1. Information Communications Technology (ICT) & the BPIR.com

    September 23, 2009 by

    Hi guys,

    In a series of posts coming over the next few months, we will be demonstrating how the BPIR.com can appeal to specific industries.

    With the broad industry coverage offered by the BPIR.com, some organisations may feel intimidated in joining such a large resource, when they only want industry specific information. We hope these posts will help show our readers that we do have industry specific information!

    For today we will be focusing on the telecommunications industry.

    Even for non-members, we have resources that can help you. Searching for 'telecom' from the search bar, we get results for 5 management briefs.

    Members however can acess a lot more information. Searching the BPIR database for 'Telecom' returned over 200 results:

    • 3 Tools & Techniques Articles
    • 64 Case studies
    • 43 Research Studies
    • 11 Competitors analysis'
    • 2 Business Periodicals
    • 83 Award Winners

    Straight away we can see 206 telecom results. Thats a lot of related reading for any telecom business.

    But lets look one step further in how the BPIR can help you. The BPIR resource is designed to do far more than to find relevant articles. It can also be used to gain access to comprehensive best practice materials. There are a variety of ways to do this.  The BPIR best practices model is one way to find some useful pointers.

    Self assesment –  The first part of the BPIR model involves self assesments. There are 65 assessments in 8 categories. Assesments are sourced from Educational institutes and real world companies, and range from Risk management, to customer orientation assesments, to even assesing your Performance measurment system.  In 3 clicks a self assessment relating to project management can be downloaded and printed. Potential weaknesses or training needs to be evaluated.

    Next a research study could be examined concerning project management tools and techniques. The BPIR site has a rich database of best practices conveniently arranged in “snippet” format to enable you to quickly assess the topic matter’s relevance and then to delve further as required.

    The following snippet outlines a one of many survey's of the tools and techniques used in project management:

    A Web-based survey of 750 US project management practitioners in the Engineering and Construction, Business Services, IT and telecommunications and Industrial Services sectors, examined project management tools and techniques. Analysis revealed that of 70 well-known tools and techniques specific to project management, the top ten tools and techniques used were, in decreasing order, the following:

    1. Progress report.
    2. Kick-off Meeting.
    3. PM Software for task scheduling,
    4. Gantt chart.
    5. Scope statement.
    6. Milestone planning.
    7. Change request.
    8. Requirements analysis.
    9. Work Breakdown Structure.
    10. Statement of work.

    The five least used tools were: Monte Carlo analysis; PM software for simulation; Pareto diagram; Critical chain method and analysis; Cause and effect diagram.

     Source article for members: Link (opens in new window)

     Lets continue with a Kickoff meeting. What is a kickoff meeting you may ask? Searching for this under Strategies, tools, and techniques from the main menu will locate the following description:

    “Project Management – Kick-off Meeting”

    Definition : A meeting at the beginning of the project or at the beginning of a major phase of the project

    Description :
    A kick-off meeting is typically a workshop type meeting to align peoples` understanding of project objectives, procedures and plans, and to begin the team-building process. It may last from 1 to 3 days. It generally include several activities such as a project charter, a business plan review, team building exercises, a team charter, risk analysis,

    A typical project planning kick-off meeting agenda covers the following aspects of a project:

    – Build a project framework: what are the project objectives? who are the stakeholders?
    – What are the criteria for successful completion? What are the business objectives?
    – Update the business plan or business case
    – Organize the project governance: Who does what? What are the responsibilities of each member? What are the reporting procedures?
    – Build or revise the master planning (key milestones, sequence of activities, dependencies)
    – Initiate the risk analysis
    – Team building activities
    – Define the quality management plan, and in particular the change control procedure

    Next you might want to research best practice case studies. The following is an example relating to a UK telecommunications Provider, dated october 2008:

    Customer Focus approach involves back office 

    This snippet and its associated article report on an approach to improve customer focus.

    Concerned that its back office staff had lost customer focus, a UK telecommunications Provider introduced a programme that allowed back office staff to spend a day per year with customer- facing colleagues. The face-to-face experience reconnected the back office staff with the customer and provided them a greater appreciation and focus on the customer needs.

     Source article for members: PDF download


    Thats all for now folks! We will continue with some similar posts relating to how the BPIR can help your organisation.I hope this has given some insight as to how the BPIR can help your organisation.


     Thanks for reading!

    Neil Crawford
    BPIR team

  2. Social Networking – Get on board the trend

    August 27, 2009 by

    By joining the BPIR.com you will be able to network with other experts in your field.

