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Gillian is at the end of her wits! They only have less than three months to finish the project and yet all things seem to be going wrong. And to top it all, there's little financial resources left to finish all things that needed completion before d-day! To an expert's eye, Gillian's problem all boils down to improper project management. She may have started the project without evaluating all her resources and whether or not these resources will be enough to meet all the ...

Tips To A More Effective Project Management

Tips To A More Effective Project ManagementGillian is at the end of her wits! They only have less than three months to finish the project and yet all things seem to be going wrong. And to top it all, there's little financial resources left to finish all things that needed completion before d-day! To an expert's eye, Gillian's problem all boils down to improper project management. She may have started the project without evaluating all her resources and whether or not these resources will be enough to meet all the requirements of the project. She has also failed to make a doable timetable for the project, the reason why she is on a panic stage.Project management is the process of applying one's know-how or knowledge in overseeing and managing a project of whatever magnitude. Do not think that "project management" is required only by big projects. Small projects can also benefit from an effective project management. Knowing how to use and apply the knowledge you have acquired in all areas will be helpful in the implementation and accomplishment of any project.Scope of project managementProject management covers all the areas necessary to see a project into completion such a finances, administrative work, communication and public relations. Project management includes but is not limited to:1. The development of a project plan- The project manager must talk to the project creator before accepting or starting a project. They must agree on specific terms of the project so as to avoid conflicts and unreasonable delay in the future. Make sure you know what needs to be done and in what time frame. Ask for specific results that the creator wants to arrive at so you would know what to expect and you will have a gauge as to whether or not the project was managed properly.2. Definition of the scope of the plan- Once the terms of reference has been agreed upon, the project manager must make a project plan which contains all the things necessary to start and complete the project. List down all the resources and logistics you need and the available human resources. Make a map of the project, from start to finish. Make the map realistic so you can avoid problems later on.3. Creation of a project schedule-A timeframe for your project would help you map out the exact schedule required to start and end the project. Create specific time schedules for each step of the project so that would know if you are ahead of your schedule or whether you need to hasten things up to meet the desired schedule.4. Acquisition of human resources- Aside form good planning. A good project management relies on the acquisition of efficient and able human resources. The project leader may be doing all things possible but if he is surrounded by an inept staff, then he will have more problems than he can handle. A project's human resources must be informed of the project schedule and deadline so they will know what is expected of them. Try to motivate your staff and praise each accomplishment no matter how small.5. Development of a communication plan and good public relations- Project management includes the creation of a good communication plan which will enable the efficient flow of information from the leaders to the staff and to the stakeholders. The communication plan must make sure that all information related and affecting the project are relayed to the proper person or office as soon as possible to avoid delays and misunderstanding. A good public relations plan should also be put into place, particularly if the project has a positive or negative impact to the community. So many projects have been stopped in the middle due to pressure from the public. It is better to inform the public on the advantages and disadvantages of the project at the start of the plan so as to avoid conflicts later on.Proper project management is not really complicated but it requires had work and proper planning to make everything smooth, from the start to the completion of the project.

Quick Quiz - Measure Your Meeting Mastery

Quick Quiz - Measure Your Meeting Mastery

Heres an easy quiz to check the health of your meetings.1) Who leads your meetings? -- a) No one, b) Whoever has the loudest voice, c) A facilitator2) What happens to the ideas in your meetings? -- a) If we had to think of ideas, it would be work, b) We make fun of them, c) A scribe writes them on a chart pad3) Are results obtained in your meetings? -- a) We eat all the donuts, b) And we drink all of the coffee, c) Yes!4) Do your meetings have an agenda? -- a) Is that some kind of cabinet?, b) I saw one once in an article, c) Yes!5) Who attends your meetings? -- a) We have bleachers to hold spectators, b) The entire staff plus any homeless people in the neighborhood, c) Only those who can contribute6) How long are your meetings? -- a) Ill let you know when this one ends, b) All day, c) An hour or less7) During a meeting do you: -- a) Break a foam cup into bits, b) Prepare for the next meeting, c) Focus on the topic8) How soon after the meeting do you issue minutes? -- a) If you think I want to publicize how much time we wasted, youre nuts, b) Within a few months or so, c) As soon as possible, if not faster9) While someone is speaking, do you: -- a) Wonder about the strength of plastic foams, b) Plan a way to change the subject, c) Listen empathetically10) What structured activities do you use in your meetings? -- a) We sit on chairs, b) Everyone leaves at the same time, c) Process tools designed to gather information, make decisions, and manage participation.Score: subtract five points for every (a), mark a zero for every (b), and add five points for every (c).If your total is:* Negative: Go to your boss and ask to be fired* Zero to 20: Stay home* 25 to 35: Attend a workshop* 40 to 50: Congratulations

