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Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

How Mobile Makes Life Better and Easier

Posted by Melissa Sweat on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 @ 12:10 PM

SC_Moatti_100x100.jpgGuest post by SC Moatti

We are all wired with anxieties that get triggered when we least expect them. In fact, psychology professor Roy Baumeister explains that it takes a lot of energy to keep this stress under control. He calls that energy willpower, which is also the title of his best-selling book.

“Some people imagine that willpower is something you only use once in awhile, such as when you are tempted to do something wrong. The opposite is true,” he says. “Most people use their willpower many times a day, all day.”

It all adds up to depletion of energy. That’s when we most feel that we lose control. “Depletion seems to be like turning up the volume on your life as a whole,” Baumeister says.

Great mobile products turn the volume down on our life, and they do it by knowing a lot about us. The more they know about us, the more personalized they get. The more personalized they get, the better able they are to cater to our individual wants and needs.

Sign up for our free webinar May 5, 2016 with SC Moatti, "Human First: How Mobile is Becoming an Extension of Ourselves"

Click now to register!

(At the webinar, we'll also be giving away 5 copies of SC's new book, Mobilized!)

By being constantly connected to our environment, mobile products sort through the millions of information bits we are bombarded with to show us only the ones that matter right here, right now. We give them permission to make these decisions on our behalf because they know enough about us to personalize everything.

This personalization is essential to what makes mobile products successful. It puts us in complete control of the experience.

Sometimes, the experience we get from mobile is so personalized that we wouldn’t be able to reproduce it otherwise. Life suddenly gets easier, because we are no longer hampered by circumstances beyond our control. Our stress level goes down, as in this example.

Mobile personalization success

Not too long ago, I had an important meeting with a major partner, and as I was leaving my apartment it started raining. I decided to hail a cab.

Of course, there was no cab in sight. It took me a while to finally find one and by then, I was soaked and already late for my meeting. On top of this, when it came time to pay the fare, I didn’t have enough cash so we had to stop by an ATM.

All I could think about was that I was going to lose my client. I blamed myself for not planning enough. I was upset at the rain for messing up the traffic. But really, I was afraid of losing a significant source of income. All because I couldn’t find a cab.                                               

Now that I started using Lyft and Uber, I no longer get stressed when I need a ride. All I need to do is pull up the service on my phone when I’m getting ready to go somewhere, get in the car when I’m notified that it’s here to pick me up, and get out when I’ve arrived. It optimizes my itinerary in real time by routing around delays that before would have left me stuck in traffic. It even tells me ahead of time how much the fare will be. I no longer even need to “pay” in the traditional sense, because the fare is automatically charged to my credit card. I feel cared for, even pampered, because the service eliminates all the previous hassle of getting from point A to point B. It feels good.

Feeling taken care of in ways we cannot provide to ourselves is a reflection of what is important to us, of what has inner meaning to us. A bond naturally develops from this extreme personalization, similar to any relationship. This connection lifts our spirit, not unlike intense feelings such as love. And what gives us more meaning than being in love?

To learn more about the formula for mobile success, including how to apply it to your own company, read my book, mobilized: an insider’s guide to the business and future of connected technology, visit scmoatti.com, or join us at the free webinar May 5!

Sign up for the FREE webinar!

Topics: emerging technology, giveaway, Technology, business results, productivity, Lunch & Learn Webinars, collaboration

The Secret to Silicon Valley Innovation | TEDxTalk & Webinar

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 03:21 PM

Silicon Valley's abundant landscape of innovation is difficult to duplicate. Many outside companies have tried to "clone that magic mix of what makes Silicon Valley," says Reinhold Steinbeck in his 2011 TEDxTalk, and he thinks they haven't been able to accomplish it.

innovation People OnTheGo CreativeCommonsWhy is this?

One of the reasons, he says, is the learning taking place in local institutions, like Stanford, and how this connects with the many corporations and startups that call Silicon Valley home. It's this "innovative approach to teaching and learning," Steinbeck says, that gives the Valley its leading edge.

