5 min read

A Carbon Neutral, Nature Positive Praecipio Consulting

By Christopher Pepe on May 4, 2021 11:09:00 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Praecipios green pathIn 2019 the Praecipio Consulting Green Team was given the goal of creating a carbon neutral future for the company as part of our Climate Action Plan. The Green team had already set its focus on Carbon, Human Health, and Sustainability. The net zero challenge was taken up with the goal of promoting those pillars. Praecipio Consulting has determined that the climate stabilization wedge of Proforestation best meets the company's environmental and human health goals. Our value "Maximize mutual benefit" is exemplified by the parcels that Praecipio Consulting has contributed to protecting. 

Finding our path

Praecipio Consulting initially rolled out a generous Green Stipend program to incentivize change in employees daily lives, and encourage others to do so as well. Through education and incentive we aimed to amplify the good that we could do. To reach carbon neutrality we would credit Praecipio Consulting for the carbon emissions that where eliminated by positive changes in behavior. Many employees improved insulation, installed new efficient windows, etc. Ultimately that program proved ineffective, however, it laid the groundwork for our future. The main issue was that the Green Stipend encouraged a holistic lifestyle change whose benefits were multifaceted, but the success of the program was only measured by the reduction in one's carbon emissions. The cost per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e, a standard measure used to model carbon footprint) was too high for the program to reach carbon neutrality on budget.

The Green team wished to retain the behavioral incentive component of the Green Stipend. Since inception, the Green team has delivered presentations via a monthly all hands State of the Business, on how we arrived at a climate crises, and more importantly, how individuals can change their behavior for a future that is reintegrated with the natural world.

Praecipio Consulting also needed to achieve its publicly stated goal of being carbon neutral in 2020 and beyond. One obvious solution was to buy carbon offsets from any number of sources. There are publicly available volunteer markets (also regulated markets for carbon intensive regulated industry but that does not apply to this type of business), as well as many afforestation companies that are replanting forests all over the world. Digging into each of these options ultimately made us feel that while we could check the carbon neutral box, it wasn't maximizing mutual benefit. Carbon exchanges offer very cheap credits with little insight into their source. Credits may come from a forest, or they may come from any number of other sources, some of which are of questionable utility to addressing climate change. Afforestation is a noble cause, and we support organizations involved in those activities like TreeFolks. However, a 1" sapling planted today will take decades to sequester any amount of carbon and we simply don't have that much time. We applaud these organizations, and will continue to fund them because we will need those trees in the future, however we felt we needed to do more now.

Proforestation

Since the 1600s the United States has cut most of its forests. Estimates vary, but it likely that at most 10% of our old growth forests remain and even in heavily forested areas there are surprisingly few undisturbed forests. Europe has achieved some of its carbon goals by purchasing wood pellets from the United States to power electric generation plants. Far too much of these wood pellets are made from clear cutting forests which removes carbon sinks and increases atmospheric carbon. This practice is considered carbon neutral largely due to an accounting error that there is little incentive in acknowledging.

Simply put, proforestation is a management practice where a mature forest is allowed to self-regulate. This is contrasted with active management for timber, biomass fuel, or other disruptive uses. The benefits of mature forest are many including habitat for native species, clean water, and obviously carbon storage. An important finding is that while a mature tree has a slower metabolism than a young tree, it still adds more biomass (mostly atmospheric carbon) than the younger, more vigorous whippersapling.

Because existing trees are already growing, storing carbon, and sequestering more carbon more rapidly than newly planted and young trees (Harmon et al., 1990; Stephenson et al., 2014; Law et al., 2018; Leverett and Moomaw, in preparation), proforestation is a near-term approach to sequestering additional atmospheric carbon: a significant increase in “negative emissions” is urgently needed to meet temperature limitation goals.

Each year a single tree that is 100 cm in diameter adds the equivalent biomass of an entire 10–20 cm diameter tree, further underscoring the role of large trees (Stephenson et al., 2014)

Human Health

Like all humans, Praecipians tend to find comfort, rest, and restoration when in the natural world. The human world is an amazing place filled with bright lights, sounds, and smells, that are largely ours (tho you are really Never Home Alone). The high intensity of the human world is especially draining. We can turn to meditative practices like church, yoga, and other mindful experiences to recharge, however, these are amplified when they occur in a natural setting.

