My Sage Summit 2012 Sessions

In four short months, I hope to see all of you in Nashville for Sage Summit 2012. As I have received a few requests asking me for the list of session I am facilitating, I thought I would take the opportunity to post them here.

Code Title Day/Time
P-0746 A Complete Waste of Time Monday, 1:30
P-0748 For Sage Consulting Academy Alumni Only Monday, 2:45
P-0751 Creating Scope: Tenth Anniversary Edition Tuesday, 9:45
C-0760-1 Creating Shared Vision Thursday, 8:30
C-0760-2 Creating Strategy in a Small Business Thursday, 10:45
C-0762 In Defense of Business—The Trading Game and the Morality of Free Exchange Thursday, 2:00

 

partner-klessIn addition, I am scheduled to perform at the Sage Rocks the Block, Partner appreciation party on  Monday, August 13, 2012 at 7:30PM.

The Sage Summit 2012 Partner Appreciation Party will offer live music, games, great food and drink, plus a few surprises. And you won’t want to miss one-of-a-kind performances by talented musicians from across the Sage partner community, who will rock out together at the party!

See who else is performing.

A Response to The End of Capitalism

In a Facebook forum that I frequent, one of the members posted this article by Klaus Schwab in the Huffington Post entitled The End of Capitalism – So What is Next?

Here is my response to both the post and the article itself.

If by capitalism he means the system we have in place today. I agree. However, the term for what we have today is not "capitalism" is the true sense. It is "cronyism" or what I call "handicapitalism."

Most truly understood we have a system where the elites in big government and big business have combined to control the resources of production. Including, BTW, the currency itself.

The most accurate term from an economic standpoint is fascism. (Note not NAZISM.) Fascism, from an economic perspective is control of the resources, but not means of production. This latter state is called communism.

Please note I am not a Republican or a Democrat and I am not calling Bush or Obama fascists. I am saying the the policies of the US government have become increasingly fascistic over the year no matter who has been in the White House.

Now that said, what Mr. Schwab is describing as the replacement of this so-called “capitalism” is really just the market responding to the idea of knowledge workers. He calls this idea “talentism,” but is really nothing more than a meritocracy based on knowledge.

Educating Me

Many of you mistakenly think of me as a voracious reader. While I do read about two books a month, compared to my friend Ron Baker who reads two a week, I am a piker. In fact, my reading has fallen off even more since I got my new iPad, because a wealth of other content is now open to me.

MurrayRothbard-MEDCurrently, I am participating in a class on the United States Constitution at Hillsdale College; brushing up on probability and statistics at Khan Academy; working my way through Brian Cox’ iPad app Wonders of the Universe; and taking an Introduction to Economics class with the late Austrian economist Murray Rothbard on iTunes. 

Did I mention that with the exception of the iPad app which is $10, I have paid nothing for this content.

Think about that, I am getting a best in class education from some of the brightest minds in their fields (in the case of Rothbard he is my professor from beyond the grave!) for next to nothing.

This truly is an amazing time to be alive.

Clarification to post on subscription pricing and the FotF

During the session I posted yesterday I chatted with Dennis Karus of Software-Link. My intention was to have a conversation about the business model of subscription pricing that they have embraced, and not to just be a commercial for their offering.

For the most part I think I succeeded. However, we did get some questions about their offering and I allowed Dennis to answer which may have undermined the original intent.

That said, I want to state that Sage has many hosting partners who have embraced subscription-based pricing. One such partner is Gary Feldman of I-Business Network. Gary is also an occasional commenter on this blog as well.

MyOnlineMASInformation about their hosted subscription-based pricing can be found on their website.

On Subscription Pricing and Being a Firm of the Future

On April 4th, Ron Baker and I did a webinar for Sage Partners entitled Subscription Pricing on the Journey to Becoming a Firm of the Future.

If you were unable to attend or would like to review what was shared, you can view a recording of the session. This webcast is part of the new Sage Transformation Journey Webcast Series. In these sessions, myself and other members of the Sage Partner Advantage team present relevant and timely information on how to develop the business practice of selling subscription pricing and improving the customer experience.

Thank you to those of you who attended the April 4 webcast session. If you were unable to attend or would like to review what was shared, you can view a recording of the session.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Firm of the Future, please register for the full two-day Firm of the Future Symposium. The next symposium is being held April 24-25 in Southern California!

