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You go hard in your football training program…you do the conditioning…you get yourself mentally ready to play…then you still find yourself on the bench!

High School Football can be a brutal experience when your coach doesn’t know you exist…

We all want more playing time. If you’re a true competitor, you never want to leave the field…you want to be there to step up and make a big play when the game is on the line.

But, that’s tough to do if you’re on the bench!

We all go out and lift weights, condition, do speed training, football skill work… but, in some situations, especially in big High School programs, getting a shot at the starting line up can seem almost impossible. You may very well have 4 or 5 guys on a similar skill level (or better) at your position. If you want to beat those guys out, you’ve got to stand out. You may need to do a lot more than you’re currently doing…you may need to work harder than you ever thought possible…

Here are the 7-Steps you need to take to get your Football Coach to notice you and help get you more playing time!

1. Train Harder in the Weight Room

I’m constantly asked which football training workouts are best. Is there a magic answer? One program that will solve all your problems?

While some are better than others, the truth is, no matter how great a football training program is, if you don’t work hard, its all for nothing.

That’s something not a lot of guys are willing to accept. But, in most cases if you want to become a better football player and get your coach to think of you as a starter, you better be prepared to work harder than everyone else. I realize many players think they’re so friggin good that they don’t have to work hard. Good luck with that.

Guys like Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Michael Irvin, LT, and Ray Lewis are notorious for their insane work ethics. They outwork their competition and the results speak for themselves.

There’s a famous story from the martial arts world about a student who was far behind his classmates in skill. He asked his master what to do and the master replied:

“You will train harder than everyone else. When your classmates are sleeping, you train. When they are taking meals, you train. When they take breaks, you train”

And, as the story goes, this student eventually surpassed all of them and became a legendary master of the arts.

Now, obviously, football training is hard and you can’t burn out. So, you have to rest and recover just as hard as you traing, but, the idea is the same. You must train harder than everyone else. If there’s one thing that I know for a fact that coaches notice, it’s hard work. If you’re on the bubble of being a major player and you work harder than the other guy, trust me, you’ll get the shot. (That’s how I did it)

2. Don’t Miss Workouts/Practices/Or Be Late

Unless someone died, do NOT miss workouts. Ever. Not if you feel sick, or your girlfriend is bustin your chops, or because you “just don’t feel like it today.” – I heard a guy once tell a coach that…needless to say, the coach’s head just about exploded.

If you miss workouts, you come off as lazy. That’s true in the eyes of strength coaches, position coaches, and head coaches alike…and, your fellow players will notice. No one wants to go into battle with a guy when you’re not sure you can count on him to show up.

If you’re really hurt, your coach will understand. He’ll tell you to take time off. But, don’t come up with a bunch of bullshit phantom injuries whenever you don’t feel like training.

Same goes for practice. Wanna lose a starting job or lose out on one? Don’t practice…even once. Trust me, someone will be there to steal it right away from you. Just because someone is your backup doesn’t mean you’re better…ask Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe….and, if you’re the back up, POUNCE on any opportunity that you can get like this.

Never every be late to the weightroom, the practice field, meetings, film sessions. In fact, be 5 minutes early. If you’re on time, you’re late, as Tom Coughlin would say.

3. Study and Ask Questions

I’ve seen many a talented player get his ass put on the bench because he can’t figure out the plays. Or know left from right, or be able to figure out the signals. Don’t be that guy.

Seriously, I’ve seen running backs who were flat out studs not be able to play because they constantly run the wrong hole, to the wrong side, or can’t figure out blocking assignments. If you want your coach to notice you in a very bad way, try not knowing the plays.

And, study a bit on the strength training side as well. Learn a little, it won’t kill you.

Learn to study game film like its your job. Your film, your opponent’s game film, and film of players in your position who play at a higher level (college, pros, etc). Don’t just watch the film like you’re watching a game on Sunday afternoon….learn from it. Study it. Play it back a million times. Take notes.

If you are unsure about how to really break down film, ask your coach to help you. Trust me, they’ll be more than happy to help.