Mature forests are magical and restorative places for humans to spend time. The practice of Forest Bathing has gained popularity, and the recent pandemic-induced shortage of any and all outdoor sports equipment has highlighted how people feel when they are in the natural world. Praecipio Consulting has focused on supporting forests in places that employees can enjoy and recharge. While the goal of keeping these forests wild and productive (with respect to ecological services, and not timber) they will be a refuge to Praecipians for many years to come.

Existing projects as of 2021 Q1

The following are significant proforestation and/or preservation projects that Praecipio Consulting has or continues to support. All are important ecological service providers with wild recreation opportunities. All had the potential to be used in an environmentally non-beneficial way and are now protected to continue to provide those services. The forests store 3 to 5 years of carbon emissions based on Praecipio Consulting's current operational model. Travel to customers was our largest segment of carbon emissions and the pandemic has eliminated that. If the post pandemic world is half as video-conference friendly that will greatly aid in our effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

Praecipios green path-table

Protecting existing forests is a powerful way to maximize the mutual benefit for all living things and promote a resilient and stable environment for life to thrive. At Praecipio Consulting, we pride ourselves of being a people-centered company, and we strive to do business while staying true to our values. Taking care of our planet is centered at the core of who we are.

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog culture environment corporate-responsibility green-team
3 min read

How Praecipio Consulting Promotes Wellness & Remote Work Culture

By Robyn Lane on Jun 12, 2020 11:35:50 AM

2020 Blogposts_How Jira helps your team work remotely copy 4

Remote work is our new normal, and the statement “I am here for you whenever you need” has always been my truth to demonstrate my availability to a co-worker or client, at whatever cost. I can honestly say that I've removed "at whatever cost" because of the additional time I have in the day due to not traveling or driving in rush hour traffic, which has allowed me to eat better and make time for regular exercise.

I feel that this shift has made me more available to our team, clients, and family than ever before. Think of all the employees that spend hours in traffic, get sick because someone at the office is sick, or eats a crap diet because who has time to get a real lunch? All of this adds up: long days = lack of sleep and missed workouts. Those are a few things that I do not miss about having to go into an office every day, and I am grateful for the healthier well- being that a remote work lifestyle has allowed me.  

Wellness Challenges

Praecipio Consulting created a robust wellness program where employees can earn up to 5 hours of PTO per month for completing two monthly wellness challenges. They can participate in one or two of the below challenges to earn their extra PTO:

Steps Challenge = 3 hrs of PTO: 10,000 per day x total number of business days per month

Sleep Challenge= 2 hrs of PTO: Women 6 hours/Men 7 hours per night x total number of business days per month 

Water Challenge= 1 hr of PTO: 64 fluid oz per day x total number of business days per month

We use Jira for tracking PTO Credit Hours and Confluence to share information about our Benefits, Health & Wellness Program, a guide to staying healthy. To ensure employees are able to work in the most suitable working environment with tools that help them succeed, all full-time employees can use their annual $600.00 wellness stipend on ergonomic equipment, exercise gear, medical exclusion, health memberships, alternative medicine, and much more. 

For me personally, I've always participated in the wellness program with just water. Being able to work remotely has given me the ability to spend more time with my dog, take our daily walks during lunch, supersede my previous step count, and increase my hours of sleep. Studies have shown remote work, flexible working schedules, and wellness programs contribute to improving employee morale, a decrease in medical claims, and reducing turnover. 

Staying Social While Working From Home

One downside of remote work is not being able to see employees' faces. A solution Praecipio Consulting created was to host a weekly Virtual-Bring-Together, where we connect to Zoom, play games, and engage in fun activities like Bingo, Pictionary, Scavenger Hunts, Cooking with Chef Babb, and Origami. Not only do our team members enjoy our Virtual-Bring-Togethers, but their families do too! 

Considering that most of the country is in a similar position with remote employees (and it sounds like we may be in this position for a while), I feel like we are all healthier and happier because of it. It sure does help that Praecipio Consulting gives me PTO hours for walking, sleeping, and drinking water, AND has found a solution to bring us all together. 

How many raised hands can I get from those folks who do a load of laundry in between calls, only spiffy their look from waist up for that video call, and enjoy the extra money saved from eating whole, nourishing foods from the best diner around (i.e. your kitchen)?

