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October 09, 2013

An alumni's view of MBE

I post this reflection on his time in MBE with permission from the author. If you have any comments or questions that arise after reading this piece, please ask them here and I will respond.

Hello everyone,

My name is Jan from Germany and I am a former student of the WMG at the University of Warwick in 2010/2011.

I am writing this reflection more than one and a half years after I finished my studies in Management for Business Excellence (MBE). I am still in contact with several people of WMG, especially Paul Roberts (Course Leader) and one of his doctoral students. My reason for keeping the contact is that I am convinced that WMG and especially Paul are doing a great job and staying in contact with academics always gives you new input.

This continuing contact actually gave me the motivation to write this blog. I think, and Paul agrees, that it is important to know what you can do with this degree—what is the benefit of MBE. After my studies I got in contact with some people and they asked what was the biggest benefit, what kind of job did I get afterwards, etc. Indeed these are very important questions and so I decided to write a few lines with the aim to share my experiences and thoughts regarding this topic.

I am aiming to support this course and its underlying philosophy, so that finally people have more motivation to decide on this course and to give them more belief in what they are doing during this one year of studying MBE.

Just to summarize it in advance—it was the most mind-opening year that I’ve ever had and it was worth every minute. In my opinion, every job on this world would benefit from these experiences and the conveyed message. So let's have a look at it in more detail:

First of all I should mention that directly after my studies I got employed by a big German company. For 20 months now, I have been working as a project engineer. Even though it is a technically-oriented job and on the first sight it doesn’t have that much to do with MBE, it is a challenging position and MBE steps in every day.

One thing that should be born in mind is, that most of the times you won’t enter a company and be the boss. There are competencies and experiences that must be gained. It is hard to manage and lead if you have no idea how a company works, how people behave and how the work is carried out. Besides getting the respect you need when you come directly from university, respect is easier to get if people see that you have a clue what you are talking about.

However, let me tell you a bit about my business life: I am responsible for a production site that produces a component for automobile paint. It is a chemical process that I didn't know much about. But actually that was not important for me because I do the engineering for this site, and this goes in the direction of what I knew from my previous studies. But being honest, I must admit that my technical knowledge is very basic and I had no clue about the technical component of my job at the beginning. In addition, and mostly forgotten: you work in a company, there are procedures, rules, responsibilities, actually it is real life and not comparable with the university life, even though university tries quite successfully to come close to it.

So at the beginning I had to deal with two main totally new areas. This is why I was also happy about not getting a management position right from the beginning. Even though I see myself capable of doing such a job (this applies to everyone from MBE), I would have been overloaded. Having responsibility for others right from scratch would have been a third main area, probably too much to make for me to be good at my job from the start. Besides without work experience I think it is hard to get the acceptance of your colleagues. It may work out but it would be tough.

But why is this course so beneficial for professional life afterwards?

On the one hand you have the concept of the course and on the other hand the content of the modules and the masters’ thesis.

With regard to the mentioned two main new knowledge areas I would like to kick off with the first one:

The concept, the idea behind MBE and its organization already forms one major benefit. It is about learning how to learn. And this, as simple as it is, is a great and future-building competence, which will help you in every situation. Previously, I studied in Germany, sitting in a class with hundreds of other students and listening to one professor, making notes and I finally proved in a final test that I am capable of learning something by heart. But the real world is different. You do not sit in an office in the basement; alone, no colleagues around you, no computer and you have to write from memory something on paper that you have learned quite a while ago. You do have experienced colleagues; you do have Internet, books, documentation, etc. Finally, your task is to take this basic knowledge and apply it to a new situation, task, project, whatsoever. Otherwise you would need ages for a little task. And this is what the course work but even more the PMAs are about. Like in real life, identify your aim and solve your task with existing knowledge that is available in various sources, while enriching it with your own thoughts and thus developing the solution. Getting used to this and seeing it as normal way to obtain knowledge, becoming confident to work in unfamiliar areas, is of great benefit.

I am quite certain that during your masters’ you will find yourself concerned about time at some point or even frequently. The pressure is high, you have PMAs, you have the dissertation, modules and the time will come when you want to apply for jobs. So it might seem that there is no time for fun and the workload is not manageable. But it is, thousands of people have proven it and it brings its own benefits. At the end of my year, indeed all concentration was on the thesis and the last PMAs, the weekly and daily workload was massive. To be honest, most of the stress was made by myself: how often did I postpone something or wasn't really working when my timetable actually said: Study. But from time to time you learn to cope with it. And this pays back in professional life. In my job it is normal to have about 15-20 projects at the same time. Some are smaller and actually no big deal, but some are quite comprehensive and you have due dates. So it is about keeping every ball in the air. Actually like during the masters’ and specifically when there are the mini projects, if I got it right in mind it was about 5. Having gone through these lessons the job that I am in now was nothing new. It was different, and it was serious, but I had my patterns from the studies at Warwick that I adapted. Of course a university won't be able to mirror professional life for a 100% but WMG has done a great job. Compared to other colleagues who started working at the same time as me, I saw myself more comfortable with the given new situation and all the side effects. It was just like a new module. Besides, all that I have written in this paragraph is also true for diverse Assessment Centers. I have gone through three and the hardest part was nothing other than course work.