Watch your opponent. Does he tip pass plays with his stance? Does the other team always run out of a certain formation? Get to know this stuff. Notice tendencies and ask your coach about them. Again, they’ll be more than happy to help you with it. Every single coach I spoke to when working on this article agreed on this – they want players who understand the game and take the initiative to study film and learn – to go above and beyond what is required.

4. Everyday Hustlin

Football and Football Training – Always be Hustling…or this kid will take your job

Never. Stop. Hustling.

That’s true in football, training, life, business…never stop because the minute you do, someone will replace your ass.

Don’t walk on the field. Don’t lolligag through drills. Don’t half-ass it in the weightroom.

Hustle will get you noticed. If you’re on the bubble of being a starter, it could put you over the top. On the other hand, if you decide you have the job all to yourself and start loafing, you’ll lose that job faster than a set of keys.

Jerry Rice was famous for running every single pass route into the end zone during practice. Every route all the way in. This was all about finishing. Hustling. Never stopping. Bill Romonowski talks about how, in his rookie season, he observed Rice doing this, and, in order to get noticed both on the field and in film, would chase Rice down…all the way to the end zone. He was a starter by mid-season…As a rookie…on a Championship team.

5. Be The First

Simple. Always be first. First:

To jump in a drill
In the weightroom
In the film room
On the field

Being the first guy to jump into a drill, especially a contact drill like tackling, one-on-one’s, etc, will get you noticed in a hurry.

I often talk about how my good friend Matt Mazzoni and I would always…I mean always…be the first two guys out on any line drill. Didn’t matter that we were mis-matched in size. We got out and set the tempo for the entire line. Matt won the starting Center job from an upper classmen who was much bigger than him. It was his hard work in training camp that got him noticed.

6. Get Your Butt on Specials

This one will be short. It blows me the hell away how many guys who don’t start and complain about lack of playing time absolutely refuse to play special teams.

Talk about a guy who exemplifies everything Explosive Football Training is all about. Don Beebe chases down Leon Lett from 70-yards away to save a touchdown even when it didn’t matter. Beebe was a special teams stud who built a hell of a career through hard training and a never ending supply of hustle

I saw it a ton this season on my own team. Guys who had some talent but felt they weren’t getting a fair shot. They bitched and complained. But, when the coaches were putting special teams together, these guys hid. I don’t know if it was fear or they felt special teams were below them…doesn’t matter. They blew it.

Just as you have the entire football training off-season to prove yourself in the weightroom and in the conditioning program, you have special teams to show off your hard work by making some big plays. It’s pretty common in the NFL for guys to start off on Special Teams and eventually turn themselves into starters. Not everyone is a 1st round draft pick.

If you’re not getting a chance to shine, get your ass on special teams and go make a big block, a big hit and be consistently good. Force a fumble on Punt Team and see if the coaches don’t take notice.

7. Outwork, Outlast, Outperform

This is what we’ve been talkin about all along. Let’s not sugar coat things…if you want to be a starter, be prepared to work harder than everyone else.

Or, as the old saying goes, “Ya gotta pay your dues if you want to make the news, and you know it don’t come easy.”

Even if you’re not blessed genetically, get to work. Become the guy who is the poster child for the football training program. Be the guy everyone looks to for inspiration. Be the guy who doesn’t go easy in your workouts…who always shows up…who always goes all out.

Your teammates will respect you and the coaches will take notice.

Work your butt off on the field, in the weight room, in the film room…work hard, recover hard, eat well. Never stop.

And, be prepared to simply keep working hard no matter what. There will be set backs but you’ve got to keep pushing. You have to outlast. Sometimes you have to wait for an injury…or a chance to make a big special teams play…whatever it is, be patient, and, when your time comes, hold nothing back. Do this and your coaches will notice and you’ll find yourself as a starter.

Source by Steve Morris

June 15, 2017 0 comment
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With 26 million plus cars in the UK, increasing at around 350,000 annually, and in the USA who knows how many cars, but increasing at over 16 million annually, the world is on course for a disaster that could choke the life from our planet.

