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An Interview with Dave Gordon on His Book, The Data Conversion Cycle

Businesses approach data conversion projects with apprehension, and perhaps rightfully so. But the Practicing IT Project Manager, Dave Gordon, has written a new book aimed at demystifying data conversion for all roles involved. We interviewed Dave about his book and his reliable, repeatable process for data conversion. Here’s what he had to say. AITS: Your book, The Data Conversion Cycle, describes a generalized approach to data conversion that can be applied by nearly anyone involved ...

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Girls Feel Less Smart than Boys by Age 6

In an article for CNN, Juliet Perry and Meera Senthilingam share the findings of research conducted on 400 children about their perceptions on being “smart.” What was found was that children typically view both genders as equally intelligent at age 5, but girls start to feel less smart than boys at age 6. For instance, when offered an activity for “really, really smart kids,” 6-year-old girls express less interest than 5-year-old girls. One wrinkle in ...

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Google Makes You Feel Smarter than You Are

Google and other search engines will reward you instantly with the answer to any objective question you might dream up. But people might be forgetting that Google’s genius is not their own. As Melissa Dahl explains for Science of Us, Yale researchers have conducted experiments that show people with access to search engines feel smarter than people who do not have access to them. To illustrate this, one experiment made groups of people answer a ...

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7 Tips to Make Other People Feel Smart

When you care about your colleagues, you want them to feel good about themselves. Making them feel smart is one of the nicest compliments of all. In a post at her website, bestselling author Gretchen Rubin shares seven small tips to accomplish this. First, do not be afraid to take notes while people are talking; it means they are noteworthy! Likewise, reference back to previous points that people have made during a conversation, to show ...

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Tips to Tweak Your Life to Make Yourself Smarter

Sleeping in to 3 p.m. on Saturday is not the path to enlightenment. It is on you to decide what path is right for you though. In an article for Gizmodo, Jamie Condliffe assists by sharing a few tips to make you feel smarter. Let’s start with food. Fish, berries, and antioxidants have been connected with inhibiting cognitive decline, and omega-3 oils have been connected with copious physical and cognitive benefits. Likewise, exercising can, in ...

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5 Scientific Ways to Make Yourself Smarter

“Smart” is an extremely subjective thing. But the good news is that, if you want to feel smart, you only need to fool one person—yourself. In an article for Inc., Geoffrey James shares five tips to feel smart that have some scientific backing: Believe that it is possible to get smarter: Perception shapes reality, and myriad studies have shown that, when you really believe you can do something, the odds are increased of you actually ...

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4 Tips to Avoid Feeling Stuck in Project Management

It’s easy for project managers to feel stuck  from falling into an orbit of meeting deadlines, pleasing stakeholders, empowering team members, and impacting the company for too long. Getting unstuck might not be as easy. The Project Risk Coach Harry Hall identifies multiple options for solving this mental problem by looking at the root cause and taking things easier: Overcoming analysis paralysis Getting past our fears Breaking the chains of perfectionism Making decisions more quickly ...

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Does Technological Freedom of Choice Improve Productivity?

For a long time, organizations have mandated what kind of technology devices that their employees can use at work. The goals include to unify an organizational culture and prevent security issues. However, organizations have compromised the preference of their employees with such a mindset. And this is why the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) guerilla movement of recent years has intended to deepen customer relationships and better work ethics. Matthew Raskin, in an article for the Enterprisers Project, ...

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5 Key Components in Getting IT Projects Approved

CEOs and CIOs don’t always have a smooth relationship. Too often, there are wide gaps in communication between these chief officers. However, CIOs need approval and funding from CEOs to get their projects move forward. IT project failure can damage the overall business capability and brand reputation to serve and attract customers. Mike Sisco, writing for CIO.com, says that there are five key components to make an IT project appealing enough for CEOs to approve: ...

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5 Takeaways from Failed Projects

Projects can go off the rails and fail at any point for a number of reasons. It’s painful, but you either learn from it and move forward, or keep repeating the same mistake. Brad Egeland, in writing for Project Times, shares a list of key lessons that project managers can learn to avoid making a mistake more than once—because he has suffered project failures for these reasons himself: Always conduct lessons learned. Peer reviews of ...

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When to Use Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is being used more and more, as it is credited with cost reduction, great flexibility, and optimal resource utilization. However, is it smart to use it for everything in order to maximize obtained benefits? Mark Samuels, in writing for ZDNet, talks about where the cloud can go next and how business and tech leaders can take cloud to the next level. He says that for a business, the cloud can mean the following: ...

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5 Tips to Create a Culture of Continuous Learning

Organizations often view continuous learning as something “nice-to-do” but not “must-do.” However, according to Bersin by Deloitte, ‘high-impact learning organizations’ who matched training clearly to business needs saw profit growth three times greater than their competitors over four years. This is to say that there is a close connection between learning and business outcomes. A good learning strategy can support and put a business onto a better direction. Nina Mehta-Vania, in writing for Business Zone ...

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8 Best Practices for Outsourcing App Development Projects

Many start-up companies struggle with the cost and the need for a unique software application. With only limited employees, it is sometimes impractical and costly to develop the app in-house. This is when small companies should look elsewhere. Mary Shacklett, in an article for TechRepublic, suggests small companies go with the outsourcing route, and follow these practices to avoid problems: Do your research. Look for a firm with a local contact. Execute a non-disclosure agreement. ...

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Why CIOs Make Great Board Directors

CIOs are a fastest-growing addition to the boardroom, and rightfully so. Craig Stephenson and Nels Olson, in an article for Harvard Business Review, say that CIOs can help address hot issues such as using technologies to enhance operational efficiencies, improving cloud computing and digitization, and detecting risks and threats associated with information security. There are three tips to keep in mind for boards to incorporate a CIO director: Update your mindset about the role of ...

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No More Limits! Why WIP Targets Are Better for Improving Team Performance

For decades now, the Operations Research and Industrial Engineering communities—and especially Lean and Theory of Constraints (TOC) practitioners—have preached the importance of limiting “work in progress,” or WIP, in order to improve flow in a process or system. The conceptual foundation for such WIP limits is known as “Little’s Law,” named after John Little for having provided the first proof of the theorem back in 1961. In order to boost the throughput of a system, Little’s Law asserts ...

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