So what about content of these studies? Well it also depends on how you understand them and how you apply them to your professional life. Let's take the Six Sigma modules. I wouldn't expect to go into a company and start implementing Six Sigma and optimize processes and products. Nonetheless, you have the idea of DMAIC in mind and this already is worth a lot. You know something different than others do and thus can push, e.g. a project group in the direction to try it. Thinking this further leads you to other modules like Leadership. How do I lead people towards a new initiative, how can I influence? You might not be the boss but you can lead and show the aim, the vision. Ok, that might happen in a smaller circle of influence than when you have learnt it, but it is a beginning and it is a great opportunity to try out several approaches. And this is what I meant about your own understanding and usage of the content. If you keep it in mind you can work with it and try out what works for you. Apart from leadership, change management is vital to implement something new in a sustainable way. Understand why people do not want to change and indeed cope with it. I don’t know if you are surprised to hear that, but I see that as the biggest challenge in a business and there are only a few people out there that are good at it. I am not saying that you are an expert in each of these fields, modules, and this is not the aim, but you definitely have a basic toolbox you can work with. The rest comes from experience and further education.

Let me give you a real life example: I started together with 6 other people in the same department; it was decided to form a newcomer group that was supposed to work on an undefined project. So it was up to us to define it. With everyone having a different background and position we ended up working on something that was concerned with the entrance of new employees. How do they get known to the company, where can they find answers to explicit questions and how could they gain technical knowledge and expertise? After a while the question came up on how knowledge in general was transferred. Therefore, I suggested calling the project knowledge management. That enabled me to contribute the knowledge I gained during MBE, and finally I ended up as the elected leader for a group of 12 people. Following the basic knowledge about change management proved to be absolutely valuable in order to persuade the older colleagues that our project is a positive thing and everyone could benefit from it. Although my experience was mostly theoretical, the knowledge about leadership allowed me to try out several things and finally find my way to lead the team to a successful project completion. In the end the project benefited from 3 WMG modules and my thesis, which I think is a good result.

The Masters’ thesis is a good opportunity to get deeper into a topic. There you really start becoming an expert in this field of knowledge and this is why you can apply it even better to your future job. So choose it wisely ;)

What more is to say? I know Deming is a big topic in MBE and this is a must. When you start working you quickly see Deming with his deadly diseases and 14 points of management everywhere. It is incredible to see that it looks like nothing has really changed for nearly 30 years now. During the studies I always thought: This is common sense, of course you are not doing it like this, you are doing it the other way; you are a nice guy and act like a human being. Who the hell behaves like that described by the seven deadly diseases? Therefore, I was shocked entering the business world and I can feel that it is of great importance to keep the words of this wise man in mind! It hopefully prevents you becoming and a****. In business it works differently, it is not a safe environment and it is vital to get grounded and remember what you have learnt.

In my eyes business ethics is a vital component of professional life and MBE provides the right direction. Paul once said that for him it was important to have his own values, set up his own mindset and stick to them. Although I am not in a leading position, this proved to be great advice and good support for decision-making. It doesn’t let you doubt. An example: should I go to my boss and tell him what I think? Sure, no excuse! I promised myself to always be open and honest as well as having my say. So I went there and in the end it was the right decision.

I am convinced that I actually could write some more pages, but I think this gives you a first insight on how you can benefit from the MBE course. But again it really depends on how you approach the course and use the given input for your benefit. It is not just about taking; it is also about developing it continuously.

If you have got any questions regarding MBE, etc. just drop me an email:

Jan.ruecker@ymail.com

Finally I want to wish you all good luck with your studies but never forget:

Have fun and enjoy your life.

Jan


February 22, 2013

The Need for Innovation in UK Universities

Here is a short video I created to demonstrate the importance and goal of my PhD study concerned with helping UK universities become more innovative.

Note: You can use higher resolutions for better quality (HD).



TEASER: Benefits You will receive after participating

As part of my doctoral studies, members of staff from UK universities who participate will have access to a number of useful free resources. Here is a sample (teaser) of these resources:


Reviews of Useful Tools for use in Education

Nowadays, there are many tools and technologies that can be used by both teachers and students in universities or even schools. Therefore, I developed an interactive website where I write short reviews of some of these useful tools and technologies and give examples of how they can be used. Here is an example:

Many tools/technologies are reviewerd and categoried into different operatnig systems

Reviews

Each tool/technology will have a summary along with any useful links (such as education discounts)

Review Summary

and specific rating

Tool rating

From 0 to 380,000 Fans: Can we use Social platforms in Education?

