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  • 04-May-2020 9:00 AM | Robert Manard (Administrator)

    Google For Your Business

    By Bob Manard of Faces That Work

    Bar, Ipad, Mockup, Business, Computer, Tablet

    Be Found…  with Google My Business

    Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the single most important part of a successful digital strategy.  Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that lets you customize the way you appear to customers searching for something you provide.  GMB lets you create a profile for your business to help you get in front of the people most likely to do business with you.  You can add photos and videos to establish a good first impression and help you stand out from the competition.  You can help people connect with you by specifying your location and service, area, displaying your business hours, and providing a phone number.  You can even create posts to promote products, offers, news, and events.  GMB is like having a free advertisement in Google search results.


    Be Seen…  with YouTube

    People watch videos.  Whether they’re looking to be entertained or informed, more and more people are turning to YouTube.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is easily worth ten thousand.  You can reach a larger audience with video -- and you can have a much deeper impact on that audience.  Videos can help you build credibility, providing a free service and promoting your business at the same time.  If you’re ready to start producing video content, then YouTube is the most logical place to start.  It is the place most people turn to when searching for videos and you can integrate it with your Google My Business listing.


    Be Powerful…   with G Suite

    G Suite is the perfect tool for running your business.  With GMail, you can send professional emails and build trust with your customers by giving everyone in your organization an email address like bob@facesthatwork.com -- or create group mailing lists, like sales@facesthatwork.com Drive makes it easier to collaborate with remote teams, enabling access to your files from anywhere, at any time, and on any device.  This can help you make decisions faster and focus more on the work -- instead of the process. Most common file types are supported like Docs (Word), Sheets (Excel), and Slides (Powerpoint), along with extended capabilities such as Forms, which can be used to generate surveys on the fly.  Google Calendar offers an integrated way to share calendars, allowing you to schedule meetings with ease. With one click, you can turn your meeting into a Google Meet video conference and make decisions on the spot


    Be Better…   with Google Analytics

    If you’ve ever wondered how many people are actually visiting your website, then Google Analytics is the tool for you.  You can find out not just how many visitors you’re getting, but what time they visited, how long they spent there, and how they found your website in the first place.  If they got there through a search result, you’ll see what search terms they used, so you can adjust your website content accordingly.  You can also learn a great deal about your visitors, at least the aggregated demographic and psychographic info Google is able to share with you.  You can find out what kinds of visitors are just “lookie loos” and what kinds are actually converted into customers. This can help you tailor the website experience to appeal to the people who will help you achieve your goals.

    About the Author

    Bob Manard is a Digital Marketing powerhouse at Faces That Work.  A past president of RPCN, Bob is also active in several local organizations, including App Rochester, Google Rochester, and WordPress Rochester. He is also a member of the Tech Committee for the Greater Rochester Association of Realtors and the Chair of RPCN's Digital Marketing committee.

    Bob holds a BS in Computer Science from St. John Fisher College and an MBA in Electronic Commerce from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester.

    Find more from Bob at:  https://facesthatwork.com/blog/


  • 02-May-2020 3:00 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    In the 1990s, it became evident that software development was unlike other engineering development processes. Up until that point, most engineering development was done in a more linear mode known overall as the Waterfall project delivery process.

    The Waterfall process didn’t move fast enough to ensure that customer’s software demands and requirements were being met. This is because the completed software generally was not available to the customers until at least three years had passed. The software needs may have changed by then. Something had to be done!

    Agile came about due to a meeting of 17 individuals in Utah in early February, 2001. These individuals were “representatives from Extreme Programming, SCRUM, DSDM (Dynamic System Development Method), Adaptive Software Development (ASD), Crystal, Feature-Driven Development, Pragmatic Programming, and others sympathetic to the need for an alternative to documentation driven, heavyweight software development processes convened.” (1)

    A Manifesto for Agile Software Development was developed and signed by each of these representatives and the Agile methodology was born. The values of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development are listed below.

    The values on the left side of each statement are more important than the values on the right in Agile methodology. Remember that when you deliver software and other products using the Waterfall methodology, everything is front-loaded, decided upon, and signed off on prior to development beginning. That’s not the case with Agile.