Vehicle tyres form a vital part in the safety, design, and comfort of these millions of machines, but by their very design, they are made out of long-lasting, robust materials, some of which are highly toxic. This of course means that when we need to replace them, the old carcasses will not just melt away, or be very easily recycled. Indeed their very manufacture results in an end product that unfortunately contains a mixture of rubber and steel, but also a number of highly toxic and environmentally toxic materials. Burn them, or incinerate them, and masses of dangerous toxic and greenhouse gasses are produced, along with a highly toxic waste ash.

Because of the current massive cost of disposing of tyres in this manner, virtually millions of tyres have been dumped, both legally and illegally, in landfills, old mine shafts, in lakes, as well as seas and oceans around the world. Container-loads end up sailing half-way round the world to all sorts of weird and awful resting places.

Now, let’s just take a look at the UK tyre situation (tires of course to many overseas cousins).

With 26 million cars in the UK, let’s assume that one in three of these cars will have their tyres changed every three years. Let’s say that around 8 million sets of tyres are changed – that’s around 32 million tyres! With around 100 car tyres to the ton, that is a massive 320,000 tons of tyres from the UK to be disposed of – one way or the other – every year.

Now, to dispose of a tyre as it comes off a car is bulky and difficult. Technologies for shredding tyres, and removing the steel bands for recycling are well advanced, However, from July 2003, land filling of complete tyres has been illegal, and land filling of shredded tyres was banned from July 2006. Many action groups have been set up to assist in the disposal of used tyres, but none have yet to find the best method of safe disposal.

Until recently, the only way of disposing of used tyres in any volume, was to use incineration plants. But these plants literally just destroyed the energy and raw material contained in the tyres, did not generate much in terms of recycled energy, and still produced toxic landfill ash waste, as well as needing a giant smoke stack which puthered out masses of greenhouse gasses, and noxious toxic fumes, which drifted back down on our rivers and fields – polluting the food chain.

I must say, I am in full agreement with Shlomo Dowen, National Coordinator of UK Without Incineration with this year’s slogan “UKWIN‘s 2011 Annual General Meeting will revolve around the theme of: Zero waste to burn, zero time to waste.”

A lot of shredded tyres still get used as safety surfaces for children’s playgrounds and equestrian centres, which is a great idea. I am not so sure about these flakes being incorporated in agricultural compost however, due to the potentially toxic content with in them. The playground idea will shortly be halted by new legislation, as the UK is the only country in Europe that has not yet banned this use of shredded tyres.

So – are we looking the wrong way to arrive at a solution that will be environmentally friendly, AND release the potential energy contained in these organic products? Dumping is illegal, even shredded tyres can not go to land fill. Incineration is neither an ecological nor an economical solution.

For every ton of used tyres (that’s about 100 car tyres, or as few as 4 massive industrial tyres), they have an energy content of approximately 9,000 k-calories. This could produce continuous electrical energy in the region of over 3 Mega Watt/hours, and also heat energy on top of that equal to the electrical energy. Then again, in the UK anyway, with our system of Renewable Obligation Credits (ROC’s), by creating green electricity, there would be another financial reward. On top of that, with the government incentive of 100 per ton subsidy, a Gate Fee of between 3 and 5 per car tyre could also be charged for delivering the tyres to a suitable licensed tyre recycling plant.

All of a sudden, with the correct and proven technology, instead of being a major national disaster, tyres could begin to provide far more reliable and constant green electrical energy that a whole host of massive, temperamental eyesores of wind farms could even attempt to produce – or without massive puthering and polluting smoke stacks from environmentally and resource-destroying incinerators

One thing that should not be considered here, and that is the idea of trying to use one form of technology to handle all forms of waste – for maximum returns, the technology employed must be dedicated to handling just one waste type – in this case tyres, as the financials will shortly show.

Let’s discuss the financials that could apply if the correct technology is introduced. This is assuming that the technology to be used is proven, and has a successful operational record. It is also based on the assumption that the gate fee for 1 ton of tyres (around 100 tyres on average) is £100, although the accepted cost of ‘collecting’ an average car tyre is around £4.

