Journal

Opinions, theories, tutorials, workshops. Some long reads here.

A customer relationship management system (CRM) provides a range of information services to help your sales, marketing and service staff to manage and improve your business's connections and relationships with your customers. It helps you to improve the performance, efficiency and profitability of your sales, marketing and customer service operations.

A CRM system organises and automates:

  • Your business's relationships with your customers, prospects, and other interested parties
  • Your marketing campaigns and activities
  • Your sales efforts
  • Your customer service operations
  • Your technical support service

For those who may be interested, here are some of the presentations I’ve delivered to various interest groups over the last few years:

VirtueMart 3 case study

A tour of a thriving VM3 site in all its shiny new Bootstrap 3 finery, as well as a look at the added features and functions that make it sizzle. This talk was delivered to the Melbourne Joomla! User Group on 19 April 2017.

Why is Joomla! better?

Nearly everybody who's had anything to do with web design has heard of WordPress. Not so many people have heard of Joomla!, and those who have may have heard of it at the end of a discussion that began with "WordPress doesn't do that ..." or "I can build that for you in WordPress for $x ..."

Many Joomla! professionals have trouble getting a fair hearing from clients who assume that WordPress must be the solution to their problems because that's the only CMS they've heard of. It's time to change that.

This talk was delivered to the Melbourne Joomla! User Group on 18 Jan 2017.

As your business grows, it becomes more diversified and specialised. The volume and variety of your transactions, systems and processes expands; but not in an orderly, linear fashion. With each new employee, work group, partner and business function, the web of links, exchanges, and dependencies proliferates exponentially. This phenomenon is described by Brooks’s Law, from the seminal project management book “The Mythical Man-Month”, by Fred Brooks. An innocuous name for a potentially fatal disease; businesses can choke on their inability to manage their growth.

As your business adds new IT services to cope with new operations and complexity, each new system must connect and communicate with many of the existing ones. The diagram below is an illustration of how connections proliferate as more groups develop in an organisation. Although 12 groups are only 4 times as many as 3 groups, they require up to 22 times as many point-to-point conversations.

 

Growth of point-to-point interfaces

 

What is software production management?

Whenever I raise the subject of software production management in a peer discussion, the conversation almost invariably veers off to project management: why agile is better than waterfall, why Scrum needs XP, how to shanghai a product owner etc. Maybe one day I'll climb into that tar pit, but not today.

Googling "software production management" returns 193,000 results, while "software project management" gets 2,950,000 results. That's a 15-fold increase, just for changing two letters and dropping another three. But aren't these two terms talking about essentially the same thing? Actually, I think not.

Wikipedia says "software project management is the art and science of planning and leading software projects". But it says nothing about "software production management". It even redirects the simple term "production management" to "product management", which in my view is not at all the same thing.