Home Security System Advice

Home security is about safeguarding your home, family and possessions and there is no better way to provide for the safety of your family than with a full home security system.New technologies have created a whole new generation of home security products that allow you to live more safely, comfortably, and economically. Modern home security systems boast state of the art wireless technologies, 24 hour monitoring, smoke detection and a host of value added services including emergency call, medic alert, vehicle response and more. While this is great protection for the family home, with such a vast array of home security products available its often difficult to gage your individual home security needs. My advice consult a security expert. Not a smooth talking technology salesman, but a licensed security installer who is prepared to come out to your property, conduct a thorough security appraisal and then work with you to find a home security system that fits both your needs and budget.Home security is more than a big dog, or a loud alarm, or a high tech electronic gate and CCTV monitored driveway system. As every house has its own natural security strengths and weaknesses there is no one security system or security plan that fits all properties. It is for this reason that a quality home security system needs to be custom designed to suit your property.There are many reputable companies who sell proven, sophisticated home security systems but without a proper appraisal of your home security vulnerabilities and an awareness of the range of home security product options available today you could be selling yourself short on both protection and cash.The money you save not by utilizing the planning services of a specialist security consultant/installer is quickly lost when your home security system is breached. You can replace items but never the sentiment attached to the original, so be smart and use a professional licensed home security planner and installer.

Business Process Vs Project Management Process

All attendees of “Project Management… by the Numbers” know that every project is a project within another project(!). In other words, every project we manage is a part of another bigger project. So, what is the difference between a business process and a project management process?Let’s begin the answer with an example…The CEO of the organization believes the project is to bring a new product to market. Let us call the product the Wireless Internet Waffle Iron (WiWi).The CEO knows he/she has a process to get the WiWi though his company. This includes identifying the best possible WiWi and all the way to sustaining the WiWi when it is sold to the consumer.The company has a published plan based on stages for this process (for example; Stage 1 – Ideation, Stage 2 – Assessment, Stage 3 – Feasibility, Stage 4 – Development, Stage 5 – Commercialization, Stage 6 – Sustainment), in order to get the WiWi from one stage to another.Most often, the process progresses by passing the responsibility of the project from one group to the next along the way of each stage. It does make sense that Engineering manages the conceptual work and Marketing manages the marketing.Because of this process, the CEO passes the project to his direct reports with confidence that the project can now be managed on time, on budget and that the Wireless Internet Waffle Iron will be exactly as envisioned.Working with my clients, I have identified this scenario hundreds times over the years and it is easy to recognize this as a “business process” as this is how the business (company) views the work as a project.Now, back to our scenario…The WiWi project is running behind schedule because the assessment stage took longer than planned and the project is running over budget because the feasibility stage was not properly analyzed up front. Now you (the next project manager in line) have been assigned the development stage and are expected to bring the project back on time and schedule as well as manage all the work the development stage requires.All this time the CEO continues to have confidence in his people and processes that the WiWi project will be on time, cost and objectives. You are backed in the corner with this (can’t let the CEO down) and have to cut corners as they did during the feasibility stage.After some major frustration, a few all-nighters and some creative reporting, you breathe a sigh of relief and can pass the project with all of its problems to the next group in the process line. Unfortunately, the WiWi is still over budget and running even later.What we have described above is a classic business process that is mistaken for a project management process. The difference is that the business process sees the product as the project, not the stages or even the tasks as individual projects.Business processes are absolutely necessary for management to plan and work from, but if we view each stage and task as a project, and the leader of each stage and the doer of each task as a project manager, then we will have an accountability chain within the project. Back to our scenario… but this time as a Project Management Process.The Four Phases of a Project Management Process…Phase One – Concept/FeasibilityThe WiWi has been dropped into the business process by the CEO. The person that is leading the Ideation Stage must consider this stage a project within itself, and themselves as the Project Manager.Ideation is a part of the WiWi project, but has its own separate time, cost and objectives. These must be defined and agreed to by the Ideation Phase Project Manager and a Project Customer (maybe the Project Customer has to be the CEO!).Before agreement can happen, the Ideation Stage Project Manager has to be convinced his/her part of the WiWi Project can be accomplished within the time, cost and objective constraints given. In order to determine the true TCO vs. the goal TCO, each member of the Ideation Project Team must view their tasks as projects with themselves as the Task Project Manager and the Ideation Stage Project Manager as their Project Customer. Each person then follows the same project management process to gain agreement that their tasks can be accomplished to the individual time cost and objective constraints given.When the entire team agrees all tasks can be done based on individual concept/feasibility studies, agreement can be reached or negotiated between the Ideation Stage Project Manager and the WiWi Project Manager.Wahoo – Phase 1 done!Phase Two – Organization/ScheduleThe Ideation Stage Project Manager now has agreement at a high level to TCO of the Ideation Stage, so it is time now to do detailed planning and scheduling of the Ideation Stage Project of the WiWi Project.After reconfirming tasks and team members schedules, a critical path analysis is completed by the Ideation Phase Project Manager (including detailed costs) and run by the Ideation Phase Project Customer for another agreement and:Phase Three – ExecutionDouble Wahoo – It’s time to actually do all the Ideation Stage tasks.The Ideation Stage Project Manager manages the critical path tasks, people and budget, and in turn delivers the Ideation Stage Project to the Project Customer.The Ideation Stage is almost complete (not quite, but almost) because:Phase Four – Review/AuditNow it is time to review the project management during the Ideation Stage Project. Did we do enough concept/feasibility? Did the team members follow-through on their promises? How can we improve the project management process? Etc.Your part of the WiWi Project, the Ideation Stage Project, has been successfully managed by using a project management process. I think a party is now in order, don’t you?So, back to our original question: What is the Difference between a Business Process and a Project Management Process?The answer: The difference is that the business process sees the product as the project, not the stages or even the tasks as individual projects.We as everyday project managers are responsible for the successful completion of the time, cost and objectives of our piece of the Wireless Internet Waffle Iron Project, not the whole thing.If you are the CEO (or the CEO’s designated authority) and want the WiWi on time, on cost and on objectives, then consider each stage within the business process a project and allow the project management process to work.But for now, back to us, the Project Managers. When you get your assignment, whether it is a stage or a task, ask who your Project Customer is and stick to the four project management phases of your specific work.Phase One – Concept/Feasibility (What is it?)
Phase Two – Organization/Schedule (How to do it?)
Phase Three – Execution (Doing it!)
Phase Four – Review/Audit. (How did we do?)Now THAT’S a project management process!