  • A system to transfer 25 tons of tyres a day into green energy will cost in the region of £25 million, without any toxic waste, need no smoke stack, and generate an income from renewable energy, Renewable Obligation Credits ( ROCs) and Gate Fees, in the region of £5.3 million annually.
  • A system to transfer 100 tons of tyres a day into green energy will cost in the region of £65 million, without any toxic waste, need no smoke stack, and generate an income from renewable energy, Renewable Obligation Credits ( ROCs) and Gate Fees, in the region of £21 million annually

Either size system is quite a profitable operation, even with the technology costs (without any tyre shredding) and also produces a most needed green ecological solution.

Not only that, with tyre processing, to ensure the technology is working correctly, you will need quite a stockpile of shredded tyres, if the system is going to be capable of running at a rate of a minimum of 25 tons of tyres a day. The beauty of this is that it will normally take 6 months to a year to build such a processing plant. With the high gate fees involved here, it is quite possible to start generating income right from Day 1, greatly reducing the usual up-front investment risks.

However, before any commitment is made, you must make sure you are satisfied that the technology works, and that you have seen a working plant.

Now, in the UK, the government does not set out any regulations for the recycling of tyres, it only authorises permits to be issued for the collection of the tyres. This has resulted in tyres collection depots being set up all round the UK, with a fee on average of 5 per tyre ‘collected’. At present, there is no law established that instructs the collector that these tyres must be destroyed in some format legally acceptable to the government.

This has resulted in a whole number of tyre dumps, with great risk of fire. What also exists are numerous illegal dumps of tyres in landfills, old mine shafts, and lakes. I am aware of one such dump made many years ago, in a lake not that far from me that contains upwards of 20,000 old tyres – all slowly leaching toxic waste chemicals into our very drinking water.

Looking at the points above, there has to be considerable scope for a joint venture to be set up between say the local authority, or another interested company, and existing tyre collectors and shredders that can at a stroke:-

1. Remove the issue of tyre mountains

2. Maximise the recyclable effort on both rubber and steel income

3. Generate considerable amounts of green electricity

4. Maximise the income from carbon credit opportunities

5. Reduce the levels of toxic waste to negligible amounts

6. Reduce the need for incineration, thus removing the need for obtrusive great chimney stacks

7. Produce no toxic ash that needs landfilling.

8. Create a profitable ‘cottage industry’ for tyre collection and shredding companies across the UK.

9. As a bonus, by placing the technology in the right locations, the excess heat energy can be piped to local industries or houses, for a further income stream.

Come on, all you environmentalists, supposedly pushing for a greener environment, here is one route that will massively improve your environment and if done properly will actually produce a massive boost to everybody’s living standards.

Now is your chance to help defuse this massive ticking ecological time bomb…

Source by Geoff Morris

June 14, 2017 0 comment
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Mobile phone ringtones have been around for nearly a decade now, with the first commercial ringtone services said to have emerged in Finland in 1997. Gradually, they have become an established part of modern life, with some of them becoming headline news over the years. So as we look back over the history of ringtones, which stand out as the “big hits” or “classics” of this new kind of music format? Here is an attempt at a top 10 list.

Nokia Tune

The Nokia Tune, based on a 13 note rendering of “Gran Vals” by Francisco Tarrega, a 19th-century Spanish musician, is typically included within all Nokia handsets as the default ringtone and has therefore become famous or infamous due to its popularity. It is the typical ringtone of the middle-aged business man who hasn’t got the time or inclination to work out how to change it.

Mosquito Tone

The mosquito tone or “Teen Buzz” is based on adaption of a high-frequency sound designed to repel teenagers from hanging around outside shops, without bothering older people, who could not hear the sound due its pitch. It began being used and sold as a “silent ringtone” for teenagers to use, for example in class, without the teacher being able to hear it.

Crazy Frog

The “Crazy Frog” ringtone was based on an animation called “The Annoying Thing” by Erik Wernquist, and made famous by the mobile content company Jamba who heavily promoted “The Crazy Frog” on TV and the internet. The ringtone spawned a chart hit based on a remix of “Alex F” which went to No.1 in the UK, Japan, Australia and a number of European countries;.