There is no more doubt today that social platforms can be used in education or to enhance learning. There are many examples of such social learning platforms including YouTube Education, iTunes University and much more.

I have been personally interested in how Facebook can be used to enhance or disseminate learning and useful resources. Therefore, back in 2009, I started an Arabic sceitfic research Facebook page. Now, I have over 380,000 fans and conting. This is all a personal effort! The Facebook page gained quite a lot of attention in the Middle East and it still do.

It is been almost 4 years now and I have gained quite a good experience from this. Therefore, I created a rich presentation of the good practices and lessons learned which I would like to share with you.

If I, as an idividual, was able to get this far and help educate thousands of people from over 15 countries, I am sure universities can benefit and achieve much better, especially since this can be used for marketing as well!

Social Media Marketing in Education


Use of Twitter in Education and Research

In addition to the two resources I have prepared for you above which I will share with you after taking part in the study, I would like to go ahead and share with you NOW some useful resources I came across recently. They are focusing on the social platform Twitter and how it can be used in education and research.

To thank you in advanced for participating in the study, here are the links:


If you are a member of staff working within any UK university, please go ahead and participate in the study to receive access to the rest of the free resources:

Participate in the study (Link will be updated soon)


October 08, 2012

Welcome to MBE 2012

A warm welcome to everyone in the new Management for Business Excellence (MBE) intake--32 students of 14 nationalities. Today saw the start of the Creating Business Excellence module, the first of six MBE-specific modules. Everyone was engaged and lots of questions were asked in the introductory sessions. So, a good start for what promises to be a challenging year. I look forward to working with you.

June 12, 2012

MindMap: Presentation Tips

Here is a Mindmap which I've created after going through the 3 excellent workshops on presentation skills presented by Adair @ The university of Warwick and reading a number of books. I hope you guys find it useful!

presentation2.pdf


May 29, 2012

IKEA…You Fail at Customer's service…

To start of, I usually put the URL when I talk about something. In this case, I am not even going to put any links to IKEA's website so that they don't benefit from any visitors and search engine ranking.

Long Story Short

I bought a large desk. The desk was delivered damaged. I called IKEA over 3 weeks to replace it, every time they say we will send someone, they give me a date and no one comes. After that I decided to return the item, before the return period runs out. They say OK, we respect that and we will send someone. Of course, they give me a date, no one shows up. I call, they give me another date and no one calls or show up and the story goes on and on and on. The last appointment they gave me was last Saturday. No one called or showed up...

There is clearly a pattern here and they could go about doing this for quite sometime...I am not willing to try how long it will take them though! although someone else with more free time and a since of humour might have found it to be a good way to test how bad their customer service is.


Waste of Time

I am really annoyed by how much time I've wasted chasing them, when a one call should have been sufficient. Clearly, they don't care about customer's time. Imagine yourself chasing a company for almost 2 months and every time you call you are put into a queue and you wait to get someone to answer and once someone answers, you spend sometime explaining the problem, waiting for the employee to check the records, wait for him to explain how sorry they are and that they are going to fix this for me.


Lack of Trust !

Needless to say after hearing the phrase "Sorry for the inconvenience" and "We will sort this out" over and over again, I lost both trust and hope in IKEA. Hence, writing this post. Apparently some companies have used these words for too long that they have forgotten what they mean.


Can you help?

Since I am an international student, I am trying to understand what steps could be taken. Obviously I want my money back! and also, I want the damaged items taken from my apartment.

After 2 months of calls and live chats, I know I gave IKEA more than enough time. Now I am done waiting, I want to follow possible legal or other actions that can be taken to resolve this issue once and for all. I can't waste more time chasing them!

Therefore, if you read this post and you have any experience with companies not wanting or bothering to honor their return policy for any reason and you have took an action to resolve that, I would really appreciate your input. I know about the legal advisors at the university's Students Union and I am just not free this week to check with them and I thought some visitors might be able to help!


Oh...One more thing!

How would you feel if you experienced something like this? Please let me know in the comments!


May 17, 2012

The Good…and the BAD

I am a Muslim and I am proud to be one. Islam taught me to be respectful to others, and I hope that I am good at doing that! If not, please let me know :). I am keen to correct the bad image of Islam caused by the media around the world by respecting and helping others, helping those that need, by participating or contributing to great causes or organisations such as UK Heart Foundation, UK Cancer Research among many other things. Of course I am not writing this as a show-off, rather, to show that I care about others and I know I am not the only Muslim doing this.

The world is full of injustice, especially injustice towards Islam or Muslims and in some cases treating them unfairly.

Here are a few comics that I've found and I wanted to share. Unforutantelly, I gave up finding the source so I couldn't add it or mention it.

Islam 1
















Islam

Islam

Islam


Conclusion:

As with everything else in this life, there is the good and there is the bad! but I know you already know this!

The question is, did you do your research before making any judgement? Of course I am not talking about Islam here, I am talking about everything!


March 22, 2012

Scrivener, a great writing environment!

