Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brain Drain Problem

It is an extremely important topic to discuss about for today posting. As we know our country economy and political turmoil, there is a hidden issue that will become a major challenge in our country. Yes Brain Drain issue! I have been hearing from all people that I knew wanted to migrate or seeking to transfer, desperately.

I asked why? Most of them said to me, they can't see the future to stay longer in Malaysia. It is very disheartening to hear such a remark from a truly Malaysian. A country should be working towards vision 2020 with great economy and political stability, Malaysia apparently not heading the right path.

According to one article by Datuk Dr. Toh Kin Woon, president of International-elected (ARTDO) Asian Regional Training and Development Organization, many talented workers are going overseas to work rather than seeking greener pasture locally. At a press conference after announcing an upcoming Penang Productivity Lecture 2008 to be held on August 8th, Dr. Toh mentioned the country is well aware of such a problem and there is uphill task to train more skilled, knowledge-based workers.

We all know on the other hand, quality of our education, especially tertiary level, universities could not be improved much. Reason being very little autonomy was given to universities chief in allowing more freedom and room to improve the creativity and competitiveness on each graduates. Politics and bureaucracies are the main culprit. Clearly, from what he said, a change required in the quality of the universities in order unleash the graduates highest potential.

The whole country apparently experiencing shortage of knowledge-based and skilled workers. If the issue not being addressed quickly we may need to "import" higher wages foreign workers in fixing it. Most talented, skilled and experienced workers prefer to work outside of country which provide more opportunities and higher wages, example Singapore. The numbers of this brain drain are increasing every year and it could be very alarming to the nation.

There are many foreign companies wanted to establish research and development facilities in our country and preferably highly capable, skilled with post graduates qualifications. If they do not find any of them here, do you think they would pursue their ideas?

On the other hand, we will end up most jobs will be offered to foreigners like Thais, Indonesian, Filipinos and many more. Malaysia will be run by these peoples one fine day.

It is going to be huge impact to our economy in medium to long term. What would the government do now?

Monday, July 28, 2008

What is Coaching actually

Courtesy from: Dr. L.Michael Hall
While coaching is conversation, coaching is not warm and fuzzy chat. Nor is it teaching, training, or advice giving. It is not being an expert in a domain-specific content. Coaching is about facilitating through questioning, giving feedback, and operating as an expert in process or structure about how we run our own brains for more effective performances. Coaching is distinct from the following professional fields. It is not consulting, mentoring, counseling or therapy, training or even a hypnosis session. If it is clearly falling into these categories, what is it?

As a skill-based process the skill of training is that of teaching, educating and drilling a person through a process where he or she is enabled to perform the new skills.

Mentoring as a process of focusing on a particular skill, knowledge, or experience, the skill involves giving advice, guidance, and sharing one's own personal story. In mentoring, there is an unequal relationship, senior mentor passing on specific information to a younger and less experienced person.

Therapy focuses on problems, their sources, the symptoms that result from those problems, how people are broken and dysfunctional, diagnosis of such disorders. The skill of therapy is that of healing hurts, re-parenting, and bringing resolution to personal pain.


Consulting involves the skill of giving advice and using one's own expertise in a given field to inform a client what to do. While consulting can be facilitative, it also involved procedures and expert knowledge and skills.


Seemed like a dangerous tool. Using gestures, words, and tones hypnotically enables us to induce a person into a hypnotic state for accessing new resources. Hypno-therapy for health, psychology and self-development involves the skill of speaking and communicating to induce trances.

The Coaching Dance

The distinctions between these professional modalities does not mean that a coach never engages in them nor does it completely eliminate these functions. There is a plce for consulting, training, mentoring, counseling, doing therapy, hypnosis and etc. The critical point is knowing when and how to step in and out of the coaching role.

When to Consult
In coaching, we first consult to develop a coaching contract with clients. We do not start coaching from the beginning of our contact with a new client or potential client. Prior to coaching, we consult with people showing the benefits and values of coaching. We engage in an explorative needs analysis and then make suggestions and may even begin the process of helping the client develop a well-formed outcome about being coached.

When to Train
We use training and mentoring when a client lacks the necessary models, knowledge, and skills. Shifting to these functions enable us to provide the models and skills and then to shift back to coaching them.

When to Counsel or Perform Therapy
It will be when is the boundary? Is it merely when a client feels sad or down? Is it when a client remembers something from the past? Is it when we address a problem? The answers to these questions are not simple.Therapy and counseling usually focuses on and addresses therapeutic issues of thought-emotion which undermines a client's ability to be in the moment, assume responsibility, an operate from a position of power and optimism (ego-strength)

With coaching, memories and emotions will emerge, new experiences arise and sometimes a client will become unresourceful in a way that is best dealt with by shifting from coaching to counseling. Without some form of criteria for where to create a boundary between these, this can seriously challenge a coach.Where and how we draw a line? The following criteria may give some good pointer: 1) There is the need to heal past hurts and traumas, 2) The client needs to increase ego-strength first in order to face what is, 3) The client needs to own his or her own person and to completely step out of any vestiges of a victim mentality, 4) The client needs to be reparented and so is highly susceptible to transference and counter-transference issues.