Nokia Morse Code SMS alert

Similar to the Nokia Tune, the Nokia SMS alert is probably the most famous “SMS tone” designed to be used for text message notifications. The tone spells out “S-M-S” in Morse Code.

Classic telephone ring

With the rise of personalised tones a lot of people have decided to avoid them in favour of the classic “bell ringing” sound of a normal telephone. A number of surveys over the years have shown this to be one of the most popular tones.

Sir Mixalot

In 1992, Sir Mixalot, a rapper had a huge hit with “Baby Got Back” which was re-recorded as a ringtone with the lyrics “Pick up the phone! Pick up the phone! ‘Cause you don’t want to miss this call and I cannot lie!.” This was one of the first “ringtone remixes” of popular songs to achieve success after being marketed by Jamba, the same company that produced the Crazy Frog ringtone.

R2D2 Ringtone

Ringtones based on the sounds “R2D2” from the film Star Wars makes in the film are emerging as a popular choice for ringtones. R2D2 sounds make a great choice for a ringtone as they are loud, easily heard and distinctive but just about manage to avoid a tack, novelty feel like some ringtones.

Nokia Dying Remix

Based on the classic Nokia Tune, the Nokia “Dying” or “Flat Battery” remix is a humorous version of the classic Nokia Tune where the sound eventually goes flat or explodes, giving a nod to the annoyance that it can cause when heard repeatedly.

CTU Ringtone

The popular TV show “24” features a highly recognisable ringtone on the phones in the CTU office complex. The same sound is now being marketed as a ringtone for mobile phones and is rapidly becoming a big hit.

iphone ringtone

When Steve Jobs announced the launch of the iphone in early 2007, his demonstration included a ringtone, which was quickly made available as a recording by a number of websites. The ringtone has been described as like “holy angels tinkling” and was eventually included within the standard ringtone set on the iphone.

Source by James H Cooper

June 12, 2017 0 comment
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Support and resistance are two aspects of trading that may be difficult to understand and identify for novice traders. You can increase your trading edge and have a clearer understanding of these important concepts by using a TradeStation Multiple Time Frame (MTF) price action indicator.

In order to understand price action on MTF you need to use trend lines that have almost no lag on each of the following time periods: 5, 15, 20, 30, 60, 120, 240, and daily. The interaction of the MTF trend is the key to identifying on your trading chart where price actually changes direction. Support is shown when price is headed down and gets stopped and goes back up. Resistance is shown when price is headed up and gets stopped and goes back down.

Resistance will be shown on the MTF indicator when the upward trending price is too far away from the daily price line. When this happens commonly the price will start forming a consolidation or topping pattern and then reverse back down towards the daily line.

Support will be shown on the MTF indicator when the downward trending price is too far away from the daily line. When this happens commonly the price will start forming a consolidation or bottoming pattern and then reverse back up towards the daily trend line.

Whenever you see the fastest price line change directions at any one of the 60, 120, 240 or daily price lines, this reaction is showing key points of support or resistance.

If you are trading on a fast time chart, anything from a 1 to 5 minute chart, and you see a consolidation pattern and are unsure about the trade direction, you should look at the MTF higher periods directional bias. These higher period biases show the highest probable direction of the next price movement. If multiple higher charts all run in a given direction, then the odds are good that the 1 minute or the 5 minute chart will resolve any indecision in that same direction.

Seeing the interaction of these different time charts and seeing where these price trend lines change direction will show the current price bouncing off of the 60 minute, 120 minute, 240 minute, and/or daily trend lines. When you see the interaction of these lines, you’ll be able to confidently identify support and resistance zones.

By using Multiple Time Frame TradeStation indicators you will develop a great understanding of support and resistance and increase your trading performance.

Source by Mark David Johnson

May 23, 2017 0 comment
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Skills that will make work easier for them should be acquired by the students to enable them to face these tough challenges. These skills will make sure that the students are not exposed to defeat when things get tough. Time management is a prime skill that they must learn.

The capability of a student to manage his time efficiently is referred to as time management. This includes goal setting, proper choosing, prioritization, organizing skill and many such skills. The concept of managing time is quite difficult as it demands good adjustment and preparation.