Writing about web page http://drhariri.com/blog/1384/scrivener/

Note: this is a summary of a blog post I wrote on my Arabic research blog (برنامج الكتابة الرائع Scrivener), a blog that I have been running for over 3 years, aiming to spread knowledge and resources to help postgraduate students and researchers in the middle east.


For a while, I have been finding it more and more difficult to use Microsoft Word for writing, especially when it comes to bigger documents.

I often find myself thinking about where to write a certain chunk of text and even if I decided, it is sometimes hard to quickly reach the section that I want to update/edit.


A couple of week ago, Paul, my supervisor, started a discussion with me on how best to store and work on my thesis. He suggested that I use a feature that exists in MS Word where documents can be linked together to a certain master document. So, I went ahead and decided to learn about this feature which I have never heard of before. However, while writing, it came to my attention that some users reported their files and projects becoming coprrupted as a result of using this feature. So, I decided that using it is too risky, so here is an X for that.


I decided to look for alternatives, and all of a sudden, I remembered a certain software called Scrivener, which seemed very inetresting to me about a year ago so I decided to follow their Twitter account back then.

I decided to visit their website and I found out that they have already released a Windows version as it only had a Mac version back then and although I use a Mac mainly, I didn't start using it back then.

I took a look at the introduction video and their website and it was fascinating to me to find out that many novelists, authors, journalists and even researchers have been using Scrivener and have been very happy with it.

I also started googling Scrivener and found that others are using it in education and research.

Scrivener Interface

The main concept behind Scrivener is that it offers a great writing environment where documents are split into chunks of texts. Those chunks could be chapters, sections, a few paragraphs or a few lines. The beauty however about Scrivener is that if you decided to combine all of those chunks into a single document for printing or sending, this can be done automatically and very easily using Scrivner's compile feature.

What this means is, if you are writing and do not want to worry about structuring or stylying at all, you can do that without any problems, and once you finish you can tell Scrivener to combined everything and format it in a way you specify. So, you could tell it to format chunk's titles as H3, for instance and to format any higher level groups as H2s or H1s.

The big advantage in this case of course is, your writing space is always there and you are free to add as many chunks of texts or images as you want.

Scrivener Interface

Scrivener of course is more than just a writing environment, it has many geat features that I suggest you check.


Inregration with Reference Management Software

Since its important to me to have the ability to insert citations within Scrivener as I currently do in MS Word, as it has my Mendeley's plugin installed, I decided to look for possible ways of integration. to my surprise, there was no way to do this with Mendeley at the moment. However, it seems that those using Endnote or Zotero have a better luck as both of those reference management software offer an RTF scan feature that can be used to update citations and references list once the final document is made.

This is a quick video showing how Endnote can be used with Scrivener:


And here is the longer version of it where the author, a PhD student, explains how he uses tools like Evernote and Scrivener in his research activities.


Any hope for those using Mendeley?

Well, personally, I wouldn't turn down a potentialy beneficial software just because it doesn't work nice with another one. In this case, I decided to use Scrivener and insert citations manually like I usually do anyway. However to stay alerted to where they are I write them, for instance something like (John, 2000), then, I highlight them in Scrivener.

I don't see a huge problem of not being able to automatically use Mendeley within Scrivener. However, I decided to tweet those @Mendeley_com and @ScrivenerApp to see if there are any chances for an integration between those 2 to be born, and to my joy! they said that they have met and they are working on something that will make it possible for Scrivener and Mendeley to play nice with each other! So, let's hope that they develop something for us very soon!

Join the campaign and spread the tweets for a Mendeley Scrivener integration!

By the way, if you use Mendeley and would love to use Scrivener, don't be shy to do just what I did, LET THEM KNOW!. go ahead and tweet to both of those great companies how you love to see an integration as soon as possible.

If you are new to twitter, use something like:

Hi! I'm very interested in an integration between @Mendeley_com & @ScrivenerApp please!


October 01, 2011

Atlas.Ti 6 vs NVivo 9: A Comparison

Follow-up to Potential uses of CAQDA software packages from A.Hariri's

A couple of days ago I received an e-mail from one of my research blog (in Arabic) followers asking for my opinion on choosing NVivo or Atlas.Ti. I've sent her a summary of some of the issues that I faced when I tried both of them.

Today, I was asked by a friend of mine, Salma Patel of why I chose Atlas.Ti over NVivo as well, therefore, I decided to write a detailed post about this to help those who may be looking into this as well.


I found that Atlas.Ti 6 and NVivo 9 were two of the most used software packages out there. So, I went ahead to do some research and I decided to try them both. I ended up choosing Atlas.Ti although I was much inclined to use Nvivo for the following reasons:

Nvivo stores everything within 1 project file. There is the obvious risk of losing everything if this file becomes corrupted.

Yes, I will make backups, but I still want to be safe. Furthermore, what if there is a bug in the software itself? It wouldn't really be able to access anything.