    And get on board the trend.

    In a recent article found at smartcompany.com.au, Patrick Stafford said that if a business doesn't have a social networking presence, then it is already behind and may be hit hard by being late in jumping on the trend. The article drew on a range of experts who identified the next 15 social networking trends as being:

    1. Social networking goes mobile

    2. True business networking goes online

    3. Social networking search allows advertisers to target

    4. Social networking takes on traditional email

    5. Advertisers must converse, not just sell

    6. Networks get smaller

    7. Why businesses will need to find the leaders of a social network

    8. Crowd source or else!

    9. Get set for the rise of the social entrepreneurs

    10. Social networks connect to each other

    11. Online retail harnesses the power of social networking

    12. Twitter will be sold to Google

    13. Online, money can buy you friendship

    14. Don't forget the spectators

    15. Defend your reputation

    The detailed article can be found at:


    Kevin McKenna

    Senior Researcher
    BPIR.com Limited

    Local Directory for Palmerston North, New Zealand

  3. Survey on Business Improvement Initiatives – Can you help?

    August 14, 2009 by

    Hello all,

    I’m Musli, a PhD student at the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), Massey University (BPIR.com’s founding organisation). I’m conducting a survey on business improvement initiatives. This survey is part of my doctoral study, which is supervised by Dr. Robin Mann and Dr. Nigel Grigg.

    As you know, there are numerous business improvement initiatives that can be used by organisations to improve quality, productivity and sustainability towards achieving excellence. The initiatives can be approaches, systems, tools and/or techniques, such as, Six Sigma, Lean, ISO9000, ISO14000, Business Process Reengineering, and Benchmarking. The right initiatives to be used may vary depending on several factors, for instance, the current maturity level of the organisation, organisation type and size, and the capabilities and responsibilities of the workforce.  Moreover, there is also a lack of clear understanding by people regarding when, where and how to implement the initiatives. In order to help organisations to select suitable initiatives according to the contexts, this survey attempts to identify where the main business improvement initiatives should be used according to the following areas: leadership and social responsibilities, strategy and policy, customers, processes, workforce, and, partnerships and resources.

    All practitioners, managers, executives, consultants and/or academicians who have a good understanding and experience on business improvement initiatives are invited to complete the on-line survey – click on link below:


    I hope you can participate. If you have completed the questionnaire and request form, you will be sent a copy of the survey findings through email, once it is ready.

    Please complete the survey by 28th of February 2010. For further details, please refer to the front page of survey instrument

    Your kind participation would be much appreciated. Thank you very much.

    Best regards,

    Musli Mohammad
    PhD Student
    Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER)

  4. Culture for Continuous Improvement

    August 13, 2009 by
    There is some exciting research going on at the COER (Centre of Organisational Excellence Research) at the moment.
    Past research shows that culture plays a key role in sustaining continuous improvement in organisations. Continuous improvement, in turn, is often viewed as critical for organisational efficiency and waste reduction. However, the effect of culture in the specific context is less well understood. Several levels of culture such as the national culture, corporate culture and organisational sub-cultures, are present simultaneously. Which ones are important, and under what conditions do they become important? What needs to happen to ensure that the existing cultural diversity results in continuous improvement? Which role does – and, in fact, can – management and organisational leadership play?
    This doctoral research is seeking answers to these questions using a multiple-case methodology. For participating organisations, this presents an opportunity to benefit from cutting-edge research and at the same time help advance the scientific understanding.
    Participation in the study is free of charge. If you are interested in having your organisation participate, please get in touch with me for further information – either by email (J.P.Wagner@massey.ac.nz ) or by leaving a comment.
    Jürgen 'Phil' Wagner

    PhD Student
    Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER)
    Massey University

  5. Organisational Social Networking

    We at BPIR are keeping an eye on the rapid growth of organisational social networking.
    Recent research has thrown up a variety of ways in which companies are using social networking such as in recruitment, buyer/vendor networking, wiki sites, communities of practice, etc. It is also of value in training delivery as discussed in a recent BBC business programme presented by Peter Day: GlobalBiz: Learning Curve: Tx: 04 Aug 09. "Companies are discovering that new communications methods are transforming the way they do their training." But, says Peter Day, they could also transform the way the company organises itself … as it moves along the "Learning Curve".

    Well worth a listen.
    Kevin McKenna

    Senior Researcher
    BPIR.com Limited