Proper and effective management of time by students yields great benefits. These benefits yielded from proper time managing skill are listed below

1. Students who practice efficient and proper management of time tend to get more quality time. There are many things that students neglect just to make most of the time they get.

But they do not realise the importance of these activities. eg. Eating;

Eating is an important part of every individual. People have to eat on time and also properly to keep them going. This is a portion of the total time they spend. With the acquirement of time managing skills, one can learn effective time organization in order to enjoy his meal at the right time.

2. No task setting for the future. The things that were left undone by the individual or those should have been done tends to give him a burden as a result of subconscious guilt. Building effective time management skills guides the individual through the art of denying procrastination and also teaches the individual to prioritize activities.

The individual feels more comfortable when he comes to know that there are no unfinished activities that will burden him when he is doing other activities. Work becomes more efficient when the individual’ s conscience is devoid of worrying thoughts.

3. Students with proper and effective time management skills tend to have lesser frustrations. Proper planning and good organization are assets of managing time. This makes sure that the individual does not face any frustrations in future. The act of overcoming one’ s frustration makes it easy to unleash the complete flair of productivity and creativity of an individual.

4. Time management tends to increase an individual’ s energy levels. Undone things will likely circulate in an individual’ s mind. These things tentatively strike the individual when he is doing other activities. The skill of managing time effectively and properly teaches the individual to live in an organized manner and also to release his mind from the thoughts of the unfinished business. As a result one can procure and experience the higher energy level that was never experienced.

5. The skill of good time management can also help the individual to to acquire a sense of achievement and peace of mind. If the individual is not sure as to where he is proceeding, he will begin to sense dissatisfaction and anxiety. An important feature of time managing skills is smart goal setting. This technique helps the individual realise the most suited path of progress.

The results of time management could be felt only by practising it first. Listed below are the most important things that would lead an individual to these results.

1. Goal setting. One must be really clear about his goals. These should be realistic and achievable.

2. Realising one’ s most productive periods. This realisation prompts the individual to perform more and apply more efforts.

3. Avoiding procrastination. Effective and wise usage of time is crucial.

4. Organizing skills. A clear idea on organizing things properly helps the individual to achieve the goals at the planned time.

5. Knowledge on prioritizing. This aspect is really important. It is the key to acquire managing skills.

Apart from this, the student should be dedicated in the art of effective time management.

Source by Abhishek Agarwal

May 18, 2017 0 comment
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Michael Jordan was not only the best basketball player, he was also considered as an American icon in different ways. Jordan was one of the leading basketball figures during mid-80s until the late ’90s, and remained as one of the most prominent sports figures until now. But the road His “Airness” took, was never an easy one.

All of us have experienced disappointments and rejection, Michael Jordan was no different. Jordan tried out for the high school basketball team but was rejected because he was considered short to play for the varsity level. But Jordan did not back down from his dreams. He joined the junior varsity squad where he showed his basketball skills. Eventually, he moved to another level during his junior and senior year in high school.

Early in his life, Jordan showed his tenacity in being the best basketball player he could possibly be. This was the first lesson that Jordan taught us, how to recover from failure and rejection. There are other college and professional games which tested his resolve, but he continued pushing through until he was able to etch his name on athletic history journals.

Jordan’s recipe to become the best basketball player was actually simple and essential lessons in both inside and outside of the sports world.

• Responsibility. Jordan took responsibility for his actions, both inside and outside the basketball court. This is obvious from one of his popular quotes, “some people just want to make things happen, others hopes it happens; while the rest make it happens.”

• Taking risks. Jordan is not just known as the best basketball player, but he was also a known figure in different fields. He is also known as an Olympic athlete, actor, and a business man. Jordan would have never excelled in this field if he did not take the risk just played in his comfort zone.

• Commitment and dedication. Jordan was an epitome of hard work and practice.

• Enjoy the game. The reason why there are people successful in their chosen craft is because they love what they doing.

• Humility. Star players or athletes would often forget their humble beginnings and would sometimes display an air of arrogance.

