Ins and Outs of Business Software Market

If you are tasked with implementing business software at your organization, you know a lot is riding on the software choices you make. Get the wrong software or system and your career could be at risk. Implement a buggy software and you could even face legal liability and worse.

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Given that most business software installs are meant to last several years, the decision to implement is fraught with so many dangers it can be likened to a minefield. Of course all this can be solved by simply going online and searching for business software reviews right? Wrong. Some have reported that reviews are now even more confusing at best and at worst just plain wrong. What to do? Well as with most things “Internets” or online there are different actors with different motivations but when it comes to to software reviews and recommendations, I would like to talk to you about WhataSoftware.

Here’s the premise of WhataSoftware:

  1. Use powerful tools to uncover the enterprise software tools the most successful companies use to maintain their edge.
  2. Business software reviews using the wisdom of the crowds as a guidance.
  3. Rely on industry experts to help guide you with non ‘BS’ reviews.

These 3 factors, among many features, is makes WhataSoftware a breath of fresh air in an industry known for staid reporting and outdated information. Check out WAS and let us know what you think. I think you will agree that the non cluttered look coupled with all the above mentioned differentiators makes WAS a welcome addition to this important conversation.

So if you ever feel like this guy, you know where to go.
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eLeaP Learning Management System Releases Latest Version of Popular eLeaP LMS Platform Making Online Training Even Easier

eLeaP Learning Management Systems just announced the release of the latest version of the popular eLeaP LMS Platform. This latest release features Smart Course menus and upgrades to the content formatting engine, robust reporting and system notifications and new mobile learning capability.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/03/prweb5121344.htm

How do I roll out the e-learning system to ensure user participation?

Most of us are familiar with the line “The best laid plans of mice and men…” meaning that even the most comprehensive plans often risk failure. The point here is that unless we follow through with the implementation of our plans effectively, we will not be able to ensure that there will be a successful outcome.

One of the most common failures in implementing new systems, or in most projects for that matter, is the lack of communication. Like the weather, everyone can complain about communication failures, but no one seems inclined to do anything about it. So the first step in any implementation should be to develop and launch a communication plan.

A communication plan generally comes from the implementation team (or its leader) and links each of the major steps in bringing on the new system to some form of communication with those who need to know. The initial communication can be in the form of an email from a senior executive, outlining the e-learning systems purpose, objectives and timeline, and requesting input be directed to the team leader if any employees have suggestions, questions or issues.  Subsequent communication generally will come from the team and provide relevant updates on what the specifics of what the system will contain, when it will be ready and how it will impact employees. Often, companies include this in their internal newsletter or through posters put up around the facilities. It is important, though, to be sure to announce the project’s initiation and actual launch in a way that reaches everyone and answers as many questions as possible.

Within the e-learning project team, it is also critical to assess key risks to the implementation right from the start, when they are likely to occur and who is responsible for monitoring them. For example, can necessary personnel resources become unavailable due to unplanned travel? Or is the development of courseware taking longer than expected? Is there a technical problem with including hands-on interactions in the courses?  (Hopefully, the system you select is as simple to operate and implement as eLeaP.) Risks that have been identified early can often be controlled or mitigated without much disruption; those that sneak up on you are often disastrous.

Once the system is in place, you should consider a limited trial run with actual users (not just team members) to test the system prior to full roll out. Users with little knowledge of the system will generally raise more questions and encounter more difficulties than those with experience. You can use these questions, along with others the team has developed, in your announcement to the full roster of employees, perhaps as FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that will anticipate the majority of the questions.

Finally, be sure to communicate with the entire organization prior to full roll out. This communication should be in the form of an announcement letting everyone know when the system will be available, its features and benefits, why it was selected, who to contact for further information or assistance, and what will be required of them.

Following these few simple steps will greatly improve the success of your team’s efforts. Remember: Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Now they have patented your genes

Apparently one company has been issued a patent which basically says if you want to get tested for breast of ovarian cancer, tough! You will need to fork over $3000 for Myriad Genetics.

Seriously the patents at issue give Myriad Genetics a virtual monopoly on such predictive testing for breast and ovarian cancer.