The Style of Coaching Dance
As a way of interacting with people, coaching is a collaborative relationship designed to facilitate higher level performance.
Personal and relational: It's a collaborative relationship that involves a working alliance that aims to empower the client.
Facilitative and supportive: The coach supports and facilitates top-notch behaviors in service of a desired outcome.
Solution and goal-oriented: It aims at developing the client's skills and finding better solutions to things. It is not remedial or therapeutic.

I shall share more information on my next posting coaching perspective in Meta Level namely Meta-Coaching.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Who is She by the way..

Let me share with you in today posting about someone and she be revealed in the end of this posting for our learning purpose.

She was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, to unmarried parents. She later explained that her conception was due to a single sexual encounter that her two teenaged parents had; they quickly broke up not long after. Her parents were unmarried teenagers. Her mother, Vernita Lee, was a housemaid, and her father, Vernon , was a coal miner and later worked as a barber before becoming a city councilman. Her father was in the Armed Forces when she was born.

After her birth, her mother traveled north and she spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee who was so poor that she often wore dresses made of potato sacks, causing the local children to make fun of her. On the other hand, it was her grandmother who taught her to read before the age of three and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed "The Preacher" for her ability to recite Bible verses. When she was a child, her grandmother would take a switch and would hit her with it when she didn't do chores or if she misbehaved in any way.

At age six, she moved to an inner-city neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her mother, who was less supportive and encouraging than her grandmother had been, due in large part to the long hours Vernita Lee worked as a maid. She has stated that she was molested by her cousin, uncle, and a family friend, starting when she was nine years old, something she first revealed to her viewers on a 1986 episode of her TV show, when sexual abuse was being discussed.

Despite her dysfunctional home life, she skipped two of her earliest grades, became the teacher's pet, and by the time she was 13 received a scholarship to attend
Nicolet High School in the Milwaukee suburb of Glendale, Wisconsin. Although she was very popular, she could not afford to go out on the town as frequently as her better-off classmates. Like many teenagers at the end of the 1960s, she rebelled, ran away from home and to the streets. When she was 14, she became pregnant, but the baby died shortly after birth. Also at that age, her frustrated mother sent her to live with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. Vernon was strict, but encouraging and made her education a priority. She became an honors student, was voted Most Popular Girl, joined her high school speech team at East Nashville High School, and placed second in the nation in dramatic interpretation.

She won an oratory contest, which secured her a full scholarship to Tennessee State University, a historically black institution, where she studied communication. At age 18, she won the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant. She also attracted the attention of the local black radio station, WVOL, which hired her to do the news part-time. She worked there during her senior year of high school, and again while in her first two years of college. That she chose a career in media did not surprise her grandmother, who once said that ever since she could talk, she was on stage. As a child she played games interviewing her corncob doll and the crows on the fence of her family's property. She later acknowledged her grandmother's influence, saying it was Hattie Mae who had encouraged her to speak in public and "gave me a positive sense of myself."

Working in local media, she was both the youngest
news anchor and the first black female news anchor at Nashville's WLAC-TV. She moved to Baltimore's WJZ-TV in 1976 to co-anchor the six o'clock news. She was then recruited to join Richard Sher as co-host of WJZ's local talk show People Are Talking, which premiered on August 14, 1978. She also hosted the local version of Dialing for Dollars there as well.

She then was called "arguably the world's most powerful woman" by
CNN and,"arguably the most influential woman in the world" by the American Spectator,"one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th Century" and "one of the most influential people" of 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Time. She is the only person in the world to have made all five lists.

At the end of the 20th century
Life listed her as both the most influential woman and the most influential black person of her generation, and in a cover story profile the magazine called her "America's most powerful woman".Ladies Home Journal also ranked her number one in their list of the most powerful women in America and senator Barack Obama has said she "may be the most influential woman in the country". In 1998 she became the first woman and first Black to top Entertainment Weekly's list of the 101 most powerful people in the entertainment industry. In 2003 she amazingly edged out both Superman and Elvis Presley to be named the greatest pop culture icon of all time by VH1. Forbes named her the world's most powerful celebrity in 2005, 2007 and 2008 Columnist Maureen Dowd seems to agree with such assessments:

Her influence reaches far beyond pop-culture and into unrelated industries where many believe she has the power to cause enormous market swings and radical price changes with a single comment. In 2005 she was named the greatest woman in American history as part of a public poll as part of
The Greatest American. She was ranked #9 overall on the list of greatest Americans.

Her reach extends far beyond the shores of the U.S., where 49 million U.S. viewers see her talk show weekly. The show airs in 117 countries around the world “from Australia to Zimbabwe”

Indeed an amazing snippet about her biography. Her success was phenomena. Who is she actually? She is the most well known women in this decade, Oprah Winfrey.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Career Talk- Snippets

In this posting, I will discuss about career in a little broader scale. There are 2 snippets I would like to share with you about what I found today. Interestingly, both snippets/articles related to career for individuals. Firstly, I would like to share about survey results I read from Kelly Services International that stated:

Many Malaysians regret career choices

There have been concerns about Malaysian on their education and regretted the career choices made. The survey widely conducted by one of the most known recruitment firm Kelly Services. The survey outcome revealed that almost two-thirds (66%) of the respondents said, if given an opportunity, they would have study something totally different after leaving school, while one in eight said they choose the wrong career.

