Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On the "New Economy" of Quality Information

We run the risk of becoming too intellectualized, ie. Structuralism versus Post-Structuralism. I fear we will repress our innovation to disregard concepts that have abstract meaning, and look to empty materialism and “false nouns” to fill the void.

Business will inherently be linked to the evolution of language. We need to make knowledge accessible, not insulated from meaning. There are decisions that can not be decomposed into “true/false” / “on/off” / “0/1″, but we as language users will relate concepts as our own mind translates the symbiotic cultural conventions and re-write previously held tradition.

I think we need to collaborate in small multi-disciplinary teams, set definite function requirements, and iteratively create “utterances” that flatten a concept in context of the current development cycle. Fix and Fail, Fix and Fail. Waste is a byproduct of innovation, but innovation applied can be leveraged to provide future value, not as a market insight to borrow against, but as an obvious evolution of a knowledge area. Quality will tell the story of human evolution. Quality of Life and Quality of Information are inextricable.

The more organization and efficiency a workplace assumes, the more practices will be related to concepts of Communism and Fascism. They represent extreme ideologies. Culture is a balance, humanity is a balance, thought is balance. It only takes a few pages of Nicholas Nassim Taleb to realize we are arrogant assumptuous animals through ignorance and cognitive dissonance will turn foreign concepts into pariah.

Godwin’s law will precipitate Benford’s law of controversy and we will circuitously improve concepts by unconsciously popularizing then unpopularizing a subject. The subject remains benefited, but the poet is lost in translation.

(Adapted from a comment @

Ryan Gensel

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why you do not know your Company's IQ

IQ is Information Quality. If information represents language and meaning, quality represents the effectiveness of that communication to present meaning in that language. The concept of information quality has been around since the inception of language. Philosophers master language and meaning, to develop patterns that simplify the presentation of information as a situational context. Relating meaning to the language of communicators inherently creates a narrative perspective of information experience, since individuals experience time linearly and perception logarithmically. Information Quality is becoming more relevant to organizations that strategically design products and responsibly conserve resources.

Cultural Adoption of Information Quality

A “hype cycle” represents the interest in a concept or practice by a specific audience, and historically models the adoption of technology. The hype cycle is characterized as having the following five phases:

  • Trigger - An event or incident that triggers initial interest.
  • Peak - Over enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations.
  • Trough - Disillusionment abandons concept.
  • Slope - Experiment and practical application.
  • Plateau - Value is demonstrated.
The hype cycle can model the adoption of Information Quality, provide context to the current cultural environment, and present the eventual transition of Information Quality from conception to convention.

(Hypothetical and Obscure)
Culture – Intellectual Abstraction – Academia Academia is positioned to interpret and analyze culture. The abstract concept of Information Quality is described by the works of linguists, philosophers, and diplomats. They create and define models that represent the interpretation of information in communication. Academics dissect the language and meaning of those concepts using scientific methods and explore new abstract relationships. As academics create new knowledge and publish their findings; individuals, institutions, and public personas monitor those developments and borrow ideas that have direct utility to their interests. In the case of Information Quality; individuals, institutions, and public personas could now attempt to qualify the effectiveness of communication to improve their ability to control.
(Overenthusiastic Application and Failure)
Politics – Business – Information Systems Propaganda is presenting an unethical relationship of concepts as communication, but optimized to eliminate individual interpretation. To establish control, organizations improve the effectiveness of communication, but reduce the objectivity of that information.
(Experimentation and Discussion)
Internet – Information Technology Control is temporary and unstable since individuals eventually refuse invalid information. The damage incurred while communicating propaganda aggregates in individuals as a resentment towards the concept and organization, hastening cultural abandonment.
(Convention and Best Practice)
Marketing – Customer Service – Human Resources As time elapses, distance separates individuals from the resentment of a concept. Individuals rediscover a concept without the negative cultural connotation and experiment with new applications for old concepts.
(Universal Concept)
Operations – Values - Culture The practical utility of a concept is demonstrated and accepted as a cultural convention. Individuals will associate the concept and culture as a united entity, common and obvious to individuals in that culture.