The Real Value of Woodworking Plans

The first thing I ever tried to construct out of wood, as a boy of seven years, was a soapbox derby racing car. I planned to make it out of wood pieces and metal pieces I found lying around. I soon found out that I had absolutely no idea of how to do this. I bent over nails and hit my thumb with the hammer many times. Soon, I felt overwhelmed and surrendered completely. I could have used some adult help and I certainly could have utilized a good set of plans.Many years later, I emerged as a professional woodworker and furniture designer and president of a corporation that made hand-made, custom furniture for well-do-do clients. In between the soapbox derby car and the furniture corporation, I made a lot of mistakes and learned from each one of them. What assisted me in the beginning was the revelation that reasonable woodworking plans were to be had that could show me how to make things out of wood. I discovered that some plans were badly drawn and often ambiguous, which left me scratching my head about what I ought to do next.Sometimes, I would find well-thought-out, well-drawn, step-by-step plans that I could actually use. They had not only finished, easy-to-follow drawings, they had clearly-written, detailed directions and a precise catalog of materials needed. I discovered that with this type of plan, I could not lose.To start, I would look for plans that I admired and then follow them exactly to the end. I absorbed a lot of basic, intermediate and advanced woodworking abilities from doing this. As I grew, I would use plans that I felt secure in changing to my taste, just a bit, here and there. As time went on and my abilities developed, I tried drawing my own plans, thus giving an outlet to my individual creativity.To date, I never initiate a project without a plan in my hands, whether it be someone else’s plan or my own. So, I guess what I am pointing out is that the beginning woodworker should consider following someone else’s plans precisely and then, as his or her woodworking skills evolve, branch out into changing plans and even drawing your own plans.Am I done with following pre-made plans? Not at all! In fact, I continue to make use of them. Now, at the very least, they give me ideas for projects that most likely would have never entered my mind. They are quite effective for constructing things around the house, inside and out.Are you excited at the thought of initiating a new woodcraft project, learning new skills and building what is drawn in the plans to a textbook finish? There are plans for beginner, intermediate and advanced expertise levels so you can straightforwardly pick a plan that is in concert with what you have learned previously and what you are ready to learn.I was going to say “Good Luck” to you but following these expertly-crafted plans has very little to do with luck or skill. All you need to know how to do is follow simple, clearly written directions. So, instead, I’ll just close with “Have Fun” and “Be Proud” of the end result!Bob Gillespie
WoodworkerAbout the Author:

