Friday, November 19, 2004

Google for Scholars

Information junkie that I am, the new Google Scholar is a dangerous thing.

Cite Seer has been keeping me up to my eyebrows in whitepapers. Adding the Google service on top of it will likely bury me in information.

Though, the first interesting looking paper that I located through Google Scholar was on Cite Seer. :)


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

hi william,

It is great to see you back. You were silent for a while, and it made me think maybe you've run away with some dame (grin)...

Joking aside, your new post is helpful. I am constantly trying to see how CMM can help our operation though my understanding is that it works in big complex projects, and its value to SME and small scale projects may not be as significant.

I checked out google scholar, and I am still not there though I did write a lot of articles, but I think this time, the definition of scholar is a little bit high brow now(grin).... Hopefully I will do something on that side in the next few years....

wilson ng

William Slawski said...

Hi Wilson,

I had been a little busy. But, hopefully I've caught up with everything now.

Complexity often has its own unique problems. Every person, and every level that you add to a project can create potential setbacks. But not having enough people or resources involved can be a problem in itself. CMM can make a difference because it provides a framework to use to address many of those issues.

But a poor implementation, without an understanding of why it can be beneficial could be just as harmful.

It wasn't fashioned to address the SME (small to medium) enterprises, but it looks like they are working upon it. And their definition of small only applies to businesses that have at least 25 employees.

One thing that might be misleading to people first learning about CMM is that they might think a large business would attempt to apply it to the whole organization at the same time. I'm seeing a 40,000 member company use it only in a couple of smaller divisions first (around 200 - 250 people each), to gauge how well it works, and what impact it might have on the rest of the organization.

Small businesses have their own unique problems, but even in a small business, with maybe five or ten employees, a lack of communication, and of process and product review can hurt them.

Curiousity about CMM, Sigma Six, TQM, Knowledge Management, and other methods of looking at process management is probably healthy. But, gaining an understanding of how those work is more important than placing a framework for a business that might be too burdensome.

I think that communication - active listening actually - is a key part of building a successful business regardless of which model you might try to follow to achieve it. As is empowering new employees, and enabling them to learn more than just the present job in front of them.

I suspect that Google Scholar will always be a little too highbrow. There are great educational resources on the web that may never make it into their database, but which may have more potential as educational tools. How Stuff Works is a good example. It's simple, yet it is a great resource.

I think the reason for that is a belief that if they include resources that aren't in noncommecial databases, they will make it a less useful tool.

It's good to hear from you.