Energy Management Systems Are an Integral Part of the Company Business Plan

Energy Management Systems provide homes, businesses and institutions with creative ways to cut their power bills, by using energy-saving strategies in and around their premises. The cost of energy production is one of the most expensive budget items in both household and business annual financial plans and the need to cut costs wherever possible continues to dominate most people’s minds in light of the recent financial crisis.Sustainable and renewable energy sources are important for economical and environmental reasons and engineers from all industries are looking for alternatives to fossil fuel energy sources and energy management systems play an important role in producing sustainability in and around the workplace.The focus for most companies in their energy management systems is to increase output without increasing the need for increased energy usage. This will ensure that the best practices are being employed throughout the business, but also in sourcing alternatives to equipment.The Energy Management Systems within an organization usually requires the training of specific employees who have the skills to research, source and make practices into the company and work place that decreases energy usage and increases output based on existing energy supplies. The result of this double action is a system that reduces costs to the company, increases profit and plays an important role in protecting the environment.Some smaller companies, institutions and homes have placed solar panels on the roofs of their buildings which generate power for the use of the building and its occupants and also supply neighborhood electricity grid with the excess power generated. Insulating the premises and installing energy-efficient light globes are other simple measures taken to reduce output.

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It has been suggested that in some States of the USA as much as 25% of their annual electricity bill is the result of inefficient equipment and ways the role of the energy management system is to research and isolate the cause of this inefficiency and suggest options to reverse the inefficiency and reduce the cost to the company of this inefficiencyThere are two major beneficiary areas from an effective management system. These benefits are business focused and operational focused benefits. The business benefits focus on reducing costs to the business and the operational benefits focus on increasing productivity benefits to the organization. Commitment to the system must be first from top management and then must flow down to every staff member who each contributes to the overall company energy-saving philosophy.In circumstances where a company or individual is unable to undertake specialized training in sustainability in the workplace or home, there are consultancy firms available that can work with the company or home owner to develop strategies for energy conservation and reduction of carbon emissions.These consultancies can track whole of business energy usage using real-time technology to identify problem areas and to then work with companies to implement strategies to reduce or eliminate those problem areas. Some services offer free initial assessments to homes and businesses to guide the owners into specific solutions to energy management in their premises. The goal of all sustainability plans whether implemented by a company team or a consultancy service is to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact.The focus on energy management systems is becoming a legislative concern as national and international governments are increasingly pressured to find viable alternatives to fuel production and the environmental impact statements continue to affect the way people think and feel about energy use and conservation.There are many sustainable energy meetings and conventions around the country and around the world that companies can send representatives to attend. These conventions focus on building a local, national and international approach to energy management systems. Like minded companies and Non Government Organizations are from around the world share knowledge and strategies with each other. Peer awards are given to promote friendly competitiveness amongst these groups for new and innovative ideas that can benefit the whole group.Innovative tools available to companies to assist them in their energy management include software applications designed to provide a database that the energy management team can utilize to track energy usage in the each area of the company, providing managers with invaluable information about energy usage in their particular area of influence and authority. Many of the Applications are explored into other popular applications, making it a fully integrated system that can easily generate reports for distribution at management team meetings. The application also can provide co-ordination of energy management amongst departments etc, making these applications invaluable tools for improving productivity optimization.

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For those organizations that choose to train their personnel in energy management, there are many training workshops and courses on offer around the USA and around the world. These courses which are open to anyone with an interest in energy management irrespective of whether they are employed in industry or not, provide coaching and training in planning and evaluating strategies for sustainability and how to build and develop energy-efficient buildings and state of the art equipment.There are specific legislative and government requirements that relate to sustainability in the workplace and attendees at the training workshops learn these requirements and implementation strategies they can introduce into their work place and businesses. Engineers and other Professionals responsible for the operations of the business may find the training very useful to enable them meet the requirements of their job description and in today’s labor competitive market, may prove valuable as a listed qualification on a resume.Having gained training and experience, the energy management team of an organization may be directly or indirectly responsible for the development of policies and practices of a workplace. When management systems are working effectively within an organization, top-level management will seek to implement strategies suggest by the team into business plans.Future equipment purchases, business expansion and budgeting policies will be greatly influenced by the activities and recommendations of the Energy Management Systems within an organization.