The adoption of Information Quality assurance has been stalled by the maturation of Business Intelligence systems, which require unique planning and accurate calibration, but promise unrealistic efficiency and automation.  Business Intelligence has been expensive, intrusive, and inaccessible to the majority of organizations, emulating the “peak” of a hype cycle. The Internet provides an environment to experiment and discuss Information Quality with other individuals, each sharing and communicating their interests, which corresponds to the hype cycle “trough.” Information Quality will eventually permeate the role of Information Technologists, as projects become more complicated, and management more automated. As organizational interest grows for Information Quality; Marketing, Customer Service, and Human Resources will adopt practices that improve the effectiveness of their communication, presenting the characteristics of the hype cycle “slope”. Operations, and the individuals that manage an organization will adopt Information Quality best practices and integrate conventions into culture, representing the hype cycle “plateau” which connects concept from abstract culture to meaningful adoption, and into meaningful culture.

Information Quality will eventually become an obvious mechanism individuals and organizations use to optimize communication, but until then, this is an example of how an organization will interpret IQ.

As an organization, interpret how effective your communication is:

Identifying and upholding shared values?
Mediating conflict?
Protecting victimization?

Planning projects?
Distributing roles and monitoring tasks?
Investigating expectations and delivering adequate solutions?

Using appropriate language?
Providing accessible formats?
Organizing information for comprehension?

Representing diverse perspectives?
Incorporating multi-disciplinary concepts?
Researching concepts thoroughly and unbiased?

Communicating concepts honestly?
Improving employee quality of life?
Presenting transparent motivations for action?

Guaranteeing quality of service?
Estimating the cost of service?
Conserving resources?

Presenting original concepts?
Referencing established concepts?
Differentiating your services from competitors?

Providing relevant information?
Responding to language changes?
Managing operations?

Translating culture as policy?
Transferring information?
Integrating best practices?

No weighted score is necessary, since failing to meet any one attribute will result in employee burnout, wasted resources, and lost opportunity.


What practical solutions exist to improve Information Quality in your organization?

  1. Provide organizational support to identify individuals as abstract but primary system components.
  2. Leverage the momentum of human capital by focusing individual ambition.
  3. Empower individuals to improve and optimize their role.
  4. Utilize the motivation of individuals to autonomously improve the organization's ability to communicate.

-Ryan Gensel

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Information Quality - A shift in focus is imminent for all web workers

The Internet facilitates human conversation, and is manifested as mostly text and visual ques. The hierarchy and order of which users experience the text/visuals is coordinated by organizational executives, designers, and information contributors. Experience is mapped as paths through elements intended to inform or persuade the user. The user, however has their own conceptual model of information they are interacting with, referencing, and updating as revised information experiences.

The quality of information experienced can be segmented and analyzed into about dozen categories (metric or KPI):

* Authority
* Scope of Coverage
* Composition and Organization
* Objectivity
* Integrity
* Comprehensiveness
* Validity
* Uniqueness
* Timeliness
* +Relevance
* +Context

Web designers and managers usually contend with only "Composition and Organization", reorganizing, presenting, and contextualizing information assets across a wide variety of formats: Applications, HTTP sites, Marketing Collateral, Business Intelligence, etc.

The expected scope of web professionals is much too limiting, by only classifying individuals as technicians, we eliminate the recursive learning loop. The valuable information a developer discovers during the hours/days/weeks/months ruminating over the business processes you employ are generally wasted when not directly applicable to the current project task, but merely insightful as a concept. By improving the concepts for which we build organizations, processes, and products we can increase the quality, efficiency, and return on work already being accomplished. The quality of information directly correlates to a quality user experience - and vice versa during production/operation a quality: planning phase, execution phase, monitoring phase, and closing phase.

By evaluating and prioritizing why the information is important, we can optimize the message (hierarchy, order, content) for the most appropriate delivery.

Web professionals should facilitate the incremental improvement of information, with technology and creating conceptual models with abstraction and decomposition, before creating a software framework.

Ideas are much more flexible than code, and empty packages don't need decoration.

Keep up the great work,
-Ryan Gensel

(originally posted as a comment @

Ready Set Project - Overview

Ready Set Project
Plan Successful Web Projects

Your company's web site does not have to be complicated, expensive, or maintenance intensive. Widespread adoption of information technology has exponentially increased the availability, capability, and complication of its use, and consequently the difficulty of selecting appropriate solutions. Ready Set Project is a professional consulting firm that specializes in web and information design for businesses.

