleidoscope conferences, in Nashville and Washington respectively, had bags crammed with goodies.

So what motivates you? Feel free to take a look at the article and add a posting.

Incidentally, I uncovered another article entitled Top 10 ways to demotivate geeks (link) which also makes for interesting reading.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Technology Isn't Always The Answer

I'm an avid reader of the ITtoolbox Blogs and a posting that came in today (link) made for interesting reading. The main point of the article was to discuss some thought processes that are used to rate new ideas. The conclusions were as follows:

The "greater good" or "the good of the masses" - The process or problem has to be of a certain size and must be substantial. Develop your measurements according to the type and size of the business that you are serving. The criteria to be considered substantial will differ greatly depending on the environment in which you find yourself.

Solve core process issues and needs - Drill down into the surface process or problem. Don't just treat the symptoms - find the disease. How does the process or problem relate to the critical functions of the business?

Ask yourself this - If I could implement my change tomorrow what immediate and measurable impact would it make? If you can't list at lease 3 substantial impacts to critical functions you need to rethink. If you can list 3 you need to return to the "greater good" and critical function analysis - make sure it will serve the greater good and will make a medium to substantial impact on at least one critical function.

Don't be taken in by the latest and greatest - a year ago I was enamored with new BI applications - today I'm not happy with them. Always look forward.

While I don't necessarily agree with all of the comments made by the author, I particularly liked the last comment. Don't you find it true that there is a lot of hype these days about how great the next BI idea is and how it will revolutionize what we do? It is interesting to look back, as the author comments, one year ago and see just how few of the "hit" ideas from then actually made it through to today. Many are still being touted as the way to go. I'm sure you can name some of them.