Why clean data never stays clean

“Many companies implement large ERP systems only to find that the employees have drifted away from the software and back onto spreadsheets. As a result, investment in ERP software, process re-engineering, and training is lost within two years. ERP becomes a huge burden instead of the solution. The system must be configured and the processes need to be reengineered so that they match. If this is done properly, then the ERP system can be used to run the business. It is vital to provide training to employees and to enforce discipline to keep the staff using the software, preventing personnel from reverting back to spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are not integrated and data is not shared or visible to the rest of the company.”

Demers & Sathyanarayanan, 2003; Penn State University SCM 860, 2009

Cargo cultism and design

Cargo cult is defined as a religious movement that exhibit belief in the imminence of a new age of blessing, to be initiated by the arrival of a special “cargo” of goods from supernatural sources—based on the observation by local residents of the delivery of supplies to colonial officials.

If the cargo is expected by ship or plane, symbolic wharves or landing strips and warehouses are sometimes built in preparation, and traditional material resources are abandoned—gardening ceases, and pigs and food stocks are destroyed.

It’s pretty clear to me that in the ridiculous “design gold rush” of late, people from all walks of life with no real understanding of how design is really done expect salvific effects from the hollow repetition of design rituals they maybe have heard about once or twice (usually in an article about Steve Jobs).

I’m concerned about this situation, I’ve seen this kind of attitude before and it never ends well for the category under the spotlight. Failure to deliver miracles is always severely punished in cargo cults.
When is our punishment coming?

The Big Redesign In The Sky

Disclaimer

This article was originally posted by one of the single smartest people in software development known as Uncle Bob on . Sadly his blog seems unreachable and has been for a long time, so I’m reposting the original content in its entirety as a public service. I make no claim I have anything to do with the creation of this article, I’m just preserving it for everybody to read. If you’re not ok with it, please let me know and I’ll take it down. Without further ado, here goes the original article.

The first rule of holes: If you are in one, stop digging.

Many software developers take this to mean that if you have a huge legacy mess in your software you should stop working on it and rewrite it from the ground up.

Continue reading The Big Redesign In The Sky

Focus on Now, forget Later and burn Never

Web startups have to overcome incredible challenges to become successful, the biggest of which is probably figuring out a way to prioritize a seemingly endless list of things you would like to do.

How do you prioritize effectively, balancing the business objectives, consumer expectations and your ability to deliver (resources)? Continue reading Focus on Now, forget Later and burn Never

The Nexus One was a big mistake

Anybody cares about the customers?

Everybody that knows me even a little bit knows how much respect I have for Google as a company, but with the Nexus One they messed up BAD.

I’ve been reading a lot about revenues, relationship with carriers, with other cellphone manufacturers (let’s say Motorola) etc… but everybody ignored the customers, the 150k that actually shelled the money for a phone that’s a bit of a mess.

I know the casual reader will jump on their chair reading this, but the defining the Nexus One a mess isn’t too much of a stretch and here is why: Continue reading The Nexus One was a big mistake

The iPad: so easy it takes 5 geeks to make it work!

It might be the biggest deal ever, but the iPad is really starting to get on my bad side.

I’m starting to become numb to the hype and the concept of a computer without a keyboard; it just doesn’t seem THAT interesting or groundbreaking to me.

Wrestling with the iPad video output at WhereCamp 2010
Wrestling with the iPad video output at WhereCamp 2010

Today at at WhereCamp 2010 in Mountain View, somebody TRIED to use the iPad to give a quick presentation, and “it just didn’t work”. Continue reading The iPad: so easy it takes 5 geeks to make it work!

Disable “Press and Hold” in Windows XP SP3 and Wacom Tablets

Press and hold behavior in Windows XP SP3
Press and hold

The “press and hold” for right click is driving me up the walls while using the Adobe Creative Suite at work, so while it’s pretty easy to find a solution for Vista/Win7, the solution for Windows XP SP3 is bit harder to find, so I’ll make it available for everybody here. Continue reading Disable “Press and Hold” in Windows XP SP3 and Wacom Tablets