How To Make Money By Starting A Carpet Cleaning Business

How To Make Money By Starting A Carpet Cleaning Business

If you want to make money working for yourself and be your own boss carpet cleaning is an easy business to get into. When you start up a business there are two key components that you need, a product to sell and someone whos willing to buy it. Carpet cleaning is not rocket science but does require knowledge on general carpet cleaning, stain removal and knowing the limitations of what your equipment can handle. There are three main types of carpet cleaning; dry foam carpet cleaning, liquid extraction carpet cleaning, and hybrid liquid extraction using a bonnet to thoroughly scrub the floors. Most carpet cleaners use the liquid extraction method because it most cost effective. When starting your business you need to lay out a business plan. To develop a carpet cleaning business you must have money for start up because your business is equipment based.When you first go to purchase carpet cleaning equipment youll be amazed at how many different types of extraction equipment is available. To find carpet cleaning equipment it is advisable to shop at a local cleaning supplies and janitorial equipment distributor or look on line at vacuum cleaner and carpet extractor websites. There are many types of carpet cleaning units available, some of these types include carpet spotters, portable "carpet extractor" s and truck mount "carpet extractors" . Carpet spotters are made for cleaning smaller spaces and areas that are not flat like cars, boats and furniture. Carpet spotters are also great at removing small spills and stains and are light and easy to transport. A great way to expand what you offer in your carpet cleaning business is to offer mobile auto detailing. Mobile auto detailing is quickly catching on and people will pay good money for this extra service. Portable carpet extractors are what you are probably going to be looking at if youre just starting out in the carpet cleaning market. There are two types of portable carpet extractors, tank and wand units and portable walk behind. Tank units are the best if you are going to be cleaning a lot of carpets frequently. Tank units allow you to attach carpet wand tools for a variety of jobs and are the most versatile. Tank extractors also come with heaters that super heat your extraction solution which in turn yields a cleaner carpet. Tank portable carpet extractors usually range from $1200 to $7000 dollars new and are available with many options. The third type of carpet extraction unit is the truck mount. Having a truck mount unit for commercial carpet cleaning is the ultimate way to go. Truck mount carpet extractors are usually mounted in a truck, van or trailer and contain very large suction motors which are run off the vehicles own power. Truck mount carpet extractors come with super heating heaters that heat the carpet extraction solution up to high temperatures. Truck mount units are usually self contained so the both the solution tank and the waste liquid tank is contained in the vehicle. Truck mount setups can range any where from $10,000 to $60,000 dollars depending on the options you choose. If you are starting out your own carpet cleaning business a used truck mount systems is a great way to go. The basic equipment needed to start your carpet cleaning business is a vehicle to get to your carpet cleaning location, a carpet extraction unit and carpet cleaning chemicals and "cleaning supplies" . After you have acquired all your cleaning equipment its time to get insured. It is not recommended that you clean someone elses carpets without insurance and most people who hire you will require proof that you are insured and bonded for their own protection. Knowledge of carpet cleaning is required for cleaning carpets. There are many books and internet sites that are devoted to commercial carpet cleaning from which you can gain knowledge about the carpet cleaning industry.After you have learned and practiced with your own equipment its time to get some clients. A great way to learn and get experience is to offer to clean your friends and relatives carpet for free or at a discounted price. This is a great way to gain experience and knowledge about carpet cleaning and sometimes learning by making mistakes is the best way to perfect your carpet cleaning skills. The most cost effective way to get clients is networking. Tell people about your carpet cleaning endeavors and ask them to spread the word. Advertising in smaller local newspapers is also a great option because ads are usually cheap and they are targeted to specific communities. When you first start out you should run some good deals even if you are breaking even on the actual carpet cleaning costs at your jobs. You will want to get the word out there as much as you can, and if you do a great job word will spread fast.When you are cleaning your clients carpets it is important that you look and act professional. Remember that you are in someone elses house and that you are being paid as a service to clean their carpets. Before you start cleaning your clients carpets, have them show you all the trouble spots and let them know if it is possible to get stains out. Many people believe that professional carpet cleaners can remove every stain from carpeting but this is not true because some stains can be ground in and permanent. Its ok to let the client know if you are unable to remove a stain. After you are done cleaning the carpets take the client around and show them any trouble spots before you leave. Explain to them why you cant get the stain out and what other treatments such as dying can be done to the carpet. Make sure before you leave that the client is happy, just as good carpet cleaning spreads by word of mouth news of bad carpet cleaning will spread even faster and could give you a bad reputation in the carpet cleaning world. Make sure to keep a list of all your clients and follow up with them over the year to see if your carpet cleaning skills are needed again. Over time you will build up repeat clients to add to your new clients which will in time expand your carpet cleaning business.