Atlas.Ti has a project file that only stores projects information and certain details. Documents/PDFS do not have to be imported into the project. Atlas.Ti can get them where they are :).

In the worst case scenario that something may be wrong with the file, you can still access external documents such as PDFs.

I already have a working structure of my documents (Thanks to Mendeley), why would I need to copy those files over to NVivo too? Waste of space in my opinion. Some could say delete the PDFs from Mendeley and just have the record for each document. Well, this can be done but then, I wouldn't really be using Mendeley's nice features such as effective searching within PDFs and pictures, etc..

Because Atlas.Ti will reach your documents where they are, you could have Mendeley arrange your library into a certain structure, then, you ask Atlas.ti to link those documents to your project.

Note: You may want Mendeley to sort your documents into folders based on Years at the the top level so that you could easily see which document your passage you are reading if you output a list of passages within Atlas.Ti. I have also had Mendeley rename the files so that Author's names are in the begining of the file name for the same reason too.

Because it relies on 1 project file, there is no doubt that the file size would become bigger as you go on. Project file remains very small.
I found NVivo to be a bit slow although I was working with an empty project... Still going fast
The bigger the project size the laggier NVivo becomes. Would not lag as much because the project file which runs the show is relatively small.
Until recently, NVivo had a very bad support for PDFs and I was surprised to see the company taking their time (months!!!) to release an update that would fix this although I would expect this to be a core feature in this age! I haven't looked into the update which they said should fix any PDF issues because I had already decided to go with Atlas.Ti. Excellent support for PDFs!
Due to the above point, I believe that NVivo should look more into updating more frequently, especially when certain things should be fixed and are demanded to be fixed by customers in the forums Many updates released continuously which improves the way Atlas.Ti works or fixes bugs and so on. In fact, I think I've seen 4 minor updates for Atlas.Ti within the last 2-3 months. It tells me as a customer that they care!
Although a bit slow sometimes, the UI is better than Atlas.Ti which was one of the main reasons I was seriously hoping to use it. However, the late release of the update and the slow response killed any chance I had of using it. UI not as nice as NVivo, but, as I started working more with Atlas.Ti, I started to appreciate the UI and how it is arranged. However, it is obvious that I am more interested in performance.


These are what I think some of the key issues I based my comparison on, when it comes to features, both software packages offer very similar set of features.

After writing this comparison, I have to say that I do not hate NVivo, I simply think it wasn't for me. Others may find working with NVivo is better for their own reasons. I still follow the development of both NVivo and Atlas.Ti, and I still retweet some of their announcements and so on to my Research Blog (in Arabic) followers.

I hope some of you out there find this helpfu! and I am happy to learn about your experiences with any of the mentioned software packages.


Potential uses of CAQDA software packages

About a year ago, I was looking into Computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDA) software packages that may help me in doing my literature review by allowing me to code certain passages within documents into codes that I could then easily explore or retrieve.

I think one of the potentials I saw in some CAQDA software packages is that if you code useful passages within lots of papers and documents into codes (which are similar to keywords), this will make it easier for you to retrieve those stored passages of texts within different documents.

For example: if I have read 100 PDFs and assigned things that I believe relevant to my research into codes, it would be much easier to just output the passages that belong to a certain code within those 100 PDFs in 3-5 pages (since other information within each document will be hidden) showing where every passage came from and how they can relate to each other (You can use relationships between them too!). This would surely be much easier than having to check all those 100 PDFs to try and find bits and pieces here and there that belong to the topic I am trying to write about.

Another potential where I personally think CAQDA could help is building a rich research library of journal papers and different documents over the years. Because, in many cases, a PhD might be the first step of your research career, especially if you are a lecturer or someone that is interested in publishing journal papers in the same field. I guess what I am trying to say is, lets assume that while doing your PhD you come across 100 journal papers that you consider important in your research field. After that, you become a lecturer at some university where you are expected to do more research. So you read more journal papers and you assign more information to codes within the CAQDA software. After a couple of years, you could have a very rich library of papers that you have already read and classified into certain codes or keywords.

After that, all you have to do really when you want to write a journal paper is ask the CAQDA to output information related to a keyword and start writing.


For instance, you may choose to first write a background, so, you output background information which you store in a code. Next, you may choose to become more specific, so, you may want to identify previous gaps and even gaps that may still be in need of research. You output information assigned to a code "Gaps in....." and you find all different arguments by different authors, etc...

I believe that using a CAQDA helps a lot when it comes to writing, if it was used by the researcher while he was doing his literature review.

I know that some would argue that it is not good to just read certain parts of the paper and assign them and just forget the rest of the paper may see like taking things out of context, but this is only true if the researcher himself didn't pay attention to that.


Of course I am only scratching the surface here as most CAQDA have much more advanced and useful features such as reports & networks diagrams where you could visually show the relationship between different passages. For instance, you could show a number of authors disagreeing with author A while may others are supporting him.