The career survey findings indicated a high level of concern about career choice and direction. It was mentioned, many people in the workforce do not believe their education properly prepared them for working life and quite few have regrets about the direction that their job has taken them. The global survey sought views of 115,000 people in 33 countries including more than 2000 Malaysians.

Malaysia ranked 20th jointly with UK in quality of the Malaysia education system. It was stated the merely 45% satisfaction rate which slightly lower than the global average 49%. The highest level support for school education countries came from India with 69% saying it prepared them well in working life. The survey also further discloses, regrettably someone who discovers that they are in wrong career turn out not as productive as they could be. According to Kelly Services, it is important that people do not react or set up false expectations in evaluating their study and career choices.

In conclusion, it has become a norm that most employees to have several changes in the course of their career life. So for those still who still dissatisfied with their career to do something positive about it.

Quite a useful piece of news to tell us our education system was not aligned in developing our nation to realize their potential and talent. Having said that, I would like to recommend another article in MSN website about:

LayOff Proof by Joe Turner

While on the job, do you feel the hot breath of an economic downturn blowing down your neck? With all the turmoil in the economy, it's easy to get fixated on doom and gloom, but you don't need to panic. Here are five steps to help increase your "employee value" and avoid that pink slip:

1. Make money or save money?
The private sector economy has become extremely bottom-line oriented. Employers categorize employees into one of two distinct groups:
1. Those who help make money
2. Those who help save money

Which one are you?

Even if you feel far removed from the corporate bottom line, start thinking of yourself as a mini profit-and-loss center rather than just an employee.

For example, an administrative assistant handling incoming client phone calls helps to create a solid bond with those clients and strengthens the sales link with the company. In that way, she helps to make money for the company. This same individual is also skilled at answering questions that would normally be directed to her boss or other employees. She saves time and, therefore, saves money for her company.

Collect specific examples of the benefits that your company gains from your work and the specific or unique way that you accomplish your duties. Write these down and use them as selling points during your next performance review.

2. Become indispensable
Don't hide away in your office or cubicle. Look around you. Take notice of those roles, projects or activities that seem to be getting a higher level of attention or involvement from management. If you're not already a part of a critical project, then find ways to become more involved in these activities. Ask to be transferred to a critical area. Otherwise, volunteer for extra duties to support these activities. You'll be viewed as an employee who goes the extra mile while inoculating yourself against expendability when the pink slips get handed out.

3. Better to manage or produce?
When considered for a promotion from a production job to a junior manager role, think about how that could play out in a worsening economy. It may be to your advantage to keep your hand in production, as junior managers tend to be among the most expendable when a company downsizes.

4. Dust off your Rolodex
The time to cultivate your network is now, not when you need a favor. Make a list of friends and colleagues you haven't spoken with for a while. E-mail them or, if your relationship is deeper, invite them for coffee or lunch. Reconnect with a few people every month until you update your whole list and weed out irrelevant contacts. Use this opportunity to get reacquainted with contacts and catch up on events in your industry and market. Don't forget to share what you know as well.

5. Educate yourself
Increase your "profit value" to your employer by continually updating your knowledge and skills. Ask your immediate supervisor or HR department about continuing education opportunities. Some companies offer tuition reimbursements.

Another resource is the local chapter of your professional association, which often provides continuing education to members. Professional associations are also valuable sources of current information on your industry.

Update your résumé
While this won't really help keep your current job, if all else fails and you find yourself looking for a new job, it's a good idea to rewrite your résumé before you need it. When you create that new résumé, sell your next employer on how you've been an asset to your current employer. Give examples of how you've helped to either make money or save money for your previous employers. Focus on the benefits you can offer your next employer

In summaries, continuing building competitiveness for ourselves is what the article mentioned. We tend to forget that by staying in a job and hopping to another will gain us. As the matter of fact, with economy situation everywhere in this world, anyone and at anytime can lose a job and a career too. The way we continue in upgrading our skill, experiences and qualifications will stay long in our job and career.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Microsoft-Yahoo Search!

We have been hearing issues related with Microsoft bidding for Yahoo countless times in the news. At this moment, we are hearing twice attempts of Microsoft in ensuring the deal for 2nd biggest online search after Google. In this posting, I would like to invite some of the information, I have found viewed interesting about both Microsoft after Bill Gates and Yahoo with the shaken Jerry Yang.

An attempt of Carl Icahn, a name came into limelight of launching a proxy fight with the Yahoo Shareholders. Icahn, 72 ranked 53 in the Forbes list during 2006 make an effort with Microsoft Steve Ballmer to ensure the Yahoo Search engine were guaranteed within their hands. In addition, this battle will be kick - start in ability to remove top management of Yahoo including Jerry Yang as CEO.

On 14th July recently, Icahn delivered a proposal to Yahoo shareholders, he mentioned he has yet to see a company distort, omit, twist events as Yahoo did during the press conference on 12th July. Icahn explicitly explained the details of the open letter to Yahoo Share holders and the board such with below.

During the last week, Goldman Sachs called him a number of times asking him to relate to them any transaction that Microsoft might be interested in transacting with Yahoo! He discussed with them the possibility of doing a “Search only” deal wherein Microsoft would purchase “Search” from Yahoo! and pay Yahoo! for any searches that would originate from a Yahoo! content page.