In addition to the Irvine dates we also have upcoming Symposia in  Vancouver, May 23-24 and Boston July 17-18.

Click here to download the agenda for this event.

Sage partners can register for any of these events today at www.sage.com/partners. Once you login, select Academies & Workshops an then Mid-Market ERP.

If you are not a Sage partner and would like to attend, please contact me or PartnerPrograms@Sage.com.

Sage City at Summit 2012

To me, the most valuable part of any class, conference, or event is the networking. This year at Sage Summit 2012, we are doing a reboot on the whole idea of networking.

Announcing Sage City at Summit 2012, where “networking” is more than a cliché, and the unexpected is expected. Sage Summit 2012 is about to change everything.

SageCity

Sage City is an all-new collaborative meet-up at Sage Summit that completely reinvents live conference networking and provides a new take on how we make connections. It is a mash-up of the best aspects of networking: small groups, structured topics, and social media.

For more download this FAQ.pdf.

Firm of the Future Another Raging Success Story

imageThis morning I received the following email from a partner who attended the Firm of the Future Symposium last year.

Congratulations to C. and C. and our new Pricing with A Purpose Team!
 
We just received the signed quote on this deal.  Utilizing the tools Ed has been arming us with, we bid this job 100% higher than we would have under our traditional methodology.  We had no push back from the client regarding the price, as we priced it based on the value of the solution to the them.
 
We have 3 more of these new quotes in negotiation with clients now and a couple more that we are actively developing.
 
This is such an exciting change for us.  Looks like 2012 is going to be fun with lots of leads in our pipeline and tools to maximize the profits on each win!
 
Thanks to Ed Kless for his coaching, poking, prodding, nudging and continual course adjustment!

This is truly and HSD for me!

image

If you are interested in attending an upcoming Firm of the Future Symposium, please visit sageu.com.

Results Oriented Project Management

The traditional project term hierarchy as defined by the Project Management Institute is this:

(Program)
    Project
        Phase
            Activity
                (Task)

They are defined thusly:

  • (Program) – a group of related projects
  • Project – a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result
  • Phase – a collection of logically related project activities, usually culminating in the completion of a major deliverable
  • Activity – an element of work performed during a project which has an expected duration and assigned responsible person
  • (Task) – an element of work performed in the completion of an activity which has an estimated level of effort and assigned responsible resource

The use of parentheses in the above indicates that programs and tasks are optional in project management. The remaining three (project, phase, and activity), however, are required elements of any properly constructed project.

In my work with Sage implementation partners over the past nine years, I have become more and more convinced that this structure is lacking in heavily knowledge-based projects such as software implementation. Furthermore, I think it pertains to all fields of knowledge work, such as: an accountant conducting an audit or a completing a tax return; a lawyer trying a case or processing a matter; and even a architect designing a building.

To correct this, I have been tossing an idea around in my head for over a year now and I think it is ready to be presented and criticisms levied. I call it results-based project management.

In short, it replaces the above mentioned hierarchy of terms with this one:

(Program)
    Project
        Objective
            Result

The definitions of program and project remain the same, but in place of phases, I substitute objective and in place of activity, result. Here are my definitions:

  • Objective – a collection of logically related results summed to explain  exactly what outcomes (not goals) of project will be
  • Result – a discrete element of output that has an assigned responsible party and an estimated completion date

A result can optionally have a resource assigned if it differs from the responsible party and an estimated amount of effort. Please note that the estimation of effort is for resource planning purposes only and it not intended to be used in conjunction with a timekeeping system.

Please note the shift from words used to describe actions (activity and task) to words that descript outputs (objective and results). This can be thought of as a shift from efforts (verbs) to tangible results (nouns). This is in keeping with the reality that customers by results not efforts and certainly not hours.

Reversing the flow of the hierarchy leads to an easy-to-understand definition for project completion. The sum of a group of related results can be thought of as an objective. The sum of all the objectives can be thought of as the project. It is when all results have be completed and all objectives have been met that the project is considered completed.

The challenge is, of course, defining all the results. This is what scope is all about and that is the subject of another post.

That is the idea in brief. I await your critiques.

N.B. – Two other definitions are helpful in understanding this post.

  • Responsible party – the person who is responsible for making sure the work is completed by the estimated completion date.
  • Resource – the person who does the actual work.

Often times these two are the same person, but that is not always the case.