In developing countries like Pakistan, economic decision making has never been easy. The growth has been unsustainable largely because of political instability, wars, misplaced priorities, and military interventions. However, the single largest factor of this ‘economic dilemma’ has been inability of society to understand how economies work.
Unlike the ‘ideal scenarios’, the economic scope of Pakistani public has not gone beyond ‘inflation’ and price of commodities. In recent times, only addition to this ‘public scope of economic performance’ has been the price of dollar. People determine the success and failure of a government, in terms of prices of commodities and currency. The recent episode of dollar’s depreciation against Pakistani rupee reinforces the same idea. (more…)
Project managers are always under constant pressure to deliver the assigned tasks in the given budget and timeline. Here, one has to have a handsome experience, relevant expertise, and hands on experience on up-to-date supportive applications. The following 4 trendy suggestions are surely going to help you, if you take them practically.
Strategic thinkers and corporate decision-makers have to modify their tactics and campaigning tools after every new statistic release and market reports. PEW Research Center has recently released its ‘social media update 2013‘, a report that entails some very valuable insight for the digital and social media marketers. If you have already made a New Year social plan of action, have a look into these stats and update the strategy.
In the following, I am sharing some key points out of that comprehensive report. (more…)
Looking at extensive algorithmic changes in the past couple of years, we can say that Search engine optimization (SEO) has matured. Probably, all popular spamming tricks aimed at quicker results are no more relevant. This led to a strong perception that Google hates SEO (which it doesn’t actually) and that SEO is no more relevant (another misperception). Some people started believing that Google wants to promote its AdWards program to earn more money and therefore it is deliberating killing search engine optimization. (more…)
Has your project failed, ever?? If not, then you should register yourself with the “World Book of Guinness Record.” Around 99.99% people would say ‘yes’ and admit their failure in achievement of a given benchmark.
In the following, you can see some key factors that lead SEO project managers to failure. Or in polite terms, these factors don’t let them obtain desired results. (more…)
Ahmad is working at a progressive information technology company. Soon after his appointment, he was promoted to the position of digital content manager, where the entire content creation process was to be managed by him. His friends envied him for the abrupt promotion or jump to the senior position and he was also feeling extremely joyful. However, the happiness moment was shorter than he imagined. Despite putting all the available human and physical resources, his department was unable to meet the desired productivity level and required quality standards.
At the time of his appointment, the company was facing a serious gap between demand and supply of the content products, which compelled Ahmad to focus on the volume of the work. It was quite good approach for a couple of weeks or say a month; however, the problem aggravated with the quality complaints alongside rejections by the clients. The company lost many clients in a very short span of time and that crippled its financial and operational liberty. Adding fuel to fire, he had no idea of pending work, delayed projects and extent of missing work. Ahmad was being grilled by people in marketing, sales and senior managerial positions for his inability to meet expectations.
Ahmad was quite anxious, not about his job, but about what went wrong? He was convinced that he has done quite a handsome job, with regards to almost ending the gap between supply and demand of the content items. However, the loss of clients, excessive rejections, weak project tracking and poor reports on various projects were something, he could not understand the reason of. His CEO assigned him the task of finding out the key reasons behind all the mess and being some practical suggestions to get rid of the entire mess.
On a weekend, he took some time and spent a day long with few quality management books. The sole purpose of his study was to find the exact ‘bottle-neck’ and how to fix it? After spending a handsome time with books and consultations with good friends, he was convinced that “our learning process never ends and it should remain continue”. Put yourself in this situation and ask, what actually went wrong?
Efficiency & Effectiveness:
To understand this in an easier manner, I am quote a paragraph from Rough Guider’s ’40 Tried & Tested Ways of How to Become More Productive at Work’; “efficiency is doing something as fast as possible without making mistakes. For instance, you build a quality ladder as fast as possible, using the right tools, right materials and right workforce. Effectiveness is doing the right thing, also as fast as possible, without making mistakes.Let’s take the example further. Once you have completed the ladder you remember that you need to use it in the garden to pick apples. However, you have assembled it in your upstairs bedroom. As a result, you will now have to dismantle it and start again outside. You can see that you may have been efficient in terms of the speed by which you put the ladder together, but because you didn’t plan the activity properly, you were ineffective in achieving your ultimate goal of having the ladder completed in the right place at the right time.”
Ahmad has got his problem solved right here. He was building ladders in a closed-door room, which was eating up his double time. His sole focus on ‘quantity’ while bridging the gap between supply and demand cost him more and aggravated his problem. So he noted the point number one as to be an effectively efficient manager by putting focus on doing right things first and doing things right later.
His 2nd observation was lack of automation system in the organization. All the project reports, data and records were managed manually by data entry people. Yeah, that’s quite true that not a single qualified person was there to do the job of content management and reporting. The results were disastrous for the entire company as manual project tracking was a total mess. Ahmad noted the 2nd point ‘to be done’ was introduction of an automation system in project tracking and data management. Though investment in some automation tool would be seen as expenditure; however, the resultant higher productivity would earn the investment back within a very short span of time.
Training and Development:
This guy was convinced now that you can never grow with garbage. The quality of available resources determines the quality of output; otherwise the ‘garbage in and garbage out’ is the situation. The third suggestion that he noted was to introduce the concept of regular training and development and improving the hiring process. The studies have shown that an organization can improve its overall output by 200%, if it spends 10% of its annual budget on employee training and motivation. Training process has to cover the essential hard as well as soft skills, enabling managers to cope with the existing and possible challenges.