Yahoo! felt that a deal of this nature would be very interesting, but only if Microsoft would guarantee the revenue that Yahoo! now received. This would obviously be a great deal for Yahoo! because Yahoo! would, for five years, receive a minimum of the $2.3 billion they are currently receiving as long as they continued to supply the page views and affiliate traffic they now had.

Heretofore, Microsoft had been unwilling to even come close to making this guarantee. However, after he negotiated with Steve Ballmer for the better part of a week, he agreed to the guarantee. Ballmer also agreed to commit $7.7 billion dollars to the transaction (consisting of a $1 billion payment for “Search”, a $2.8 billion loan and a $3.9 billion tender offer to Yahoo! shareholders).

Under the transaction, Yahoo! shareholders would receive $16.25 per share in distributions (consisting of cash and securities) and be left with a content company which would have a minimum guarantee of $2.3 billion per year of “Search” revenue from Microsoft and cost saving synergies from exiting the “Search” business that Yahoo! has publicly stated would be $750 million per year (excluding the benefits from reduction of stock compensation and other non-cash items).

However, Microsoft believes the synergies from Yahoo! exiting “Search” would be far superior and that Yahoo!’s 2009 GAAP operating income would exceed $2 billion. Microsoft would be making a substantial equity investment in the remaining company at a valuation of $19.50 per share. Furthermore, Yahoo! would be spared the great expense of maintaining “Search” as well as having to spend billions in developing new technology to compete with Google and Microsoft, which it is highly doubtful they would be able to do successfully. Additionally, Yahoo! would be able to avoid the great risk of seeing “Search” continue to lose market share and eventually melt away.

He spoke to Goldman Sachs and Roy Bostock on Thursday concerning the breakthrough with Microsoft. A call to discuss the details of the transaction was then set up among Microsoft, Yahoo! and me on Friday afternoon, July 11th. However to his surprise and consternation, on the Friday call Yahoo!, instead of being interested in the Microsoft offer, seemed to me to be focused on who would be running Yahoo!. Finally, Steve Ballmer suggested that they not spend the rest of Friday afternoon on corporate governance. “First tell us if you like the deal,” he said.

Steve Ballmer has made it clear to Icahn that if a new board consisting of Icahn nominees were to be elected, Microsoft would be willing to enter into discussions immediately regarding a transaction along the lines described above. If and when elected, he strongly believes that in very short order the new board would, subject to its fiduciary duties, be approving an offer along these lines for its shareholders.

So much and so much about the details revealed by Carl Icahn. I look forward for more interesting news on such possible merging or buy-over. Would it be someday Microsoft will use Yahoo Search instead of MSN engine they claimed not be able to rival Yahoo whatmore the superior Google? A Microsoft-Yahoo Search.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Essential of Nutrition

(Adapted from Dr. Ray D. Strand, M.D)

Have you seriously thought of if I say "What your doctor doesn't know about Nutritional Medicine may be killing you ". What would be running in your mind? Not possible? Doctors won't lie? The truth is Medical Doctors would NOT think of recommending anything besides of drugs that potential harmful to our body in long term. They would even tell you to forget about nutrition such as supplement or multivitamins.

In this posting, I would like to explore a little wider scope into today healthcare and how much our awareness in terms of the truth about it. Doctors or Physician today practices drugs application not disease prevention. Imagine the amount of prescriptions of drugs for patients high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, heart disease, and depression, to name just a few. As a result further discovery and use of antibiotics in the war against infectious disease, our philosophy in medicine has become: attack disease.

I won't want to be bore you further on yearly spend and amount prescriptions used worldwide figures. However, I would like to invite to understand the truth about actual graduating physicians received not more than 6% of formal training in nutrition. Nothing curls a physician's toes more readily than the moment his patient asks if he or she should be taking nutritional supplements. Most would say "They're just snake oil" "Vitamins just make expensive urine". Some patients persisted, the physician's then will suggest it may not hurt our body but should take the cheapest ones as it is believed vitamins most likely wouldn't help much either.

In reality nutritional medicines foreign to most physician as well as to public, this is true. Hence, that reflect of our today topic as mentioned above. The good news is that you do not have to be a physician in order to start practicing nutritional medicine, you , the patient themselves can start proactively preserving our health.The experiences from Dr. Ray Strand proof a valuable lesson to be learned about us underestimate nutritional supplement benefits for our body. If it is not because of his wife Liz developed fibromyalgia which has no cure. Dr. Strand felt very much hopeless as with more than 30 years experiences as physician do little help. He could only ease her condition by providing her lots of medication. At one point of time, his wife told that she married him because Dr. Strand is a physician and will take good care of her. Dr. Strand felt so wrong and wondered she had married the wrong person.

Being physicians will not help her better with introducing more and different drugs.His perception change after one of his wife's friend brought her with multivitamins with heavy anti-oxidants. Dr. Strand was dumbfounded as fibromyalgia was known no cure but seeing his wife making a good progress. After 3 months, she no longer required any medication or nebulizer treatment, she regains more energy and be able to stay later night. Her lungs recovered from pneumonia and symptoms of fibromyalgia improved tremendously.