Love your coworkers

Love your coworkers

Friends ! this is another powerful tip for reducing tension and stress from life. We spend at least 8 hours daily at our workplace. And we have to work in collaboration with other people. These people are our coworkers. Our relation with them can make us tense and angry or it can make us calm and happy. It all depends on what kind of relation we have with them. If you have a feeling of rivalry, jealousy and mistrust for them, you may find yourself surrounded by bitter critics who always thinks ill of you. However, if you have the feeling of compassion, love and cooperation for your coworker, you will meet with love, cooperation and friendliness. Frankly speaking we all are mirrors of each other. It all depends on you. Your coworkers work with you. Some of them may be very cooperative, kind hearted, jovial and happy goers. They will help you in whichever way they can. Whereas some of them may be extremely indifferent, selfish and egoist who always think of 'what's in for me' before extending any helping hand towards you. No matter which type of coworkers you have at your workplace, my advice is that you should love your coworker and have a feeling of deep compassion for them. No matter how good or bad people are, the fact is that they, just like you, are human beings earning a living at the same place as you. All of them have a family to support, have other responsibilities and above all a life other than this job. While dealing with your coworker, have a feeling of compassion towards them and see them in broad perspective as human beings who just happens to be your coworker. Try to help them in solving their problems. Extend your helping hand in their hours of need. Being a student of meditation (which I hope you have learnt on this site), you should be aware that there is one non-dual reality - self that pervades the entire universe. Try to look every coworker of yours as one manifestation of that self. Have a feeling of compassion for all. You will be amazed to see the kind of positive feedback you get from this. Some of the most important benefits you'll draw from loving your coworkers are : (1) As you love them, they'll love you too. (2) The feeling of enmity and peer- to- peer rivalry will vanish among you and your coworkers. (3) There will be less & less moments of stress & tension as everybody behaves amicably. (4) Many problems at the workplace will be solved easily and quickly when you and your coworkers work collectively in solving them. (5) The overall productivity of your workplace improve as everybody works happily in an amiable environment.

Monsters in Meetings - Part 7, Personal Attacks

You remember these people for the wrong reasons.They are the monsters who hurt others with insults, ridicule, and sarcasm. They bully. They threaten. They attack.And that ruins your meeting.Personal attacks are unacceptable because if one person is being hurt in your meeting, everyone else feels it. As a result, the participants retreat into making safe and generally useless contributions.So, how do you respond to attacks?First, take a big breath. Grab your courage. And then use one of the following approaches.Approach 1: Speak to the groupRespond to a hostile remark by making a general comment. Look at the middle of the group and say:"Just a moment. Let's pause here to calm down. I can tell we're upset about this. And we want to find a fair solution for everyone." (Take slow deep breaths and relax to model calming down.)After saying this, pause a moment to let the group respond. Often, someone else will support your request. Then continue as if everything were normal.Avoid looking at the attacker when speaking to the group. Making eye contact acknowledges and returns power to the attacker.Approach 2: Explore for the causeSometimes people throw insults from behind an illusion of presumed distance. You can respond by calling for an explanation. In this case say:"Pat, you seem upset with that.""Tony, you seem to disagree.""You seem to have reservations about this."I realize these statements may sound like naive responses to an insult. However, such understated responses improve the situation because they sound less threatening, feel easier to deliver, and preserve the other person's self-esteem. Realize the attacker may have viewed the attack less seriously than it sounded.These statements also transfer the focus from the target to the attacker's feelings. And this is what you need to talk about in order to resolve the dispute.After you speak wait for the attacker to talk about what caused the attack. If the attacker continues with hostile remarks, interrupt with:"Excuse me, we need to respect each other. And I wonder what makes you feel upset over this.""Excuse me, we heard that. Now, what makes you feel that way?""Excuse me, I'm interested in hearing what your concerns are."Approach 3: Call a breakIf the first two approaches fail to end the attacks, then call a break or end the meeting. This will give you a chance to meet privately with the attacker, rewrite the agenda, rebuild communication, and (if appropriate) schedule another meeting without the attacker.You could say,"We seem to be at an impasse. I want to take a break so we can calm down.""This hostility makes it impossible to get any work done. So, I'm adjourning the meetings. We'll work on this later and then reconvene at another time.""We need to work on this outside of the meeting. So let's adjourn." Note that some people use anger to intimidate others into cooperating with them. If you adjourn the meeting, you will have to meet with the attacker to resolve the conflict.Meetings are a forum for finding solutions, making decisions, and reaching agreements. When you apply these approaches to disruptions, you will maintain the productive environment necessary to accomplish your goals.This is the seventh of a seven part article on Monsters in Meetings.