Steinbeck is no stranger to the fertile ground of innovation in Silicon Valley, having worked in the area for over 20 years, including at Apple in their Advanced Technology Group and at the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning. He'll be presenting with his colleage and innovation specialist, Edgard Stuber, at People-OnTheGo's free webinar, Thursday, February 6 at noon PT: How to Use Design Thinking to Create an Innovation Company Culture.

Click to register for the complimentary webinar.

Watch Reinhold Steinbeck's TEDxTalk below (note: presentation is in English.)

Additional Resources & Webinars

Topics: Technology, Lunch & Learn Webinars, management, leadership

Watch & Learn: Agile Development Methodology Demystified (Video)

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Fri, Nov 01, 2013 @ 03:49 PM

Have you heard of Agile? Agile is a popular software development production method, but is also used in a variety of other fields in the areas of project management, innovation development, and more. Project managers, business owners, executives, leaders, and change managers would well benefit from learning about this powerful development methodology that works in an ongoing, iterative approach, and always with the end customer or user in mind.

Watch the video below to hear a great explanation of Agile (in under 5 minutes!).

And please join us for our FREE Lunch & Learn Webinar on Nov. 7, 2013 to learn even more about how Agile can power productivity and innovation at your business or organization: An 'Agile' State of Mind: How Agile software development & values power productivity (in business and beyond).

Click to register now for the free webinar.

Additional Resources & Webinars

Topics: Technology, productivity, Lunch & Learn Webinars, management, collaboration, leadership

3 Great Reads on Lean Process Improvement

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Wed, Oct 09, 2013 @ 04:37 PM

We recently hosted the Director of IT Quality at UCSF Medical Center, Pierre Brickey, at our complimentary, Lunch & Learn Webinar, "Lean in Action: Streamline your process and achieve results!" In his presentation, Pierre shared about the remarkable improvements the IT Department has been making at the San Francisco hospital. You're invited to watch the recording of the 40-minute session in our Accomplishing More With Less groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Our next free webinar on Thursday, November 7 also deals with productivity and process improvement: "An 'Agile' State of Mind: How Agile software development & values power productivity (in business and beyond)." You can click here to register for the webinar now.

By request from participants, Pierre Brickey has kindly shared his recommended reading on Lean process improvement. Here are his selections:

1. Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James P. Womack and Daniel T. Jones

lean thinking book
2. Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA by Mike Rother and and John Shook

learning to see lean book
3. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World's Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey Liker

the toyota way lean book

 Are you using currently employing Lean in your business or organization? What books or methodologies do you recommend on process improvement? Please leave your comment below.

Additional Resources & Webinars

Topics: books, Technology, business results, time management tips, productivity, Lunch & Learn Webinars, management

Sizing Up the Right Project Management Tool

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 @ 04:18 PM

In addition to the project management tools that we teach at People-OnTheGo, such as Microsoft Project, Microsoft SharePoint, Google Sites, Asana, and project wikis, our guest blogger will shed some light on additional PM tools for various project sizes.

projectmanagement tool software people onthego

Guest blog post by Jose Maria Delos Santos

Initiating a project needs adequate preparation. A significant percentage of projects have failed because of the lack of it. Aside from the necessary project management skills and processes, people also need to use the correct tool for the job. As projects come in different sizes, it is also important to use the right-sized PM tool for the project.

The defining line whether a project is small or medium-size can be difficult but is generally relative to the sponsoring organization. As such, PM tools for small and medium-size projects sometimes fall into one group. However, a PM tool having more core PM functionality, such as project tracking, task dependencies, time and expense tracking and resource management, is better suited for medium-size projects. Large projects have a bigger impact in terms of duration, resources, cost, risk and deliverables, and therefore need a PM tool that has a comprehensive set of integrated and sometimes customizable features.

PM Tools for Small Projects

Producteev is a web-based social task management platform that is well suited for small projects. The first interface is called the Workspace, and from this page, the user can create and complete tasks as well as invite people for collaboration on the task. It is available on many platforms such as a PC, Mac, mobile devices, and even just with an email.