Top 10 Marketing Tools for Your Online Business Website

Does your website mean business? Are you getting the traffic you want? Does it send you qualified leads? How is your percentage of online sales growing? How do you choose among the vast and ever growing array of online marketing tools to give your online business website a boost? Here is the top 10 list of tools I recommend for the participants in my internet marketing workshops. If you set these up, and use them effectively, you will be far ahead of the game.Hardware
Even if you are not the workshop type, pay attention to your hardware. I’m amazed at the amount of frustration people tolerate with outdated equipment. This may seem like stating the obvious, but if you attend one of my workshops you will need a reasonably up-to-date portable computer with wireless card, charger, and power supply.
Firefox Web Browser
While it’s possible to use any modern browser for internet marketing, I strongly recommend Firefox, because some tools do not yet work with Internet Explorer. If you are not already using it, search on Firefox, and download the latest version. If you are already using Firefox, check that you have the latest version. In your Firefox browser click on Check for Updates from the Help menu.
SEO Toolbar
While you’re attending to Firefox, and add the SEOMoz toolbar. Think of this as your internet marketing Swiss Army Knife. Adding this to your toolbar will give you instant feedback on how your site stacks up against other sites in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Search on, download, and install SEOMoz toolbar.
Spreadsheet Program
If you want to build your business on the web, you will get nowhere without setting business goals, marketing goals, and measuring progress. Spreadsheets are simple and effective ways to do this. Check that your laptop has a spreadsheet program like Word. If not, you can get free office software including a spreadsheet program at:
For PC: search on OpenOffice
For Mac: search on OpenOffice for Mac
Word Processing Program
Don’t laugh. Getting found and doing business on the web is not about fancy tools, magic bullets, and over designed websites. It’s about generating original content that people want, will search to find, and will link to. While most modern websites have a content management system, to create really compelling articles, you will need a good word processing program like Word. You may need to you’re your work as a text file before uploading it to your website, but a good word processing program will help you in the planning and writing stags. Again, you can get free office software including a word processing program at the above website addresses.
Google Account
If you don’t already have a Google account, sign up for one. You will be using some of their free internet marketing tools. If you don’t have a Google account, sign up for one by searching on Google account new. Sign into your Google account and scroll down the page to My Products and set up the following:
Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool
Think of Google AdWords as your marketing research tool. You may not be ready to place ads. But, you can still use their free keyword research tool. Create an AdWords account.
Google Analytics
Think of Google Analytics as your internet marketing GPS. Properly configured, it allows you to get data to plug into your spreadsheet to see where you are in relation to your internet marketing goals. It’s best to set up Google Analytics linked to your Google AdWords account. Do this by logging into your AdWords account, and select Google Analytics from the Reporting and Tools drop-down menu. Follow the prompts and use your existing account information.
Google Webmaster Tools
Think of Google Webmaster Tools as a stethoscope to help you check your visibility on Google. Search on Google webmaster tools.
XML Sitemap Generator
A quality sitemap is important to get your pages indexed by search engines. Search on XML Sitemap Generator.There are many more internet marketing tools I could recommend. But these, in my opinion, are the ones to seriously improve your online business website performance.