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DD# 72- Why the Cloud works for Business Travelers

Our work took us up to Alaska the first week of December, always a trip that I look forward to. Some people call it crazy, but I enjoy Alaska in the winter as much as in the summer.  One reason is that only Alaskans are there this time of year, as all the tourists have gone home or elsewhere. For instance, the population of Juneau physically doubles when five cruise ships are in, and all those visitors are packed into a downtown area never intended to fit that many people at once. Not to mention that stark, beauty of the magnificent, dichromatic blue and white landscape. But I digress. I no longer save much data to my laptop. It's much more efficient for us to save nearly all our files out to the Cloud, (at our company, Google Drive). There are many reasons, including real-time file collaboration, data synchronization, and one other big one - if you lose your laptop, you don't lose your data! And yes, some fine. upstanding citizen of Alaska's largest city benefited from my having left my business backpack in the car in plain sight, following a long day of P6 training for Cruz Construction up in Palmer. [...]

DD# 69: Japan, Lean, Six Sigma

I spent the second week of July in Japan, providing US Cost Success Estimator training to NAVFAC engineers at the Yokosuka Naval Base.  Located on the south end of Tokyo Bay, the base is the headquarters for the US Pacific Fleet in Asia.  I had the good fortune  to work with Derek and Mark, talented civilian American expatriates currently assigned to the Navy's IT and Management operations in Yokosuka, (pronounced “Yo-kus-ka”).  Derek is the equivalent of CTO for the base, and Mark works with Derek on business / project management operations.  Over lunch one day, Mark explained his Six Sigma background and approach to projects, and the Navy's efforts to adapt industry best practices to its project management and business operations. "The problem", Mark said, "is that while we are often handed a good software system to implement, its selection based on a set of assumptions that are incorrect from the start, even irrelevant to the problem at hand. So we burn up a bunch of time and money, and never get close to fixing the problem that we set out to solve to begin with. Then, after months of effort and often hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's evident that adopting the software didn't fix the problem, and the project is canned. "The primary [...]