A collection of information technology, consulting, and business knowledge
Concepts are mental representations, abstract objects or abilities that make up the fundamental building blocks of thoughts and beliefs. They play an important role in all aspects of cognition.
In contemporary philosophy, there are at least three prevailing ways to understand what a concept is:
Concepts as mental representations, where concepts are entities that exist in the mind (mental objects)
Concepts as abilities, where concepts are abilities peculiar to cognitive agents (mental states)
Concepts as Fregean senses (see sense and reference), where concepts are abstract objects, as opposed to mental objects and mental states
A generalizing specialist is simply someone who is multi-skilled. Such an individual can be a specialist in one or more technical disciplines while at the same time actively seeks to expand their skill set, which spans across different areas besides their present specialties. Generalizing specialists are also referred to as cross-functional developers, multi-disciplinary developers, and versatilists.
While they can become more skilled with time, don’t mistake them to be super skilled in every discipline. However, their technical knowledge and general software development knowledge, as well as a good understanding of their relevant business domains, can be critical to getting things done in real-time. The person can easily be redeployed based on the changes in business strategy or other necessary requirements to remain competitive.
Benefits being a generalizing specialist
We live in a fast-changing industry, where being a specialist in just a single discipline alone may not cut it in the larger scheme of things. Since generalizing specialists have knowledge on a broad range of issues, they can see the bigger picture and help make better decisions for greater productivity. As such, the available job opportunities will likely be more compared to specialists. Better yet, you will be able to attract better job offers.
Importance of generalizing specialists
Generalizing specialists are essential to developing high-performing agile teams in companies, and here are some of the reasons they are considered the key to success.
• Better collaboration
While a company will have different departments, they will be connected with others and geared towards accomplishing the same end goal. Communication and collaboration within the teams involved are important elements to achieving that goal, and this is something most specialists aren’t good at. When you don’t have a good understanding of how everything fits together, it’s very easy to look down on what your teammates are doing. Working together effectively might prove a challenging task.
Generalizing specialists are more likely to appreciate the work of others simply because they have a good grasp of different technical and domain disciplines. Their background allows them to understand the issues teammates are trying to find solutions to.
• Improved flexibility
The IT industry, by its very nature, faces significant changes that serious businesses must comply with to remain relevant. With a generalizing specialist, dynamic transition and allocation of the new tasks wouldn’t be a huge problem. Things would look quite different if a team is built of specialists that are just accustomed to doing the same type of tasks over and over again. In fact, this is considered to be risky, as it can result in productivity loss.
• Increased efficiency
Generalizing specialists bring less dependency, which can go a long way in increasing efficiency and productivity. The problem when working with specialists is that they can easily become bottlenecks, especially when they have a lot on their plate. There’s a good chance that multiple development teams will be looking up to the specialist, and this can negatively affect the overall team efficiency.
Generalizing specialists are surely taking over. There’s room for some specialists within IT departments, but as things look at the moment, more departments are moving towards becoming more agile. It’s not unlikely to see only a few specialists survive in the information technology industry over time.
The fundamental law of power is that it is situational, multifaceted, dynamic, and perishable.
Power is Situational
Power is without a doubt situational, a person who is very politically powerful, but having no wilderness knowledge or skills, find themselves alone in the middle will have less ability to save themselves, than an experienced woodsman.
Power is Multifaceted
Power has many attributes (social influence, mental reference, innate ability, and situation), which aggregate to provide the total of your power at in given time and in any given situation
As a person’s situation changes, their ability to influence the situation can be increased, decreased, and/or lost. Also, facets of power are not static but are morphed by change.
A person can, through inaction, lose the ability to influence a situation forever.
Sooner or later you will wonder why you are not passionate and energized about your work. At the same time, an inner voice will tell you to suck it up because work is only a four-letter word and you are not supposed to enjoy it.
It is a misconception because loving your work can bring manage benefits. Work should enable and empower, not entrap. Here we have some of the reasons why you should love your work.
Helps with your success
When you love your career, no one can stop you from getting successful. You will do everything that it takes to assure that your customers love what you are offering, and your boss appreciates your every move. You would prefer to collect the appreciation because your every move will be well planned, and you will not be afraid…
You can’t manage what you don’t measure is an old management adage that has been used for many years and while most attribute it to Peter Drucker, some claim that the quote was first used by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, although it is a bone of contention whether or not the quote is used in the correct context.
Irrespective of who said it first, I have always agreed with the principle. Coming from a corporate background where this is one of the management principles often used, I was surprised to learn that there are those that strongly disagree with the statement. This group argues that there are many things being managed at work that aren’t measurable, from the confidence we instill in a new, young manager, to the quality of new hires.
