Category Archive for "staffing"

Company Culture in Austin (and at BP3)

Two recent posts by entrepreneurs in Austin got my attention with respect to culture. First, Mass Relevance’s move to Downtown.  I have to admit, Sam Decker is the last guy I thought would move his company downtown.  But after seeing

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A Fun Context Switching Game

For the Multi-taskers out there, here’s a great post that describes a game you can try at home to measure the effect of context-switching on productivity: Here’s a quick exercise to show you the cognitive penalties for you, personally, to

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The Value of a Network

I don’t know how to estimate the value of a network.  But you know it when you see it.  Not all networks are created equal. In what seems like a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far far away,

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ABR

Always Be Recruiting. It is that time of year for college recruiting to ramp up again.  Of course we’re looking for great people all year long, but college recruiting is unique in that it has this distinct start-and-stop every year,

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Look Who is in the News

Why, BP3 is, in the Daily Texan Online, which is running a story about the expansion of tech companies in Austin and the impact on employment for graduates.  The article makes several good points about Apple, GM, and others, but

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BP3 in the Austin Fast 50 List

The Austin Business Journal just announced a preview of the companies in their Austin Fast 50 list.  We’ll find out where we fit in on October 18th.  We’re also adding 2416 sqft  to our current digs in the Plaza 7000

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Interns, thank you

We just wrapped up our second summer with interns in the BP3 office, but this is the first year you could call it a “program” – where it was really quite well organized and managed, and we had more than

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Culture in Austin

I don’t pretend to be an expert on culture. I subscribe to the adage of “knowing it when you see it.”  There are lots of people who are very intentional and deliberate about building culture at their firms.  And there

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Missing the Point: College Recruiting

The Wall Street Journal published another article about college recruiting.  It seems to reflect how a lot of companies approach college recruiting and think about college recruiting.  And it is also, in my view, completely wrong.  Let’s touch on the

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If Functional Decomposition is Bad, What’s the Alternative?

Is Functional Decomposition the worst kind of decomposition, except for all the others?  Or is there something better we can do? Jaisundar published a blog on the silos that form in our minds, as a result of how humans tend

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Always Be Recruiting?

Along with  “Always Be Closing” and “Always Be Selling”, we can add “Always Be Recruiting” as Ben Yoskovitz of Instigator Blog writes: Running the two processes of fundraising and recruiting simultaneously is incredibly challenging. Both are time consuming, frustrating and

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Jobs and the Tech Boom

After several years of gloom-and-doom reporting on the economy, we’re starting to see signs of sunshine.  The numbers are coming back better than people feared, better than they expected.  Two recent articles drove home for me, a few reasons for

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Another Take on the Talent Shortage

According to Naval, we’ve got the problem all wrong: “There isn’t a shortage of developers and designers. There’s a surplus of founders.” He makes a compelling argument as to the “why” : The cost of starting a company has collapsed.

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Retention Failures

Eric Jackson of Forbes recently wrote the Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail to Keep Their Best Talent. The article lays out some very good reasons why top talent gets frustrated with big companies. But the focus is still

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Learning about the Startup Genome Compass

Really interesting progress on the state of the art for startup process.  It recently got some coverage at Austin Startup, with a great infographic included. But it has previously been discussed on Steve Blank’s blog. The Genome Report is 68

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Generation Zed

Fabienne: Whose motorcycle is this? Butch: It’s a chopper, baby. Fabienne: Whose chopper is this? Butch: It’s Zed’s. Fabienne: Who’s Zed? Butch: Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead. – Pulp Fiction There have been raft loads of articles and blogs written

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Investing in Austin, Investing in People, Part 2

Momentum for Austin startups continues – with news that Austin startup Spredfast has raised a $12Million round of funding.  Rod Favaron, our Lombardi CEO, is running the company: The company, which launched its service last year, received the funding from

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Investing in Austin, Investing in People

