Mr. R. Max Wideman
Wideman, R. Max
2216 West 21st Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6L 1J5

July 4, 1997

Mr. Rod Welch
The Welch Company
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111 2496

Subject:   Calculate Value Added of Overhead Staff

Hi Rod:

What can I say? I agree with you! So, I'll confine my response to a few specifics that I can't pass up.

>Sorry about the length of my last message. Unfortunately, I am beginning to >feel a bit like an evangelist, ...

Most people with a good idea usually are - and need to be!

>... The key ingredient for "understanding" is not the volume, but the >connections between related chunks of new information ... Closed forms like >dialog, books, letters and email on the internet are very dull instruments for >creating intellectual connections, but until my technology is more widely >used, conventional methods are the only way to try to "connect."...

Ah, the "connections"! Since you work at IBM, I assume that you are not using a Mac. Pity. (Actually, I use both.)

Anyway, some guys down at San Diego State University (where my son works) have developed some interesting software (for the Mac) to facilitate "Concept Mapping", more or less the domain of Cognitive Science, Artificial Intelligence, Education and Cummunication technology. PC platform notwithstanding, you might be interested to visit their site and page for more info. It is

You can download the sample software presently under development and try running it on someone's Mac. Could give you some ideas.

>...The old version [PMBOK on Risk Management] you prepared seemed >more useful than the new release.

That warms my heart.

>A friend recently pointed out that it took 3M 15 years for its management to >bring PostIts to market. Of course the Xerox story is well known about its >management sitting on GUI technology until Apple applied it, and now Microsoft >has capitalized.

The very last thing that the great exponents on change (i.e. managements) will try themselves is (you guessed it) change!

>...the long way around is the short way there.

How wonderful to hear that phrase! I adopted that as one of my guiding principles in my thirties. No one would listen. Guess I've been wandering in the wilderness ever since.

>...People want the solution to come from a credible source in order to >abdicate responsibility for judgement of efficacy.

This needs for safety leads to reduced competition, and reduced innovation. Power is pervasive. But in the end the elephant goes to sleep and is overtaken by those more fleet of foot.

>I have mailed the Corps of Engineers report on Communication Metrics.

Many thanks. I'll look forward to that.

>...The ideas were formerly introduced in a paper on "POIMS, the Art of >Automated Management for the 21st Century" delivered at the Vancouver PMI >gathering in October 1994. It is published in the Proceedings on page 493.

Thanks for the pointer. I'll revisit that paper.

>...They are also discussed in an article in the May 1996 PM Network "New World > Order Needs Old Time Religion" (see p. 36).

I am at least three months behind in my magazine reading :-(

>... Accountants identify alignent with original objectives called budgets >and profits.

Strictly speaking "budgets" *actual* and (hence the difference equals) "profits". That is the basis of the 'test' calculation I tried to give you in my previous message. You need a baseline. The simple the better.

BTW, you mentioned previously, I think, your (proposed?) new 'communication technology'. Is that an intellectual concept, or the basis for a new software?


R. Max Wideman
Vancouver, Canada
Voice & FAX: 604-736-7025