Personas and roles are
user modeling approaches that are applied in the early stages of system
development or redesign. They drive the design decision and allows programmers
and designers to place everyday user needs at the forefront of their system
development journey in a user-centered design approach.
Personas and user roles
help improve the quality of user experience when working with products that
require a significant amount of user interaction. But there is a distinct
difference between technology personas vs. roles. What then exactly is a
persona? What are user roles in system development? And, how does persona
differ from user roles?
Let’s see how these two
distinct, yet often confused, user models fit in a holistic user-centered
design process and how you can leverage them to identify valuable product
Vs. Roles – The Most Relevant Way to Describe Users
In software development,
a user role describes the relationship between a user type and a software tool.
It is generally the user’s responsibility when using a system or the specific
behavior of a user who is participating in a business process. Think of roles
as the umbrella, homogeneous constructs of the users of a particular system.
For instance, in an accounting system, you can have roles such as accountant,
cashier, and so forth.
However, by merely using
roles, system developers, designers, and testers do not have sufficient
information to conclusively make critical UX decisions that would make the
software more user-centric, and more appealing to its target users.
This lack of
understanding of the user community has led to the need for teams to move
beyond role-based requirements and focus more on subsets of the system users.
User roles can be refined further by creating “user stand-ins,” known as
personas. By using personas, developers and designers can move closer to the
needs and preferences of the user in a more profound manner than they would by
merely relying on user roles.
In product development,
user personas are an archetype of a fictitious user that represents a specific
group of your typical everyday users. First introduced by Alan Cooper, personas
help the development team to clearly understand the context in which the ideal
customer interacts with a software/system and helps guide the design decision
provide team members with a name, a face, and a description for each user role.
By using personas, you’re typically personalizing the user roles, and by so
doing, you end up creating a lasting impression on the entire team. Through
personas, team members can ask questions about the users.
The Benefits of
Persona development has
several benefits, including:
They help team members
have a consistent understanding of the user group.
stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the critical features of a system
Personas help designers
to develop user-centric products that have functions and features that the
market already demands.
A persona helps to
create more empathy and a better understanding of the person that will be using
the end product. This way, the developers can design the product with the
actual user needs in mind.
Personas can help
predict the needs, behaviors, and possible reactions of the users to the
What Makes Up a
Once you’ve identified
user roles that are relevant to your product, you’ll need to create personas
for each. A well-defined persona should ideally take into consideration the
needs, goals, and observed behaviors of your target audience. This will
influence the features and design elements you choose for your system.
The user persona should
encompass all the critical details about your ideal user and should be
presented in a memorable way that everyone in the team can identify with and
understand. It should contain four critical pieces of information.
1. The header
The header aid in
improving memorability and creating a connection between the design team and
the user. The header should include:
A fictional name
An image, avatar or a
description/quote that best describes the persona as it relates to the product.
Unlike the name and
image, which might be fictitious, the demographic profile includes factual
details about the ideal user. The demographic profile includes:
Age, gender, education, ethnicity, persona group, and family status
Occupation, work experience, and income level.
User environment. It
represents the social, physical, and technological context of the user. It
answers questions like: What devices do the user have? Do they interact with
other people? How do they spend their time?
Attitudes, motivations, interests, and user pain points.
3. End Goal(s)
End goals help answer
the questions: What problems or needs will the product solution to the user?
What are the motivating factors that inspire the user’s actions?
This is a narrative that
describes how the ideal user would interact with your product in real-life to
achieve their end goals. It should explain the when, the where, and the how.
For a truly successful
user-centered design approach, system development teams should use personas to
provide simple descriptions of key user roles. While a distinct difference
exists in technology personas vs. roles, design teams should use the two
user-centered design tools throughout the project to decide and evaluate the
functionality of their end product. This way, they can deliver a useful and
usable solution to their target market.
In theory, competitor battle cards
are not that hard to put together. All it takes is a little bit of content to
use to persuade clients in a sales environment. What many people find is that
being concise is a challenge. It takes some time and practice, but with a
little bit of planning and overall know-how about the industry, any person can
start putting together cards that work.
competitor battle cards?
The simplest way to describe
competitor battle cards is that they are short, to the point pieces of
information about a business that paints them in a positive light directly
against the competition. Videos, graphs, spreadsheets and simple text are all
used on different cards.
Once these battle cards are put together, they are given to the entire sales team. When they are in any…
The 360-degree view of
the consumer is a well-explored concept, but it is not adequate in the digital
age. Every firm, whether it is Google or Amazon, is deploying tools to
understand customers in a bid to serve them better. A 360-degree view demanded
that a company consults its internal data to segment customers and create
marketing strategies. It has become imperative for companies to look outside
their channels, to platforms like social media and reviews to gain insight into
the motivations of their customers. The 720-degree view of the customer is
further discussed below.
