Metrics Plan, Part 3

In the book, Bare Bones Change Management: What you shouldn’t not do, Bob Lewis explained the seven must-have elements for any change management effort to have a chance of succeeding. Here are my takeaways from one of the topics discussed in the book.

Bob outlined some tactics to consider when working with the fixed and incremental costs.

The two most common tactics used to reduce fixed costs for supporting a business change are eliminating expensive infrastructure and centralizing dispersed resources.

When organizations reduce their infrastructure and fixed costs, they inevitably increase their incremental costs elsewhere within the organization. The reason is that investments in infrastructure generally help to reduce the incremental costs. When the infrastructure scales down or eliminated (outsourcing for example), incremental costs rise in the organization to compensate for the adjustments.

Centralization and consolidation can also help achieve a reduction in fixed costs. Centralization can generally compensate the increase in incremental costs that usually accompany reductions in infrastructure spending. Centralization can also contribute to quality due to its ability to increase consistency and standardization.

Centralization does carry a few trade-offs. One trade-off is the loss of ability to customize, which is generally required for achieving excellence. Another common trade-off from centralization is longer cycle times.

Incremental costs are the mirror image of fixed costs, and, as a result, decreasing incremental costs require investments in infrastructure, which increase fixed costs. The trade-off of ramping up infrastructure investment is the loss of agility for ramping down. If volume decreases, shedding fixed infrastructure costs can be quite difficult.

Updated Machine Learning Template Using R

As I work on practicing and solving machine learning (ML) problems, I find myself repeating a set of steps and activities repeatedly.

Thanks to Dr. Jason Brownlee’s suggestions on creating a machine learning template, I have pulled together a set of project templates that can be used to support regression ML problems using R.

Version 2 of the templates contain time stamps at various locations within the script. I have been using the timing benchmarks to test my modeling and tuning efficiency. You will find the templates in the Machine Learning Project Templates page.

You can also check out the sample HTML-formatted report here on GitHub.

在職務描述上沒看到

(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀

如果您在辦公室工作,以下是一些可能已被忽略的事:

  • 為每個對話添加正能量
  • 先問為什麼
  • 在任務列表中找到過時的事物並將其刪除
  • 對待客戶比他們期望的還要好
  • 在同事提出要求之前提供幫助
  • 為植物施肥
  • 把事情弄得更有條理
  • 假裝一點點的糊塗
  • 強調你的同事的良好工作
  • 找到其他優秀的員工加入團隊
  • 削減開支
  • 幫助去發明大家真正想要的新產品或服務
  • 通過培訓或書籍去更聰明地工作
  • 鼓勵好奇心
  • 浮現困難的決定並使引起它人的注意
  • 找出行不通的原因
  • 整理書架
  • 開一個俱樂部
  • 講一個不傷害別人的玩笑
  • 多多微笑

現在要將工作外包給更便宜的人(或機器人)比以往更容易,因此我們需要有更多人在工作上能來做以上的幾件事。

Adjusting the Course

In the podcast series, Seth Godin’s Startup School, Seth Godin gave a guided tour to a group of highly-motivated early-stage entrepreneurs on some of the questions they will have to dig deep and ask themselves while they build up their business. Here are my takeaways from various topics discussed in the podcast episodes.

  • It is important to make the distinction between freelancer and entrepreneur early on. It is also important to understand the difference in role and to commit to one path. Each role builds projects differently and focuses on different approaches.
  • Consultants are always freelancers. The easy, hard part is whether you are smart enough to give good advice. The hard, hard part is whether people trust you enough to pay you to give them good advice.
  • The “lizard brain” is that voice in your head that pushes you away from opportunities. That voice is always with us, and we need to be clear with ourselves why we are avoiding the “right” answer.
  • The first question for any business to ask is “Who is it for?” Nothing is for everyone. If you are trying to bring something for absolutely everyone, you will have to start over.
  • The second question to ask is “What do they believe?” For those in the group of question number one, what is their worldview?
  • The third question to ask is “Have they bought this type service/product before?” There are three types of revenue: revenue of cash, revenue of attention/trust, and revenue of referral.
  • The last question to ask is “Does this group of people know about you?” There is a huge gulf between selling to people who know about you and to people who have never heard of you. Also, another question to ask is “Do this group of people who know you and also trust you?”
  • One thing to always think about is how do you put yourself out there so strangers can learn more about what you and, over time, build trust and confidence over your product/service.
  • A key consideration is a value created by business. Business models shape the value created by businesses. In the connection economy, businesses can create value by connecting a group of customers to a product/service or connecting a group of customers to another group of customers.

