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Clinton Jones

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Top Stories by Clinton Jones

I am writing this as one of my bathrooms at home goes through a face lift. This is one of those projects that I have pretty much put off for years over fear of what might be found under those loose shower tiles and creaking flooring around the bathtub. As anyone who has gone through any home improvement project will tell you, the experience can be relatively energizing, frustrating, soul destroying or all of these. Bathroom refurbishments in particular seem to be extraordinarily stressful due to the uniquely intimate nature of this being the place of ablution. Over the past twenty plus years, I think I have gone through roughly 4-5 different bathroom overhauls. These have covered everything from wholesale replacement of major plumbing and fixtures, flooring, walling and tiling to supposedly simple faucet and drain replacement. Some of it I have done myself and some... (more)

Don’t Let Your Fixed Assets Sink Your Business

One of my professors used to always tell his students a story about a company that he performed a work study at and discovered an elderly gentleman, let's call him "Thomas Bean",  who produced colorful graphs every month on the performance of a business-related resource or asset. I don't recall the specifics of the work, but I do remember that these graphs were meticulously produced every month, manually, and that they involved bar charts, pie charts and tables of data. The gentleman was relegated to some back office in the planning department. During the study, Mr. Bean was in... (more)

Don't Blame Batch Processing for Your Business Process Failures

The recent train wreck that was the CA batch process failure at RBS should probably be ringing alarm bells for some folks running batch processes into their systems; however, more importantly it should remind us of a couple of different things: Batch processing is real and present in many facets of IT data processing and systems at large Never take short cuts on adequate testing of changes and test planning A call I participated on a couple of months back with some students from an esteemed college in North America resulted in a conclusion that what I was talking about and showi... (more)

Business Process Outsourcing and the Shared Services Center

Business process outsourcing (BPO) of shared services centers (SSC) is not really something new, but lately BPOs and SSCs have become particularly popular as discussion topics in large organizations with complex and simple business processes. In reality, the BPO function is nothing more than the contracting of specific business tasks, typically back office business tasks, to a 3rd party service provider. Companies like a payroll bureau and recruitment agencies have been effectively performing these kinds of services for decades. In the late 1990's improvements in computing techn... (more)

Form(ing) Standards - Recycling Old Stuff Can Be Incredibly Painful

I am on my favorite soapbox - "standards" - standards around form filling. Generally speaking, no discussion of standards could be complete without an assessment of the state of play of the not so humble Adobe Portable Document Format or as most of us know it, PDF. I debated the merits of the PDF back in the late 1990s (an astonishing 14 years ago) and with the passage of time, a few things have changed but in some respects they are the same. The reason this topic is quite focal for me at the moment, is the fact that I continue to see customers and prospects take a hard line in wa... (more)