What is the
720-degree view of the customer?
A 720-degree view of the customer refers to a
three-dimensional understanding of customers, based on deep analytics. It
includes information on every customer’s level of influence, buying behavior,
needs, and patterns. A 720-degree view will enable retailers to offer relevant
products and experiences and to predict future behavior. If done right, this
concept should assist retailers leverage on emerging technologies, mobile
commerce, social media, and cloud-based services, and analytics to sustain
lifelong customer relationships
What Does a
720-Degree View of the Customer Entail?
Every business desires to cut costs, gain an
edge over its competitors, and grow their customer base. So how exactly will a
720-degree view of the customer help a firm advance its cause?
Social media channels help retailers interact
more effectively and deeply with their customers. It offers reliable insights
into what customers would appreciate in products, services, and marketing
campaigns. Retailers can not only evaluate feedback, but they can also deliver
real-time customer service. A business that integrates its services with social
media will be able to assess customer behavior through tools like dislikes and
likes. Some platforms also enable customers to buy products directly.
Customer analytics will construct more detailed customer profiles by
integrating different data sources like demographics, transactional data, and
location. When this internal data is added to information from external
channels like social media, the result is a comprehensive view of the customer’s
needs and wants. A firm will subsequently implement more-informed decisions on
inventory, supply chain management, pricing, marketing, customer segmentation,
and marketing. Analytics further come in handy when monitoring transactions,
personalized services, waiting times, website performance.
The modern customer demands convenience and
device compatibility. Mobile commerce also accounts for a significant amount of
retail sales, and retailers can explore multi-channel shopping experiences. By
leveraging a 720-degree view of every customer, firms can provide consumers
with the personalized experiences and flexibility they want. Marketing
campaigns will also be very targeted as they will be based on the transactional
behaviors of customers. Mobile commerce can take the form of mobile
applications for secure payment systems, targeted messaging, and push
notifications to inform consumers of special offers. The goal should be to
provide differentiated shopper analytics.
Cloud-based solutions provide real-time data across multiple channels, which illustrates an enhanced of the customer. Real-time analytics influence decision-making in retail and they also harmonize the physical and retail digital environments. The management will be empowered to detect sales trends as transactions take place.
The Importance of
the 720-Degree Customer View
Traditional marketers were all about marketing
to groups of similar individuals, which is often termed as segmentation. This technique
is, however, giving way to the more effective concept of personalized
marketing. Marketing is currently channeled through a host of platforms,
including social media, affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, and mobile. The
modern marketer has to integrate the information from all these sources and
match them to a real name and address. Companies can no longer depend on a
fragmented view of the customer, as there has to be an emphasis on
personalization. A 720-degree customer view can offer benefits like:
Firms can improve customer acquisition by
depending on the segment differences revealed from a new database of customer
intelligence. Consumer analytics will expose any opportunities to be taken
advantage of while external data sources will reveal competitor tactics. There
are always segment opportunities in any market, which are best revealed by
real-time consumer data.
Marketers who rely on enhanced digital data can
contribute to cost management in a firm. It takes less investment to serve
loyal and satisfied consumers because a firm is directing addressing their
needs. Technology can be used to set customized pricing goals and to segment
New Products and
Real-time data, in addition to third-party information, have a crucial impact on pricing. Only firms with a robust and relevant competitor and customer analytics and data can take advantage of this importance. Marketers with a 720-degree view of the consumer across many channels will be able to utilize opportunities for new products and personalized pricing to support business growth
The first 360 degrees include an enterprise-wide
and timely view of all consumer interactions with the firm. The other 360
degrees consists of the customer’s relevant online interactions, which
supplements the internal data a company holds. The modern customer is making
their buying decisions online, and it is where purchasing decisions are
influenced. Can you predict a surge in demand before your competitors? A
720-degree view will help you anticipate trends while monitoring the current
View and Big Data
Firms are always trying to make decision making
as accurate as possible, and this is being made more accessible by Big Data and
analytics. To deliver customer-centric experiences, businesses require a
720-degree view of every customer collected with the help of in-depth analysis.
Big Data analytical capabilities enable monitoring
of after-sales service-associated processes and the effective management of
technology for customer satisfaction. A firm invested in being in front of the
curve should maintain relevant databases of external and internal data with
global smart meters. Designing specific products to various segments is made
easier with the use of Big Data analytics. The analytics will also improve
asset utilization and fault prediction. Big Data helps a company maintain a
clearly-defined roadmap for growth
It is the dream of every enterprise to tap into
customer behavior and create a rich profile for each customer. The importance
of personalized customer experiences cannot be understated in the digital era.
The objective remains to develop products that can be advertised and delivered
to customers who want them, via their preferred platforms, and at a lower