Archive for July, 2005
I get a lot of business cards. Most of the time it is in the best interest of the person giving me the card to make it to my contacts. The problem I am the one that spends all of the time entering that information into Outlook, or my assistant. Either way it is not usually a good investment in time.
With Plaxo I put the burden of keying and maintaining that contact information of the person who gave me the card. I just enter their email address in the plaxo web site and they get an email with a link to a web page where they enter all their contact information. When that page is submitted it magically updates my contact list.
You should check out Plaxo (www.plaxo.com). It is free. It has resulted in a much better contact list and much less effort. It is also a great way to notify people when your contact information changes.
People seem to love using it. Interestingly, I accidentally sent out scores of invitation to people to update their contact information using Plaxo. Much to my surprise a surprisingly high number of those people decided to join Plaxo when they saw I was using it. The effect is still cascading as I see new people using it based on invitations from the people I invited.
I was amazed and frustrated by this. I spend a great deal of time trying to coax people into using new IT systems that will improve their life. Then I get this broad adoption of something that I sent out on accident. Go figure. Perhaps they saw that they would love Plaxo too.
I am not an expert in project planning, but at a minimum they should include:
- a list of tasks;
- details regarding what those tasks involved (not just one liners);
- a deliverable for each task;
- the accountable party;
- the dependencies between the tasks; and
- estimated durations of each task.
Some of the junk project plans that I see from vendors are very sad. I am not sure if they are poor planners or if they are just trying to keep things ambiguous to close their sale. I suspect it is both.
Notice: I mentioned that we are developing project plans before the sale. A detailed project plan and a detailed statement of work should be part of any significant IT contract. What I have traditionally seen take place for the first two months after a contract is signed would be better handled before the contract signing so both parties have a common understanding of the initiative.