When I was in university, a one minute telephone call across the country cost 99¢. Today, a call to most places in the world is about 5¢ a minute or less. Taking inflation into account, that means a long distance phone call costs about 1/60 of its price some 30 years ago.
Welcome to Niedermayer.ca
It's hard to keep pace these days and the pace is getting faster:
- "My business is having problems: Should I invest in more technology? Or do I need to look at my business practices and processes first?"
- "How can I manage my knowledge base to grow my organization?"
- "Where can I get the advice and expertise I need?"
Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective can give you a running start--and get you back into the fast lane so you can avoid the speed bumps and potholes and get on with a smooth path to doing what you do best.
This site has a collection of articles, papers, and other information on the topics of Information Technology, Business Process Consulting, Project Management, Knowledge Management, Finance, Education, and Business Management.
This is more than a portfolio site, it is a site that contains knowledge, experience and real solutions to real problems--and perhaps your problems! If you want to know more, please contact us.
Recent News and Blog Entries
In the science of quantum physics, Werner Heisenberg postulated that the more precisely we can measure the location of a particle, the less precisely we can measure its momentum--and vice versa. This principle, first formulated in 1927 is known as "Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle."
Within management sciences, it seems to have a variant: "The more precisely we try to report on what we've done, the less effective we are at productively satisfying our mandate." Managers love reports. They want to know everything about anything as if reports, pie charts, and trend lines will make them feel more in control of a large department where they can't possibly expect to follow every detail as it transpires--but wish they could.
We've all been there: a consultant arrives at the workplace and one of the executive tells us that we need to embark on organizational change so that we can be more effective/productive/efficient/agile/competitive/_______ (fill in blank with chosen alternate adjective). In the ensuing weeks, rumours abound: "How many people will be laid off?" "What is this really about?" "Who will they fire?" "Haven't we had enough change?"
I wrote about maxims a few weeks ago. As a refresher, "maxims are a series of short statements expressing the shared future focus of a business in actionable business terms." Actionality is the key concept here. It's not enough to say, "Our business will be cost effective and profitable." How will it achieve this? A full maxim might be, "Our business will be cost effective and profitable by hiring workers with the minimum required skills and passing lower labour costs to our customers."
In the summer of 2001, I was a lowly System Administrator managing a farm of IBM AIX servers running a payment gateway for a major MasterCard franchise. My network was segregated from the rest of the organization using dedicated firewalls. Firewall logs were in a very raw format: Source IP#, Source Port #, Destination IP#, Destination Port # and a timestamp. I had repeatedly asked for some networking and monitoring intelligence tools to help parse the firewall logs and turn them into more human understandable data but was turned down. I even offered to write some PERL scripts to do some of this work myself if I could have a company supplied cell phone to send any alerts to. Nada.
When the "Code Red" worm was released, my manager freaked. "I want you to read every line of those firewall logs and make sure nothing is getting through!" he said. I responded that Code Red only affected Windows servers running IIS. He didn't care. "Read them!" he insisted. I countered that there were about 500,000 lines of digits a day coming through the logs; his task was impossible.