Aug 29

Understanding volunteer relationships

Volunteer analysis III

Every area of study has its founding fathers (or mothers, of course. Just going with alliteration there!) Classical Physics has Newton, nursing has Florence Nightingale (see?). Procurement has Peter Kraljic. In 1983, the Harvard Business Review published an article by Kraljic entitled “Purchasing must become supply management” and it became the focus of a new era of understanding procurement. Central to its theme was analysing the strategic relationships to your suppliers, measuring supply risk against the profit impact of each supplier. As you can see, it results in a classification of suppliers into four categories; Non-critical items Bottleneck items Leverage items Strategic items. It’s the starting point of any procurement …

Continue reading »

Aug 24

Should you be using Wi-Fi?

Using Wi-Fi with important data is unwise

It seems like we are hard-wired to believe that Wi-Fi is somehow better, more progressive than being hard wired. It’s true that in many ways in is more convenient. If you don’t have dedicated hardware in your meeting room that can access shared files, you’ll need to take your laptop for your presentation. (Oh, and seriously? Just take an old laptop, strip it of the inessentials, network it and keep it in the meeting room for presentations.) Need to do some research in a quiet room? Just pick up and go. Easy. But that’s not the whole story. Being wired has a number of advantages. Chiefly, security and speed. Security …

Continue reading »

Aug 20

Project management – NASA style!

Project Management lessons from NASA

In light of the tremendous and ongoing success of the NASA Mars Curiosity Rover, I though I’d share something I found on how they manage their projects! After all, if they can manage to make a success of a $2.5 billion project, involving sending a 1-ton nuclear powered machine 352 million miles through space, and lower it through crane suspended by jets, I am sure we can learn something from them too! You can read the whole article here (about half way down) but the main points are:     Clearly identify the problem, identifying all aspects of the issue. It’s not enough to identify the problem in broad terms, for example, …

Continue reading »

Aug 16

Free Data Protection check up from ICO

Information Commissioner's Officer

Data Protection is a serious issue. With the amount of personal details charities hold, and not only in terms of donors, but of internal staff, it’s important to ensure you are complying. This is not just to ensure you avoid the fines and even custodial sentences that serious breaches can bring, but to ensure the trust of your donors, and staff. Many of the guidelines I mentioned here, in preparing for inspections, can be applied to preparing your Data Protection compliance, such as identifying processes, allocating responsibilities and document control. Other ideas, from the ICO website, include: Tell people what you are doing with their data. People should know what …

Continue reading »

Aug 08

An inspector calls … How to prepare for official inspections

How to prepare for official inspections

Somehow I’ve ended up being the lead for preparations for four official inspections, all at different organisations. From the General Dental Council, Healthcare Commission, ICO and (gulp) HMRC. They’re never fun, but if anyone comes-a-knockin’, here is what I’ve learnt on how to prepare.   Before Appoint a lead. This person must have direct and clear access to higher management. No-one likes interrupting their work for this sort of thing, so sometimes someone with a bit of clout needs to remind people that the inspection is a priority. Know why you are being inspected. Is it: Routine Random There’s been a misfiling/previous inspection problem. This will help your focus, either …

Continue reading »

Aug 06

Special Olympic Promotion!

In light of a fantastic and fascinating weekend where Team GB did us so proud, CL Analytics are own offering their procurement services for a fee of 20.12% of first year savings! (see what we did there?!) Running for the rest of August 2012, this means that a visit from CL Analytics is guaranteed to pay for itself almost 5 times over in the first year alone – and we’ll set you up to make sure you continue to run more efficiently in the future. We know that whoever does your procurement does the best they can, but that they have a whole raft of other responsibilities. We aim to …

Continue reading »

Aug 06

How IT is changing, a case study

the landscape of IT services is changing rapidly

We recently helped a small organisation take their next step up in IT. And while I was doing so, it occurred to me how much has changed in the last five years, maybe even less. Of course, the first thing we do is check their current specifications, how they work, and where they want to be, and then find the smoothest way of getting them there. There were four of them, with potentially a fifth joining them occasionally, but working from Europe. They had email, provided by their web hosting service, but no server. This meant they were sharing documents via email, and in just seven months had nearly filled their …

Continue reading »

Jul 30

Make your website mobile friendly for free

make your website mobile friendly

If you’re a small charity and want to improve your mobile presence, and there are lots of reasons you should, then you should consider this service. Dudamobile is a company that offers you a free, if limited, service that allows you to put a small piece of code on your website (or via a blog plug in) that converts your website or blog to a format that is friendly for smartphone users. There is a very simple four-step process, after which they provide you with a small piece of code, and then you simply add it according to their instructions and your visitors who use smartphones are automatically redirected to a reworked version …

Continue reading »

Jul 27

The Psychology of PowerPoint presentations

PowerPoint: you are feeling sleepy...

No-one’s professional life has been left untouched, and unscarred, by PowerPoint. Whether it’s overdosing on too much information, seeing too many ‘humorous’ generic clip art graphics, or the creeping guilt when you realise that the entire audience is going to need a stiff drink once you finished traumatising them. But help is at hand. A recent study (Kosslyn, Kievit, Russel and Shephard) has investigated other ways in which people unintentionally make slide show presentations unbearable, or as they say: “psychological principles are often violated in PowerPoint slideshows”. It’s well worth reading in its entirety, (go through the link, you can download the pdf on the right of the screen), and while …

Continue reading »

Jul 23

Should there be a Museum of Charity?

We should be celebrating the history of charities in the UK

The UK has a great history of charity. Shouldn’t we celebrate it as a country? After looking around I found perhaps the oldest charity, the Hospital of St. Cross and Almshouse of Noble Poverty in Winchester. It goes back to 1136 and was apparently founded by Bishop Henry de Blois, a grandson of William the Conqueror. Apparently, the water in the area was unfit for drinking, so copious amounts of ale were offered instead! Some 900 years later, it’s still going, though I imagine some of its policies have changed. And then there is the Society of Schoolmasters, founded over 200 years ago in 1797 as a benevolent fund. It continued …

Continue reading »

Older posts «

» Newer posts