For more tips on now how we facilitate a remote work culture, you can read about how to support remote employees who may feel lonely or how to set yourself up for success when working from home. 

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog culture work-from-home work-life-balance remote-work
3 min read

How to Plan & Track OKRs With Atlassian Tools | Praecipio Consulting

By Brian Nye on Feb 5, 2020 9:39:41 AM

OKR: More Than Just a Buzzword

Like most of you, I have been challenged to establish my annual "OKRs" at the start of this new year. It seems that OKR has suddenly become a big buzzword that businesses have been throwing around the past few years. If you were like me before ever hearing of this acronym, you might be asking yourself: what is OKR, and what happened to the classics like KPI or SMART goals?

I decided to do some digging around to understand where this new buzzword comes from, and I learned that the term, in fact, has been around quite some time. More than 30 years to be exact! OKR was first introduced in the book High Output Management by Andy Grove, which was published in 1983. This term would later be used by one of Google's early investors, John Doerr, who used to work at Intel, and then it caught on at Spotify, Amazon and other big companies. That's when it gained traction to become the business buzzword that it is today. 

What is OKR?

Enough with the history lesson, what is exactly is OKR?

Simply put, OKR is a strategic framework that stands for (O)Objectives and (K)Key (R)Results. When setting your OKRs, the Objectives should be tied back to your organization's mission, vision, and strategic initiatives, and the Key Results are the measurable components that help you determine whether or not you are meeting your objectives. 

So, what is the difference between OKRs and KPIs or SMART goals? To start with, KPIs are are just measurements that represent output and don't tell you the entire story, whereas OKRs give you the big picture from the start to finish. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals are usually a bit more targeted and lack the full scope of the OKR methodology. You can think of OKRs as a collection of SMART goals and their respective KPIs. 

Plan & Track Your OKRs with Atlassian

Now that we understand the concept of OKRs, our next step is to establish them, and there is no better tool for this process than Confluence. At Praecipio Consulting, we dedicated a Confluence Space to our OKRs because we wanted to make sure that it is easily accessible to our employees. After all, we are all working together towards the same strategic objectives, and Confluence is the perfect collaborative space that allows us to check in on our goals and progress at any time. 

We started by organizing our OKRs by year so that we know what we have achieved in the past, as well as what we are working towards now and into the future. Within each year, we group our OKRs into overarching concepts that we refer to as "tracks". For example, we have a track for our 2020 OKR around "Climate Action Plan", and we use the Confluence Project Poster blueprint as a guide to document why this is part of our strategic objectives and who should be involved.

This also serves as a snapshot to get people excited about a track's children pages, which are the actual OKRs. Our OKR pages are custom templates that we built out and allow us to describe how we want our OKRs to look. More importantly, we use the page property macro to capture key pieces of information to display on that specific year's parent page, and we utilize labels that make the pages easier to reference.

For instance, one of the OKRs is to involve you, our community, by educating you and inviting you to join our efforts in overcoming climate change, which we do by providing your with content and information about organizations that we partner with via blog posts and webinars.  We will measure our success by the content we produce, the number clicks we receive on that content and the success stories shared by you as a result. 

To help with following up on OKRs, we utilize a Jira project for internal projects to track each OKR as an Epic and all the separate tasks as related issues. We use a Fix Versions as a grouping mechanism for the track so that we have visibility on how we are doing from a big picture perspective. 

Improve Your Goal-Setting Process

OKRs are not new to the business scene, but they can definitely help drive business value and help you reach your strategic objectives. Confluence is a great tool that allows you to capture the "why" and "what" you want to do, and Jira can show you "who" and "how" the OKR is doing.

If you are interested in learning how Atlassian tools can help you with your goal-setting and other business processes, contact us at Praecipio Consulting, and we'll be glad to get you on the right "track". 

Topics: jira praecipio-consulting confluence process-improvement global-climate-crisis atlassian-products
2 min read

It's About People...

By Amanda Babb on Apr 3, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Clients and potential clients ask us what sets us apart from other Atlassian Solution Partners. While I hate answering this question as I have good relationships with people from other Solutions Partners, I love the answer we have at Praecipio Consulting. 