Anger Management Activities You Should Be Careful To Keep Doing

If you don’t know what you should do, dealing with anger and its results is likely to be a losing endeavor. Because they don’t know how to handle stress, many people lash out with fits of rage and anger. Just about everybody, except young children perhaps, easily recognize that they are having a difficulty with anger that is not under control. Although there are a lot of anger management activities around they are just uneducated regarding these methods.When living everyday with angry feelings, there are a lot of anger management activities people use and get involved in. To help, exercise is one activity that is recommended. Exercise has been tested to have an uplifting effect on human moods. Exercise also helps you get rid of negative feelings. Good activity could be as simple yet profound as taking a walk or jog. Working out with weights or playing a favorite sport. These all work well as anger management activities. Going hiking or spending a few hours out in nature will also help you to clear your head and release tension. An outdoor anger management activity creates a helpful environment.

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Anger management activities like a support group; retreat or camp helps people to manage their anger. One good thing about participating in anger activities is you would be able to see firsthand that your issue is not unique. You will see that many other people are also angry. Sharing with people with the same situations is one of the keys to anger management for many. Sharing with others has the reputation of providing angry people with help as they listen to success stories. In anger activities like these, people are dealing adequately with their anger issues through various group sessions, activities, and one on one consultation.Anger management activities should be used with children who have anger issues. Children are not going to respond properly to group sessions and will eventually become bored with one on one meetings. Having activities that are interesting to a child is a better alternative because children enjoy fun and games. Doing anger management activities that are beneficial and enjoyable is so much more effective than having children sit with anger management counselors. Interactive games and other activities like coloring pages, worksheets, and individual games are more accepted by children than trips to the psychiatrist. When it involves children, it is important to understand and approach the problem tactfully. Being overbearing is not going to go over good with children. When considering anger management activities for kids, remember that an interesting approach is important because after all they are only children.

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When considering anger activities, you should choose activities that are helpful and helpful to you. The reason is because if you do not like the program you will not keep working at it. Your key focus should be on finding effective activities that you like.As for you though, if you want to be expressing your anger properly in less than 48 hours, come to my website, I have free videos there that tell you more about it.

Fun Team Building Activities to Help Your Company Grow

Not all companies have team development for their workers, and depending on the managers, this may not be needed. However there are many large companies with departments that do not know one another, that could work better if they understood the work that others do, and if they all learn to work together, for the good of the company and ultimately for the good of everyone working there too.Team development is something that is often overlooked by companies, especially in these tough economic times, but they need not take up much company or personal time, and they do not have to be expensive activities either to be successful. Simple fun activities can pay off dividends, with better communication between departments, staff that know one another a little more than at present, and a happier atmosphere in the workplace, as employees feel more appreciated. All these benefits can result from a couple of hours out of the office perhaps, doing some fun activity that mixes up groups, putting department members on different teams, so that everyone gets to know other members of the company that perhaps they have never even met before.By having a couple of fun team building activities a year, that perhaps only last for a couple of hours at a time, you can help improve the atmosphere in any company, and the productivity level too. Staff will feel more appreciated, which means that they will in all probability work better, and perhaps even harder for the benefit of all at that workplace.

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So what kind of team building activities do work well for most businesses? Fun non-stressful activities are recommended. There can be enough stress in the work place without adding any more to it! And your employees probably deserve a little down time. Now, obviously the type of event planned will depend a great deal on the size of the company, and the logistics involved in getting everyone together.Taking a few hours off the work week can work very well, and act as a reward, provided the team bonding activity is fun!Team building activities should involve as many people from the company as possible, and many businesses have found that scavenger hunts work really well. Each team contains a member form each department, so that it is a social time to get to know members from these other departments while having fun. The idea of a scavenger hunt can easily be adapted to your needs, but one that works well is to use cameras to take photographs of the whole team, excluding the photographer, at particular locations or in certain situations. For example, the whole team may have to find a bike store, and have their photos taken there.Or they may have to go to a used car lot, or the public library. The options are endless. But by taking photographs of the complete team, it reduces the chance of cheating, and you may find some people willing to cheat! You can set any time limit you want for this hunt, but it needs to be a realistic time for them to get everything required.A scavenger hunt can give people the chance to get to know their city a little better, as well as their work and team mates. The teams should not be too large, as that will defeat the chance for people to get to know one another, and may mean that some members just tag along and are not really involved with the activities, but you do have a lot of options for this, and plenty of ways to have a theme related hunt if you wish.Then you could all take a class together, maybe learning archery, or some other activity that not too many people have tried before. This gives everyone the chance to have a new experience together, and if it can be an activity that needs team work then this is even better.Obstacle races are good for this, and they can be indoors or out, depending on your location and the time of year. Twists can be added to the obstacle course so that team members do have to cooperate and help one another. After all the idea behind this is team development, so it’s only right that there should be some cooperating, and communication in the team building activity.There are many more idea that can be used to promote teamwork, but one of the neatest I have seen is run by a company specializing in team development, and there are many of these companies around, all offering different programs for all sorts of different needs. Anyway, the activity that caught my attention is the drum program, where every company member is given a drum, and then as a team you are taught how to produce a masterpiece of sound using the drums. Isn’t this a great idea? I wish I had thought of it, but imagine how powerful a program this is. Working in groups, there is plenty of practice time, and plenty of time to communicate too, with some very impressive results by the end of the session.