• Goal setting. Goals motivate both adults and children which is why it is essential to set achievable or workable goals.

• Seizing the moment. Jordan believed in doing things that he can do now. Opportunities should never postponed, rather it grabbed with both hands.

Amazingly, what we thought were just spectacles in Jordan’s life were important life skills/ lessons which we tend to forget or underestimate. Michael Jordan’s recipe for success was not really a secret, rather it was a concoction of determination, hard work and passion.

Of course, Jordan has skills that we may never possess. We may never be able to make that same vertical leap or same speed, but when we do something we are good at or something we love or passionate about, then we can certainly be the next best thing.

Source by Low Jeremy

May 15, 2017 0 comment
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Management of a project brings about many challenges for the project manager. One of the frequently encountered challenges is in the arena of Time Management. As any practicing project manager can attest, time is one of the most important project constraints frequently encountered in practice. The other two project constraints are project budget and project scope. Time constraint can be particularly challenging when customer imposes a predetermined target completion date even before the project planning begins or is still in-progress. And to compound this further, the customer imposed target date is usually ahead of the planned completion date. So, what is a project manager supposed to do under such circumstances?

Project Time Crunch: Handling Options

Project managers must carefully consider all possible options that can assist in matching the planned project completion date to customer specified completion date when the latter date is earlier than the former date. As a starting point, project manager can determine if schedule compression techniques can help in meeting the target date, and if that doesn’t work then negotiate two possible alternatives with project sponsor(s) and key stakeholders:

Reduce number of objectives/deliverables for the project. This reduces scope which in turn assists in reducing work and thus can help to make the target date achievable, or

Negotiate to change the target completion date for the project to at least match the planned completion date.

Prior to escalating the matter to sponsor and/or key stakeholders, it is advisable to explore if schedule compression can help. Schedule compression involves two techniques-Crashing and Fast-tracking. Crashing involves assignment of additional resources to tasks in order to assist in completing them faster. Fast-tracking involves performing several tasks concurrently especially if they have no direct dependency on one another and can be done in parallel. Now, crashing does increase project cost due to the employment of additional resources and for this project manager must take into consideration the project budget along with contingency reserve to ensure project costs does not exceed available funds. Note that a project manager can employ both the techniques in the same project if necessary.

Project Network Diagrams

In order to decide on the schedule compression approach and which tasks should be brought under the purview of which schedule compression approach, project manager must use the project’s network diagram also known as Network Logic Diagram. Let’s now understand the role that Project Network Diagram (PND) or Network Logic Diagram (NLD) can play in assisting project managers undertake schedule compression. PND can be of two types: Activity-on-Arrow (AOA) and Activity-on-Node (AON). Activity-On-Node (AON) PNDs are also known as Precedence Diagramming Method (PDM). In this article, I will focus on AONs or PDMs as they are more popular and frequently used in practice and in software such as Microsoft Project.

PDM/AON & CPM: Understanding Benefits

AONs are created based on activities or tasks obtained from the project’s Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). While WBS provides several details such as which tasks when completed can provide which project deliverable, it does not incorporate relationships or dependencies between tasks. Dependencies between tasks are either graphically depicted or described in tabular format for a PND. This helps in understanding the type of relationship between tasks and in what sequence they should be performed. In addition, PNDs can have multiple task sequences and each such sequence from start of project to finish defines a specific path in the PND. The delineation and understanding of all paths in a PND are important as it lays the groundwork for determining planned duration of the project as well as those tasks which directly impact the project’s completion date and thus cannot be delayed. A very specific method called Critical Path Method (CPM) is used for PNDs like AONs in order to determine the following:

  • Planned project completion date
  • Early start and finish times for each task in the PND
  • Late start and finish times for each task in the PND
  • Available Slack or Delay time for each task and the project itself
  • One or more critical tasks and paths in the PND

Arming oneself with all the details above can greatly assist in determining the following:

  • Which tasks can be delayed and which tasks cannot be delayed
  • Analyze dependencies to determine which tasks can be done concurrently in order to undertake fast-tracking if necessary
  • What is the planned total duration of the project?