We're people people. The relationship is the most important thing to our success. While we're working on the cutting edge of technology every day with every client, at the end of every day and every engagement, we're still focused on the people. The goal of every engagement is to make life just a little easier on the people through good process, well practiced. 

We're officially wrapping a nine-week engagement this week with a long-term client. This particular client has come back to us several times throughout my career here at Praecipio Consulting. The relationship and trust we've built with these folks have gone a long way to establishing both business and personal relationships around not only mutual interests but genuine caring about each other as people. 

This week, though, I was humbled by the other people I appreciate, but often overlook. When you stay at the same hotel for ~ two months, you get to know the staff as well. In particular, two employees stood out to me, not only for their excellent customer service, but their own openness and willingness to have conversations, debates, asking how the project team is doing, accommodating last minute changes, and making sure we were taken care of in whichever small ways they could. It's about the people and these two people showed us that what we drive with our clients is the right thing to do. 

Today was particularly poignant as this was my last night at this hotel. As a small gesture of my appreciation, I bought a simple bouquet and split it to give each of them a thank you for taking care of the project team. Not only taking care of the project team, but during a particularly arduous week, taking goofy pictures, discussing Netflix series, sharing their excitement of going to a Cavs game for the first time, or the excitement of the premiere of Black Panther. To put it plainly, they treated us like people...not consultants. 

At the end of the day, it's about people. It's about our day-to-day interactions with people that make what we do so amazing. Good days or bad days, people are people: interacting as a person and not as a title can bring great things to clients and friends. I, for one, am super proud to know these two amazing gentlemen and sincerely thank them for all they do!

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog teams human-resource
15 min read

Hello World From Praecipio Labs

By Praecipio Consulting on Mar 12, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and other advanced technical concepts are not new to Praecipio Consulting's engineers. In their spare time, they like to experiment, solve problems, and test ideas in a variety of areas. And the way they see it is they succeed, or they learn. Praecipio Labs, formalized in 2017, has really been around since the beginning. Whether it was a problem that needed solving, or it was just innate curiosity, Praecipio Labs was there to dig in and find a solution - or just have some fun! Most of the team's activity includes a variety of topics that may not be beneficial today, but are interesting nonetheless - like AI, improving advanced systems configurations, and much more.

So, who's the fearless leader?

Christopher Pepe, the Dragon of the West, oversees Praecipio Consulting's more technical endeavors. Having studied neural networks in college for robotic control systems, he has recently revisited the topic to enjoy some of the advancements that have been made. As artificial intelligence is held up as the greatest thing the universe has ever known it seemed like the right time to jump back in. Together with a ragtag team of interested engineers, Christopher is leading the Praecipio Consulting machine learning think tank to see if they can converge on a future that is better than a bag-o-if statements.

Some of Pepe and team's early projects included the Jira Toaster and Beer Me Jira. That was just the beginning. Today, Praecipio Labs is beginning to experiment with applications for machine learning. 

Pepe's recent experiment with text generation with neural networks is one of the many learning opportunities. We explored with Pepe his most recent experiment. 

 
 
 
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Concept

Using neural networks to generate text is certainly not novel but is a fun exercise. It is also a fairly simple problem since there isn't much preprocessing to create training data. (In most data science and AI exercises one spends the majority of the time formatting and processing data.) The idea here is simple, we want to train a neural network on a given body of text (corpus) so that it can generate similar text. In this way one can generate text in the voice of the author.

I took on this experiment to build an AI that could speak in my voice. As with any worthwhile endeavor, I learned more than I accomplished.

Approach

People approach this problem with either character based or word based inputs. Character based means that if your input is "Hi there Bob" then the network is fed "H", "i", " ", "t", "h", "e", "r", "e" and so on. If word based then the network is fed "Hi", "there", "Bob." Character based approaches allow the network to do cool things like create new words. Word-based is an easier approach and in our approach was the more successful choice with less training. Our approach used a wide-ish, shallow network instead of a deep network. That means our model memorized the corpus rather than learning the meaning of it.

Training data

In all training problems, you need a large set of training data that has inputs and corresponding outputs. For instance to build a tweet sentiment model one needs 1+ million tweets with an associated sentiment label (0=mad, 1=annoyed, 2=flat, 3=happy, 4=overjoyed) and the quality of that training data determines how good your model is. That's a big task to build on a novel data set.