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I think this works well for a few reasons. Firstly there is no pressure on anyone, because it is something that is new to most, and it requires very little to produce sound of a good quality – not like singing which would never work like this! It is a neat activity for everyone to try, and a talking point for years to come I am sure.Imagine feeling a part of this, and this is the feeling that is wanted, all the employees feeling part of this wonderful experience, bonding and having fun. Fantastic!Now obviously this is something that you cannot run yourself, but it may just get you thinking about what activities you could use to get your company workers feeling closer and like they belong to a family.When this happens, it will make a big impact to the quality of work that is done daily, an impact for the better. Sop get thinking, and brainstorming, and see what will work for your company to build a closer company, and a better atmosphere in the workplace. Team development can play a big part in building a successful team business, if you let it – make sure it is in yours!

Contest Management and Mailings Database Management: A Marketing Plan For Winners

Contests can be an exciting part of a marketing campaign. But contest management and the attendant need for mailings database management must be considered before selecting a contest as part of any marketing campaign. If your marketing firm has engaged in contests before you already know this, but for those new to the process it seems important to at least go through some of the pitfalls, so you approach your contest fully informed.What, you may ask, is contest management? Contests basically take care of themselves, right? No. And anyone who believes that is not only in for a world of trouble, but potential legal problems. For this reason, when creating a contest it is essential to create a project team which a specific project leader.This project team will design the contest, operate the contest, and offer all the contest management support required during the contest period. Among the most important of contest management tools is a mailings database and its management. Almost all contests require the contest applicant to send you something. A form, a box top, the answer to a question, something. And the receipt of all this material must be tracked, so that it can be shown that the contest function according to its rules — if questions are ever raised.

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The project manager of you contest management team should appoint a single person to oversee the mailings database management. Like all records management activities this is uniquely important to ensure quality control. You may have the best data entry clerks on planet earth, but even they cannot do their job without a system. You mailings database management team and its leader will create this system, and ensure that it is efficiently and accurately administered.It is probably best if you offer the mailings database management position to someone in your firm who is an expert in records management. This, for instance, might be a great chance to allow someone in research or even accounting to get a taste of the creative side of your business. Although running a contest is hard work, there is something inherently exciting about it. The promise of prizes. The randomness. The novelty. And because of these factors will believe you will have no problem attracting highly qualified people to the project in-house.However, if you have no one in-house, we recommend selecting a contest specialist. Although there may be many people outside your firm who could handle contest management or mailings database management, it is always unwise to bring someone new into the equation who is not an expert in the task at hand. A new or temporary employee already has the problems of acclimating to your practices and procedures. In most firms, that can take days, even weeks. There is not need to complicate this process by forcing them to do “on the job” training.

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Running a contest can be an exciting prospect. We highly recommend it. However, as we have laid out in this brief article, one needs to understand the importance of contest management and mailings database management. But, if you get this right, and we know you will, your client will be very happy. And so will those contest winners! And, by the way, make sure to send us an entry form!

Basics of Food Management

Food is such a basic part of our existence. Our lives revolve around it from our waking moment onwards. Food and feasting go hand in hand and even celebrations all over the world and across all cultures are centred on food. Our ancient Indian scriptures divide food into three categories, such as-Satvic or pure foods: These are foods that heal, comfort, juicy, smooth and increase longevity, intelligence and strength and are digested well by our system.Rajasik or the tasteful foods: These are salty, spicy, bitter, salty and can give rise to ill health, grief or discomfort.Tamasik or the impure foods: These include stale, cold, left over foods, impure and half cooked causing great harm to the mind and the body.Food is one aspect of our life that we take for granted. We are less mindful of the food that we consume. We leave our body to deal with the constant abuse from our day to day lives and lifestyles. We, humans, without taking our body for granted, need to create health generating systems and build a oneness with food, productive exercises, yoga, corrective breathing and meditation, rest and sleep and be spiritually aware and conscious. These steps translate into better stamina, strength, tone and energy with emphasis on the whole body as an entity, one that accentuates wellness and wellbeing.The food we eat lays the foundation for every cell and tissue in our body. The purpose of food is to nourish us, build strength and to give vital energy. Digestive harmony is the key for release of this vital energy needed for healthy living. The science of Ayurveda – the creative and constructive life science – says that every part of our mind and body is governed by the DOSHAS – the bio-energetic force or elements that sustain life. Refined, processed and preserved foods are all totally devoid of this nutrition and vitality. Wholesome, raw and natural foods that have absorbed the cosmic energy, and are super charged with ample rainfall and sunshine must be utilized to the fullest for health and wellness.The father of medicine, Hippocrates said “thy food is thy medicine. You are what you eat and what you eat you become”.To most of us eating good food is just another chore and a trivial thing to do. How many of us are really mindful of the fact that good food performs miracles inside our cells and tissues and is responsible for 80 percent of our transformation. Food has a subtle effect on our minds as well. Food plays a pivotal role in influencing our brain behaviour, our moods, and thought processes and in handling stress. It is these wholesome, natural foods that bestow health and vigour liberating and protecting us from us from illnesses. Studies have shown that there are two dietary processes in the human body-nourishing and cleansing- that need to be regulated with good and sensible dietary habits. If neglected, it can lead to a build up of toxins which are the basis for most mental and physical degeneration.