The Internet is an information resource for people. To focus resources on efforts that increase satisfaction and multiply return, learn the expectations of your customers, employees, organization, and community. Use technology that facilitates efficient development, operation, and collaboration to clarify your message, simplify your business, and satisfy your customers.

Ready Set Project is Lean, Agile, Professional, and Transparent.

No technology or management methodology guarantees the success of your web site, however most companies claim and promise complete satisfaction. To survive, companies must balance adaptation, standardization, arbitration, and capitalization. While managing those constraints, the performing company must objectively collect customer requirements, and interpret those variables through the subjective filter of capability. The technicians selling and implementing technology are over committed, required to gain proficiency in decreasing time-frames, while disconnected and isolated developers reinvent functionality, misapply terminology, ignore efficiency, and extend deadlines, sacrificing the potential of your project.

Ready Set Project solves problems efficiently.

Using best practices and multidisciplinary design optimization, the consulting process iterates through the following phases:

Issue Identification
Goal Setting and Key Performance Indicators
Resource Breakdown Schedule

Industry Intelligence
Organizational Values
Language and Context


Resource Allocation


The contributions of each phase's effort is captured by utterances, and serve as planning inputs for subsequent phases, improving the accuracy of project schedule, the efficiency of staff leverage, and the consistency of information quality.

Plan and execute your web site by utilizing professional procedures and expert consultation.

Analysis (A)
Integrate heuristics, deductive reasoning, social network analysis, dynamic network analysis, link analysis, and brainstorming to identify project variables, assess priority, evaluate alternatives, and recommend approach.

Interview, Competitive Analysis, Personas, Survey

Goals, Market, Users, Information Architecture, User Experience, Logic, Maintenance

Propose (A+P)
Structure your design plan, elect architecture, refine selection criteria, and solicit vendors.

Components: Request for Proposal Document, “Perfect Response” Baseline, Nonfunctional Requirements, Vendor Acceptance Criteria

Resource Breakdown Schedule, Leverage Creative Professionals, Establish Governance and Policy, Investigate Alternatives

Build (A+P+B)
Components: Low and High Fidelity Prototype Utterances, Content Creation, Design and Development, Quality Assurance, Marketing and Maintenance Strategy

Focus: Development Schedule, Message Optimization, Communication and Collaboration

Focused Research
The same comprehensive analysis we use to build web solutions, can be be applied to any problem affecting your organization, customers, or offering. Race ahead of your competition to adopt emergent technologies, exploit mature methodologies, and win, with strategic direction from Ready Set Project.

SaaS and Cloud Alternatives
Infrastructure is optional. Benefit from economies of scale, optimal design patterns, and flexible integration. Before you re-invent the wheel, evaluate the viability of alternatives.

Information Ecology and Audit
Executives and managers inheriting web responsibilities need to identify organizational information assets. Decouple legacy infrastructure, optimize user experience, and improve conversion.

Scope of engagement is scalable to meet client's requirements.

-Ryan Gensel

Death, Taxes, and the Company Web Site - Is advertising a meme?

It has been more than 15 years since most Americans have had access to what we call the Internet.  Business has changed since this global epidemic of information accessibility, but still some organizations are hesitant to invest resources in such an intangible media.  Intangible, in this context, merely implies actions that have incalculable development costs or unpredictable market impacts.  These intangibles are left uncalculated due to incompetence, not impossibility.  The factors that represent project costs and impact, can be determined using the same techniques and methods utilized for traditional projects in any industry.  However, if your project requires absolute public acceptance, deification of your cause, exponential profit increases, or becoming an Internet sensation (meme) your project will never be completed, never be profitable, and never satisfy an audience.

To companies, representing themselves in media has long been a tradition, but at the dawn of 2010, I challenge that assumption and ask, "is advertising itself a meme?"  Ubiquitous information accessibility no longer allows corporations to manipulate markets, a feat generally accomplished with coordinated awareness campaigns.  Advertising relies on sources of information, whether person, publication, or presentation, to disseminate and control a composed message, articulated to reassure trust, professionalism, and success, but the Internet represents a collaboration of all such mechanisms.  How then can traditional campaigns be organized in a way that exploit new Internet opportunities, while still maintaining the control of conventional media?