There’s been a bit of a blast of news about the Austin Technology Council (ATC) taking a delegation of Austin CEOs to Silicon Valley to recruit technical talent to Austin: “These events are about Austin making a pretty loud statement

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Talent Shortage? Invest in People

In a recent Austin Technology Council (ATC) CEO Summit, talent shortage were a hot topic.  Which sounds crazy when the unemployment rate is north of 8% in Austin, and in Texas.  AustinStartup’s George Dearing did a good job addressing a

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Justification for Coffee Meetings

As if I needed any excuses to take coffee meetings (I don’t), Mark Suster has provided some great ammunition for those not inclined to partake: I know I’m getting repetitive. It is with great intent. Whatever amount you’re getting out

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The Go-Live

Great blog from Adam Deane on “the Go-Live Milestone“: It’s an important hurdle for the vendor. It’s an important hurdle for the customer. Attitudes change. Tensions evaporate. Management and end-users are happy. The euphoria kicks in. Pink tinted glasses get

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A Process Improvement Case Study: BP3 All-Hands Meeting

Seriously? 106?! We have a process improvement case study.   Someone scheduled our all-hands meeting for BP3 in the midst of a heat wave that has set records all year long in Austin, TX. A quick analysis was performed – corrections

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People Matter

I’ve said it often, but the people in your business – and on your projects – matter.  Doug Turner writes on his blog, with a slight twist to an old time-management proverb: Well the issue of throwing more people at

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All-Hands Meeting: We should have done this sooner!

So we just completed our first company all-hands meeting.  Previously, the closest we’ve come was having our two co-founders meet for coffee on Sundays, and the near unanimous attendance we had at bpmCamp 2010 at Stanford University.  The short version

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In Other News: Jumping the Shark has Jumped the Shark

Steve Golab of FG Squared writes in the Austin Business Journal: I hate to break it to you. The phrase “thought leadership” has jumped the shark. A social media Web tsunami has spun out over the past decade and made

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Adam Deane on BPM Consulting

Adam Deane’s blog post put me in a commenting mood, but I thought I’d share on our own blog as well.  Apologies for muddling the terms Adam used – I used “independent” to reference an individual contractor, and “pureplay BPM”

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Formative Years

John Lilly (of Greylock, previously CEO of Mozilla), recently wrote a post “Recruiting DNA“, in which he wrote about how early job experience shapes how you approach the world: One of the things I’ve been really, really struck by is

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This Captures Exactly How I Feel About Lunch

Joel Spolsky: There’s a lot of stuff that’s accidental about Fog Creek and Stack Exchange, but lunch is not one of them. Ten years ago Michael and I set out with the rather ambitious goal of making a great place

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The Interview is the Tip of the Spear

Elliot Loh’s recent post “Management Begins at the Interview” (that link isn’t working, but this link takes you to the right page of his blog, it is the second post ) proposes that a co-founder be in every candidate’s interview

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Small Companies are Picking it Up

We’ve commented before on the economy, and hiring, and jobs.  As a small business, these are topics very near and dear to our hearts.  I’ve been waiting for the optimism that we feel, and that I see in Austin, TX,

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Building a Great Tech Firm Outside Silicon Valley

Given that Launch is going on right now in San Francisco, it just seems appropriate to take up this topic that Mark Suster raised on his blog.  Maybe you think you can launch anywhere, or maybe you think you need

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Another Year, Another Post on Millenials

If you read our blog regularly, you might have picked up on my displeasure, in general, with stereotypes based on generational differences – especially when people are asking you to make these stereotypes actionable. Recently a post on Forrester’s blog

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Seizing Opportunities

Steve Blank’s writing about startups often offers insights far beyond the startup world.  Take this post, “You Negotiate Commodities, but Seize Opportunities“: I hadn’t just lost a potential advisor I had lost an irreplaceable opportunity. We lost him not just

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Taking Care of the Team

On Business Insider a few weeks ago: Soaring healthcare costs are causing Microsoft to scale back its generous employee healthcare program. The company told its employees today that they would have to start paying for some of their healthcare benefits

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Should we Blame BPM for a Jobless Recovery?

