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Business Case: Investment Appraisal and More

Business Case

Business CaseA Business Case is a valuable tool. It’s the corporate world’s equivalent of the scales of justice. Like a mini adversarial system wrapped up as a document of record.

As a project manager, business cases are like mother’s milk to me. But they won’t be for everyone. So before I introduce yet another gratuitously clichéd metaphor, let’s explain what a business case is, and why you need it.
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The Internet of Things: IOT

Internet of Things - IOT

Internet of Things - IOTLike many big ideas, the Internet of Things operates at many levels. It may sound frighteningly complex to you. But in fact, the core of the idea is very simple.

But, underlying a simple concept, the technology that makes the Internet of Things (IOT) possible is fiendishly complex. Indeed, it is really the convergence of many advanced technologies.

We shall not be taking a dive into the technology (you may be glad to hear). However, any well-informed manager needs to understand the big picture of:

  • what it is
  • what it can do
  • where it is going, and
  • the concerns we might have

So, in this article, we’ll give you your primer on the Internet of Things.

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The Learning Organisation: Advantage through Adaptation

Learning Organisation

Learning OrganisationWhat’s the biggest long-term competitive advantage an organisation can have? It’s the ability to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances. And for that, it needs to learn. That’s the Big Idea behind Peter Senge’s Learning Organisation.

The Learning Organisation sits at the confluence between two powerful forces for good:

  1. Individual learning, development, and personal growth
  2. Systems thinking that allows us to mentally connect up the network of parts into a complex whole

What it means is simple in concept, though fiendishly hard to achieve in practice. A learning organisation is one that continually develops and evolves so that everyone shares a consistent vision and collectively prepares themselves to meet the next challenge in achieving it.

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Colour Psychology: Creating a Feeling

Colour Psychology

Colour PsychologyWe associate colours with brands and brands with colours. Some colours and combinations immediately evoke a brand. And others instantly trigger a feeling. This is the role of colour psychology in marketing.

Much of what people think they know about colour psychology is little more than pseudo-science. Chromatic astrology, if you will. But there is also a growing body of research evidence to fall back on.

And what that underlines is that, for whatever reason, there is some firm basis for colour psychology.

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Triple Constraint: Time, Cost, and Quality

Triple Constraint - Time Cost Quality

Triple Constraint - Time Cost QualityTime, cost, or quality. Choose one. They are the corners of the triple constraint. And this is the most basic, most important idea within Project Management.

Project Management itself is a Big Idea that we have already covered. But when you are leading a project, the triple constraint is your guiding compass. It gives you the bearing for every decision you need to make.

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Outsourcing: Outsiders Working for You

Outsourcing

OutsourcingOutsourcing feels like it’s been around forever. And doubtless, as an adjunct to business operations, it has. But, as a widely-used business strategy, it really only dates to the 1980s.

Since then, outsourcing has become a vital option for large and small business, and for many public services too.

So, what is outsourcing, why do organisations use it as much as they do, and what are the risks?

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Solution Focus: The Future Beats the Past

Solution Focus: The Future Beats the Past

Solution Focus: The Future Beats the PastYou can focus on the problems you have. Or you can focus on the solutions. As big ideas go, they don’t get much simpler than solution focus. It’s simply a binary choice to focus on the future, rather than the past.

Solution focus has its origins in Solution Focused Brief Therapy. But therapy isn’t what we specialize in here at Management Pocketbooks. So, instead, we’ll turn our attention to what managers can learn from the ideas, and put to use in solution-focused problem solving and coaching.

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Management By Objectives: Delegating Outcomes

Management by Objectives

Management by ObjectivesPeter Drucker is the originator of Management by Objectives. It’s a Big Idea that, in various forms, still dominates much of the corporate world.

It’s not sophisticated, nor very clever. It is the simplicity and directness that makes Management by Objectives a powerful tool for any manager. However, as a corporate culture, it may have passed its sell-by date.

So, let’s see what Management by Objectives is, how it works, and what its strengths and weaknesses are, in today’s world.

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Upsell: Optimise Every Sales Opportunity

Upsell, Cross-sell, Down-sell: Optimise Every Sales Opportunity

Upsell, Cross-sell, Down-sell: Optimise Every Sales OpportunityYour customers may be few or many. But you never want to let one leave without making the best sale you can. So you need to learn the art of the upsell. And, for that matter, of the cross-sell and the down-sell.

All of them take place after your customer has made their first decision to buy. So, you have done the hard work. Now you can use upselling and cross-selling to increase your revenue. And, if your customer changes their mind, there’s always the down-sell.

If you want to optimise every sales opportunity, you need to know how to apply the ideas of the upsell, cross-sell, and down-sell.

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