Teambox is a project management and collaboration platform that is relatively easy to use. All communications of the team can be organized by projects for easy reference. The discussion may be converted easily into tasks and tracked for progress through a workload view, calendar, or Gantt chart.

ProofHub is an online PM tool that offers cloud-based storage, flexible pricing, and unique inbuilt chat and proofing tool that improves work efficiency greatly. For example, team members and clients alike can use the online collaboration tool that is faster and more powerful than email. All chat history is then stored for easy reference and update.

PM Tools for Medium-size Projects

AceProject is an online application that has strong project management features including Gantt charts, project tracking, time and expense tracking, document management, reporting, and mobility. It also has important human resource management features critical for medium-size projects involving a greater number of people. It can include external collaborators to the project while maintaining security and integrity with access rights. Since projects always involve resources, their availability and their assignment, AceProject’s time tracking, expense tracking and reporting features become indispensable.

LiquidPlanner is an online PM and analytic tool that has more than just a built-in project collaboration feature. It also has the important scheduling and organizational features that can be set by priority. It also has time tracking and approval features that make it easy for team members to fill up their timesheets and for project managers to approve them.

Intervals is an online software that helps users take control of their time, tasks, and projects. Many businesses in over 100 countries are using it, which resulted in successful projects and expansion of their business. It has powerful reporting features that allow the project manager to see how the projects are advancing, what the workload is on a team member, and how well within budget is the project costing.

PM Tools for Large Projects

EPM Live is a work management platform for managing projects. Aside from project management tools such as scheduling, collaboration, timesheets, and reporting, it also has portfolio management, cost management and work management features. It has powerful workflow automation features that can be implemented across the organization for the total picture of project performance. It may be deployed online through the Internet or on-premise within the company.

Project Insight is a customizable online PM software that boasts of a long list of features but still retains ease of use. It is flexible as well to be deployed online or on-premise. It has the needed features to support project scheduling and resource allocation. It also has issue tracking, MS Outlook and Office integration, and portfolio management features.

Genius Project is an enterprise project management system that has all the needed PM features and more. It has project portfolio management, invoicing, demand management, risk and change management, and Agile SCRUM support. It can be deployed as software-as-a-service or hosted on-premise. It also has integration with IBM’s Lotus Notes and Domino.

Conclusion

Web-based PM tools are being adopted more by SMBs because of low initial costs, scalability, and rapid deployment that have increased their ability to compete with larger competitors. Security issues that have made bigger enterprises hesitant to adopt cloud services are now being addressed by on-premise deployments of these same PM tools. Clearly, whatever the size of the project or organization, a PM tool now exists with a right fit.

About Jose Maria Delos Santos: Jose is a freelance article writer for Project-Management.com, a website dedicated to provide PM articles, detailed project management software reviews, and the latest news for the most popular web-based collaboration tools.

Additional Resources & Webinars

Topics: virtual teams, document collaboration, Microsoft Project Training, Microsoft SharePoint Training, Technology, management, collaboration

How to Create a Mind Map with MindJet Information Mapping Software (Video Tutorial)

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 @ 04:07 PM

Here's a great video tutorial, below, on mind mapping with MindJet software. For more tips and tools about visual project mananagent, join us for our next free Lunch & Learn Webinar on 7/11/13 at noon PT: How to Use Visual Project Management for Greater Productivity.

Click to register for the free webinar.

Topics: virtual teams, Technology, business results, productivity, Lunch & Learn Webinars, management, collaboration

No More Google Reader; Now, Here Are 5 Alternatives

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Wed, Jul 03, 2013 @ 03:05 PM

describe the imageBy Eve Porcello, People-OnTheGo Faculty Member

Back in March, Google announced (buried within a bulleted list in their blog) that they would be retiring their popular RSS feed platform, Google Reader, as of July 1. Google cited a decline in usage, but Google Reader fans are rabid and reliant on the tool to organize and deliver their news for easy consumption.

So what is a Google Reader user to do?google reader issues

Despite Google Reader’s demise, there are still several services that will help you curate the experience of reading websites and news articles through RSS.

