Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

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I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out:


January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

Changing Requirements

I had a professor named Hooks who spent 21 years working for NASA and helped design the first space shuttle (The Enterprise).  One thing she focused on was the importance of requirements gathering.  She spent 12.5 years doing requirements gathering for the enterprise alone.  She followed by sharing the point that if we waited until we knew everything  we needed to know to build something, we would never get started.  So there is always a fine balance with collecting to much information, for those people with this issues product lifecycle models can help understand the entire process.

Here are a few things I’ve seen and experienced with changing requirements:  Even with a thorough requirement definition effort, change is sometimes inevitable so put together a change management process:

  • Establish a Change Control Process
  • Develop standard forms for collecting requirement changes that include justification (2 reasons)
  • Develop procedures for a thorough impact assessment
  • A system to communicate approved changes quickly to the people who need to know
  • Implement a procedure to ensure all documents are updated when changes are approved.

2 Changes to Avoid:

  • Rush Changes:  “It’s just a little change”  (Any programmer will know right off that bat what this means…)
  • Deferred Changes:  Approving it today and doing it tomorrow

The Change Management Sanity Check: (The Criteria for change)

  • Is it broken? (If Yes = Fix it)
  • Is it illegal? (If Yes = Fix it)
  • Is it unethical or immortal? (If Yes = Fix it)
  • If No = Consider leaving it alone

*Just remember the cost of fixing an error goes up as development progresses.

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Business Model | , , | Leave a comment

Product Lifecycles & The Models

Here’s a quick snapshot of three types of Product Life Cycles:  Remember there are more similarities then differences  among the types of product lifecycles.

Waterfall Lifecycle (Good when you have a great deal of knowledge of your initial requirements, This is the most popular and you may just find that the rest are just a variation of this one.)

Spiral Lifecycle (Good when wanting to mature a technology and you know the requirements are going to evolve over time, this is a popular in software industry. )

Incremental Lifecycle (Good when you know you don’t have the fully resources  available in the get go and you know your project will make continual releases, this is also another popular in the software industry)

Incremental Lifecycle Diagram.  A textual description of this image is contained in the following paragraphs.

(This is the best picture I can find… I’m not  fan, but I hope it gives you snap shot)

January 21, 2010 Posted by | Business Model | , , , | Leave a comment

Business Process Modeling Tool (SAP Gravity on Google Wave)

This post shows how the BPM can be done more colloboratively with todays technology (iPhone, Google Wave),  and the ease of exporting data into your workstation for later execution

January 20, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Model | , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Questions Businesses Should Never Stop Asking

Here are the 10 questions businesses should have asked when starting and they are the very questions that any business owner should continue to ask, year in and year out:


What is our purpose for existing?

Who is our target customer? and why?

Why does anyone need what we’re selling?

If there is a need, is it enough to support a profitable business?

What are our competitors up to?

Can you reduce expenses–without harming the product?

Do the company have the right leadership?

Do we have the right employees?

How will we continue to drive revenue?

How are your employees holding up?

Please add any suggestions:

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Business Model, Human Resources, Marketing | | Leave a comment

The problem with Centralized Purchasing

Definition of Centralized Purchasing: The control by a central department of all the purchasing undertaken within a large organization. Centralized purchasing is often located in the headquarters and centralization has the advantages of reducing duplication of effort, pooling volume purchases for discounts, enabling more effective inventory control, increasing skills development in purchasing personnel and sometime by consolidating transport loads to achieve lower costs (unless everything has to repackage and shipped to other branches).

The Financial & Administrative Impacts

Organizations are focusing too much on centralized purchasing because of the typical administrative and financial benefits associated.  Economies of scale kicks in when buying bulk and it many cases it is easier to manage.  But here’s the idea; what if executives responsible form Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR & Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) sat together and rethought a strategy that would fulfill not just the bottom line ($) but the triple bottom line (Finance, Social, Environment) while meeting all departmental objectives.

Helping develop the local economy benefits any business operating in that community, the case same would go for the branch location of any multinational.   The decision to decentralize purchasing and purchase from small businesses owned locally would do wonders for multinational CSR and branding.  Logistically it would have less of a carbon footprint because less transportation.

The success stories and highlighting local businesses would be a new approach of viral marketing for the Marketing department.  Financially it would make sense as head office already knows the price targets each branch needs to meet.

The case can be made that centralized purchasing you have fewer suppliers and thats more control.  This is translated into “stronger or better relationships.” If we look at the turnover and promotions within large multinationals do you really think its stronger relationships or is it entirely bottom line driven.

Now imagine an organization that goes away from playing the global market and but instead now develops the local economy.  Now each branch of the multinational would purchase its supplies from local small business community, which in return could generate more business for that branch.  This helps the local economy and all the employees of the multinational.  How does it do that?  Take your wife/husband, kids, neighbours and/ or siblings, then think about where they work and how the development of local business community can effect their lives and your community.  The stronger we make each community the more robust in can grow leading to a great satisfaction of everyday life.   Plus look at the simple economics of the multiplier effect where everyone is buying from small businesses and that same dollar is being spent several times over in the community where before it would have left without anyone even seeing it.  All this can make a HR (Human Resources) department more efficient when you start looking at statistics that community driven and sustainable organization have higher retention rates and higher levels of productivity.

The branch would play a vital part in the local economy and help keep dollars in the pockets of their customers and the employees families, who live work and play in that community.


November 30, 2009 Posted by | Business Model, Community Economic Development (CED), Great Ideas | , | Leave a comment

Top 20 Consumer Trends for 2010

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Model, Creativity, Great Ideas | | Leave a comment

Get Published & Write an Article

So you started a business, perhaps you become a decorator for example.  Write some interesting article and reviews and submit them to the following sites.  Its a great way to get noticed and bring traffic to your site and establish credibility.


November 6, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Model, Great Ideas | , | 1 Comment

Canadian Green Building Council (Cascadia)

My interest in green & sustainable construction is ever so increasing and I decided to take this interest one step further and sign up for the Canadian Green Building Council regional membership.  The west coast falls under the Cascadia Region which covers both the west coast of Canada and the United States.

Its never been a questions that clean technologies can make a difference it’s been a question of how fast they can be developed and implemnted into the market place.  I’ve decided I want to be part of the change and help lead it in any way possible, even if it feels its at the micro level.

The next step may have to be challenging of the LEEP AP accreditation, thats one of the reasons why I also signed up the National Benefits Package which gives you access to some valuable resources but also it saves you a penny through this process.

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Business Model, Construction, LEED | , , , | Leave a comment

The Bee Buzz at the Convention Centre in Vancouver

Dana Gee speaks to Allen Garr, who keeps the bees buzzing on top of the new Vancouver Convention Centre. Video by By Dana Gee and Jon Murray, The Province Newspaper.

September 12, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Model, Great Ideas, Sustainable Community Development | | 1 Comment