I have been working with a CAQDA software (Atlas.Ti) mainly as part of my literature review as I believe it keeps me organised and helps me find information that I have already looked into much faster than I would usually do. I will continue to use it as I go on with my PhD and I hope that I learn more about it and try the various features available and be able to share what I find or anything new later on.


August 21, 2011

Wordpress Mac Permissions Issues with Zend Server CE

If you have installed Zend Server CE on your computer to use as a development server, you may have ran into the issue of Automatic update not working on Wordpress. This is the function that usually updates your Wordpress plugins and Wordpress system or core files. Furthermore, another related problem that you will likely to have as a result of this is that you won't be able to have Wordpress edit your .htaccess to change the way your blog URLS look like.


The cause of this problem is that the Apache user used by Zend Server CE (User: daemon, Group: daemon) is not given enough permissions to be able to make changes to your files on your Mac. The solution to this should be simple, at least it worked for me right away.

The Solution:

  • Open your Terminal application (Applications -> Utilities)
  • Use the following commands in bold:
  1. Navigate to your htdocs folder that was created by Zend Server CE using something like:
    cd /usr/local/zend/apache2/htdocs
  2. Change the user of your blog folder which resides within the htdocs folder. In my case my blog folder is called blog, so I used this command:
    sudo chown -R daemon blog
  3. Change the permissions of the folder using:
    sudo chmod -R g+w blog
  • Now, try to update your Wordpress plugins or Wordpress system itself (core files), this should have solved your Wordpress Mac permission issues. In my case, I didn't restart and it worked. If it doesn't work rightaway on your development environment, try restarting your Mac.

Note: The solution above worked for me because I don't allow any network access to my development environment, if you for some reason need better security, you should probably check Zend Server's documentation to follow their suggestions with regard to how to make your development environment safer.

Hope these steps work for you!


July 24, 2011

Great papaer

bad_theories_destroy_good_practices.pdf


This is in my eyes a good paper. I reccomend to read it. I know we are all striving with project (oh my God) but i will give a great perspective for your future obligation within the business life. It also depicts that we are lucky because we studiesd in an excellent department. . . . .


July 05, 2011

3 weeks on work

I have been observing facts for three weeks in a small and medium enterprise in Greece. When i come back home i am thinking of what i have seen all day. . . . . . It is amazing. . . . . If we conduct a gap analysis between Deming's view and the current practices we will see that there is no chance for having having a bridge.. . . . . .

Every paragraph of his book is so so so so absolutely true.. . . . . .Fear is everwhere. People do not give feadback to the management for mistakes because of it. Quality is bad. People lack in pride for their work. There is no constancy. Philosophy of management is restricted in pure numbers. Characteristically i have seen producing a mould of thousand euros in 3 days..................... Oh my God........... Without thinking of it. I am pretty sure that there will be a problem on that. Just like previous moulds of the company which had a problem. Where is Design for six sigma philosophy? Where is the common aim? Where is quality?

We have work to do after MBE. I think we will make it. . . It is our duty to serve and lead the change..........................


June 27, 2011

Appreciation for the system is lost

We have never learnt to respect the sytem. Never never. . . . I am trying to work in my project. The word trying referes not in perosnal problems (like i want to go to the sea or i want to see my girlfriend) no no, i am more than willing to work on it and i am doing so. However i am trying to write my observation and make the necessary statistical analysis on my PC while the Greek Electricity Provider Company stops providing with electricity the place that i am working.

They react and protest against the new economic reformations of the Greek Goverment. I accept their fear of losing their job. I accept their problems and their fights (i have never said that management is right in that country) but i do not acept the fact that they are terminate electricity provision in the industrial territory of Greece. To make the things worse they industries are open when do that.

Just think how much money was Toyota loosing when they stopped working per hour............... Oh my Gosh


June 25, 2011

I feel depressed. . . . . .

Coming back in my country and I was in front of a great surprise. I was reading in the news papers that the country has problems but I didn?t expect this. The country is devastated. . . Analyzing this situation I tried to understand what is going on. I have spoken with people around the country from every social class so that I can understand all the arguments.

Yesterday I was for dinner with some managers. We started discussing about the crisis. I started speaking about the necessary transformation without giving specific points so that they can argue what they conceive as transformation.

They gave me the following answer

yes we need a transformation, we need to push more the working force that doesn?t work. . . . . We have to reduce their salaries make them fear that they will lose their work so that we can increase the productivity.It came as a shock to me. I have spoken with people from the working class and they were telling “The only thing we want is to work with dignity”.

They argue that people do not work in productivity when the 300 members of the parliament cannot find a common ground so that they can fight united the crisis. Our people were sacrificed in the temple of short term thinking and easy profit which is responsibility of our management. Out people are misused and abused.

