Where all the water has gone

Many corporate industrial processes use a staggering amount of water to produce their products. In short it takes 42,747 gallons of water per day for you to wear the clothes you want, drink your mocha latte, feed your pets, drive the vehicle you bought and consume the beverage of your choice.

-270 gallons of water to produce $1 worth of sugar.

-200 gallons of water to make $1 worth of pet food.

-140 gallons of water to make $1 worth of milk.

-2,900 gallons of water to produce a single pair of jeans.

-180 to 328 gallons of water to produce a 2-liter bottle of soda.

-20 gallons of water to make a pint of beer.

-37 gallons of water to produce the ingredients to make a single cup of coffee.

-39,000 gallons of water to produce the average domestic car, including the tires.

So the next time you buy something consider the water shortage and call out the automotive manufacturers, coffee company’s, the clothing industry and pet food industry – otherwise known as Corporate America.

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The Anti-Social Digital Society

  If you are like most people, you probably can’t remember the last time you un-plugged from the information overload device you call a smartphone, or the last time you turned it off and enjoyed the solitude of nature. It has been said that 96% of people who own a smartphone keep it within four feet of them at all times and there are 6 billion people who own a cellphone according to the world census report of 2013. Time Magazine published an article about a U.N. study which found that more people have cell phones than toilets. Out of the world’s estimated 7 billion people, 6 billion have access to mobile phones and only 4.5 billion have access to working toilets.

  Social Media is marketed as a social activity, however when you breakdown social media in today’s society it actually makes people un-sociable to the people in their immediate vicinity. Young kids and even adults ignore the environment around them and don’t communicate with the people in front of them while they are on their phone checking for Facebook updates, receiving text, etc. Social Media and cellphones have been distracting the youth for so long, that is becomes difficult for them to physically interact with people in the same room.

  In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people to look someone in the eye when they are having a conversation. Society is becoming so dependent on the instant information that is constantly being pushed to us that it is hard for young kids to be creative and find something to do without the internet.The very bases of communication and the simple enjoyment of an in depth conversation is becoming a thing of the past. Look across the room, look around you in a restaurant, how many people are on their cellphone? In today’s fast paced information pushing society, when 4 people sit down at a booth in a restaurant, three of them will take out their cellphone and start communicating with someone who isn’t at the table.

  The enjoyment of receiving and reading a hand written letter from a loved is gone. Along with leaving a note on someone’s door because you stopped by when they were out. What has taken the place of these simple gestures is an unexplainable obsession with being connected to everybody all the time. What has happened in the civilian world of communication has hindered and excelled the society that we live in today.

  Digital communication has helped advance society and has pushed today’s business culture to respond more quickly to transactions, sales and prospecting because of it. It has also hindered our youth due to the mass amounts of communication that streams through the hand held devices. This has become a positive movement for businesses & the baby boomers, but it is also a negative movement for the younger generation. Without the advancement of the smartphone, social media would not be as popular. Think about it, if you could not update your status, add a picture from your phone or tag a friend in a post from your cellphone, would you spend the time to do so on the internet from your computer? This is just one form of instant communication that becomes a parallel to the instant gratification that American society looks for.

4 Tips For Meetings

1) Have an Agenda

Prepare an agenda and share it with everyone before the meeting is due to take place. Allow others to comment on the topics of discussion. Having an agenda keeps the meeting on track and keeps everybody on the same page when jumping from topic to topic. You should prepare your agenda in advance so you are better prepared for the meeting and follow the agenda in order to keep the team on track.

2) Make Documents Available Online

Meetings are prone to generating documents, handouts, graphs, budget analysis, etc. A few ways to make sure each team member has access to the documents is to upload them to your website, send them out via email or utilize cloud tools online for ease of access. Keeping your group up to date on current news, issues, etc. is an important part to communication within your group.

3) Meet Outside Meetings

Take advantage of other leaders in your group to assist you and be willing to accept suggestions. It is effective to meet with other leaders in your group to assist you with planning and implementing your project. This sub-committee could be helpful when directing and facilitating information and procedure to the rest of the group. It also let’s other leader’s in your team be appreciated and involved.