Max J. Pucher always writes interesting copy on his blog.  And one of his latest, on BPM and the Jobless Recovery, is no exception: Well, I propose that it is the efficiency and cost-cutting mindset also employed in BPMS justifications

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Shortage of Skills Continues in Software, Business, BPM Means Opportunity

From Silicon Alley Insider, on hiring decent engineers: Unemployment in the United States is still at a brutal 9.6%, but for software engineers the job market couldn’t look much better. Everyone in tech knows that there is a serious engineering

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On Cost-Cutting, and Confusing Inputs and Outputs

Donna Fitzgerald of Gartner has a very thoughtful post regarding whether our businesses might have cut too far in this latest economic downturn in a post entitled “Cutting to the Bone and then Some”  I think she makes a few

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Leadership: It's not just for BPM Anymore

On this blog, we typically discuss leadership in the context of BPM projects, initiatives, and programs.  Because BPM efforts typically cut across departmental and organizational boundaries, they also typically require an extra measure of leadership to convince people to something

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Is it Truly All about Age?

TechCrunch and Vivek Wadhwa have a controversial article up about Age-ism in high-tech in the US.  TechCrunch is no stranger to controversy, having also just caused a bit of a stir around systemic gender bias in the venture-funded tech startup

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Business Leaders: BPM Wants You

The Problem A good friend, John Reynolds, has eloquently commented on a subject near and dear to my heart: Leadership.  More specifically, Project Leadership vs. Project Management: My job lets me work with talented programmers and business people all over

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In the End, it is All about People

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, 40% of US Professionals want to quit.  Wow. But lets turn out attention to why so many professionals want to quit: their employers view them as a liability rather than an asset (read

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Building a "Star" Firm

Great post by R “Ray” Wang on Enterprise Irregulars about building a “Star Analyst” Firm.  While it is targeted at star analyst firms, most of the points apply well to any services firm that intends to trade on the idea

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The Improvement Ethic

Mike Gammage posts the question:  is BPM ethical? Against this background, the hard reality is that the business case for any significant BPM project is almost invariably based on job losses. The jobs may be lost through automation, or through

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Don't Learn the Wrong Lesson from Zappos

Inc. has a fantastic article adapted from Tony Hsieh’s upcoming book, it is a riveting read, to me. Tony and his CFO championed a culture as the key means of differentiation in the difficult online shoe and apparel retailer segment. 

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Wage Growth in China? Or Just at Foxconn?

Business Insider reports on wage increases at Foxconn: WSJ reports that according to a company announcement, minimum wage workers may see a more than doubling of wages, while others will see at least a 30% hike — previously the company

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Job Hoppers and Startups

Mark Suster (@msuster) makes a (somewhat) controversial argument that one should not hire job-hoppers.  Apparently what makes it controversial is the judgmental tone of the email, and the black-and-white nature of the initial statement.  The title of his piece? “Never

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Process Improvement

A conversation with a friend went something like this: Friend: When are your HR folks going to act on “Descriptions will be added soon” Me:  Oh, actually, I think *I’m* the HR person that needs to update the descriptions. Friend:

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Engineering Teams and Startups

I’m always on the lookout for the intersection of startups and process.  And recently Mark Suster put together yet another great post, this one about how to put your technical team together for your startup.  And specifically, the difference between

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Offshoring Discussion at #bpmCamp 2010 @ Stanford

One of the most anticipated sessions at bpmCamp was a discussion on off-shoring.  It had one of the highest turnouts of day 1. There were some interesting observations from the discussion : Everyone agreed that daily communication across multiple mediums

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The End of Excellence?

Theo Priestley once again has me thinking with this post asking “Is This the End of BPM Centre of Excellence?“: There are two trains of thought at play. In recent interviews on Redux, Vinay Mummigati of Virtusa said “A BPM

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