THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: August 23, 1996 12:02 PM Friday;
Meeting with Bill on his assignment at PG&E.
2...Racing to Use Latest Technology Reduces Management Productivity
3...Not Enough Time to Be Prepared, to Understand
4...Technology Alone is Not Enough; Need Management Science, Support
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0202 - PG&E Grid Customer Services 415 972 1014 fax 8426 O-00000642 0201
Bill's Assignment, 960815
0403 - ..
0404 - Summary/Objective
040501 - Follow up ref SDS 12 0000.
040503 - He described a new group that has been formed to exploit the market
040504 - for cable communications. Bill is working for an outside agency that
040505 - is contracting his time back to PG&E.
040507 - He has developed a scope of services which his PG&E contact has agreed
040508 - to submit to Bill in a PG&E letter. Bill has not yet received the
040509 - letter.
040511 - Bill's contact was formerly Pam Taheri's boss in PG&E Contracts, and
040512 - seems to be involved in marketing and contracting. He has another
040513 - colleague at his level performing similar work. They seem to report
040514 - to one person above them in this group. Bill is the project manager
040515 - to coordinate the work.
040517 - The group's first assignment is a contract with Sprint to provide a
040518 - cable on PG&E lines. The cable will be leased back to Sprint. Sprint
040519 - is doing the engineering. PG&E is providing land and construction
040520 - services, and will have to maintain the system. Will there be
040521 - redundancy in the system and alternate routing to maintain service
040522 - during outages for service, weather and other impacts?
040524 - He has his original email address.
040526 - Bill recently examined information on document management programs. He
040527 - mentioned the review for one of the programs said it offered a lot of
040528 - features but retrieving documents was difficult. I related recent
040529 - reviews for document management programs I encountered on the
040530 - Internet, ref SDS 5 line 174. Bill indicated the SDS design of using
040531 - a separate record to explain the meaning and application of documents
040532 - and providing a variety of ways to retrieve documents within the
040533 - context of their application and meaning, is very helpful.
040535 - Bill is looking at computer backup systems. He nearly made a purchase
040536 - the other at Fry's but their computer system was down, so he stepped
040537 - back. We discussed the other day how to research the SDS record for
040538 - procurement work on tape backup systems and software, to support his
040539 - efforts. He said prices have come down quite a bit.
IT Management Practices are Evolving
Computers Reduce Management Focus, Failed Promises
Technology Takes Time to Learn and Use,
Technology Requires New Management Science
Information Highway Needs Management
Executive Training, Priority, Time - Too Busy Being Busy
Be Prepared SDS Provides 80% of Preparation
Time, Not Enough for Understanding, to
Stable Capability Needed Improve Productivity Absorb into Work Practi
Computers Reduce Management Focus on Analysis Because Attracted by Le
Dilemma Technology Unintended Consequences Information Overload
231401 - ..
231402 - Racing to Use Latest Technology Reduces Management Productivity
231404 - Followed up work at ref SDS 4 5830, ref SDS 6 2462.
231406 - Bill explained efforts using Ventura to prepare the monthly newsletter
231407 - for PMI NCC, per our discussion this morning, ref SDS 14 6930.
231409 - ..
231410 - We considered the impact on executive effectiveness of the strong
231411 - incentives caused by the computer industry that draw executives away
231412 - from their core responsibility and talent to "manage managers,"
231413 - discussed with Morris on 960301, ref SDS 3 4191, which is a major task
231414 - that requires dedicated thinking/analysis, i.e., a pilot whose job is
231415 - to run the technology that adds "intelligence" to management, per the
231416 - "New World Order..." paper, ref OF 2 6369
231418 - This point was made on 960627 at Intel planning meeting for PMI's
231419 - Asilomar Conference. ref SDS 6 2462
231421 - Investing time to learn new programs, research technology trends and
231422 - try new computer "stuff" can be extremely attractive in the short
231423 - term, for the reasons Dr. Landauer sets out in his book, "The Trouble
231424 - with Computers". The allure of automated capability seems to imbue
231425 - the user with a sense of power; Landauer calls it a human desire for
231426 - "effectence." ref SDS 2 3848, ref SDS 2 0738
231428 - [On 970525 article on need for Project Office to help managers use
231429 - computers effectively, ref SDS 15 1943.]
231431 - [970919 see article on IT not improving productivity, ref SDS 16
231432 - 4739.]
231434 - [On 970919 report of a survey showing IT hampering productivity,
231435 - ref SDS 16 2064]
231437 - [On 980101 Drucker noted that having people work for computers
231438 - reduces productivity, ref SDS 17 4042]
231440 - [On 981215 Bill Long mentioned that Kwan Henmi has encountered
231441 - this problem. ref SDS 18 0534]
231443 - The challenge is finding out how computers can support the management
231444 - process, reviewed on 960304, ref SDS 4 4499, and then using computers
231445 - in that manner.
231447 - ..
231448 - I mentioned a discussion with Morris on 960701 about the rate of
231449 - change in technology that exceeds the rate of finding productive ways
231450 - to deploy it. ref SDS 7 0897
231452 - Competitive pressure among entrepreneurs, manufacturers and vendors to
231453 - reduce time to market in order to be first to market, results in a
231454 - market that never figures out how to deploy innovation usefully.
231455 - ref SDS 2 3848, which renders the market a poor environment for
231456 - advancing capability. ref SDS 2 2004
231458 - By the time enough experience is gained to apply something
231459 - productively, a new technology has emerged and people are off on
231460 - another round of trying new stuff. This may account in part for the
231461 - slowness of executives to change their work practices, cited by Morris
231462 - at Asilomar, reviewed on 960715. ref SDS 8 6588
231465 - Not Enough Time to Be Prepared, to Understand
231466 - Technology Alone is Not Enough; Need Management Science, Support
231468 - This state of play may justify greater attention to the notion in the
231469 - NWO paper that technology alone is not enough, ref OF 2 2302, cited
231470 - also in POIMS. ref OF 1 2000 Useful technology for executives may
231471 - require a management science to set the ground rules for application,
231472 - including support such as a leadership aide, per results at Asilomar
231473 - where automated schedule tools crashed for Morris and Dave Vannier.
231474 - see report on 960721, ref SDS 9 0096
231476 - [On 970525 article explains need for Project Office to help
231477 - managers use computers effectively, ref SDS 15 V82K