On the other hand training, a text generator is a simple process. The input is some number of words and the output is the next word in the corpus. Using this paragraph as an example one input might be "On the other hand training a text generator is a" and the associated output value would be "simple." The next input would be "the other hand training a text generator is a simple" and the output would be "process." 

Stepping in this way over the corpus a number of times the network eventually converges to an acceptable point.

Goals

GPU Training

To get anywhere with deep learning one really needs to train on GPUs. There are some nuances to using GPUs on AWS, and to writing code that will take advantage of multiple GPUs. This project allowed us to figure out a successful approach to using AWS for training our models.

Intro to Recurrent Neural Networks

My intro to neural networks was in college using plain old fully connected, feed forward networks for non-linear control systems  (it was a bit more state of the art back then but would still be a fun project). Life and career keep me focused elsewhere and I've only recently jumped back in. There are a dizzying array of new architectures, and approaches to interesting problems to solve. I have long been interested in time series problems and have been focused on recurrent neural networks. This was a simple but non-trivial challenge to write from scratch.

Results

After 84 epochs the loss function was minimized to 0.1195. Providing a random sample of text from the corpus as a seed the network produced this output:

 to merge completed stories and bugfixes as quickly as possible into develop so that integration and quality testing can begin sooner. merging a feature branch into the develop branch should start a build and potentially deployment to an integration testing environment. deployments can be manually triggered, but the if automatic then one is always testing the tip of the develop branch. integration and qa testing should always be occurring on the develop branch. feature branches are where developers write their code. this keeps their work isolated from other developers until it is stable. stories are sized so that a feature branch lives for 1 to 3 days. many feature branches make up a deliverable epic. features are integrated into develop by way of pull requests. pull requests are gated merges. before the feature branch can be merged into develop the code must go through a review. this can be forced with permissions or by a convention that the team uses. the merged pull request also provides a single commit to use for cherry picking features. cherry picking process again note that this process circumvents best practices  

The source corpus content is listed here. You can see that the network simply memorized and regurgitated the source.

The Develop branch is the shared branch that developers use for integration testing and to accumulate features from the product backlog. The aim is to merge completed stories and bugfixes as quickly as possible into develop so that integration and quality testing can begin sooner. Merging a feature branch into the develop branch should start a build and potentially deployment to an Integration Testing environment. Deployments can be manually triggered, but the if automatic then one is always testing the tip of the develop branch. Integration and QA testing should always be occurring on the develop branch.  Feature branches are where developers write their code. This keeps their work isolated from other developers until it is stable. Stories are sized so that a feature branch lives for 1 to 3 days. Many feature branches make up a Deliverable/Epic. Features are integrated into develop by way of Pull Requests.

Some generated samples varied or had incomplete sentences but overall this model did an excellent job of recreating the source document.

I, and the team, look forward to sharing more experiments and tests like this one soon.

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog artificial-intelligence software-development machine-learning

Less Waste, Less Frustration

By Praecipio Consulting on Jun 2, 2011 11:00:00 AM

Another “what we do in a nutshell.” We love this stuff.

 

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog bpm business efficiency management process reduce waste
1 min read

CTXAUG First Meeting at Scholz Beer Garten

By Praecipio Consulting on Feb 22, 2011 11:00:00 AM

We’re excited to host the first Central Texas Atlassian User Group next month – a place for Atlassian users (Jira, Confluence, Greenhopper, Crucible, etc) to connect and share ideas. We’re expecting over 50 attendees, so we’ll be starting off with a bang!

The meeting details:
Thursday, March 17, 2011
6:00PM to 8:15PM
Scholz Beer Garten
1607 San Jacinto Boulevard (at 17th Street)
North Dining Room
Austin, TX 78701

We’ll provide some pizza to munch on. Beer can be purchased at the bar. Expect mingling, brief group planning, and two fantastic speakers:

Christopher Pepe, Praecipio Consulting
Sean deBardelaben, AT&T

To RSVP, visit our Meetup page or our Eventbrite page.

Topics: jira atlassian praecipio-consulting news blog atlassian-community-event austin central confluence crucible groups texas user consulting-services greenhopper
1 min read

10 Hotspots for Process-Generated Waste: (01) Not Confronting Problems

By Praecipio Consulting on Feb 17, 2011 11:00:00 AM

This is the first installment of a 10-week series. Each Thursday we’ll (a) pinpoint a hotspot, (b) offer context and possible solutions, and (c) ask for answers from the crowd. So, enjoy – and contribute!

