Conferences, comedy, clouds and contracts.

Continuing my attempts to bring Shakespeare into as many posts as I can….

Let specialties be therefore drawn between us,
That covenants may be kept on either hand.

(Taming of the Shrew  II. i. 127-8)

A couple of weeks ago, I presented at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago, the topic being SaaS Contracts:  how not to get ripped off.  I made an animation to start the presentation, as talking about contracts can be a bit dry.

 

If the embedded version doesn’t behave, ¬†watch it here.¬† ¬†¬†My goal was to show the¬†naivete¬†of the typical buyer when dealing with a smooth salesperson. In the space of about 2 minutes, the buyer makes at least 9 major blunders. See if you can spot them.¬†It is supposed to be funny, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

A week or so after the event I did a podcast ¬†on the¬†Bill Kutik Radio Show, where I go into a bit more detail.¬†¬†Have a listen here.¬† I’m not a lawyer, so this doesn’t constitute legal advice, but¬†I’m saddened by the¬†ignorance¬†on the side of the buyer, and the willingness of the seller to exploit that. That is business, I guess.

Or as Camillo said in ¬† The Winter’s tale:

You pay a great deal too dear for what’s given freely.

Also we have a lot of research on how to buy cloud/SaaS solutions. ¬†Gartner clients should definitely check out Alexa Bona’s ¬†research. Whether buying or selling, getting a fair contract is best in the long run.

(I’m very impressed with the Xtranormal tool for animation. I checked with their legal folks on usage, what a pleasure to deal with them).

Buy this book. I did.

Got an email today, as one does.

¬†I’ll just cut and paste it here.
If you work in software and you haven’t donated to Bletchley Park then you really ought to.
I bought the signed hardback, but then I think Sue is cool.  She knows:  Computer Science, WWII coding,  and Stephen Fry.

Hello there!

(Firstly thank you so much if you have already supported my book, you are wonderful :))

If you know me, you probably know that I’ve been involved with Bletchley Park for some years now. In 2003 I went there for a BCS meeting and fell in love with the place. In 2008 I started a campaign to help raise awareness of the amazing contribution of the site and the more than ten thousand young people that worked there during WW2.

In 2008 Bletchley Park was in financial difficulty. I wanted to raise awareness and gain support for the people that worked there and make sure that Bletchley Park would be there for my children and their children to visit, to help them appreciate the tremendous war effort and the contribution that it has made to us enjoying the peace we live in today. The work carried out there has been said to have shortened the war by approximately 2 years, saving millions of lives.

Fast forward four years and things are looking much rosier for Bletchley Park thank goodness, they have received funding from various sources including the Foreign Office just last week.

Lots of people have suggested over the last couple of years that I write up what happened as a book, and I’m delighted to announce that I have found a fabulous publisher called Unbound to help me do that.

I’ll be telling the story of the campaign that I started and also the amazing campaigns previous to that, during one of which the only way to save the Park was to get the trees listed. Crazy!

So, please sign up to buy my book, I get to see the names of everyone who buys, so don’t think you can get away with pretending you have bought it ;))

..and please do encourage your networks to buy the book too, someone said to me just the other day that they thought that raising awareness of Bletchley Park has also raised the profile of women and computer science in the UK, how cool is that?

Thanks for your support, the campaign that I started would not have worked if it weren’t for the thousands of people that got involved and played their part.

Here’s the link, please have a look and pledge your support, remember, I’ll be checking the names of supporters….

My book is currently funded to 76% (in just 4 days) but we still need another 24% to make it happen…

10% of all profits from the book will go to Bletchley Park.

Take care and see you soon,

Sue

 

Running, Heisenberg and flight risk.

cross posted on my work blog)

Readers of this blog will know that I am an avid but plodding cyclist.  It gets me away from the desk, and means I can bore for Germany on components, frames, cadence, altitude and the like.

I sometimes run, and recently an old school friend bet me that I couldn’t run 10K under 50 minutes by the end of September. Not being one to ignore a challenge, I took him on. ¬†

Running used to be a simple affair. ¬†But in order to go for a run, I “need”

a) my minimalist five fingers running shoes.

b) a  fully charged iphone

c) headphones that don’t fall out my ears

d) heart rate strap

e) strava run application.

f) the right spotify play list.

Measurement has changed running. I know exactly what heart rate to run at and at what pace per minute.  It takes me at least 10 minutes to get out the door.

Heisenberg’s¬†uncertainty principle is one of the most abused scientific principles, but it applies here. ¬†My efforts to measure running has changed my running.

What has this got to do with HR systems?

I have noticed a ¬†trend from vendors to include a field called Flight Risk into their talent management systems. ¬†I reckon this isn’t a good idea.

1. 99% of HR systems don’t have accurate enough data to remove false positives

2. The data to really predict flight risk isn’t in the HR system.

3. Telling someone who isn’t a a flight risk that the system thinks they are one will make them into one.

4. Managers will react differently to the same data.

5. It will taint other, more accurate results.

 

To assume you can build an¬†algorithm¬†to predict whether a person is likely to leave their job or not based on the shoddy data in a talent management application is arrogant and irresponsible. ¬†Vendors’ crude attempts to measure human intentions will create unintended consequences, most of them bad.

 

In case you are wondering, I won the bet…