Since then Dr. Strand curiously pursue further research on nutrition, and he picked up Dr. Kenneth Cooper's book about The AntiOxidant Revolution. He read thru about explanation by Dr. Cooper in terms of oxidative stress. It is indicated that the process was the underlying cause of chronic degenerative diseases. We all know about essential oxygen to our life, but what we don't know every chronic degenerative disease is the direct result of toxic effects of oxygen. It is the leading theory behind of an ageing process caused. We are also constantly facing attack from an army of pollutants in our air, food, and water. In addition, our stress lifestyles will add salt to the wound.

It also opens up possibility using anti-oxidants in cancer prevention due to damage in nucleus cells. Since oxidative stress could cause arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, macular degeneration, diabetes, parkinson and Crohn disease, nutritional supplements may also combat and control those illnesses. Through Dr. Strand further research he learned what had happened to his wife that became a turning point did proof that the strongest defense against these eases is our bodies own natural antioxidant and immune systems.

He concluded that using nutritional supplementation is considering as complementary medicine or preventive medicine. It is not about eradicating disease, it is about promoting vibrant health. He has no doubt that patients who take high quality nutritional supplements have a health benefit over those who don't even for the very sick lying on bed condition.

I will share further in my next posting about our repair system, heart disease causes, homocysteine, cardiomyopathy, chemoprevention on cancer, oxidative stress, autoimmune diseases, lung, arthritis, diabetes, neurodegenerative and fibromyalgia in part by part. It is indeed an eye opener for me as an alternative health care practitioner too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Oil Price and What's Next

I could actually see our relation on Petronas with oil price. I can also understand the great negative impact on us if today we do not gearing up pursuing alternatives energy to curb and manage current situation. By avoiding and not looking into the actual strategy and implementation, we will be experiencing another turmoil of 97/98 financial crisis.

However, what I failed to see Petronas today was very slow in pursuing renewal energy for us. As one of the Fortunes 500 companies, they should have known the criticality of being green in near future.

1. Much discussion and conferences among world leaders about promoting renewal energy as part of the alternative of crude oil. Green energy such as solar should be made widely and affordable. Make it free electricity then. We have been blessed on unlimited sunshine in our country, yet we still rely on TNB to provide us the electricity usage. One of the ways is to let Petronas joint effort with TNB to provide such resources to our people. With the capacity of technology and expertise from Petronas, they will be able to assist TNB in offering solar panels and grid control installation in the most affordable way for citizen like us. TNB, instead of worrying people will steal potential electricity cables/panels and resources resulting of heavy revenue lost, will focus on providing this renewal energy as new service. In return TNB can provide natural energy for Petronas on any electricity usage without any cost. Any taxation on such a service should be exempted for TNB and Petronas.

2. Instead investing in the hospital and medical industry, I also suggested Petronas pursuing wind energy such as country in US, Canada and The Netherlands. We have many high areas as hills and mountains contributed quite substantial space looking at the entire geographical of Malaysia. The wind turbine can be installed at many various locations to generate such natural electricity resources for industry and home usage. A wind turbine is a rotating machine which enables the conversion of kinetic energy in wind into mechanical energy. If the mechanical energy is used directly by machinery, such as a pump or grinding stones, the machine is usually called a windmill. If the mechanical energy is then converted to electricity, the machine is called a wind generator, wind turbine, wind power units (WPU) or wind energy converter (WEC). This natural source method has been widely practiced since way back by the Persian during 200BC, Roman Empire 250AD and practically used by others from 7th Century onwards. It could serve a backup energy for solar should grid control and panel not available or as a twin energy resource along with solar. All commercials and industries will be required to adapt this method and provide greater savings for expenses with incentives and tax rebates.

3. Water treatment and source that generated by hydroelectric dam will either jointly power by solar and wind energy. Water resource that powered by hydro-electric dam will not cause any green house effect and the actual source to generate hydro-electric dam should be reviewed. Today we still rely on petrol as the main source. By introducing twin energy as in solar and windmill quickly,we could have enjoyed far cheaper cost of water consumption. If there is any possibility of using alternative energy for water treatment by means should be encouraged. As the matter of fact, we don't really enjoy clean water as what it claimed to be, the effort of ensuring high technology filter being installed in the treatment area before we obtained via our tap at all our households and other industries. In the long term, we do not need to have extra filter to be installed in our home yard, and we are ensured with quality of our water consumption. It would greatly reduce any potential of maintenance cost of extra filter installed and our health quality will not be compromised.

4. Bio fuel or bio diesel which has been widely discussed for many years. In Malaysia, we have an agency to ensure the technology and research is being done appropriately. As to date,I see no progress in such an effort. Petronas will be the most ideal entity to speed up on such activities. One of the possibilities of using our palm oil to become our next source replacement of petrol. We should have been acted quickly in adapting this potential technology as it is clean and self sufficient. We are one of the largest producer of palm oil countries in the world. We have many opportunities in maximizing such as encouraged more job opportunity and land to pursue palm oil plantations. The rewards in long term is very much unlimited. At the same time, pursuing more effort in research and maximizing with multiplication of palm oil substances into oil/petrol replacement is definitely promising. Any possible of pursuing new and green energy, should be invested by the government such as providing incentives and heavy tax exemption. Why are we still not tapping this prospective method?