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Health is not just a great body or a zero size figure but covers physical fitness, mind science and spiritual growth and our efforts should be an integrated approach towards wellness. To achieve this eat appropriate foods that do not erode our digestive system. Yes, I mean, go real easy on all those junk foods, soft drinks, stale, cold foods and excessive meat eating and alcohol. Instead, begin to love fruits, veggies, nuts and foods in their natural wholesome form. It is important to ‘cater to your hunger and not pamper your appetite.’ I am urging you to follow this and not call it a ‘diet’. It is not intended for weight loss alone. On the contrary, it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.So, let us celebrate good health.How often have you come across the words ‘healthy’ and ‘food’ in the same sentence, but chose to ignore it? Despite being aware of the many benefits of eating healthy, I see so many people around me taking their health for granted. Our body is what we make of it. So why fill it with unhealthy food and end up bearing the brunt of it.Eating healthy has innumerable advantages, some of them being:1. Helps prevent and control health problems like heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes.2. With good nutrition your body becomes better equipped to deal with stress.3. Good food stimulates the body to create more killer cells to ward off infections thus promoting immunity.4. Food provides us with disease fighting antioxidants and can slow the natural process of ageing.Indian diets, with mindfulness and planning are natural and unprocessed comprising of grains, pulses and dals, fruits and vegetables, nuts and oilseeds; all in adequate amounts to maintain health. Diet and Nutrition are responsible for 70 to 80% of your entire transformation. Food also influences your thought process, attitude and behavior. There are foods which can make you feel high, there are foods which can make you irritable and temperamental, there are foods which can excite you, and there are foods which can relax you.Indian diets suit Indian population the best depending upon our culture, climatic conditions, atmosphere, pollution etc. Once a while enjoying other cuisines is great, but would you ever want to solely depend on pastas and burgers too often and face the risks attached to consuming such unhealthy, non fibrous foods?As mentioned above the health risks are plenty! Our diets include complex carbohydrates from jowar, bajra, ragi, whole wheat etc as opposed to the refined carbohydrates. Our diets are designed to protect our hearts with low levels of oils, fats, sugars. In fact our diets strike this perfect balance of all food groups, nothing too much and nothing too little. High sugar intake is proportionate to diabetes, high fat levels can lead to hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, heart diseases, strokes etc.My golden rules for better health:Remember, our bodies are tailored to consume what we have been since childhood and what our fathers, fore fathers have been consuming. Our diets of rotis, dals/pulses, veggies, sprouts, salads etc on a daily basis will ensure complete health as opposed to constant consumption of junk foods /burgers/pizzas/excess amounts of cheese, cream etc. Relish on all that you love, but remember, anything too little or too much is equally damaging…Guidelines for healthy eating and weight managementFollow these golden rules/steps of healthy eating for achieving a healthy weight loss and to maximize your health and longevity:1. Frequent small helpings of food are recommended. Eat slowly. Eating frequently prevents hunger pangs, provides constant energy and maintains metabolism efficiently.2. Select foods based on your preference and do not worry as much about the number of calories you consume but concentrate on combining the right foods and on the portion sizes. Do not deprive yourselves. This is likely to cause you to eat more the next day.3. Add a wide variety of foods to your daily diet. Include wholesome foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts, and whole grains. These foods provide all the essential nutrients and fiber which are necessary for growth, good health and immunity.4. Drink daily 8 to 10 glasses of liquids like water, and herbal teas. These drinks are fillers are hunger managers.

