10 things we can learn from the #chinacrisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHINA07

1) What goes up MUST come down – I know it’s obvious but some people really believed it was possible for an economy to grow at 7% per year indefinitely – just ask the punters on the Shanghai Index.

2) Gordon Brown didn’t abolish boom & bust – but then we all learned that 7 years ago. Capitalism, for all its pros & cons, is inherently cyclical.

3) Every Market is interconnected – more so now than ever before, any crisis in China will be replicated to one extent or another around the globe.

4) No Government controls the market – whether its the State Capitalist Chinese or the Western Democracies – intervention is limited in its affect.

5) Transparency is a concern – Is the Chinese economy still growing at 6%, 5% or much less – no one knows & there is a distinct lack of trust in the data supplied by the Chinese government.

6) It will impact us all :- The Chinese economy is the second biggest market in the world & although exports vastly exceed imports the purchasing power of the Chinese middle classes will be severely curbed.

7) Social upheaval will follow – The political tensions in China will erupt (to one degree or another); The Chinese Government will struggle to keep a lid on the educated middle classes who have got used to continuous growth & increased wealth.

8) Capitalism is in crisis – as boom follows bust & vice versa Capital flows to the point of highest growth – leaving chaos in its wake.

9) What comes next ? – no one knows – but maybe we should be looking to develop a sustainable society based on full-filling human needs rather than continuously expanding Gross Domestic product ?

10) The sun still rises in the East, sets in the West & the world keeps on turning.

chris@amberhill.biz

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Who needs driverless cars ? #automotive

driverless__mercedeslMercedes Benz has joined the herd of Automotive companies who have followed Google’s lead in developing autonomous (driverless) vehicles for use on public roads.

But where is the demand coming from ? Who actually wants driverless cars ? It may surprise but, according to a recent Government survey, over 46% of us do!

Maybe its the thought of an extra hours sleep on the daily commute or the desire to squeeze another couple of hours work time in our already busy days; perhaps we imagine driving on our congested roads will be more pleasurable if the car takes the strain instead of us – whatever the reasons there is no doubt that some time soon autonomous vehicles will be a common sight on our roads and the investment decisions of the major motor manufacturers will begin to make sense.

Once again Google will be praised by some & cursed by others, but there will be no denying the Organisations prescience.

Chris@amberhill.biz

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10 Technology Predictions which failed…………….#tech

It’s that time of year again when we’re all trying to peer into the fog of the future & predict what’s going to happen in 2015 & beyond. A good rule of thumb to employ is that if the person doing the predicting is described as an ‘expert’ then their forecast will inevitably turn out to be a load of codswallop.

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Time IS Money………….

Right First TimeThere are loads of books offering advice on Time Management, some useful & some trite like ‘we all have 24 hours in a day’ which is great if you also have a host of assistants to do the menial chores whilst you sit back & contemplate. Most of us don’t have that luxury with busy lives & demanding bosses, we often struggle to manage our own time effectively  completing tasks quickly but not necessarily  efficiently.

How often do you have to go back & correct something you did in a rush ? Thinking you were being efficient only to waste more future time putting it right. Very soon we can end up chasing our own tails like deranged dogs.

One way to improve our use of time is to think of it like money. The more effort put into completing a task ‘right first time’ is like putting savings in a high interest account. You expend a little more effort immediately but don’t have to return to it later to correct errors. This frees up more ‘future time’. The alternative is like spending on a credit card. You want it now & end up paying ‘through the nose’ later.

Get it ‘right first time’ consistently & over time you will spend more time contemplating & less chasing your tail.

chris@amberhill.biz

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10 tips for getting the best out of your supplier…………………..#pmot

blameGetting the most out of your supplier is a key deliverable as a project manager.

  • Build personal relationships by getting to know your suppliers key people – this must be done face to face.
  • Hold regular reviews and distribute minutes, some of these reviews should be at the suppliers site.
  • If you have a problem pick up the phone & call your prime contact.
  • Avoid pithy emails which embarass or cause unnecessary distress.
  • Spell out Requirements in an approriate document signed by purchasing & supplying organisations.
  • Ensure the supplier follows a standard Quotation process.
  • Document key responsibilities in a legally reviewed contract.
  • Ensure the supplier receives timely orders & payment within terms.
  • Give them regular forecasts of requirements.
  • Be open, honest & direct.