5. On NGV has been a losing money for Petronas, the government should re look and provide more incentive in selling and producing more gas as interim of using petrol. Providing incentives and price reduction for installation of NGV tank as part of the backup of petrol would be ideal and encouraged widely. Instead of just providing cash rebate to citizens like us will not be effective in medium-long term. Until, we have nationwide gas stations in place,we can still use petrol if we don't find any gas station. The government should encourage other oil and gas providers providing NGV service to consumers as well. By allowing such competition, we could let the gas price to be floated which is much affordable comparing to petrol price. Consumers could have extra choices to fill the tank with petrol and gas depending on usages. In the much longer term, I expect most electricity that powered a vehicle will be equipped with solar panel i.e. car battery. Disposing car battery inappropriately could cause environmental pollution. Gradually, we could introduce by installing solar panels as the next alternatives energy for future vehicles.

6. Our vehicles should be issued one time road-tax during our purchases. It should be incorporated with purchase price further itemized when quoted. National and other home assembled cars should abolish other related taxes to provide more affordable to own a car, especially for low-medium income earners.This will encourage more people to choose national cars with fuel saving concerns. Petronas with great capacity in technology should work with our national car providers such as Proton, Perodua and NAZA in improving the engine fuel saving consumption as much as possible. Once again, Petronas could generate further opportunity in venturing another potential field by improving and producing automobile engine technology for local and exported cars.

7. Older cars for more than 20 years on the road should be ready to trade-in and to be send for dismantling parts and other reproducible steel requirements. The steel industry will once again rise after falling of Perwaja. Production in melting and dismantling should be power by any renewal combination energy instead on relying of petroleum. As long the steel industries are willing to accept and be environmental friendly, they should adapt renewable energy as part of their production line. Any companies that pursuing this idea should be granted more tax exemption as part of the encouragement. If so, we could have addressed too many old cars in our city which may produce environmental unfriendly due to ageing and waste consumption from the car itself. Buyers who traded-in should be enjoying better rebate and discounted in purchasing a new national or home assembled cars.

8. The steel industries will be able to contribute in local consumption of building constructions activities at a lower cost. The materials that produced would be available for building better quality home for low and medium income earners. As all productions of renewable steels are done locally, the running cost is definitely lower. At the same time, we could improve and enhance our railway track by creating better and reliable track with lower maintenance cost. It would naturally promote train systems to be delivered and produced locally on railway track. Petronas could play a role by contributing some of their expertise in the fast-track railway engineering. Subsequently, our dream of staying in Ipoh but work in KL with less an hour train away will be materialized soon.

I may not be an economist but seeing a big picture approach from lay-man perspective it could be possible. We can then encourage all other oil and gas industries to participate and pursue for renewal/green energy. At the same time, increase higher taxes for income that generated from crude oil while providing huge incentives and relief taxes if pursuing in alternative energy.

We can then safely pursue less dependant on petrol and other crude oil. I believed a drastic drop of crude oil price will be happened.

Petronas should have this thought
by now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

20 Ways to reduce IT project failure: Part 3

Lesson 15: Always Perform a post-implementation review and publish the findings.

The post-implementation review is a vital process that must be undertaken if lessons are to be learned from the project. Despite the clear benefits, such a process can deliver, there are very few organizations who perform post implementation reviews in a formal and structured way.

The consequences of failing to perform a post implementation review are simple: the organization and more specifically, the people within it are denied the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. A post implementation review is designed to establish how well the project has met its business objectives. The scope of the review should, therefore cover all aspects of the project, such as business objectives, user explanations, user satisfaction, predicted benefits, technical requirements, supplier management and quality assurance.

The post implementation review is often the final task to appear in an IT project plan and is often added in the knowledge that it signifies the end of the project. This in many ways is the reason why the benefits of the review are never realized; the task itself is seen as a terminating activity rather than an initiating activity.

Whilst the post implementation review might well signify the end of development and implementation activities, there is still one remaining deliverable from the project, the post implementation review report. The failure of organization to learn the lessons from project failure is often simply because the post implementation review is never analyzed and used to improve future projects. Crucial information gained from suppliers, customers, developers, management, and users is more often than not, filed away in the project document repository, never to be used again.

Lesson 16: Project Management experience and leadership is Vital.

Successfully delivering an IT project is not jus about producing the project plans and writing reports, it is about dealing with people, handling conflict, negotiation and influencing others within the organization.

Successful projects are characterized by individuals who lead rather than manage. A good leader earns respect and is rewarded by working with a team who will " go the extra mile". In return, a good leader will display courage, common sense , authority and charisma. IT projects are likely to encounter difficulties along the way and having a good , strong leader at the helm may just be enough to turn a potentially doomed project into a successful one. It is often said of a good project manager, "the people who work for you should admire and respect you and your boss should think you're insane".

Even an experienced project manager with strong leadership qualities may still not be able to save a project that does not have executive support and business ownership. A good project manager will , however, be able to recognize the warning signs early enough in the project to take an appropriate course of action. Inexperience is often the reason why many project managers become so entangled with minor events that they fail to spot the serious issues which have the potential to jeopardize the whole project.

The use of experienced project managers is essential for ensuring that IT projects are delivered on time and within budget. Project management is a skill that takes time to master and is not something that can be learnt "on the job". If organizations are to improve the success of their projects they must invest in project management training schemes and develop an effective standard project management framework.

