Putting the MOASQ to work

A while back I wrote a post about what I call the MOASQ or Mother of All Strategic Questions in which I opined that the central focus of any strategy should be about creating customer value, not about generating revenue.

Last week I was working in a consulting role with an organization that shares some space with other groups. As we sat down at the conference table, I was struck by what had been sketched out on the white board by a group who had used the room prior to us. I snapped a photo.

IMG_0117Notice that this clearly illustrates a strategic conversation in which revenue generation was the focal point. Keep in mind, I am not against revenue generation, but it is an effect, not a cause.

I took the liberty of replacing Revenue with Customer value.

IMG_0118My belief is that had this shift been made, the conversation would have been very different than it was. I’ll admit, I do not know the outcome of the previous meeting. It might very well have been extraordinary, but I truly believe it would have been better still had Customer value been on the white board instead.




On Net Neutrality

Because of a recent court decision, net neutrality has been the topic of conversation on a few of the pages I follow.

My position is that the problem is in the defining of “net neutrality.” While words often have their meanings transformed over time (“liberal” as an example), the phrase “net neutrality” is one that I do not think has ever been pinned down with a very specific meaning.

Here are the two definitions that I see most often used:

  1. No company may impede access to content.
  2. The Internet should be free from all government regulation.

In pondering these two definitions, one can see that they are sometimes contradictory. If I believe in the first, it would be logical that I would need government to intervene if an entity does, in fact, impede access. If I believe in the second, it would be logical that an entity could impede access and that no regulation is needed to stop the practice.

As a libertarian (classical liberal) I think it is the second.

The important point is this – when someone asks, “Do you favor net neutrality?” the only correct reply is “What do you mean by net neutrality?”

Comment on The Value of Timesheets by PM Hut

In a post entitled The Value of Timesheets, PM Hut offers this, “The data being tracked by timesheets is used in several areas: for project costing/estimating future phases or projects; for the purpose of time management; and most importantly, for billing and payroll.”

My comment in full:

Using timesheets to measure doneness of your project is like using a smoke detector to measure the doneness of your toast, by the time the alarm goes off it is too late.

In addition time spent is not costing because it is based on the faulty assumption that all hours are equal. We know this to be false, yet ignore it. It is like still saying “but what if we fall off” even though you know the Earth is now round.

Lastly, more often than not, timesheets are lies. I have asked hundreds of professionals if they have ever falsified a timesheet (up or down by the way) and every single one has admitted that they have done so. In many cases, they say almost all of their timesheets have at least one falsehood. Folks do not put actual time time spent, they put what the believe is should be, sometime more, but more often less. To base future work on these figures is crazy.