Another example came yesterday when I was participating in a meeting within a Greek SME. During the meeting the managing director-owner of the company stood up went to a window to see the production line came back and said:

“We are spending to much time here and the workers on the shopping floor do not work because they do not have someone to force them they are lazy” This reminded me Paul and Graeme who were telling us “When people feel fear they will both hide the mistakes and do what is enough so that the boss will not shout at them. “Someone in Germany called it Management by fear, which is still better” Dr. Edward Deming


June 20, 2011

Working for the application of the project

I am working one week now for the practical part (case study) of my project. While till now I have not discussed in depth the project but I have some free dialogues with in respect to the topic I have noticed the following contradiction. On one hand they understand the need of doing about the topic of the project. . . . . On the other hand when you try to start talking about the best practices identified from the literature you find resistance. When I am thinking of that in my mind comes the father Deming. “Doing your best is not enough” or “The system cannot understand itself”……. He was so f***king right. . . . (Sorry but he was). What I have to say is that I start to realize that conducting transformation to a system it will be more difficult from what we expected to be . . . . . . However MBE has given us all the knowledge that we need so that we can understand ourselves the system and its problems as well as what we have to challenge. . . We love MBE…………… :)


June 03, 2011

SoPK for our PMAs and project………….

I was thinking which is the best way to face a PMA……….. After nine months in MBE when I am trying to answer a question I first look it through the eyes of SoPK (I love it)………………… So the same took place here as well.

What really should happen when we face a PMA are the following four categories of questions. We ask ourselves:

·        “Which are the world theories that have been developed in respect to our PMA¢s topic?” Then we ask ourselves “How this theories could be applied in the specific case of our question so that the cycle of knowledge could be developed and answer the PMA?”

·        What are the differences on the theories out there? Can we understand variation? Are all of them inside the limits or there is a special cause opinion? What the different approaches support and how the special causes- theories break the rules?

·        Can the different theories and contradictions be utilized under the concept of a common system so that they could develop a unite force, despite the differences, that will answer the PMA? How we critically assess and combine those theories so that we can create a complete and homogenous answer?

·        How these theories have been applied and how they have affected people¢s psychology? Did they have positive or negative outcome in their application in respect to the core asset of organizations named people? How this could affect our case?

Of course we should not forget that everything starts with personal transformation and if we are not ready to accept the challenge we will fail despite the correct application of SoPK in our work………

Also by correcting the bias of scale this principles could be applied in our project as well . . . .

Keep on blogging guys we learn a lot from that … … … … ..


May 31, 2011

When the end comes we move to another dimension

More or less we have reached the end of (this is my personal opinion) the most exciting year of my life. Yes it was, and still is, exhausting but I bet that we will miss it. Thinking today of what we learnt I came to a conclusion that first of all we realized and self-determine ourselves. Yes, I think that we have gained knowledge of what we really are which are our strengths or weaknesses, and based on that we can plan our actions so that we can improve our lives.

This made me think of one philosophical phrase that I really like:

The self-determination of the “I am” derives by understanding the “We are”. . . . . . .

Thinking of that phrase and linking it with the MBE experience I think that I realized the magic of this course. We understood our selves through the eyes of the “we”. We allow other people to reflect their perceptions regarding us and we reflect on them. We didn¢t act us individuals without philosophical orientation; we know what we have to do because we were aware of the external environment. We took into consideration of our colleagues and take care of them. We achieved our aims – purpose by being helped or helping the rest of the people. More or less MBE gave us a vision and showed us the way to it.

Of course we are different and our personal vision will be different (variation is part of our life) but we are a common cause. We all know what we have to do so that we can introduce excellence. We were a team and we learn how to act as a team.

This is the difference that forced a WMG tutor (not from MBE) to say that “MBE works” when he show our presentations. It is not that we are better from the other student. Maybe we can say that we are different. However we can give an alternative, a new vision. We can say tomorrow in the organization that we will work “I have a dream”…

Yes my friends we have understood ourselves and we know what we have to do. As Deming says it is now time to do our best…………….


May 23, 2011

GOOD LUCK AND BEST WISHES – USAMA NADEEM (KBAM)

I would like to give my best wishes to all the MBE class for the future and especially for our dissertation which is creeping day by day. I would also like people to pray for me as well because seriously I do think that I need a lot of prayers especially for my dissertation. I hope you guys enjoy your remaining time at warwick.

Take care people!

Cheers. 


KBAM EXPERIENCE – USAMA NADEEM (KBAM)

KBAM has been a good learning experience, the in-module and the post module work has definitely developed my learning towards asset management, different aspects of asset management and knowledge management. It was also a very interesting experience since it was the final module with the MBE class because all of us will not take OPP together and I definitely missed the final moments of the KBAM module and especially the MBE group photo moment at the end of the presentation sessions. One unusual thing that I also noticed was that during the module, people didn’t even take a single seminar although last time we had 3 to 4 seminars because maybe there was a lot to do for the in-module presentation so maybe therefore seminars were not taken although I was expecting atleast two to three seminars during the module. Altogether it was a very good module, very informative and interesting and I also enjoyed the group work during the module.