Business and IT staff should not be promoted into project management roles solely on the basis of their technical or commercial abilities. For those individuals who show a genuine desire to deliver successful projects into the organization, a combination of training and mentoring schemes must be established within the organization to support their career aspirations.

Lesson 17: Audit your projects

Audits provide the means to check and enforce quality standards across IT programs and projects. Audits also provide visibility of potential problems and ultimately can be used to protect organizations from commercial risk.

Lesson 18: Ensure that financial controls are in place.

Once budget for project phases and deliverables have been developed, a reporting framework should be implemented to enable the actual costs, variances and estimated costs to completion to be identified for each project activity.

Lesson 19: Build trust through open and effective communication

Effective communication is fundamental to the success of an IT project. When communication fails, it is likely to have a corresponding and detrimental impact on the project. Effective communication has one key objective- to enable information to be exchanged and understood between individuals or groups. It is the open and honest exchange information that allows rapport, trust, ownership and approval to be established and maintained throughout the project.

Whilst the widespread use of email as the primary means of communication within many organizations is a welcome factor, you cannot plan and control IT projects via email. Managers who send out a huge list of activities, roles responsibilities and milestones to an unsuspecting and uninformed audience via email in the hope that this will "get the job done quickly" are very much mistaken.

Human contact is vital if communication is to be effective. Face to face meetings with project stakeholders and team members should be encouraged wherever possible. Combining verbal and non-verbal communication within your meetings will ensure that the information is not only exchanged, but understood.

Lesson 20: We are only Human Being and mistakes tend to happen.

Whilst there may be fears that computers will one day rule our lives, it is somewhat reassuring to know that the awesome power of computer technology is nothing compared to the ability of a human being to make a mistake. Indeed, there are many cybernetic experts who would probably argue that this is only characteristic that differentiates us from our silicon counterparts.

Of course the point of the matter is not that we make mistakes (although reducing their regularity would be no bad thing) it is the fact that we do not include the possibility of them happening in our reasoning and as a consequence fail to manage such events when they do happen.

It is important to remember that no one individual or team is more important than the project itself. Humility is a virtue that differentiates those who consistently fail from those who learn from their mistakes. Indeed, humility is arguably the most important virtue for those engaged in projects consuming large amounts of investor's money.

In conclusion, it is almost impossible by following thru the entire 20 lessons or ways, one will be successful each of individual projects. However, it is merely a guideline provided as part of lessons to learn after a completion or project review or project delivery. Enjoy your reading then.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Romance of Three Kingdom- Malaysia Version

After many thoughts and reading of the current political scenario, I have been seduced by our current political scenarios in Malaysia. Not because of I'm keen to know about the politic but is the turmoil we are experiencing from the 8th March Election till today about accusation of sodomy for Anwar Ibrahim. At the same time, I felt amused by the some of the statement that unrealistic and can be mind boggling.

The original Romance of Three Kingdoms highlighted few names that on 3 different side. The 1st party consists of Liu Bei, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu assisted by ZhuGe Liang. The second party are from the Sun family, Sun Ce the father that fight for a dynasty in Jiangdong and with Sun Quan the successor. The last but not least would be Cao Cao who self declared as the Prime minister left for Southern China.

Not to make you bored about the actual story, I want to invite you to position the character that mentioned into 3 different side in Malaysia political scenarios. They are firstly the current Prime Minister in denial, Abdullah Badawi and waiting to take the helm Najib Razak. The other party would be of course the Prime minister in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim and his team. Last but not least would be the most respected and well known leader former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir.

I conclude our political scenarios seemed to be what was being written in Romance of Three Kingdoms. The differences compared to this chinese literature would be some character may fit with additional good character quality, some may come with lesser leadership quality.

The Prime Minister in denial was very similar to Cao Cao but the difference is Cao Cao character far better than our Abdullah Badawi. The actual character Cao Cao mirror would be non than our Najib Razak that involved in huge conspiracy about Mongolian murdering case. From the literature, Cao Cao was recognized as a brutal person, he will not hesitate to execute and kill anyone that possessed a showstopper for his mission. Hence, he was known as the dictator and the most afraid leader in this kingdom.

The Sun Ce Family Kingdom have been always wanted to defeat Cao Cao troops. His intention also wanted to co-operate with Liu Bei and the gang on this matter. However, the actual plan was Sun Family wanted to unite and take the helm as the Emperor. From this ambitious intention, it fits Anwar Ibrahim and the PR team. Anwar and his PR team have been always and consistent non-stop luring more BN MP's to join them. He uses his well known skills in oratory to convince them of the bright future in joining Anwar and PR. With the recent case, of second time of being accussed of sodomizing it could be either a conspiracy, or it could be nature character of Anwar Ibrahim himself.

Last but not least would be Liu Bei and the gang, during the battle and war Liu Bei lost his two buddies Zhang Fei and Guan Yu which was assasinated by his enemy. With such a great lost warrior that formed a formidable alliance, with full avenge, he launch and attack to their enemies with 750,000 soldiers disregard ZhuGe Liang advice. ZhuGe Liang is one of the most brilliant advisor and war strategists during that time. He managed to overcome quite a number of turbulences and turnmoil that will greatly affect them. This explained that scenario seemed to be non than others similar to Tun Dr. Mahathir with his hidden "warriors" now. Tun as we may know of was a very lambastic person in voicing any issue. He will not give any tolerance and any chance should external parties wanted to interfere in our domestic issue. Tun can be considering the combination courage of Liu Bei and brilliant mind of ZhuGe Liang. He is also proven to be a visionary and great leader in his ability to execute and solve problems. Unfortunately, Tun no longer young anymore and at his elderly age his contribution maybe limited after all.