What Ahmad keenly noted was that the company was relying a lot on outsourcing. Whenever there is excessive work, they simply outsource it and get something that was not as per the applied standard within the organization. Of course, they can’t blame the service provider for the substandard products alone. It was important to standardize the outsourcing issue and the better approach would have been to hire qualified people to avoid anything for outsourcing.
Finally, management is not something complex; it’s just simplifying the process of doing things. In this regards, the focus has to remain on the output and its quality. Despite invention of latest technological tools, the essential need of sound management and leadership qualities is there. The discussed case study is also an eye-opener for many of us as majority of the corporate firms in Pakistan are faced up with the same or similar problem. Having said that, I thank you all for taking out time and read this post at “Diary of a Chief Executive“. Hopefully, this blog post has given you some fresh ideas or at least invited you to look at things in a little different way. You can always share your views and feedback in comments and can also follow me on Twitter at @Mtahirakbar.
ICT (information and communication technology) in general and social media in particular, has brought about a significant change across the globe. Social networks have become themselves strong markets, where commercial entities, service providers and social philanthropists have been promoting their agenda. However, after the Arab Spring and the series of events from Yemen, Egypt, Libya, to Italy, Spain, UK and certain other parts of Europe; social media came into the limelight as a potential game changer in politics. BBM, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook helped people communicate, share and spread their voice to bring a change. Be it leaderless revolt in Egypt, Beppe Grillo in Italy or Imran Khan in Pakistan; all went on to use ICT to their greater political advantage. Even in the most recent scenario, the US presidential elections were the prime example, where around $6 billion were spent in the high-tech election campaign, giving Obama nickname of ‘social media president’. We will just restrict our discussion to the scenario of Pakistan. How social media has been effective in political mobilization and will it have impact on general elections 2013?
Social Media Statistics & Pakistan:
Globally, Facebook has over 1 billion, Twitter has over 450 million and LinkedIn has around 175 million users. Let me tell you here that case of Pakistan is very interesting and unique from rest of the world. In United States, around 92% of the population has a smartphone, increasing the prospects of internet access. In Pakistan, 110 million people have mobile phones with less than 20% smartphone users. According to the reports, 70% of the mobile subscribers have a cell phone between price-range of 2000-4,000 PKR. The broadband subscribers (including wireless & DSL) in Pakistan are just around 2.2 million. Keeping this figure in mind, we can have an idea of how much population social media portals have in Pakistan.
SocialBaker has ranked Pakistan on #28 in the index of Facebook Population by country. In Pakistan, 8.05 million people have Facebook account. This means Facebook has a 4.37% penetration rate in Pakistani population. On the other hand, Twitter has the population of around 1.9 million in Pakistan, though it is growing fast now. You can find the detailed report of Twitter users in Pakistan here.
In political terms, we look at the Facebook statistics, Pervez Musharaf is the most popular politicians in the country with 0.64 million fans. Other popular pages include Pak Army with 619,000 fans, Imran Khan Official with 0.55 million fans, Shahbaz Sharif with 397,000 fans and Mustafa Kamal with 227,000 fans. Out of political parties, PTI, PMLN and Jamaat-e-Islami are the most popular ones with hundreds of thousands of fans.
Political Impacts & Trolling:
Social media has been quite an effective tool for political mobilization in the country. The sudden rise of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf in particular is credited to social media. They pioneered political use of social media portals and have been quite effectively using it. However, with the passage of time, almost all progressive parties have adopted it as organization, though some individuals were already active from almost every political party. The most interesting case here is of PMLN and PTI. With the rise of PTI in central Punjab, Muslim League responded back with solid performance on the ground as well as on social networks. We see that many key figures of both parties including Imran Khan, Shahbaz Sharif, Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Ahsan Iqbal and Maryam Nawaz are very active on social networks.
When we look at the impacts of social networks, they are both; positive and negative. Social media has reduced the gap and distance between leadership and followers. It has also enabled public to share their criticism and immediate feedback on any particular social, political and administrative development. However, the common digital evils of cyber bullying and trolling could not be avoided. PTI got the bad name of trolling party owing to abusive language and deliberate character assignation of public figures. Though officially, they have some code of conduct but it is seldom followed.
Impact on General Elections:
Though, we can’t deny the importance of social media in terms of public awareness creation and driving opinion. However, should we expect that it will have any impact on political results?? There are two opinions here. Many political analysts believe that only those parties will win, who are good on the ground. Just 4.3% of the population, with Facebook account isn’t enough to change polling results.
However, I personally believe that we should never forget the quality and nature of those 4 or 5% segment of the population using social media. They are mostly opinion makers and can drive a wave of change. Therefore, in order to win elections, you will have to educate people about your performance, vision, and manifesto. This requires a comprehensive plan of action on the part of political parties and strategists to come up with strong online presence and reputation management program. Last but not the least, we need to abide by our social values and ethics as Muslim society while marketing us on the Facebook or Twitter.
If only Facebook can guarantee you political success; Pervez Musharaf should clean-sweep general elections 2013 :) Also see, why Mitt Romney failed to defeat Obama, despite having greater social media penetration rate? You should have something substantial to amplify your campaign on social media.