    Values

    1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
    3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    4. Responding to change over following a plan
    Principles
    • Customer satisfaction through early and continuous software delivery
    • Accommodate changing requirements throughout the development process
    • Frequent delivery of working software
    • Collaboration between the business stakeholders and developers throughout the project
    • Support, trust, and motivate the people involved
    • Enable face-to-face interactions
    • Working software is the primary measure of progress
    • Agile processes to support a consistent development pace
    • Attention to technical detail and design enhances agility
    • Simplicity
    • Self-organizing teams encourage great architectures, requirements, and designs
    • Regular reflections on how to become more effective

    Those who apply any type of Agile methodology adhere to these values and principles. The manifesto offers a good overview of what is expected when it comes to the Agile development life cycle practices.” (2)

    Based on my own work experience as a cross-functional project manager in a large multinational corporation, I would say there are a lot of advantages to the Agile methodology. These advantages exist not only for the software development community but also for any other projects and deliverables that are iterative and incremental.

    For instance, my organization’s deliverables were translation, documentation and training. Agile project management made the software translation process much more manageable and effective.

    • Instead of getting ALL of the software at the end of the development cycle and then having to translate it into the required number of languages just before a product Launch, as we had done using the Waterfall process, we would now receive software iterations every few weeks. Each software iteration would be translated into the required languages when complete.
    • The Software Development Team and the Translation Project Team would meet on a regular basis (sometimes daily) in the meantime to ensure both teams were synchronized with one another and to answer one another’s questions.
    If things fell behind on either side, the two groups would come up with a remediation plan and present it to the Product Delivery Team (PDT) to show their plans to get back on track to achieve a multinational Launch on schedule

    • If this had happened when we were using the Waterfall process, it would have happened closer to Launch and the responsibility for the remediation plan would have been on the Translation team.
    • Under the Waterfall process, the Translation team would be blamed and held accountable for a missed Launch, even if it was a glitch in the software or a shortfall in the ability of the graphical user interface (GUI) that caused issues displaying some of the longer translated languages.
    • These difficulties would not happen when using Agile methodology.

    Similarly, the documentation and training team was also working with the software development team in an incremental and iterative mode using Agile decision making.

    • The two teams would be working in concert with one another in the development of the various product features’ software, documentation and training.
    • The two teams would frequently meet prior to the handoff of the tested software to the documentation and training team.
    • Questions were answered and decisions were made in a real-time mode versus weeks or months down the road when the completed software was delivered in its entirety.
    • Contingency and remediation plans could also be developed by the two teams in real time if something came up along the way that might jeopardize the Launch schedule or the budget.
    • Those contingency and remediation plans could then be reviewed with the PDT and decisions made as soon as possible, before the effects of the issues became insurmountable.

    The Agile Values and Principles are the most important things for the teams to remember and follow. The teams’ practices to achieve those values and principles may change over time, from Scrum to Kanban or others. It’s up to the teams to decide what’s the most effective to use.

    About the Author

    Sandra Glanton is the owner and managing consultant of Projects Accomplished! She spent 23 years working in various phases of product development at a local multinational corporation. She also was a cross-services project manager for 11 years in an organization that specialized in documentation and translation services. She can be reached at sglanton34@gmail.com or (585) 230-0649.

    1 Highsmith, Jim, Agile Alliance. 2001. Manifesto for Agile Software Development, History: The Agile Manifesto, http://agilemanifesto.org/history.html

    2 Muslihat, Dinnie, Zenkit blog’s content extraordinaire and productivity pundit. 2018. Agile Methodology: An Overview, https://zenkit.com/en/blog/agile-methodology-an-overview/


  • 01-May-2020 2:23 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

     

    The “Waterfall model was introduced by Winston W. Royce in 1970.” (1) This model was adopted by various businesses and products were developed using the waterfall project delivery process.