Follow the above tips & you won’t go far wrong with Suppliers.

 chris@amberhill.biz

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Stage gate process aids product development #pmot

ISO9001designprocessIn the Automotive# industry thousands of individual components are designed, developed, prototyped, tested and tuned silmultaneously to be brought together as a finished car which has to meet exacting standards for safety, perfomance and reliability.

An incredible feat of engineering and project management which is made possible by the effective use of a rigorous stage gate process based on ISO9001 . Here the output of one stage has to meet pre-defined standards before the project is allowed to move to the next stage.

The key to continued success is the fine tuning of the process itself based on ‘lessons learned’ from previous projects.
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10 tips to minimize cost at the Design stage….

Bizplan03All companies need to be mindful of costs & for those producing products this is best done at the Design stage. Here are some suggestions:-

 

  • Before beginning the design a Product Specification is essential, this needs to have been agreed at Senior Management level.
  • The product design needs to meet the spec and no more.
  • The material choice is critical, why make it out of gold if steel will do.
  • Use minimum thickness, as long as the design meets the spec.
  • Reduce the number of components as much as possible.
  • Re-use existing design components wherever possible – this gives Purchasing negotiating strength over suppliers and reduces inventory.
  • Consider Manufacturing by minimizing the number of process steps in manufacture.
  • Hold regular Design reviews & involve other parts of the Organization.
  • Build a prototype to test the design.
  • If possible test the Design using Computer Aided Modelling.

If you need help minimizing cost at the Design stage feel free to get in touch.
chris@projectsguru.co.uk

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When persistence is not always good…………………….#pmot

Project Managers are generally encouraged to be persistent and this characteristic is normally seen to be a “good” thing and something to be encouraged.

listeningSometimes, however, being persistent can bring “bad” results.

Consider the case of a Project Manager who has a preconceived agenda & seeks to impose it on a meeker member of the team. Despite the initial objections of the Team member the Project Manager persists and “badgers” the other into doing what She wants.

Six months later the project hits a major hurdle and the Project Manager realizes this was exactly what She was warned about all those months ago but chose to ignore in order to bash ahead with her agenda.

The wise Project Manager always listens to her Team and is prepared to question her own agenda with as open a mind as possible.

Persistence is a great attribute of any Project Manager but not when it impedes good judgement.

chris@projectsguru.co.uk

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Start your own Consultancy from scratch – practical tips

So you really want to start your own Consultancy business from scratch !?

ppt1Here are some tips I hope will help:-

  • Identify your key skills – if you want to sell yourself as a Consultant the first thing you need to identify is the skills you possess which people will be willing to pay for. If you can’t do this don’t give up your day job.
  • Develop a Business Plan – don’t put it off because you can’t be bothered or don’t think it’s necessary. If you want people to take you seriously as a Business you need to start thinking like a Business.
  • Identify your target market – who are you going to sell your skills to ? – your current or former employer perhaps ? Former customers or suppliers, ex colleagues, business partners etc etc
  • Network – Develop your contacts, LinkedIn is great for this but don’t forget about your address book & business card collection.
  • Have a look at the Professional Contractors Group website www.pcg.org.uk – it has a fantastic free downloadable guide for freelancers/consultants.
  • If you still want to take the plunge this is perhaps the hardest step of all – You will need a MINIMUM of 6 months income in the bank before you start. Do not plan to earn anything from your Consultancy business for the first six months. If you really want to succeed with your own Consultancy business you will find this money. If you see this as too big a hurdle then sorry but Consultancy is not for you.

Look out for my new book “Start your own Consultancy – Now!”

chris@projectsguru.co.uk

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Are you listening to the Voice Of the Customer?….#business, #innovation

One of the most difficult choices in New Product Development is in deciding what products to develop !

Lot’s of us watch “Dragons Den” on TV and it’s pretty obvious some of the budding entrepreneurs believe they have a great idea but have never even considered asking their customers or potential customers what they think.

To avoid wasting millions of dollars on products no one wants it is essential to listen to the Voice Of the Customer. (VOC)

Companies involved in New Product Development & Innovation need to establish effective methods to capture VOC.

This can take many different forms such as surveys, telephone conversations, face to face interviews, feedback forms, Social Media strategies etc etc etc

Whichever mix is used the information then has to be filtered and sorted to identify priorities for New Product Development. To do this effectively it is essential to have a multi-functional team involved to get a number of perspectives.

If you are involved in Innovation you need to capture the VOC.

chris@projectsguru.co.uk

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