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Ken Young

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BBC testing fix for iPlayer on iPad ... 6 months later

The BBC is testing a fix for problems experienced by iPad users when using the iPlayer app. The fix is eagerly awaited by many iPad users, some of whom reported not being able to watch programmes when the app was launched back in February. Problems reported include: programmes playing for a few minutes only; programmes playing …
Ken Young, 08 Aug 2011
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Visio 2010: strengths and weaknesses

Workshop Few people in the UK have worked with diagramming tools for as long as David Parker and Chris Roth. Here they give us the benefit of the wisdom gleaned from years of delving into the ever-changing world of vector graphics. David Parker Having qualified as a RIBA architect in 1986, he subsequently worked for a CAD supplier, …
Ken Young, 28 Mar 2011
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A deluge of diagramming add-ons

Workshop Installing the software is just the start: you can also buy all manner of diagramming add-ons and alternative stencils, templates, shapes and icons either from your vendor or from third parties. The beauty of the third-party market is that it is huge, flexible and offers plenty of cheap, or even, free software. A quick word …
Ken Young, 25 Mar 2011
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Project managers do it with diagrams

Workshop Project managers usually opt for Microsoft Project, OmniGroup’s OmniPlan or one of many other specialist software products, but some also make use of the ready-made templates included in diagramming software. Many diagramming tools make it possible to create Gantt charts, Pert charts and flowcharts, and some also offer templates …
Ken Young, 23 Mar 2011
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The price of the average foaming tankard - in pictures

There are many ways to demonstrate data visualisation, but none better than visualising beer prices at the Munich Oktoberfest, possibly the best excuse in the world to spend five days downing rivers of lager. Courtesy of Chris Roth, editor of Visio Guy, we present the Munich Oktoberfest Visio template. Roth is a native of …
Ken Young, 22 Mar 2011
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How Microsoft uses Visio

Microsoft uses Visio for organisational charting, and in addition is using Visio 2010 to document human resources (HR) business processes for Microsoft International, with 600 employees in more than 100 countries. HR processes varied widely and inducing new staff was costing different amounts in different places. To save costs …
Ken Young, 22 Mar 2011
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Seeing the answer

Workshop Business intelligence (BI) is a many-headed beast that has spawned a thousand different analytical applications in areas such as financials, key performance indicators, supply chain and so on. In essence, though, BI is about dipping into data and delivering it for viewing in a relevant format. Diagramming software offers the …
Ken Young, 17 Mar 2011
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Diagramming for web development

Workshop Web site development is mostly a complex process, often made more so by people from IT, marketing, publishing and design all having to sit in the same room together for long periods of time. Phrases like “content is king” and “monetising the clicks” run thick and fast. While some proceed according to “principles of information …
Ken Young, 14 Mar 2011
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Org charts on steroids

Workshop Quick, grab the org chart. Today’s org chart can show much more than just who looks after the paperclips; it can also indicate departmental structure, vacancies, reporting lines, accountabilities, even job performance. Sounds handy? But where’s the org chart for your business then? Languishing in the desk of the HR director …
Ken Young, 09 Mar 2011
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Make vision elementary

Workshop “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Jonathan Swift’s observation applies perfectly to crime detection. Thanks to data visualisation, the toil of thumbing through card index boxes to trace the links between people and find connections in large amounts of data is fast being replaced by visual maps of …
Ken Young, 25 Feb 2011
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Ken's magnificent seven diagram

Workshop “The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it,” according to artist William Dobell. Achieving that goal takes some time, but the world of visualisation is exploding nevertheless. According to Ralph Lengler and Professor Martin Eppler of the University of Lugano, the latest …
Ken Young, 23 Feb 2011
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Say it with pictures

Workshop “Believe it or not, I can actually draw,” Michelangelo is supposed to have said. What would he have made of today’s diagramming software? Go to the pub and wax lyrical about your new iPad and you might be the object of keen interest. Move onto the subject of the latest diagramming software and you may start wondering who your …
Ken Young, 21 Feb 2011
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PM survival guide: The Director's Cut