Finding A Document Management Solution - In-House vs. Hosted Solutions

Before we get started, some of you may be asking what is document management?Document Management is the ability to manage all of your paper documents in an electronic format. Let's define "paper documents in electronic format".Basically, there are two types of document management systems, either an in-house solution, or an outsourced hosted solution.So,which one will best suit your needs? Good question. Most companies base their decision on available staff to maintain these systems, and the technical abilities of those staff members. Cost of a solution is also a deciding factor. While the cost of an in-house solution is higher up front, having the technical staff to support it, it typically pays off in the long run due to the calculated Return On Investment (ROI). The lower cost of a hosted solution is appealing to many companies because this solution puts the technical responsibilities on the solution provider. It's also beneficial in that most of these solutions are web-based. While some companies can truly benefit from the hosted solution, many can't due to confidentiality of the information contained within their organization.Finding a solution to fit your company's needs can be a time consuming venture. We recommend you first determine what solution fits your organization best, then shop for a solution with the features best suited to your business needs.How much office space can I save? Good question. It depends on the amount of paper files you have taking up your valuable office space.In most offices, there are filing cabinets everywhere. We've become attached and dependant on our paper files. Since most companies are mandated to hold their records from 3 to 7 years, that adds up to an exhaustive amount of paper needed to be maintained and stored. Where do you store it? In your office? A records storage company? What are those costs? All these questions lead this topic in a new direction. Why are you keeping these records in paper format? Why not an electronic format?OK, let's look at some statistics. But before we do that, let's set the standard office environment so we have a reference point to start from. Now for the breakdown:A typical filing cabinet drawer holds about 3000 pages when full.So a full 4 drawer cabinet holds about 12000 pages.A lateral file drawer holds about twice or 50% more files.So a full 2 drawer lateral cabinet holds about 12000 pages.The Simple MathOk, now that we know what we have in the space of our filing cabinets, let's look at space on storage media.A standard 8 1/2 x 11 page scanned at 200x200 DPI (dots per inch) is about 50k in size (average)There is 1024k in 1 megabyte of space.There are 700 megabytes of space on a CD.There are 4,700 megabytes of space on a DVD.Ok, here's the simple math.1,024k (1 megabyte) divided by 50k (standard scanned document) = 20.48 documents per megabyte700 megabytes (1 CD) x 20 (scanned images per megabyte) = 14,000 documents per CD4,700 megabytes (1 DVD) x 20 (scanned images per megabyte) = 94,000 documents per DVDSo here are the facts.1 CD = 1 filing cabinet full of paper documents (12,000 documents)1 DVD = 7 filing cabinets full of paper documents (84,000 documents)Once these documents are scanned and placed on a CD or DVD (write once only media) they become legal documents that can be archived and retrieved later in the event you would like to print, fax, or email them.

Summary

Gillian is at the end of her wits! They only have less than three months to finish the project and yet all things seem to be going wrong. And to top it all, there's little financial resources left to finish all things that needed completion before d-day! To an expert's eye, Gillian's problem all boils down to improper project management. She may have started the project without evaluating all her resources and whether or not these resources will be enough to meet all the ...