MSP Answers

MSP Answers

01.6.2015 Contradictions: Article 38


I love how the human race is so adaptable. It is probably the reason we are still on the planet today. One of those areas of adaptability is in the sayings we have created to suit a range of different situations. If we have a group of people together trying to achieve something and it isn’t working we say that, ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ but if it is all working smoothly we then say, ‘many hands make light work.’ If a couple seem similar we exclaim that &l ..

01.5.2015 Pigeonholing: Article 37


I was listening to a talk from a Greens Senator recently. She made some good points. She said that we have been too quick to forget about our rail network and we should further investigate the use of rail instead of road trains. I agreed. She said that we should stop spending so much money on coal and instead look at more renewable energy. I agreed. She said that we should encourage the use of electric vehicles. I agreed. Oh No! I had just agreed with a Greens spokesperson three times in a r ..

01.4.2015 Opportunity: Article 36


Opportunity. Sometimes it only knocks once. You have to be ready to open the door when it does. I spoke with a friend of mine recently who works in the banking industry. He visited a branch and they had a small box called the 'opportunity box' next to each teller. He was intrigued by this. Why would each teller have enough opportunities to warrant a box? He thought these particular tellers must have been incredibly clever to keep coming up with enough opportunities to warrant a box. It t ..

30.6.2012 Article 35


Price to the market I went to my local butcher last week to buy two of his famous ‘family pies’. These are just like a good old-fashioned Aussie meat pie – but big enough to feed a small family. We have a medium-sized family so I needed two. I was being a very good husband – my wife had asked me to pick up the pies during my travels so I was simply doing what I was told. I was therefore devastated when I asked for a couple of pies and was told that they had sold o ..

29.6.2012 Article 34


Learning from Masterchef I was a little desperate for entertainment tonight. I wouldn’t normally admit it but it is all for a good cause. I watched MasterChef with the family. Normally reality shows are about as enjoyable as fingernails on a chalkboard – and cooking reality shows are even harder to take - but the challenge last night tweaked my interest. The challenge for the four teams was to set up a stall at the famous Salamanca markets in Hobart, Tasmania. My wife was ..

31.5.2012 Article 33


Go the extra step – use their name In my last article I wrote about an example of terrible customer service. I hate to focus too much on the negative so I want to give you an example of exemplary customer service. I was in China recently and I spent a few days at a hotel in Shanghai. It was a hotel that offered an ‘Executive Lounge’ for guests staying in certain rooms. This is a fairly standard arrangement in many hotels around the world. You pay a little extra and  ..

30.4.2012 Article 32


The real world is different to a textbook I almost feel silly writing an article about customer service. It seems obvious to me that every business is aware of how important it is to deliver exceptional customer service. Every business textbook and every piece of business advice mentions exceptional customer service as a core part of any business model. Why then are there still so many examples of horrific customer service? My impression is that the textbook theory is often diffi ..

29.4.2012 Article 31


Be careful what message you send I walked into a café recently. There was a lovely desktop published sign stuck on a potted plant that said, “YES, I am real, so don’t break my leaves, because it hurts. THANK YOU.” The appropriate words were printed in capitals and red was used to really emphasise the most important points. I thought this was a strange sign to have at the front door. As I walked in, I felt like I was walking into the home of Gary Starkweather (the ..

31.3.2012 Article 28


Remember swings and roundabouts for client satisfaction Long gone are the days when an IT organisation simply quoted an hourly rate, performed the work and then sent a bill reflecting the number of hours multiplied by the hourly rate. My absolute recommendation to any IT firm I am consulting to is to pre-quote jobs nine times out of ten and the tenth time think about performing work on a time and bill basis – and then quote beforehand. In other words, never do work on a time a ..

31.3.2012 Article 29


Technicians have a choice: Deliver what users want or be happy in the unemployment queue Most IT technicians don’t worry too much about unemployment figures or the risk of being unemployed. There are logical reasons for that – the latest figures from the US show 4.068 million people are employed in information technology and the tech unemployment rate of 3.8 percent is significantly lower than the national average unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. Although these figures a ..