Feedly - Among the Google Reader replacements, Feedly is likely the most seamless. You can log right in to Feedly using your Google account and import your Google Reader data absolutely for free. Feedly also offers a variety of apps that will allow you to access your content from any device.

NewsBlur - Intended to help you read the news from anywhere, NewsBlur offers iOS, Android, and web apps to help you organize and read the news. The service also offers social features to help you see what your friends are reading and sharing. NewsBlur is a “freemium” app with free storage up to 64 feeds and $24/year for an unlimited subscription.

Flipboard, Pulse, & Zite - These apps help you get the latest on your mobile devices. While they don’t mirror the experience of viewing Google Reader from a desktop computer, all show your articles with reliability and great usability.

If you have used Google Reader in the past and you want to export your subscription data, you can download a copy with Google Takeout before July 15, 2013.

To learn more about using other Google tools (that won’t be retired anytime soon), check out our Managing Your Inbox in Google Apps, Google Docs & Drive, Google Docs & Drive Advanced, Google Sites, Google Sites Advanced, and Google Analytics webinars.

Topics: tools and supplies, Technology, productivity

Disruptions: Life’s Too Short for So Much E-Mail by Nick Bilton (New York Times, 7/8/12); summary + commentary by Melissa Sweat, Online Community Manager

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 @ 09:17 PM

Haven't heard about our summary+commentary (s+c*d) format? Learn more!

Summary

summary commentary emaildistration 8.20.12

Corporate employees send and receive about 105 emails daily. Writer Nick Bilton thinks that’s a big problem as he tries to manage his more than 6,000 monthly emails, using everything from filters to away messages to no avail (see "Disruptions," NYT). He cites a 2012 UC Irvine report stating that those who didn’t check email regularly at work were less stressed and more productive than those who checked more often. Bilton considers other forms of messaging instead, like Google Chat or Twitter, or even not responding at all.

Commentary

We relate with Bilton about email frustration, but “avoidant inbox disorder” is not the solution. Our methodology at People-OnTheGo is that email is a task you schedule into your day. This enables you to focus your work effort, while saving time for collaboration (email, social media, etc.). We have a unique inbox strategy that helps you prioritize emails, daily and weekly; no more switching tasks to attend to every alert. We also agree with the UC Irvine study:  those who check email less regularly—though we would add “and more strategically”—are less stressed and more productive.

Discussion

Are you frustrated and overwhelmed by email? Do you try to avoid it? Are newer forms of communication like chat and social media messaging more preferable to you? What are some email solutions that you use in the workplace?

Additional Resources

Topics: summary-plus-commentary, Gmail, Technology, time management tips, getting organized, interruptions, productivity, information overload, time on social media, managing stress, email management

Interview with 'Cloud Surfing' author Thomas Koulopoulos

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Sun, Jul 29, 2012 @ 06:01 PM

You may have heard about the cloud, the "next big thing" in computing, virtual storage, sharing, and internet technology. And even if you haven't, you're likely using cloud-based services in your home or workplace already, such as Gmail, Skype, Dropbox, and more. In anticipation of "Living in the Cloud," our free webinar on Thursday, August 2, we interviewed presenter Thomas Koulopolous about his book, Cloud Surfing, the business and personal implications of the cloud, and where this innovation will lead in the coming years.

Thomas KoulopoulosPeople-OnTheGo:  What prompted you to write Could Surfing? And why now?

Thomas Koulopoulos:  The book started nearly three years ago with a simple premise that nearly every social, economic, academic, and business institution is being threatened by the intense hyperconnectivity of the cloud—and yet this hyperconnectivity will increase tenfold in less than a decade. The implications are beyond our wildest imagination.

You mention risk, innovation, scale, and success. Do you believe that the risk is well-managed now, and that success outweighs the risk?

