March 21, 2013

What is the future of Cyprus in 2013??

The situation is tragic. I can't describe the moments we are living here in Cyprus. Others say that Laiki Bank fired all its employees and has gone bankrupt, others say none of this happen. So what is the truth? What is going on to the general economy of Cyprus? We don't really know.

I can't describe the feelings which conquered me when I saw the long queues outside of the ATM machines for cash withdrawals. And that is the least important. People are panicking. People have stopped spending money, companies don't have money to pay the suppliers, suppliers do not deliver if they don't get paid in cash, stock is eliminated in stores, no food and so on...

I'm not going to judge anyone who led us to this situation, and I'm not going to search for the perpetrators... The only thing that cares me at the moment is to save my country.

People are willing to sacrifice their savings in order to improve the liquidity and help economic recovery... Hopefully the decision will be made soon....

June 04, 2012

Application of KBAM

actionplan.jpgWe are all good in theories, and we all at some point of our lives say that we have to do this, we have to do that etc. But we stack on the application of that something that needs to be done. Why is that?

Because the application is always something that is hard to be achieved. But again, why? Well, because when we are thinking of something that needs to be done, we just think the end achievement and not what is going on in between. But even if we think what is happening in between there is always something that we will miss. This might be other things happening at that time, it means the feelings that we may have at that point, other commitments, etc.

So when we say we need to manage our knowledge, our outsourcing, health and safety, security etc services we need to have an applicable plan that needs to be done. Most of the times people feel motivated and committed when they see that small things had been achieved and implemented successfully. Thus, a big goal that it might be managing the organisation's knowledge had to break into smaller, short-term actions that can be implemented faster and easier so that managers and employees feel that they gradually achieve stuff. One smaller goal might be database creation for storing important information about a service.

Thus, we reach at the point where strategic planning shows its importance. When we are thinking of implementing theory in a successful and efficient way we should plan, plan and plan.

I didn't say something that most of the people don't know but I just highlighted the importance of planning when a company considers to apply something. Additionally, what will make a plan even more successful is the continuous control and update of the action steps but also the completion and evaluation of results when an action is achieved.

Outsourcing management

Most of the companies nowadays while trying to control their outsourcing services, they find many difficulties because as you may know when a company chooses to outsource a service it looses the complete control over that service. Thus, companies try to build outsourcing relationships and then try to manage them.

Imagine how hard is for a company first to find a good provider that will provide a service in the quality and price standards that the company wishes, and second build also relationships with that provider. If it is just a single provider then this might be an easy work to do, because the company will have all its attention on that contractor and control its relationships more efficient. If an organisation has more than one contractor then things become more complicated and complex but manageable.

In that case the company will appreciate a good knowledge management system while this will control the information on whether the relationships with a provider are good or not, whether a provider offers services of a good quality and price, etc.

Concluding, when things get more complex in the firms day to day operations then it will appreciate knowledge management, however this an efficient and effective knowledge management should be established from the starting point so that the company specialises at it and improves it in hard times so that it can get the best out of it and hopefully earn a competitive advantage.

Why is that important? While at the starting point the advantages of a knowledge management procedure might not be that obvious, the benefits that will come at the end will be more than the owner or/and manager can imagine.

This can be used when managers are thinking stratigically and build their long-term strategies. They should consider to do things that will benefit the company in the long run right?

May 12, 2012


How hard it is to get yourself through the same procedure we got ourselves while trying to prepare the KBAM presentation? I found my self been frustrated while I couldn't reach to an end from the vast literature out there. So many information not knowing from where to start. This was happening for 2 days. First day started reading whatever, struggling to make a structure in my mind. The second day I tried a different approach while seen that the previous one didn't work. Then again feeling frustrated. Third day, finally manage to create a structure in my mind. After all the approaches that I used offer at least a small stone each for getting me into the right direction.

