Sunday, January 22, 2006 - Posts
When preparing a slide desk for a presentation I often look at other Microsoft talks and sometimes borrow common icons and graphics, but normally I can never find the one I remember seeing. So I collected up a few icons from the PDC/TechEd slides and put them together for easy download.
We've got people, buildings, computer, data sources, connectors, etc. Download the full ppticons.ppt (4Mb) file.
Also I've got a few slides with common layout and diagrams (4Mb) and backgrounds (2Mb).
If you are giving a talk remember these presentation tips (and these). Also structure your slides when you are selling a solution to focus on:
- Your solution
- Business model
- Underlying magic/technology
- Marketing and sales
- Projections and milestones
- Status and timeline
- Summary and call to action
(Note: These images are copyright Microsoft and therefore I'm assuming it is probably alright to use them when giving talks on Microsoft technologies but otherwise you should seek approval before use)
Excel '12' is being greatly enhanced in the business intelligence space, which is great news as alot of users would never leave Excel if they didn't have too.
I've briefly mentioned KPIs before and support for PivotTables is looking excellent.
A KPI has four main components:
- Value. The current value of the business metric – this could be a physical measure like Sales, a calculated measure like Profit, or a custom calculation defined specifically in the KPI.
- Goal. The target for the business metric – this is usually an MDX expression that resolves to a value.
- Status. A number defining the current status of the Value, normalized in the range -1 (very bad) to +1 (very good) – this is also an MDX expression.
- Trend. An indication defining how the business metric is developing over time – getting better or worse relative to its goal. Trend is also normalized between -1 and 1, and also an MDX expression.
Using simple graphics makes figures and KPIs much easier to quickly glance.
The quick formatting with data bars and icon sets should keep many a manager happy with RAG (Red, Amber, Green) status reports.
I've mentioned before about the Microsoft Technet site 'How Microsoft does IT' and they have another good video explaining one of their internal systems called ManagePoint.
"ManagePoint is a centralized intranet-based web application that provides key information about a manager's organization, staffing, expense, and policy compliance."
It takes alot of work and effort to get multiple systems talking together especially a cross business boundaries.
Griffin Caprio talks about how Microsoft's products work reasonably well together and I have to agree. They are far from perfect, but most companies have a difficult time getting their own internal IT systems and processes working together - whether it is a single username/password for employees to remember or multiple intranets or multiple CRMs or multiple similar line of business applications.
I noticed Barclays Capital have some public demos of their electronic trading systems, it's interesting again as these companies tend to be very competitive with each other on IT solutions.
Saw this interesting blog post on 'Estimating Project Costs - Not a Black Art' by a web development team at Microsoft. They discuss different way of estimating and how varied timescales can be - will the answer be different if you are asked on a Monday morning to on a Friday afternoon?
On the same subject Steve McConnell of Code Complete, Rapid Development and Software Project Survival Guide (to name a few) has a new book coming soon on Software Estimation. His books are a must read by any developer/project manager and they do stand re-reading every couple of years.
Also on the reading front, Matt Davey points out another upcoming book, Practical .NET for Financial Markets which sounds interesting.