What would be the outcome of such a War between these three kingdoms in Malaysia? We'll probably have to keep watching and see what it turn out to be....One thing for sure normal citizens like you and me will suffer with the challenges of high oil price, shortage of food products, instability of economy facing the external factor as well as pressing ethnic issues being raised. Until we have a great leader emerge..... let's pray harder the day will come.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

20 Ways to reduce IT project failure: Part 2

Lesson 8: Always review the viability of the project

Projects should not proceed without first establishing a sound business case for doing so. Within the business case for the project, there should be a firm understanding of the investment appraisal of the project and an analysis of the risks that may prevent or diminish the delivery of benefits.

Once the project has been initiated, it is vital that the conditions on which success is dependent are constantly monitored. Change can affect the project in many ways, regardless of whether that change is internal to the project, or external. The impact of change may well render the original investment appraisal obsolete.

Equally, the viability of the project should be reviewed at key stages throughout its lifecycle, especially when decisions are taken which may alter the objectives on which the project was built. The business case should, therefore, be a constant source of reference throughout the project. If the project is deemed to be in serious difficulties, with little chance of it delivering the expected benefits its viability and continued funding must be reviewed at the earliest opportunity.

Do not be afraid to terminate the project if the benefits case for the investment no longer holds true. If the decision is taken to terminate the project, do not let the procedure become a long-winded and drawn out affair. Abandon the project and move forward, making sure you learn some valuable lesson out of it. A key factor in the cost of a failed project is often the length of time taken to stop it. If you are in any doubt as to the viability of the project, stop development and audit the project. If this cannot be performed within the organization, seek advice from outside consultant. Additional costs will be incurred but, ultimately, they may save you from financial and commercial disaster.

Lesson 9: Manage external suppliers

It is of paramount importance that formal terms of reference are established for all external suppliers to ensure that the exact scope of their work is clear and unambiguous. In particular, attention should be paid to the quality management systems of the supplier to ensure that they are adequate and can be assessed within existing quality systems.

There are considerable risks in relying too much on assurances made by contractors that the system can be delivered and not having sufficient involvement with them when the project experiences problems. The key lesson must be to develop close relationships with suppliers, but avoid undue reliance on them. At all times customers must retain ownership of the project and its progress.

Control must be established firmly during the procurement process and must continue throughout the project. From a number of the projects examines within this book, it is clear that the capabilities and financial standing of external suppliers must be reviewd as part of the procurement and tendering process.

Lesson 10: Invest in quality

Introducing of quality systems is not cheap; quality standards, assurance processes, tools and training will all contribute towards the cost of quality. For business and IT managers under pressure to deliver systems into the business as soon as possible, quality is often sacrificed in the hope that delivery times can be reduced. For short term it may to ease schedule pressure but will failure to invest in quality significantly diminishes the return on investment for the project.

The lack of testing and defect prevention is still one of the main contributors to IT project failure. Testing should not seen as a single activity that must be completed before the project can be implemented but as a program of tests that when complete, will provide the confidence to plan the release of the product. It is important to remember that the key of testing is not just to ensure technical governance, it is also to protect financial investment from the customer.

Lesson 11: Contingency plan

Fundamental to the risk management process is the need to identify and manage risks within the project. This is particularly important for organizations who outsource the delivery of IT projects to 3rd party organizations because it is likely that risks which are left unmanaged by the supplier will transfer back to the customer with disastrous consequences.

Business and IT stakeholders must, therefore develop contingency plans that can be implemented in the event that the risk of non-delivery actually happens. Some consideration should also be made concerning possible compensation payments to customers who may suffer from a degraded service or reduced business efficiency.

Lesson 12: Senior Management should involved throughout the project

Senior management have a crucial role to play in championing the successful development of IT systems. Decisions regarding IT projects must be treated as business decisions rather than technical ones, and have the full support of senior management. There is no point in having a formal control structure within the organization if senior management do little more than to rubber stamp decisions made at lower levels within the organization. They must accept that the responsibility to track and control the project is needed.

Lesson 13: Owner that accountable for its success

Whilst executive ownership of IT projects is vital to their success, there is considerable evidence to suggest that this is either weak or non-existent. There must above all be a single strong owner for the project, especially where a number of parties havea vested interest in its outcome. Throughout the project, compromises were made in order to please everyone with the ultimate consequence of satisfying no one.

Lesson 14: Software Development project must adopt Capability Maturity Model.

Achieving software excellence takes time and costs money, but do not use this as an excuse for doing nothing about it. Building poor-quality systems will ultimately cost more than building high-quality systems. As an absolute minimum processes that support a basic level of configuration management, requirements management, software quality assurance and project planning must be adopted within the project. Do not rely on the dedication and expertise of your development staff to deliver the project. In a nutshell, if they leave, your project will suffer.

To Be Continued...