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5. Include fresh fruits, fresh unstrained vegetable juices, vegetable, sprouts, whole grains, nuts and low fat milk/yoghurt.6. Drink a glass of ginger/green tea after a heavy meal. This hastens digestion and improves metabolism.7. Consume healthy snacks like salads, crackers, fruits, unsweetened and low fat yogurt, wholegrain biscuits and muffins.8. Read labels well and choose foods that do not contain chemicals like preservatives and additives. Organically grown foods are a healthier option.9. Avoid bad fats like butter, cream full-cream milk and rich salad dressings and sauces. Take care not to eliminate sources of good fats like nuts, seeds and olive oils which contain unsaturated fatty acids. Use these foods in moderation.10. Eliminate white flour products like breads and biscuits, pastas, white rice, processed foods and sugary breakfast cereals. They lack fibre. They also cause a spike in our insulin level leading to fat storage.11. Exercise on a regular basis. Stretching, yoga, calisthenics, walking and other mild forms of aerobic activities are recommended. These exercises can be done at home or in a gym with guidance. Stress can be reduced through yoga,meditation, good rest and sound sleep.12. Avoid soft drinks, and juices. Also avoid sweets, desserts and fried snacks. Instead, eat a variety of nutrient dense foods. Limit the consumption of processed foods, fried foods and fast foods. If you must have them, remember to exercise moderation. Moderation is the key when you eat what you want without feeling deprived.13. Use cooking methods like stewing, steaming, grilling and roasting instead of frying.Good health is the result of conscious commitment that involves many factors like the food we eat, exercises, mental well-being, rest and sleep. Consistency is the most important factor when it comes to good nutrition. When you are often on the run, you need a plan that you can easily adopt and one that features a foundation of healthy food. Eating frequent well balanced meals is essential for anyone who wants to lose or maintain weight, have energy and stamina throughout the day, boosted immunity, to improve focus and concentration and above all for Mickeymizing your wellness quotient!

Advantages Of Time Management – Action Chasing

OverviewWhat are the advantages of time management? Exactly how many times do you land up tracking down information that you will need to achieve a task. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could ask for the article people would like at the final minute and it would actually be ready just when you need it? Not super early but just in time. I can easily hear you all exclaiming, ‘no chance’, ‘it’s just wishful thinking’.It is simple in this situation to believe the other individual is incompetent, not a team man or totally idle. Just why should it be the other guy’s negligence? Take a proactive attitude and see precisely how you can affect the position.Let’s explore a few straightforward techniques that can serve to prevent this frustration.Deadlines:Don’t leave steps to the last minute yourself. Give the job time some ‘slack’, so that you get the important information you require in advance of when you need it. The timing should be in discussion with the person providing it. It is no good trying to get the important information way ahead of time when you need it just in time. Endeavoring to obtain details too early might be unfeasible, or the material that you do get could potentially change ahead of the time that you use it.

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Mistakes in communication:Make completely sure that the detail you need is unmistakable and agreed. Put it in writing and challenge the person if they are satisfied with the request, completely understand it or have any concerns. Exactly why do you require it and in what format? This practice is not so that people will have a person to punish in the future. A lot of requests for information are sought way in advance of a required deadline. If you don’t record it, for the person supplying the important information, it may become not so clear as the due date arrives.Diary reminder:Don’t make the mistake that others will manage their schedule as efficiently as you. Put a prompt in your diary to chase up the action. This lets people to keep abreast of development and forms a reminder to the person producing the important information.Act on continued culprits:Some people, with the best motives, will continuously appear to be too late at supplying details. Discover why. Be proactive, don’t merely presume it is a one-off. If you determine the reason and fix the problem it will be better for everybody down the road. If a person affects you with their unsatisfactory time management they will almost certainly be doing the exact same to other people. Will they require coaching in the advantages of time management themselves? Do they report to another manager that you can speak to? Strive to solve an issue to the advantage of all before thinking about any form of punitive route.

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Meetings:In a comparable vein, people not showing up on schedule for meetings may be really irritating. Adjust the approaches above to look at improvement. This is a lot more appropriate for business meetings with one to three people. For larger meetings this is less effective. The concept that individuals will attend a meeting unless they tell you differently does not usually hold up. As earlier determine the problem and respond in the correct fashion.