Project management There were so many viewer questions for our project management Regcast on 24 November that we couldn't possibly answer them all in 60 minutes. Some of the best questions we could answer, but not in enough depth to do them justice. So we recalled panellists Dave Vile and Bob Walker afterwards and forced them to give us the …
Ken Young, 03 Dec 2010
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Hold the champagne

Project management On completion of a project it's tempting to head straight for the nearest hostelry to sample some fine beverages; and then some. Maybe a good idea, but as any student of Prince2 will tell you, the job ain't finished until some form of closure report and benefits assessment has been done. Such reports allow lessons to be learnt …
Ken Young, 03 Dec 2010
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Green light red face

Project management Each year the credibility of project portfolio management (PPM) as a means of prioritising projects appears to grow. At its simplest PPM gives a central portfolio management office (PMO) a complete view of all projects under consideration and their status, and the power to decide whether to invest or divest in them. The PMO can …
Ken Young, 01 Dec 2010
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Epic fails

Project management Remember this comment about a particular project somewhere in the Middle East? “There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t  know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.” You …
Ken Young, 29 Nov 2010
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That wasn't so bad

Project management The success of every project depends on identifying and managing risk factors. These two case studies illustrate how broad and specific risks can affect your project’s progress. New year, new school at Culcheth The project to rebuild Culcheth High School, near Warrington, took place between 2008 and 2010 under the Building …
Ken Young, 26 Nov 2010
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What could possibly go wrong?

Project management Who says there isn’t much government transparency on the riskiness of recent projects? David Pitchford, executive  director of major projects, efficiency and reform group at the Cabinet Office, recently said: “We in the UK have a propensity to try to do things that have never been done before. Innovation is a good thing, but …
Ken Young, 23 Nov 2010
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A race to the finish

Project management Would you run 145 miles from Birmingham to London non-stop for fun? Of course not, but most years about 80 “ultra” runners do just that. They share the loneliness of the long distance project manager. These brave souls running the Grand Union Canal Race risk exhaustion and collapse on some lonely stretch of canal but most of …
Ken Young, 19 Nov 2010
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The cunning PM communications plan

Project management Every new project begins as an idea in someone's head and pretty soon it becomes a conversation, a series of meetings and, if approved, a fully scoped project. The conversations continue throughout the project as part of the process. Experts say a communications plan should be formulated within the overall project. Such a plan …
Ken Young, 12 Nov 2010
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How not to do Project Management

Project management When you are taken on for a project management role, or allocated to lead a project, it is easy to assume that key people in the organisation know and understand your role, and that you understand all the problems. Big mistake. Here are five fatal assumptions that you can make about what you do, and what they think about it. 1. …
Ken Young, 10 Nov 2010
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Project managers: fall-guys or heroes?

Project management Most project managers do a difficult job, but what are they really like? From my experience, a few essential facts about PMs: • PMs do it in the right order, standing in front of complicated charts • PMs take the blame if the project goes bad; it's in their job description • PMs aren't more important than the project, but bad …
Ken Young, 08 Nov 2010
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UK IT projects must pull up socks, says hefty maven

The UK coalition government will have to ensure fewer failed public sector IT projects in the future if it wants to avoid a public backlash, according to the former boss of the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Sir Peter Gershon. Speaking at the Association for Project Management conference in London last Thursday he said: " …
Ken Young, 22 Oct 2010
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How scammers run rings round eBay

Everyone knows that buying and selling on eBay is precarious. Even eBay admits this and gives basic advice on its site that it believes helps eliminate most fraud. But there appears to be a basic weakness in eBay's system that fraudsters and petty thieves are exploiting. It occurs when buyers pay sellers direct into the sellers …
Ken Young, 16 Nov 2004