    Waterfall is a linear and sequential process with the requirements gathering at the beginning of the project. Each phase of the project is completed and verified before the next phase begins. Everything is planned out by milestones and “phases are never repeated, unless there is a massive failure that comes to light in the verification or maintenance phase.” (2)

    There are five to seven phases, or steps, in a traditional waterfall process. In the five-step process, the phases are:

    1. Requirements gathering and analysis– This is perhaps the most important step in Waterfall, since it determines the overall trajectory of the project. Requirements are gathered from the stakeholder and customer in this first phase. It’s assumed that there is no further need for customer involvement until the project is completed.

    2. Design – This phase is usually broken down into two subphases, logical design and physical design.
    a. Logical design is more of a brainstorming or theoretical design phase.
    b. Physical design is when the theoretical thoughts and schemes are made into actual specifications.

    3. Implementation – The requirements and specifications that were developed in the first two phases are now made into an actual building, product, software program or deliverable.

    4. Verification – The customer gets to review the final outcome of the project and see how close the outcome is to the requirements they shared in the beginning phase. The completed building, product, software program or deliverable is released to the customer to enable this review.

    5. Maintenance – After the customer uses the project regularly, they may find all sorts of issues with the product or improvements that they would like made. Fixes are applied to the product until the customer is satisfied with it.

    If you would like to learn more about using the Waterfall method to launch your products or services, please contact me at Projects Accomplished! Next month we will explore the Agile methodology of product development and compare it to Waterfall.

    About the Author

    Sandra Glanton is the owner and managing consultant of Projects Accomplished! She spent 23 years working in various phases of product development at a local multinational corporation. She also was a cross-services project manager for 11 years in an organization that specialized in documentation and translation services. She can be reached at sglanton34@gmail.com or (585) 230-0649.

    1 Project Manager, Waterfall Methodology – Tools and Strategies, “Waterfall Methodology in Project Management,” https://www.projectmanager.com/software/use-cases/waterfall-methodology

    2 Project Manager, Waterfall Methodology – Tools and Strategies, “Waterfall Methodology in Project Management,” https://www.projectmanager.com/software/use-cases/waterfall-methodology


  • 01-May-2012 4:44 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    by Chris Swingle Farnum

    How closely have you reviewed your LinkedIn profile and all of the words on your website? Do you proofread the proposals, documents and professional letters you write? Misspellings, typos and errors hurt your image. It's critical that you check your work or have someone reliable do so.

    Check the basics: Electronic spell check (such as in Microsoft Word software) can help you spot some typos and misspellings. But you also need to slow down and closely proofread for wrong words, such as "form" instead of "from" and the sneaky "it's" when you mean "its."

    Magnify it. On a screen, zoom in to make your text size larger so you can read it easily.

    Print it. You will spot mistakes on paper that you don't see on the screen.

    Read it aloud. Hearing your words is different from seeing them.

    Listen to your gut
    . Don't ignore that feeling of hesitation about something. If you think to yourself, "That's how he spells his name, right?" imagine alarm bells clanging. Go check the spelling.

    Check facts. If you're including a phone number, website or address, check it. Call the phone number. Copy and paste the URL into your web browser. (Don't type it in, since you need to check what's actually in your document rather than what you meant to type.) If you've got a list of five numbers and you say they add up to 2,873, check the math.

    Be consistent
    . Your tone and the way you use capitalization, abbreviations, quotation marks, boldface and italics shouldn't vary within one document. Use commas, hyphens and dashes competently.

    Wait. Set your document aside and read it with fresh eyes in a couple of hours or the next day.

    Keep a list: If you tend to misspell certain words or make certain mistakes, make note of it and keep the list handy to consult when you're proofreading.

    Hire a professional editor. Do you know the difference between affect and effect, how to use possessive apostrophes and the importance of pronoun-antecedent agreement? When you lack expertise in grammar, spelling or clear writing, a professional can save you from embarrassing errors and help you come across better.


    Chris Swingle Farnum is a freelance journalist, writer and editor. Drawing on more than 20 years' experience as a daily newspaper reporter, she writes and edits reports, newsletter articles, press releases and other copy for individuals and organizations.

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