Managing the MBA Recommendation Process Successfully

Some MBA applicants view recommendations as a part of the business school application process that can be put on auto-pilot. But make no mistake; even this part of your file will require a significant investment of time and attention.Start thinking now about a short list of candidates whom you think would be capable, diligent, and organized recommendation writers. Remember, these folks have deadlines to hit, too. Your list should be composed of people from your current job, previous employers, extracurricular activities, and alma mater, and they should be from various levels within the organizations. Some might boast impressive titles, while others will be peers who have collaborated closely with you.Over the next several weeks, try to get some quality time with these people-potentially even re-establishing ties with someone from a previous job or an old college professor-in order to feel out who would be most excited about writing a letter on your behalf. Believe me, the recommender’s attitude and commitment level are key.Aim for a good “spread” among your recommenders, so they can write about you from various angles. Getting the partner from the pharma cost-cutting consulting project, as well as the partner from the chemical cost-cutting consulting project, might not produce the recommendations that show the full range of your character and capabilities.
In general, you should give your recommenders about six weeks of advance warning before the deadline and provide them any forms and prep materials three to four weeks before the date you would like them to submit their recommendation.This is no mere hand-off of a few photocopied forms, as some people might believe. You should budget a few hours for this task. All applicants need to figure out what their recommenders should say and how those statements complement the points that come up in applicants’ essays.Even a recommender with the best intentions might end up writing a weak appraisal if it doesn’t dovetail with the ” Brand You ” that is woven into your essays. For instance, a recommendation that emphasizes your data gathering and quantitative analysis skills doesn’t do much if you’ve tried to establish your brand around creativity and dynamic leadership.I recommend that applicants create a recommender package, which has four main components and provides instruction on both process and content.1. Instructions: First, create a simple table of each school to which she or he will be submitting a letter, as well as the application deadline for each school. Many schools suggest that recommenders submit the letter at least a day in advance of the actual deadline to ensure that your application is complete.Next, address whether each school needs the recommender to answer school-specific questions, or if a general letter is acceptable. Finally, briefly explain the online recommendation process, as most schools prefer online submissions.2. Your strengths: Explain to the recommender that in order to make the process easier for him or her, you are providing a list of characteristics that you are highlighting about yourself in your application, along with a few examples of each characteristic from the time you’ve worked together. Of course, state that the recommender can amend or adjust any of these ideas.Your list should contain at least three strengths (such as leadership, vision, and teamwork), with one or two supporting anecdotes. A recent performance evaluation can be a good place for you start when you compile the list of your strengths.3. Areas of development: Most schools ask recommenders about your weaknesses or areas of development. Rather than shying away from this, make your self-awareness a strength. Give the recommender a growth area for you as well as examples of how you are working on it. (Again, a recent performance evaluation is a good place to start.)

Enterprise Risk Management and the PMBOK

Enterprise Risk Management is a term used to describe a holistic approach to managing the risks and opportunities that the organization must manage intelligently in order to create maximum value for their shareholders. The foundation for the approach is the alignment of the organization’s management of risks and opportunities to their goals and objectives. One of the keys to this alignment is the “Risk Appetite” statement which is a statement encapsulating the direction the Board gives management to guide their risk management methods. The statement should describe in general terms what kinds of risk the organization can tolerate and which it can’t. This statement plus the organization’s goals and objectives guides management in the selection of projects the organization undertakes. The statement also guides management in setting risk tolerance levels and determining which risks are acceptable and which must be mitigated.This article will attempt to review Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and relate it to the best project management practices found in the PMBOK® (4th Edition). The source for most of my information about ERM comes from a study published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway commission published in 2004. The Treadway commission was sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the COSO consisted of representatives from 5 different accounting oversight groups as well as North Carolina State University, E.I. Dupont, Motorola, American Express, Protective Life Corporation, Community Trust Bancorp, and Brigham Young University. The study was authored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The reason for listing the oversight committee and authors is to demonstrate the influence the insurance and financial industries had over the study.The approach suggested by the study, which is probably the most authoritative source of ERM information, is very similar to approaches taken to managing quality in the organization in that it places emphasis on the responsibility of senior management to support ERM efforts and provide guidance. The difference here is that, while Quality methodologies such as CMM or CMMI place the responsibility on management to formulate and implement quality policies, ERM takes responsibility right to the top: the Board of Directors.Let’s go through the study recommendations and relate them to the processes recommended in the PMBOK. To refresh your memories, those processes are:
Plan Risk Management
Identify Risks
Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
Plan Risk Response
Monitor and Control Risks
ERM begins by segregating goals and objectives into 4 groups: strategic, operations, reporting, and compliance. For the purposes of managing projects, we need not concern ourselves with operational risks. Our projects might support implementation of reports and our projects may be constrained by the need to comply with organizational or governmental guidelines, standards, or policies. Projects in the construction industry will be constrained by the need to comply with the relevant safety laws enforced in their location. Projects in the financial, oil & gas, defense, and pharmaceutical industries will also be required to comply with government laws and standards. Even software development projects may be required to comply with standards adopted by the organization, for example quality standards. Projects are a key means of implementing strategic goals so goals in this group are usually applicable to our projects.