I don't think they should.  I think advertising is a cultural meme afflicted upon societies that hold economics higher than ethics.  You should too, and here's why.

What do you think of the products / services you use, and what do you think of the company that created them?  Are you aware that every purchased product has a manufacturer, trade association, and powerful lobby that works to manipulate the regulations by which they're restricted or enabled.  Do you think every organization and individual that promotes the use of their product is doing so altruistically?

The answer, is an obvious "No".  Our current paradigm of economic stability, relies on the ignorance of consumers to choose products that represent a higher social standard or perceived market acceptance.  Meaning, a company that pays you to be happy with a product will benefit more, than a company that merely pays a 3rd party to convince you that you're happy with their product.  This can be reinterpreted as, customers will purchase products they like, or be convinced to buy products they don't.  Whether a customer is happy with their purchase, will change, depending on time and what happens between the next occasion they question their investment.  Companies need to realize their product has a finite market window in which to satisfy their customers needs, too early and customers won't understand the benefits of the product, and too late, the customer won't benefit because the market has changed in the interim.

Does your company convince people to buy their product, or do you recommend a solution to a problem, and convince your customers of the effectiveness?  Although societies are more connected since the advent of the Internet, the psychological methods and techniques of subliminal control are so embedded within the process of creating public awareness campaigns, that we can never feasibly separate the topic from the audience.  The basis of communication is empathy, interpreting the pauses between language as an opportunity for reflective application, and translating the composition of diametrically opposed concepts into a conscious understanding that balances information based on the quality, reliability, or subconscious preference to that information.

If marketing was meant to control, and a company now realizes that control is unattainable, damaging, or unethical, by what mechanism can companies communicate their offering without adhering to the paradigm of manipulation?  It would require a media that allowed: reliable global access to information, anonymous references to controversial perspectives, and immediate distribution, a motivated audience will emerge if the message is important enough for them to redistribute it.  All characteristics of what we currently refer to as the Internet.

Considering the current marketplace and standards of operation for most industries, a company web site is mandatory, and should accurately represent the brand, organization, and offering.  However, the process required to transform the informal business goals of a web site into a reliable procedure, that when applied, delivers a consistent satisfactory result, is an illusion.  The expectations of a project will proportionately increase with the amount of hype surrounding its development.  The web is controversial, futuristic, unpredictable, and the infinite  application of emerging technology is fleeting, conjuring images of the "Wild West".  However, most web projects will fail, not because they fail to function, but because they fail to deliver over-estimated market change.  These failures are rarely referred to as formal failures within the organization, but merely categorized as a lack of diligence on the part of the performers, which produced an inferior result.

I challenge this assumption, I think a web site can only be successful if it has no expectations.  If sites were the result of motivated internal teams that believed in their organization and offering, marketing buzz-words could be replaced by honesty, the ego of one could be replaced by the ego of every.

I know what you're thinking.  A site created by nontechnical and unmanaged employees would look amateur, have no direction, and never function.  Several years ago you would have been correct, however the technology that enables quick infrastructures, CMSs, Blogs, SaaS, PaaS is increasingly accessible and evolving daily, embodying the definition of cheap and easy.  Individuals have gained new comfort in digital environments, and frameworks enable collaborative redefinition of a message and a transparent work-flow allows each contributor to intimately know the characteristics of each component.  But where in an organization would a product of such collaborative insight be appreciated, should it be used for knowledge management and transfer, quality assurance, or to better utilize human capital?

Web sites aren't an http address, they're a symbol of global accessibility, equality of information, and hope.  The hope that companies as a collaborative group will care as much as the people that operate them do individually, and present that message above one meant to control or manipulate.

-Ryan Gensel

A New Direction - Ready Set Project

In August of 2008 I set out to create a resume that would present my skills, abilities, and experience as a Project Manager / Chief Creative Officer. However, my destination was not a cubicle, corner office, or board posting.

I am the CEO of Ready Set Project, a Consulting Firm that "Plans Successful Web Projects". Look for new developments at or updates at

I intend to use this blog ( as a personal repository for my own articles as they relate to managing creative projects and implementing emergent technology.

-Ryan Gensel