What have I learned? That while I was feeling frustrated and wanted to stop I never gave up. First day was working for 6 hours, second day for 11 hours, third day for 10 hours and wanted to keep working. So even that I couldn't reach an edge all those hours weren't lost. This is not a lesson for the module but lesson in life. If you are working in a company and trying so hard to solve a problem but can not reach to an end, don't give up. Your efforts won't be lost. Whatever you do you learn something out of it. As Thomas Edison said " I didn't fail. I just found ten thousand ways that didn't work." But also while trying to work on something you improve the way you are going to approach a problem the next time.

Dealing with huge chapters as Knowledge and Asset Management, and being able to understand and apply them, then that is a really great achievement for your future employment because "business" is by itself a whole huge chapter!!!!

Good luck with your PMAs and your future jobs!!

May 11, 2012

Outsourcing, outsourcing, outsourcing!

outsourcing1.jpgWhy should a company been concerned about outsourcing?

Outsourcing might be one of the most important and crucial activities a company has to deal with. That is because a company can not do everything by itself, or at least can't do everything perfectly and better that other companies. For that reason outsourcing is really important for organisations who wish to have competitive advantage against their competitors.

Also, outsourcing might be the activity that will give a compatitive advantage to the comapny but also an activity that puts the company into a greater risk.

Quinn in his articles about strategic outsourcing (1999 and 1994) is suggesting that a company should identify 2 or 3 core competencies and all the rest could be outsourced strategically. That means that is should be companies that offer better and more competitive services, companies that are willing to continuously improve etc. Also, if the company chooses providers from any kind of geographical area it should bear in mind the transportation time and costs and whether that is feasible to provide an excellent performance or not.

Also for been protected from the providers to enter the direct market it should build and strengthen its core competencies and then build strategic blocks that will protect the company from the providers and other potential competitors.

How this can be used for the future? For companies who wish to be leaders and want to have be competitive in the market they need to know how to outsource. And the more you outsource the better you become (according to Quinn). Thus for people that already are running their own businesses or wish to build their own businesses "outsourcing" is an important activity that they should bear in mind and take the advantage of.

May 07, 2012

Career Planning

Couple of days ago I've attended at the career planning workshop and I wanted to share my thoughts about it.

The workshop gave us a guidance and practical help for identifying the direction that was more suitable for us. When I say practical I mean through the completion of forms that based on our characteristics we were identifying the skills that we had etc. For being honest I've developed most of those skills from my course Management for Business Excellence but I found quite interesting all the advices that Anna and Marjorie gave us and also the links for the sites to learn more for companies etc. The truth is that I didn't check those links but it sounds really helpful.

Additionally, I thought that because of the crisis we are going through it was going to be really difficult for me to find a job to meet my expectations, but after the workshop I started gaining hopes again that there is a job out there that will satisfy me. Now the challenging trick is that I should present to those employers the special skills and values that I have for choosing me for that position between all the other applicants!!

Furthermore I was even more confident that I have many skills through those forms that we were filling and I increased my possibilities for being employed fast.

Thank you so much for the workshop ladies!!! :))


April 28, 2012

Presentations in KBAM

Managing time in presentation while including so many information is not an easy job to do. While doing the presentations on Friday, two teams didn't manage to finish their presentations within the 20 minutes time given.

As I was discussing this with a classmate from a different team after the end of the presentations and I though it was about practising and communication with the team members. But after from what also Paul said is about what kind of information and slides you choose to include in your presentation. You can choose to present only 3-4 key slides which represent a more holistic view of what you are presenting and you can talk more time on each. Also, since we had the chance to have a portfolio which was summarising our work we could present only the elements we thought were important and leave the less important elements (which anyway were included in the portfolio).

However, my question is: What can we do if we don't have the chance to have a portfolio which summarises everything? How shall we present in order to include all the important information needed to sell our ideas?

Some steps that we've already implemented were: avoiding the theoretical information and concentrate more on the practical ones, use images of maybe some models and describe the practise of those models, and be prepared to provide the details at the end of the presentation while questions will be made.

This is important from all the individuals in a later stage of their lives when the time is limited and short presentations can be made to the potential stakeholders.

So what do you think? Is there anything more that could be done for including everything you want to say in a short presentation?

April 27, 2012

Setting priorities

Asset management is about many things done well!