I wonder when people will wake up and see what is going on here. I am glad the courts are intervening. See Wired for the whole story.

Recessions and Learning (Management Systems)

So how is your organization holding up doing this recession? Are you investing in your most potent weapon – your human capital, your employees?

Or are you joining the bandwagon and just cutting costs because its become fashionable? Don’t get me wrong, you should always strive for efficiency, you should always ask “how can we do this better?”, How can we get more effective with our resources?”. What I don’t seem to get is why all of a sudden everyone and their brother is claiming we need to let people go bla bla bla.

Anyways back to my original point. You should be investing more in your human capital. Now is the  time to get effective with training and learning. Now is the time to be looking at opportunities and positioning your organization for the recovery and upturn. Oh and its going to be tough to compete effectively if you lack the competent employees and resources.

So have you considered online training or web based training? Have you considered using learning management systems to help you create, launch and manage and track training and e-learning.

Costs for learning management systems (LMS) are going down, technology has vastly improved and flexibility has been enhanced so an organization regardless of size or sophistication can now leverage the power of online learning management systems to conduct and track training and e-learning.

Of course like anything else, you need to know what you are doing, who are you dealing with and several other questions of effectiveness and reliability. Check out this lms article on what to consider when selecting a learning management system.

Bottom-line.

Now is the time to get creative and leverage the potential of all your resources – human, capital, marketing, technological. Use some of the systems identified in this article to get started.

Also check out eLeaP LMS & Training Software System at www.eleapsoftware.com.

Its been 7 years since 9-11-2001

September 11th, 2008

I can’t believe its been 7 years already. I must confess but it looks like the public is already forgetting this tragic and bloody day.

So perhaps I moment of introspection after 7 years:

  1. The perps of this tragic event are still at large … oh yes we know they are holed up on the mountains of Pakistan so why the *&#@ haven’t we finished the job?
  2. The al-queda organization has reconstituted itself and some intelligence reports indicate is at pre-9-11 strength.
  3. We have a resurgence of the insurgency in Afghanistan.
  4. Pakinstan has a new president (not sure how he will deal with taliban).
  5. Iraq war may be winding down … or lasting another 100 years …. depends who you ask.
  6. We need all the help we can get in Afghanistan — can we muster 2 or 3 brigades to help with the effort over there?
  7. Russia has re-emerged as a “superpower’”?

Sounds grim doesn’t it?

What could we have done differently — after 9-11

  1. Finished the job in Afghanistan.
  2. Killed or captured Osama and his henchmen
  3. Turned world solidarity and support into an international effort to defeat global terrorism.
  4. Deploy economic and diplomatic tools to stem other global challenges like HIV, global climate change, and poverty and genocide.
  5. Opened channels of communication with the moderate Islamic world.
  6. Created a “Manhattan project” to end the causes of terrorism – ignorance and hate mongering and the Israel and Palestinian peace process.
  7. Never forget!

My prayer for the families devastated by this tragic event is for healing and resilience.

God Bless!

Are you linked-in?

I just updated my public profile in Linkedin. Why you ask ?? Well in truth .. a wee bit of curiosity and the inevitable self promotion it so modestly provides ..

Alas in truth, LinkedIn is a nifty little tool for research and reconnection with friends and business associates alike. Check it out and let me know what you think.

While you are at it, join Facebook and signup for eLeaP group. You might learn something!

Cheers!

Don

Conflict management over natural resources capacity building program under the community-based rural development project

The purpose of this training manual is to provide a capacity building framework and tools to support the technical and operational implementation of the conflict management training component integral to the Capacity Building and Community Based Natural Resource Management Components of the World Bank-financed Community Based Rural Development Project. The initial outline for this training component was completed during a FAO mission in February 2005 based on a conflict management training package developed and tested in Ghana under the Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) sub-programme 3.4 “Natural Resource Conflict Management.” The training manual was designed and finalized during an FAO-World Bank cooperative agreement technical assignment in July 2006, led by Pamela Pozarny (Rural Development Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa) with Bizoola Gandaa and Conrad Weobong, both from the University of Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana.

Download the report here