Closing Thoughts

It must not be difficult to understand now that PNDs such as AONs is an important tool in a project manager’s toolbox to use in order to handle time constraint challenges or simply undertake schedule planning for a project. Knowledge of this very important tool along with application of network analysis technique called Critical Path Method (CPM) is a required skill even when it is done using robust scheduling software like Microsoft Project. This is because the actual task dependency set up even in Microsoft Project must be done by the project manager and it is often necessary to go beyond the defaults used by the software. It is then and only then that the software’s true power of being able to generate what-if scenarios can be utilized to the max which obviously cannot be done by always relying on software defaults. In addition to task dependencies, tasks can be set to have lead or lag times as well. Lead time is when a successor task is allowed to have a head start and can begin prior to completion of the predecessor task, and Lag time allows for the successor task to be delayed from starting by a defined time after the predecessor task completes.

Besides being useful in practice, anyone who aspires to get certified as a PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) will have to know all the basics regarding PNDs and use of CPM in order to prepare well for the important Project Time Management knowledge area. In this brief article I have focused on extolling the benefits of PDMs/AONs as they can significantly aid in management of project schedule and its constraint related challenges. I would like to encourage all readers new to this topic to consult any project management book that covers the basics of this topic in a comprehensive manner, and start using them in their projects.

Source by Jayanta K Das Purkayastha

April 3, 2017 0 comment
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Business Buyers come in all sizes and shapes. There can corporate buyers, individual buyers, partner buyers, management buyers and most commonly first time buyers. First time buyers don’t usually know what kind of business they are looking for nor how to go about the process of finding, evaluating, negotiating and closing a purchase of a business.

Assuming the buyer knows himself and knows what kind of career and salary he is looking for, an efficient determination of the type of business he should target can be a quick decision. But it isn’t as simple as picking a storefront, a gas station or a restaurant. True entrepreneurs that can handle long days and constant micro-management may well be suited to the smallest of small businesses to buy.

But a major segment of business buyers cannot see themselves running local main street businesses. I sure couldn’t when I started out buying businesses. So what is it we are looking for in a business?

The next level up from main street is what I call a “real” business or one with enough staff and sales to take care of itself should any one employee leave or otherwise become unavailable. In effect, can the business “run itself” without the owner being involved? If the answer is yes then it is not only a real business but it can be classified other ways, such as an investment, or absentee business, or even my favorite term, leveraged buyout or LBO.

An LBO is simply a buyout that uses financing of any sort based on the strength of the balance sheet and asset base. It can include one form of financing or many, and use lenders, investors and the seller. This puts many main street and service businesses out of that category as they have no strength in their balance sheets. But if a business can be bought using an LBO structure then this by itself would qualify the business as a viable candidate for most small business buyers to consider. Indeed it may be easier for the business buyer to complete and LBO on a slightly larger company than try to scrape up money for a smaller one without the benefit of any financing.

To provide some real world examples on this framework, I would establish a reasonable sales and profit range of a typical LBO candidate that would be a level up from main street but well underneath the radar of larger buyers and private equity. This range could be in the $2 Million plus in sales and $250,000 plus in profits range which is arguably the minimum size of a leveraged buyout.

This lowest range includes the largest universe of businesses to buy without dipping into a business size which is too small to allow the buyer to breathe or too weak to be financed. The perfect LBO candidate will have enough assets retained in the business to approximately cover the down payment for the purchase. This is when the buyer will know the deal is the right size. However there is no magic deal size and even sales of as low as $1.0 Million or below can generate substantial cash flow and great salaries for most buyers.

At the other end of the spectrum, companies with well over $1.0 Million if profits will be typically out of reach for the first time buyer since the deal will likely require a lot of invested capital. There is, however, a sweet spot at the lower end where small buyers can do some quick math and determine that the capital needed for the deal won’t break their budget.

As first time buyers go through a buyout or two the deal size can easily change. They may well be able to get to the next level and be able to structure larger buyouts and raise substantial amounts of capital to complete subsequent deals.

Source by Rockwell Marsh

April 1, 2017 0 comment
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