I believe that the appetite for risk is very much a cultural norm that is influenced by the price of failure and the cost of experimentation. For example, the risks we took to put a man on the moon or to end World War II had enormous implications that we were willing to accept because failure was not an option. In some way we lament the progress made in those eras and we talk about how that appetite for risk has changed radically. However, what I see as a result of the cloud is that today young entrepreneurs celebrate failure and experimentation. They discount the risk and have much less fear of it. The reason is simple:  they can experiment quickly and at near zero cost, while also having a shot at changing the world à la Facebook or Twitter. It's no longer about just managing risk, it's about accepting it with open arms.

How do you compare cloud computing to the mainframe era from years ago? What are the resemblances and the key differences?

I often hear people say that cloud is just the old time-sharing model used in the mainframe era. That is an incredibly simple way to avoid the disruption that the cloud will cause. The cloud is not just about technology. The cloud is about connectivity. Mainframes did very little to connect people and machines. They were repositories of data and information which caused organizations to be inwardly focused on highly structured frameworks for how pieces of data worked together. The cloud is all about connections, a focus on the outside, and a lack of structure where data and information are being brought together in ways we never could have rationally anticipated.

What would be the top cloud services that businesses "must" explore?

Start with the basics:  storage and computing (aka Amazon); move onto processes and applications (aka Salesforce); from there go to private clouds (putting your apps in the cloud), then consider which apps you can provision to the public cloud. Having done that you have about 1% of the cloud under your belt. Again, the misunderstanding is that the cloud is all about technology. It's not. The cloud is about how you employ people, utilize talent, collaborate, predict, infer sentiment, shape and influence markets, and ultimately how you build your business model. That is a long journey.

Why should individuals explore the cloud?

The most amazing thing I see among individuals over the age of 40 is that they bury their head in the sand when it comes to the cloud. The only practical answer to how you will survive the cloud is to learn how to surf it. That only comes with using it. So rather then poo poo Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and instant messaging, I tell people to just use them. Even if they can't possibly see value to it. The reality is that the value of the cloud will change. While there may be much more effort involved in extracting value from the cloud today than most people think they will get back, it is still something you need to use to appreciate and to evolve with. If you sit on the sidelines you had better be ready for an incredibly steep learning curve.

Where do you see this phenomenon going 5 or 10 years from now?

I often joke that the best futurists are not the pundits, gurus, or economists but rather the science fiction writers. Wells, Asimov, Heinlein, Clark were all much better and much closer at predicting the future than the best pundit. The acceleration of the cloud will be unlike anything we have experienced. Yet, there are some telltales that show us the trajectory. The best one is to watch the way your kids behave online. Look at how they game, socialize, play. What you are seeing is how they will work. To me that is the best indicator of how radically different even the near-term future will be. The good news (or perhaps the bad news for some) is that most of us will be here to see that future. Whether we will be ready for it and be able to surf it is another matter all together.

Register now for "Living in the Cloud" with Thomas Koulopolous, our free Lunch & Learn Webinar on Thursday, August 2.

Topics: emerging technology, Technology, Lunch & Learn Webinars

Cloud computing: what does it mean to you? Chance to win a copy of 'Cloud Surfing' by Thomas Koulopoulos!

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 @ 04:32 PM

CloudSurfingBook ThomasKoulopoulosIf you Google “cloud computing,” you are likely to find more than 200,000,000 results. Yes, that is 200 million of them

But you don’t even need to Google it. Just look around your office, and you are likely to find many cloud services that are in place:  from web content management, to e-commerce, sales and marketing, storage and backup, financial applications, web conferencing, and the list goes on.

On one side, there are some compelling benefits for cloud services, ranging from significant cost advantages, to easy access across the globe, and offloading the operational headaches of these systems to someone else.

But on the other side, there are risks relating to security, confidentiality, content ownership, stability of providers, among others.

Have you adopted cloud computing and to what extent? Share your experience with cloud computing in the following survey for a chance to win a copy of Cloud Surfing by Thomas Koulopoulos!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/cloud-services

Join us on Thursday, August 2nd for our Complimentary Lunch & Learn Webinar, "Living in the Cloud" to hear Thomas Koulopoulos, author of Cloud Surfing, A New Way to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale and Success, provide valuable insights about this topic.

Topics: emerging technology, Technology, Lunch & Learn Webinars, webinars