Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To error is to be an executive

We have heard plenty lately about the bad judgment of a recently departed head honcho of David Jones. While it's easy to file as 'bad judgment' or 'ill advised' the unwanted advances of a CEO to a junior executive at a company function, it is much trickier to separate the 'wheat from the chaff' when it comes to executive strategic decision making.

In a recent McKinsey Quarterly survey of 2,207 executives, only 28 percent said that the quality of strategic decisions in their companies was generally good, 60 percent thought that bad decisions were about as frequent as good ones, and the remaining 12 percent thought good decisions were altogether infrequent.

In a March 2010 McKinsey Quarterly entitled, 'The case for behavioral strategy', the authors, Dan Lovallo and Olivier Sibony, assert that '...cognitive biases affect the most important strategic decisions made by the smartest managers in the best companies. Mergers routinely fail to deliver the expected synergies. Strategic plans often ignore competitive responses. And large investment projects are over budget and over time—over and over again.'

The authors' advocated remedy for the problem of 'biased' management decision making is for organisations to adopt processes that 'debias' strategic decisions.

It just so happens that UniPhi is an enterprise process that debiases strategic decisions. Once deployed and used by key stakeholders across the enterprise, executives can easily track, manage and report on the progress of key organisational initiatives. Accurate, real-time project and portfolio data is at the executive's fingertips.

UniPhi provides a more objective road map for an executive's strategic decisions, ensuring they are guided by objectively-tested facts and figures, instead of 'gut feels' and 'intuition'. In my view, UniPhi represents an invaluable tool for debiasing executive decisions and making sure strategy development is informed by reality, not 'hisimagination'. Of course, I may just be biased, but use UniPhi and then prove me wrong.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

UniPhi 5.0 to be released

After 9 months of intensive development, we are about to release our biggest launch of UniPhi yet. UniPhi 5.0 is a major step forward for mbh and for the product itself. After significant and greatly appreciated feedback from our thousand strong user base, we have been able to enhance many existing features and bring in new ones. The contracts management functionality was completely overhauled with significant productivity improvements to the creation of the full suite of contract admin components (variations, progress claims, EOTs, RFIs etc. This new contract management also has the capability to manage your fee with the client as well as all other contracts on the project. Adding this to our new fee management system and existing lifecycle feature and we can now tell you how many jobs you're winning and how many you're losing; in what sector your winning and what one's you're not.With transparent real time internal KPI performance management, I can see already that many potential clients are going to be threatened by how visible their performance is.

This release would not have been possible without the dedication of our software development team. This cosmopolitan group of guys who all reside in Australia but hail from all over the world makes our Sydney office a vibrant and buzzing place to be. Although the hours are insane and juggling the business with running my kids to school, soccer practice, ballet and the like is not easy, it's great to never wake up in the morning with the words "oh no, it's only Wednesday". Thanks guys for making each day an enjoyable event!

We have scheduled a series of breakfast seminars along with our monthly webinar to present this new release across Australia and will follow it up with a roadshow across the middle east in September.

You can read more about this release and the roadshow at our website. Please come to the breakfasts if you can, we'd love to see you there.

Friday, May 07, 2010

UniPhi expands to the middle east

8 months ago I caught up with a colleague from school days. We had met a few times post school through a mutual friend of ours. On this occasion (as usual when catching up with old acquaintances) we started updating each other on events since the last few years. Francis, my school colleague, had been living in the UK for 8 years, had gotten married and had had his first child about 6 months before we met. He was back in Australia, sadly, due to an illness of a relative. Yet through every sad event, a silver lining can be found.

Francis had recently moved from the UK to Dubai. Having tested the market there briefly before his Australia visit, his business radar piqued when he heard about UniPhi. The next day Francis came to our office in Sydney and had a look at what we'd developed. Another 24 hours later and he had put together a proposal to distribute our software in the middle east. He has worked tirelessly since and this climaxed with us exhibiting at the Cityscape conference in Abu Dhabi in April. Unfortunately, due to other commitments I was unable to attend but thanks to the project management efforts of Katja Abramova (mbh project manager) and the tireless Sarah Quinton (mbh director) who flew over to support Francis in showing off UniPhi to the world all went well.

Below is an image of our stand and feedback from the show has been exceptional. I am very excited about becoming an Australian exporter and international markets will now become crucial components in what we hope will be the rapid commercialisation of what I believe is the best portfolio and project management application on the market.

The exhibition was a great success for us. It has led to four very strong proposals being sent to potential clients and over 160 business cards being collected at the booth.

Thanks Francis, Sarah and Katja for all your efforts!