There are a lot of slow, ineffective ways to get your kid skiing well enough to join you, but the fastest way involves a very designed, intentional start that absolutely anyone can teach.

I’m prepping to teach my three year old (her first ski trip!) and this post is me documenting my game plan so my wife can help me. I’m writing this targeted towards teaching kids, but it mostly applies to adults too.

Why Trust Me?

I’m a PSIAA-certified former ski instructor and have taught hundreds of kids and adults to ski from scratch, both in groups and 1:1. …

A pretty common occurrence happens as you are setting up your Salesforce. You’ve got multiple teams/workflows using the same object, and their needs begin to step on each other’s toes. Maybe you have Account Managers and Sellers using opportunities, but you’ve got different stages, requirements, even page layout needs. Record Types to the rescue!

Implementing Record Types is easy to do, and also easy to get wrong.

Three quick pieces of advice:

1) Share an Admin

Record Types are designed for independent behavior. But make sure there is someone (an admin in common, or at least a cross-functional team) who knows the needs of…

For many, a step up the ladder to “Manager” is a goal set with insufficient context.

How do you become one? Should you want to?

What Else is There?

Often, this track is pursued by default. Management = career progress.

As someone who’s had broad range of manager types, I believe it is tragic when the wrong people reluctantly become managers because it’s the only track to money, esteem, or influence. Like driving after a few beers, this mistake is not just to their own detriment. Others stand to suffer.

Leveling is an increasingly-used strategy to create a non-management, independent contributor (IC) track that can be just as lucrative or rewarding. But providing an IC track only presents a choice…

I’ve never had ongoing problems getting users to adopt software to do their job. In fact, I often feel shocked to hear how many companies do.

This stuff is expensive, and alternatives to software are silly!

Why is This Happening?

You should approach software adoption problems like a Product Manager. If the team isn’t using something, the user doesn’t understand or appreciate its value. How do you fix that?

  • Market the utility to the end user
  • Make it easier to use and quicker to reap said utility

Easier said than done, right? “You don’t know these people!”

Wrong. Try this:

1) Do Some Beta Testing

Isolate a team that…

I get a lot of questions trying to clarify what situations are a good match for my services. The answer lies in what kind of problem you’re trying to solve.

You should hire a Traditional Software Consultant when you know exactly what you need to do with your software, for example:

  • an exact replica of a system from your last company
  • migrating from one ERP to another with feature parity as a primary goal
  • building a home for well defined or even legally mandated process
  • pursuing table stakes for your industry
  • need a set of hands for your feature factory

We are living in the golden age of Data Driven Organizations. Algorithms! Big Data! Why, you’ve probably even got a Data Scientist or two! But…

If your data people are spending most of their time doing simple arithmetic on tricky business concepts, then you’re being overly generous calling it Data Science. It’s really just Business Intelligence. So which is your team doing?

Ever felt like an engineer “doesn’t see the big picture” or “gets lost in the weeds”? It’s likely your fault.

Sure, It takes a different type of mind that likes to wrangle conditional logic. If..Then is fun until you hit your first edge case. Automation is easy until you are forced to think about how much is too much. The devil is in the details, but people don’t like the work involved in details. They’re busy. They like unambiguous catchphrases and truisms.

I’m usually the details guy, but I felt myself on the other side recently.

My Moment as a Non-Details Guy

I’ve been using Google…

Alignment. I’m sure the mere word sounds like buzzword bingo to you. Yet, as soon as you try to wrangle your Operations (some project spanning process and software config), you find yourself borrowing that tired refrain: “we need to get everyone aligned!”.

Of course, Operations leaders know that disparate teams, when they all pull the chain together, can move big things. On the other hand, when everyone is pulling in opposite directions, you get nowhere. Or worse, your project gets drawn and quartered:

Im getting back into photography, and I remembered an old article a friend sent me from the Wall Street Journal about the ethics of photo editing in various mediums. It points out award winning photographs that were found to be edited later, exploring reactions. The rise of fake news since this was written only brings home this point. Certainly, images used to document news is an important distinction of context, and definitely the journalistic angle to take. But context aside, the conversation was missing a photographer’s perspective on the validity of editing.

My experience is that most people see an…

Priority is not declared or even made; it is what is left over when you’ve delayed everything else.

Focus is relative, its identity revealed when juxtaposed against negative space.

When you initiate something, or even justify the merits of it, you indirectly dilute every other bit of value.

When you cut scope, duck a meeting, or delay your second most important initiative, you indirectly single out what matters.

Set priorities with “no”, not “yes”.

Michael Muse

Operations Software Consultant: @MuseOperations. Formerly Product Operations @ManagedByQ

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