4) Start Quick, Finish on Time

It is important that you start and finish your meeting on time. This show’s respect for other people’s time and it will also make sure that you get the most discussion time possible from your allocated slot. Be mindful of which topics are top priority and those that aren’t in case you become pressed for time. Your job is to make sure the meeting runs smoothly and effectively while continuing to be productive. You must be flexible, too. Sometimes meetings follow the agenda but don’t go as planned, it is okay, just keep the enthusiasm and finish on time.

If there is a disruptive element that starts to delay the progress of the meeting, simply request that the issue be discussed privately after the meeting. Be sure to handle interruptions and difficult behavior quickly and professionally so it does not negatively impact your group’s objective.

Successful Project Management

The two most important components are the Scope Definition and the Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS, for controlling and managing a successful project. These two components will be used throughout your entire project to ensure that all your work gets completed. They will act as control mechanisms throughout the project to ensure the success of the project.

Every project starts with a Scope Statement. The Scope Definition then elaborates this Scope Statement on. The Scope Definition divides the Scope Statement into major deliverables. These major deliverables are then broken down into the WBS. The WBS is a complete checklist of all the work that must be done so the project can be completed successfully. High-level categories of work are broken down into activities or tasks. Activities or tasks are then further broken down so you can assign a reasonable level of work effort to each activity or task. Many project management professionals use the 80-hour rule.

You can then apply resources, dates, and cost and assign an estimate to your activities or tasks once you have created the WBS. Some of the more common estimating techniques are Analogous (Top Down), Delphi (Bottom Up), and Program Evaluation and Review Technique (P.E.R.T.). Project management models utilize these estimating techniques to improve the accuracy of initial work effort estimates to shrink the variance gap between baselines and actual schedule and cost.

A Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) has various names, but all with the same purpose: to clarify and link resources to the Scope Definition and WBS. It is important to determine the level of involvement and responsibility of that work by each resource as roles and responsibilities are assigned to various work assignments on the project. For example, both the Project Sponsor and the Project Manager are responsible for the projects success, but at different levels. These levels may be defined by who actually does the work, who has input, who is informed, and who approves or signs off on that work.

In plain English; Each individual must sign off and take responsibility for their part in the project. Each project sector must start when scheduled, finish on time and stay within budget.

Twitter is Terrific!

Facebook is blowing up everyday with new businesses, like pages, embedded platform codes and more…Simply put, Facebook is good for business. But what about the other popular social network platform that is steadily rising in popularity? What about Twitter? I have had many people who are getting into online marketing ask me “So what does Twitter do for businesses?”
So here are a few ideas of how Twitter can be incorporated into your business.

Twitter is a communication platform that helps businesses stay connected to their customers. As a business, you can use it to quickly share information with people interested in your company, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and other people who care about your company. As an individual user, you can use Twitter to tell a company (or anyone else) that you’ve had a great—or disappointing—experience with their business, offer product ideas, and learn about great offers.

The other PERT

No, it’s not the shampoo…PERT stands for Program Evaluation & Review Techniques. This is the main scheduling technique that I use the most, simply because it is a more optimistic type of scheduling & planning tool and it uses time estimates to give an expected time of completion. This process can help you figure out how much time is needed to complete a project. PERT has the ability to monitor and evaluate the changes within the schedule by determining whether or not the project will be completed within the scheduled time frame by developing alternative plans. This style of cost and schedule control allows a huge amount of sophisticated data to be presented in a manner that contractors, engineers and customers can view and understand it, while making joint decisions. Some of the positive aspects of utilizing PERT is it cuts project cost and time, coordinates the schedule while it expedites planning and eliminates the idle time. This process provides better scheduling and control of subcontractors and their activities. On the flip side, the negative aspects of using PERT are that it is time and labor intensive and it lacks ownership in the estimates when used in large scale projects. It also lacks historical data gathering for time & cost estimates while assuming it can use unlimited resources.