Freelancers and Professionals

In his podcast, Akimbo, Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

  • This podcast covered ways of thinking about and managing a freelance career. The freelance career can lead to doing the work that will be valued and respected by our customers.
  • Firms have existed as an alternative to the pure open market system for conducting business transactions. When the information and certainty of having employees outweigh the costs of dealing with the open market, firms with employees emerge. Today, the freelancers are catching on because the information and certainty from hiring freelancers are getting better than employees in some cases.
  • Freelancers are not the same as entrepreneurs. Freelancers get paid for the work he/she delivers personally. Entrepreneurs get paid for the output generated by his/her business.
  • Freelancers get into trouble when the income is directly tied to the work/craft of the freelancer, and she is trying to grow the size of her business. Indefinitely scaling of the output is not compatible with the freelancing approach.
  • If the choice is to be a freelancer, keep in mind the core deliverable will need to be done by the freelancer.
  • In a commodity market, freelancing work inevitably becomes a race for cost-cutting and time-reduction. That is a race to the bottom. Worth-a-while freelancing work should be a race to the top that lets you develop and enhance skills, tools, and reputation. “You will pay a lot, but you will get more than what you paid for.”
  • Freelancers invest in building and acquiring tools and skills continually. The combined emotional and tactical skills level up the freelancers.
  • Freelancers should pick an industry that welcomes the freelancers to contribute and participate.
  • The goal of the freelancer is to identify the smallest viable audience set that can keep her busy and productive. The smallest group of people who will talk about you and wait in line when you are busy. Be the best in the “world.”
  • Freelancers also need to pay attention to the need for prospecting. Freelancers need the discipline of finding new tools, spreading the words, earning the privilege of being aware and seen by the prospective clients.
  • You will get picked when you are in a category of “one.” Doing and producing the work that is unique and recognized by others.
  • Identify your core products or services and charge them for money. Find something else you can do or give away for free. Something else that can better the community or enrich the conversations that get others to understand you better and want to work with you.
  • Freelancers need to be comfortable with advocating for themselves. They need to have a solid idea of their offering and how that offering is in a category of “one.” The client, who seek out the freelancer and eager to accommodate their expectations to work with the freelancer, will likely turn out to be a better client. “Call me if you need me.”
  • The way for freelancers to move up is to get better clients. Better clients are those who want better work, who are willing to pay for better, and who trust the freelancer enough to do better work. Better clients will lead to a better freelancer portfolio.

Updated Machine Learning Template Using Python

As I work on practicing and solving machine learning (ML) problems, I find myself repeating a set of steps and activities repeatedly.

Thanks to Dr. Jason Brownlee’s suggestions on creating a machine learning template, I have pulled together a set of project templates that can be used to support regression ML problems using Python.

Version 2 of the templates contain time stamps at various locations within the script. I have been using the timing benchmarks to test my modeling and tuning efficiency. You will find the templates in the Machine Learning Project Templates page.

You can also check out the sample HTML-formatted report here on GitHub.

有用的話

(從我的一個喜歡與尊敬的作家,賽斯 高汀

我們很少能把自已放在別人的立場來考慮事情。因此,當我們與某人爭論時,我們傾向於使用對我們自已有用的文字和圖像,而不一定去想著幫助其他人。

所以,如果你想了解如何說服某人,請聽他們如何試圖說服你。

例如,對話中的一個合作夥伴可能會使用權力,傳統和權威等概念來製作一個案例,而另一個合作夥伴則可能依靠科學,統計或公平的角度。有一個人可能會用大量的情感見解來爭論,而另一些人可能會提出研究和同行評議。

他們實際上在做的都是以他們自已喜歡的方式來談論事情。

Metrics Plan, Part 2

In the book, Bare Bones Change Management: What you shouldn’t not do, Bob Lewis explained the seven must-have elements for any change management effort to have a chance of succeeding. Here are my takeaways from one of the topics discussed in the book.

Bob suggested there are three levels of business metrics: 1) Bottom-line improvement, 2) Business outcomes that drive the bottom-line improvement, and 3) Internal effectiveness improvements that support the business outcome.

When it comes to the improvements of internal effectiveness, Bob suggested there are only six areas to focus our effort.

1) Fixed Costs: This is also known as non-discretionary spending or sunk cost. Fixed costs are what an organization spends to keep the lights on and to operate at a minimum capacity. They are also the costs that come before making any products or delivering any service to customers.

2) Incremental Costs: This is the increase in costs of producing more products or delivering services to individual customers.

3) Cycle Time: This is the time that elapses between something triggering a process and the time when the process finishes.

4) Throughput: Throughput measures the quantity of output produced in a unit of time.

5) Quality: Quality is the quantitative measure of the presence/absence of defects. From an industrial perspective, quality reflects the degree of products and services adhering to specifications.

6) Excellence: Excellence measures the qualitative elements. The presence of desirable features, ability to customize or tailor outputs to specific needs, and flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.