A few days ago, a management consultant I follow on Twitter commented critically about a certain software vendor rating method, dubbed the “Magicke Quadrante” in this satire on the Web (shhh… like Voldemort’s, certain names shall not be uttered in this forum). He asked: “Were x and y coordinates so firmly etched in our brains that we can’t get away from it?”. It was hard to reply meaningfully in 140 characters, but I wrote: “it may be fairly simple: 1 rating dimension is rarely enough, >2 are hard to visualize, so we converge on 2, add thresholds = MQ” Not coincidentally, another Twitter correspondent pointed the next day to the “Periodic Table of Visualization Methods,” Read more
Claude Baudoin is a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business & Enterprise Architecture and Data Insight & Social BI practices. He is a proven leader and visionary in IT and knowledge management (KM) with extensive experience working in a global environment. Mr. Baudoin is passionate about quality, knowledge sharing, and providing honest and complete advice. Read more ...
There is a mystique about assessing the first hundred days of just about anything. Presidents are compelled to take stock of their first hundred days in office, and Napoleon managed to fumble his comeback in “les cent jours.” So when I realized today (don’t ask me why I thought of counting) that this is the 100th day since a slightly forced repurposing of my professional life from corporate type to independent consultant, I asked myself if my recent experience could create a teachable moment for other would-be consultants. In fact, it is amazing, when you do something like this by yourself, how many distinct and diverse threads of activity you need to pursue almost simultaneously. Read more
I swear I won’t keep ranting about user-oriented design, but examples seem to stare me in the face these days. I was in Cleveland for a few days (don’t ask why), and looked at the fare machines on the Healthline express bus platforms. A few interesting discoveries ensued. The user interface consists of a screen, which is not tactile, and a few buttons placed on the side of the screen, similar to the last generation of ATMs. The first screen you see asks you to choose what you want to buy. The screen is not graphical, but character-oriented. It shows two lines of text, one for “Senior/Disabled Tickets”and the other one for regular fares. Next Read more
It is a common realization that technology changes accelerate, while behaviors, and in particular enterprise business practices, often suffer from inertia. I just had, coincidentally, two contradictory examples related to this. One of my frequent correspondents, a very active user of Twitter, let’s call her Brenda, shared her ordeal in a succession of 140-character messages when the TrulyWorthless Cable company tooks days to fix her cable service, keeping her under virtual house arrest every time they were assuring her that they were going to show up. Yesterday, she tweeted that in the end she got a credit for… $2.72 on her bill for the service interruption. Now, in an ideal but far from impossible world, Read more
My alumni association did it to me again today. They sent a very nicely worded message, to me and thousands of others, saying that they are retiring their social networking website… but not to worry, a much better one is coming up soon. Some of our information, such as profiles, will be transferred, but other information, such as past message threads, will not. I am also on the Board of one of the alumni clubs, with about 1500 members, and I manage the membership list. The same alumni association offers “tools” for people like me to manage mailing lists, dues payments, etc. That would be nice, except that these tools do not do what we Read more