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The study recommends 7 components:Internal environment The key component of the internal environment is the “Risk Appetite” statement from the Board. The environment also encompasses the attitudes of the organization, its ethical values, and the environment in which they operate.
PMBOK® Alignment The description in the study is actually very close to the description of Enterprise Environmental Factors. Enterprise Environmental Factors are an input to the Plan Risk Management process. The PMBOK also refers to the organization’s risk appetite in their description of Enterprise Environmental Factors, as well as attitudes towards risk.
Objective Setting Management is responsible for setting objectives that support the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. Objective setting at this level must also be consistent with the organization’s risk appetite. The objective setting here may refer to objective setting for the project, as well as any of the other 4 groups.
PMBOK® Alignment Goals and objectives should include those that pertain to risk management. The project’s Cost and Schedule Management plans are input to the Plan Risk Management process. These documents should contain descriptions of the goals and objectives in these individual areas. These goals and objectives may determine how risks are categorized (Identify Risks), prioritized (Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis), and responded to (Plan Risk Response).
Event Identification Events that pose a threat to the organization’s goals and objectives are identified, as well as events that present the organization with an opportunity of achieving its goals and activities (or unidentified goals and objectives). Opportunities are channeled back to the organization’s strategy or objective setting processes.
PMBOK® Alignment This component aligns exactly with the Identify Risks process from the PMBOK. The only significant difference here is the recommendation that opportunities be channeled back to the organization’s strategy of objective setting processes. The PMBOK offers no guidance here but this component can be supported by simply referring any opportunity not identified with an existing project goal or objective back, to the project sponsor.
Risk Assessment Risks are scored using a probability and impact scoring system. Risks are assessed on an “inherent and residual” basis. This simply means that once a risk mitigation strategy has been defined, its effectiveness is measured by determining a probability impact score with the risk mitigation strategy in place. This score is referred to as residual risk.
PMBOK® Alignment This component aligns closely with the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process. This process provides for the probability and impact scoring for the identified risks. The Monitor and Control Risks process also supports this component. This is the process that measures the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies. This is the process that will determine the residual risks.
Control Activities Policies and Procedures are established to ensure that risk responses are effectively carried out.
PMBOK® Alignment This component is supported by the Plan Risk Management process. The output of this process is the Risk Management Plan which describes the risk management procedures the project will follow. Keep in mind that Control Activities is wider in scope than Plan Risk Management, the Plan will only cover those procedures that pertain to the project. The Monitor and Control Risks process also supports this component. This process ensures that the procedures defined in the plan are carried out and are effective.
Information and Communication This component describes how information pertaining to risks and risk management is identified, captured, and communicated throughout the organization.
PMBOK® Alignment This component is actually supported by the processes in the Communications Management knowledge area. The processes in this area manage all project communications. The Risk Management Plan will identify the information, how it is captured, and how it is maintained. The Communications Plan will describe to whom, when, and how the information is to be communicated.
Monitoring Specifies that ERM is monitored and changed when necessary. Monitoring and change are performed in 2 ways: ongoing management activities and audits.
PMBOK® Alignment Monitor and Control Risks supports this component. This process uses Risk Reassessment, Variance and Trend Analysis, Reserve Analysis, and Status Meetings to monitor risk management activities and ensure that the activities are meeting the project’s goals and objectives. This process also describes audits as a technique for determining whether planned activities are being carried out and are effective. One of the outputs of this process is updates to the Risk Management Plan in the case where activities are not effective in controlling risks. Preventive and Corrective actions are also recommended to address cases where activities are not being carried out, or are incorrectly performed.ERM provides for assurance that it is effective by determining if all 7 components of ERM have been provided for, across all 4 categories of organizational goals and objectives. Project management will not cover off all areas of each component in each category, but will cover those organizational goals and objectives supported by the project and all the reporting and compliance goals and objectives that apply to the project.Internal Control for ERM is provided for by the guidelines described in the Internal Controls – Integrated Framework document authored by COSO. We won’t go into detail describing these guidelines but treat them at a summary level. The ERM study aligns with the guidelines and refers the reader to that document for compliance details. The details of compliance would concern an organization implementing ERM but that must be instigated by the Board and would only concern a project manager if they were to be responsible for a project which implemented ERM. The guidelines place risk controls with other internal controls of the organization (keep in mind these guidelines are insurance and finance-centric). The guidelines provide for the assignment of responsibilities to 3 organizational roles: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, and the Chief Risk Officer. The Chief Legal Officer is identified in lieu of a Chief Risk officer. The CFO is responsible for monitoring internal control of financial reporting, the CIO is responsible for monitoring internal control over information systems, and the CRO is responsible for monitoring internal control over compliance with laws, standards, and regulations. The guidelines re-iterate that risk management tone is set from the top of the organization as evidenced by the company officers responsible for monitoring.