Asset management includes so many areas that a company should control. One of them, the facilities management, which might be be biggest chapter of asset management contains some aspects that could at some point overlapped. What I've notice is that those areas shouldn't be treated differently. So for example the property management is highly linked with safety management so for example if the company decides not to buy a different building because is too expensive they should consider that the safety standards of the old building and if it doesn't meet those standards, then a new building should be purchased, or the old building should be repaired either if its expensive or not.

And companies should be aware that investment is anavoitable at some point if they want to manage their knowledge and assets. Of course there are many things that could be done in a lower or even in no cost.

So when companies set priorities to different elements and action steps they should bear in mind different factors such as costs, safety, security etc. that might be contradictory at some point and thus they should find the balance between them.

This information was important for me because even when a company is in a crisis and can't spend much for implementing some actions they shouldn't put at risk their employees or customers safety etc.

April 26, 2012

Team work in KBAM

While reviewing and bringing all the parts of the individual work together, I've notice that there was not a lot of work to do in terms of transforming each aspect of the asset or knowledge management in the same form. Also, I've noticed that there were some aspects that contained similar action steps and those actions steps, in the short, mid and long-term, weren't contradictory.

This indicates a good team work from every individual, same direction and thinking, and good participation and commitment or even engagement to the task.

This statement might be kind of contradictory to a previous blong entry that I've posted which was descussing the difficulty facing to bring all the team members at the same direction. While at the starting point the direction and task wasn't clear enough for all the team members and we didn't knew what each had to do when we set individual tasks, at the end when we were combining everything it showed that team members understood the same things and manage to implement their task in the same way and form as everyone else. So I want to thank everyone in my team for their commitment, interest and engagement into the task, and well done to our leader for leading this difficult exercise to a successful implementation!!!

From this experience I've understood how important it is to communicate information and keep in touch with all the team member continuously, for sustaining the same direction.

In future terms this would indicate to me the a seemingly unclear and vague direction for a task, if the communication of information and with every team member is done in a regular and continuous basis, won't be that hard to implement and fulfil the task without additional effort for bringing every element in the same form.

April 24, 2012

Outsourcing vs in–house

Today we had our seminar on Outsourcing and the criteria a company should consider before outsourcing any aspect from asset management.

From what have been mentioned and discussed in the class is that outsourcing has to do with:Outsource

  • Company's strategy and core capabilities
  • Cost vs benefits that the contractor will offer
  • The risks underlying under outsourcing (because you partially loose the control of the service you outsource)
  • The reputation that the contractor has and whether a contractor for providing a particular service exists or not
  • The experience the company has with outsourcing
  • The relationships that can be build between the contractor or not
  • etc.

We've also talked about what are the services you could outsource which core competences should not be included. Any other service could be outsourced.

However, what none of the teams mentioned during the presentation of their ideas was that one element that you should take into account before outsourcing is also people. For example if the distribution is made in-house and you want to outsource it then you need to be aware of any potential reaction and resistance from the employees to accept and cooperate with the other company. Also, you need to remove their fear of been the next department to be outsourced etc.

After all it's all about people isn't it?

Any step you make you should consider people. They may not take part for making the decision but they may participate in some parts of the decision and the succesful implementation of the decision. For example you have decided that the distribution will be outsourced but you could ask the opinion of the employees on which company to choose etc.

So it is really important to cinsider people because it may be better for the company but it may fail because of the people.

In future this will help me think better before outsource a service when I manage to build my own company!!!

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  • Hi Fotini Your comments are much appreciated and it seems that the workshop was helpful to you! It i… by Marjorie Walsh on this entry
  • Fotini I think you have made a very important connection here. At the end of any presentation in whi… by Jarrett Robbins on this entry
  • Great points by Max, I could not have said it better. It is incredible how big companies differ in "… by Rogelio on this entry
  • Hi, Yes that was a really interesting insight actually! Thank you!! :–) Are you working in a consult… by Fotini Savva on this entry
  • Hi, The C–suite are the officers of the company, whose titles are usually of the form Chief XXX Offi… by Max Hammond on this entry

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