NO MORE BLOGGING ? – USAMA NADEEM (KBAM)

The KBAM module seems like the end of the blogging activity as well and most probably as I have heard there will be no further blogging. Blogging has been a very good experience; it is actually a very good way of expressing yourself and sharing your opinions with others. Especially for people like me, it has been a very different experience since I never thought that I would do something like this ever and through this practice my communication skills have also improved. I personally feel if it was not about marks, many of us would have not contributed into this and that actually was a good idea to attach marks with this task. I have read many people’s blogs and I think all of us have improved a lot, when it comes to writing blogs. I prefer and enjoy blogs more than wikis since it seemed double work more than anything else and was just good as a supporting tool. I would definitely not forget this experience since I have also been making world viewable enteries and this work would always be available online. So, I think it would be a really good idea to look at this sometime in the future and remember the good old MBE days, this would surely remain as a good memory of my time at Warwick.         


SOCIO–TECHNICAL APPROACH FOR KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT – USAMA NADEEM (KBAM)

There are many different approaches that can be followed for knowledge management. But there are two types of approaches which are considered to be main in  the knowledge management process. The social approach and the tecnological approach. Social approach is about interaction between people, culture and other social aspects etc where as the technological aspect refers to use of tecnology such as intranet, networks, email etc for aiding the flow of knowledge. Although people are the most important part of every organization but still only following the social aspect is not beneficial in today's IT world. therefore IT plays an important role and there is need for organizations to adopt a socio-technical approach for knowledge mangement which comprises of both the social aspects and also the technological aspects as a perfect combination for knowledge sharing and development.

The socio-tecnical approach is really imporatant since it avoids the traditional knowledge managment approach for following the social perspective. IT is very effective and effecient and can definitely aid the knowledge management process but there should be a combination of both.

We can attempt to adopt the socio-technical approach of knowledge management since we all have access to technology and it is a very effective source of knowledge sharing and communication. we can use an approach which is a combination of our people and also technology for getting better results than before.        


HOW IMPORTANT IS THE LEADERSHIP ROLE IN EFFECTIVE KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT ? – USAMA NADEEM (KBAM)

When we talk about the role of leadership, it is always important important for organizations in all situations at every level. In case of knowledge managment, the role of leadership is of vital importance since it determines and plays an important part in the development of culture with in an organization. Effective knowledge management cannot occur without a supportive culture and proper motivation from top management and leadership. Therefore the role of the leadership in this regard is to create an atmosphere where people can communicate effectively and there are no barriers between departments. One more important role of leadership is to motivate employees so that they recognize the importance of their involvement in the knowledge creation and inplementation process.

Therefore, it can be seen that the role of leadership is of vital importance in case of knowledge managment. The knowledge management process cannot be succesful without involvement from them since they are the biggest source of influence within the organization.

We have to play our role as leaders within the knowledge managment process, if we get the chance to lead a company in the future. There is a need to play the role of a motivator and facilitator for effective flow of knowledge since it can bring our organization great success and might bring competitive advantage as well.  


May 22, 2011

ENVIRONMENTAL KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – USAMA NADEEM (KBAM)

Since environmental management is very important, there is a need to apply knowledge to it. For organization to effectively tackle their environmental knowledge, environmental knowledge management systems are really important. They help people to gather knowledge about the environment through different procedures and that knowledge could be used to come up with a effective environmental policy for the organization. It is basically the usage of people as well as technology to handle the knowledge from different sources, regarding the environment. The databases and different types of technologies can aid organizations in gathering important information and knowledge about best practices within the industry etc and then develop a proper strategy for their organization.

These managment systems are really important since they can aid in environmental decision making and also solution to different environmental problems. It is a proper framework especially to handle the environmental issues and could be beneficial for organization.

We can use environmental knowledge management systems in our organizations to make a serious effort towards minimizing the environmental problems that would definitely bring good results for our organization.    


SEVERAL APPROACHES TOWARDS TACKLING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES – USAMA NADEEM (KBAM)

When we talk about approahces, there are many different environmental approaches that people use in their organizations and bussnisses. Especially in case of the environmental problems, ost of the people tend to use reactive approaches which are basically the core of all the problems since people are not very considerate towards their environment. The reactive approach is to act as a reaction to a consiquence and in this case addressing an environmental problem when it has already caused the damage. The reactive approach is not an effective approach since it not even shows the ignorance towards such important issues but is also not financially feasible for an organization. The proactive is thinking about environmental problems before hand and figuring out an appropriate solution and maybe an ecodesign at tehe designing stage so that hazards and consequences can be avoided. 

It is really important to know the treand of the people towards their environment and these approache show us that. If people care about there surroundings they will definitely adopt a proactive approach which would also help them to earn good reputation among people and would actually be cheaper and better than paying penalties afterwards.

We need to adopt a proactive approah towards the environment since it is the need of the time and a there is a need to properly plan and design products and processes before hand so that harmful effects can be eliminated.