Some pretty awesome images have recently leaked (via 9to5Mac) of what Apple’s Campus 2 will look like, and let’s just say that it will be unlike any other HQ in the world. The blueprints show what looks like a giant spaceship, except that it…
I found it interesting to listen to the recent keynote speech on the launch of the Apple iPad, one of the most anticipated new Apple products and a groundbreaking one in the world of mobile devices due to its touch based interface. But what I found most fascinating was the mention by Steve of the importance of combining liberal arts and technology at Apple to help design products that both excel from an engineering standpoint but are also extremely usable. In my opinion that including the excellent customer service established at the Apple stores is what sets this company apart from virtually all other consumer tech companies right now.
This interesting article resonates with who has been involved in the management of large scale technology projects who knows that they are frequently plagued by mountains of paperwork as specialists try to document and capture what they think people will want or need in a new system for many months only to find out that their largely theoretical exercise has proven fruitless when upon go live it is quickly discovered that people’s actual habits have little in common with what they perceived them to be and as a result the product they have designed does not meet their needs. Anthropologists and ethnographers take a very different approach to many business professionals by insisting upon participant observations or tactile, hands on utilization of a new system in its “native habitat” with people who will use it. Fields such as change management are often given insufficient resources to enact change. Fortunately some more enlightened companies are now supporting change management programs. Furthermore much improved new collaborative and project management tools existing in the cloud now allow small teams to more efficiently capture and share information, conduct prototyping, and visualization.
According to an article in Strategy and Business “Any significant transformation creates “people issues.” New leaders will be asked to step up, jobs will be changed, new skills and capabilities must be developed, and employees will be uncertain and resistant. Dealing with these issues on a reactive, case-by-case basis puts speed, morale, and results at risk. A formal approach for managing change — beginning with the leadership team and then engaging key stakeholders and leaders — should be developed early, and adapted often as change moves through the organization. This demands as much data collection and analysis, planning, and implementation discipline as does a redesign of strategy, systems, or processes. The change-management approach should be fully integrated into program design and decision making, both informing and enabling strategic direction. It should be based on a realistic assessment of the organization’s history, readiness, and capacity to change.”
SourceForge.net claims to be “the world’s largest open-source software development Web site,” and with more than 150,000 registered projects, we don’t think it’s bluffing. You’ll find popular downloads such as Azureus and The GIMP.