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The Internal Control – Integrated Framework guidelines also acknowledge that monitoring and control are prone to human error and that not all procedures have equal importance. They address this by the identification of the most critical procedures using “key-control analysis”. Key-control analysis is used to determine whether control procedures and processes are effective. The guidelines also attempt to provide direction in the identification of preventive or corrective actions to improve internal controls. They do this by evaluation of the information measuring the effectiveness. Only if the information is “persuasive” should corrections be made. The guidelines provide for internal audits of internal control procedures but acknowledge that every organization may not be large enough to warrant that role and that there is a place for external audits in internal controls.Most of the reporting the project manager will be responsible for will be what the guidelines term as “internal”, that is the reports will only be read by management. In some cases reports may be read by 3rd party external organizations. The project manager’s reportage on risk management on their project may form a part of the information reported externally, but the project manager should not be made responsible for reporting externally.The guidelines require that implementation of a framework be scaled to suit the size and complexity of the organization it serves. Scalability will require the organization to identify who will be responsible for a given activity. For example, the organization may not have a Chief Risk Officer in which case some other role must be identified for compliance responsibility. This responsibility will be delegated to the project manager when any compliance objectives form part of the project’s objectives.ERM was designed to serve the Financial and Insurance industries and some aspects are specific to those industries. Some, indeed most, of the components will serve any industry very well. Remember that there were contributors to the study from Universities, electronics (Motorola), and chemicals (E.I. Dupont). The best project management practices described in the PMBOK® will support ERM very well with little alteration. The trick is to identify the project risk management activities which align with and support ERM. Once you do this, implementing ERM with your project becomes easy.

An Introduction to Business Process Management

We hear about the term Business Process Management or BPM almost in every business house. But what is exactly BPM? Business Process Management is actually a business system or methodology that helps improve the overall productivity and processes of an organization and hence results in the optimization of all business practices. It is a series of activities that help the management to achieve their business goals in a unified manner. It starts with identification of current processes, designing the new process, its implementation and finally leads to tracking of each process. BPM is simply involved in all steps and departments of a business, right from the purchase and supply to customers and personnel. So, it is a universal concept for every business that helps to produce ultimate results.

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Business Process Management methodology is adopted by small to large sized organizations. It helps find out solutions for day to day complex problems of a trade. But the success of BPM lies behind the approach of management and how well they apply it. The main purpose of this methodology is to manage people and process as well as enhance the productivity levels. Increased productivity will automatically lead to a better customer service, which is another crucial factor for any business. BPM when properly applied improves the coordination between various departments and eliminate the problems like production downtime and improper utilization of resources. It increases the control of management over organizational activities and let them detect any bottlenecks.It is highly recommended for all those businesses where the workload is not properly managed, resources are underutilized and there is no proper flow of information. Optimization of people and business processes has always been a difficult issue for all organizations. Business Process Management integrates all these things and automates your business in an efficient manner. It improves efficiency & productivity and also reduces unwanted costs related to the business activities. BPM is useful for almost every department of an organization, be it production, sales, human resources or financial. In nutshell, BPM helps your organization achieve ultimate level of efficiency and keep proper control over processes.

3 Advantages of Time Management That You May Not Have Thought Of

When most people talk about time management, they talk about being able to the most important tasks done and such and while these are some great advantages of time management, there are many other advantages that most people miss or don’t even know of!Here’s a look at 3 very powerful advantages of time management that most people miss but are incredibly important in personal growth and development.1. Increased ability to relax and remain stress freeWhile time management is a difficult habit to cultivate, the good news about time management is that it will help you get rid of a lot of your stress. When you learn how to manage your time effectively and put those time management principles into practice, you will feel less stressed out about all your goals and priorities.

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This works because unfinished tasks and commitments create a nagging feeling and when we fail to take care of them, they eat up the level of balance and harmony in our bodies.So one of the quickest ways to reduce stress is to become good at managing your time and getting tasks done!2. Increased harmony in relationshipsI hope you’ve realized by now that a stress free you leads to a happier and healthier relationship. You see, when we are stressed out about work, the upcoming deadlines etc, it is easy to blow up on our family and friends even for the littlest things.This creates stress and dissatisfaction in relationships. Which is why you need to look at how you’re spending your time in the office and what kind of stress or problems you’re bringing home. And, it’s impossible to disconnect from the office if you don’t practice good time management skills at work!

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3. Increased self confidenceIncreased self confidence comes from knowing that you know how to do something. And, when you learn to manage your time, when you can see that you have the ability to handle the stress of your demanding job, when you see that you have the skill sets to advance in your career you’ll gain self confidence.The only way to see that you’ve got the skill sets to advance and you have the right talent for the job is to see the positive results you can bring to the job – which is only possible if you learn how to manage your time and become highly productive at work.