This one’s easy. Problems that aren’t confronted aren’t fixed. But you’d be surprised how often problems actually go unfixed.

Why? In general, it takes time to fix things. In many instances where this is the case, people recognize there’s a problem but are too busy to devote time to fixing it and prioritize other tasks.

The problem festers. Problems that are noticed have impacted productivity and well-being negatively to some extent, or else they wouldn’t be problems – i.e. employee time (and therefore money) is being wasted. On a small scale – say, in a group of five people – this could cost the company a hundred bucks a month. On a large scale, the loss could fly off the chart. In the larger scenario, we’re talking about a problem that could just be a minor inconvenience for a handful of folks becoming a budget boon for Finance, which will presumably have no knowledge of a problem.

It’s cheaper to fix problems when they come up – even if they take hours to get right.

YOUR STORIES: When have you seen this in your organization? How (and when) did you end up fixing it? Comment below or tweet @praecipio.

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog bpm business finance management problem process tips tricks waste
1 min read

We [Also] Offer SharePoint, Custom Development Services

By Praecipio Consulting on Feb 8, 2011 11:00:00 AM

We do SharePoint. So do other companies. We develop custom software and web parts. So do other companies. If you walk outside, you may hear to the cacophony emitting from the rooftops: “Need SharePoint? Custom this? Custom that? Talk to us. Talk to US. TALK TO US!”

We participate in this because we have to. That’s how messages get heard. And now for a cliché marketing statement: we’re different from our competitors. But get past the cliché and consider our competitive advantage:

As a small firm, we’re able to execute our projects with more care and intentionality than most large firms. You’ll be acquainted with most of our team, including our Founder, throughout the course of the project effort – which creates a better sense of commitment and accountability in our relationship with you. Our small team has broad capabilities: whether you need SharePoint hosting, ITIL consulting, custom development, process improvement, …you’ll be working with the same group of people.

As social entrepreneurs, we leverage a unique type of capital in business. Market capitalism is built on such tangibles as land, labor, and financial capital, while social capitalism is built on creative, intellectual, and social capital – and a strong sense of community and involvement in the surrounding community. We strive to be engaged in what’s going on around us, using our resources to respond to the needs of our customers, community, and industry. As both businesses and individuals, we’re responsible for the collective well-being of our communities.

Praecipio Consulting is improving the community by enabling businesses to reduce their process-generated waste – making our environment more sustainable while reducing our clients’ costs. With competitive pricing, diverse capabilities, and a commitment to our services that isn’t based on numbers alone, we offer an experience that’s literally different than what you’ll find out there.

So, need SharePoint? Need custom development? Talk to us. We [also] want to help you.

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog bpm business management process sharepoint waste consulting-services continuous-improvement development itil bespoke
2 min read

Partner Spotlight: Christian Lane

By Praecipio Consulting on Nov 30, 2010 11:00:00 AM

This week we spotlight Christian Lane, our firm’s Founding Partner. The eight QA’s below enlighten readers by revealing who Christian Lane is and how Praecipio Consulting got started. Enjoy:

Brian: What’s your role at Praecipio Consulting?
Christian: “As Founding Partner, I set the strategic direction and pace of the business.”

Brian: Personally, what do you like about your position?
Christian: “The challenges. I tend to get bored easily; the diverse set of challenges we help our clients through (and work through ourselves) keeps me motivated. I’m in a position to help organizations reduce and eliminate inefficiencies and waste, improving their bottom line. That’s exciting to me.”

Brian: What spawned your idea to start Praecipio Consulting?
Christian: “I’ve spent a lot of time and energy in my career helping companies solve business problems and improve profit margins…I felt a consulting business model was one that I could grow. I hail from a long line of entrepreneurs and business owners – and since process and technology are my core capabilities, the consulting business seemed like a fit.”

Brian: What personal traits help you with your job?
Christian: “I’ve been told I excel in leadership – that’s where I’ve had a lot of success and recognition.”

Brian: You’ve said some things about efficiency at this point. What usually causes inefficiency in organizations?
Christian: “A lack of repeatable, well-defined processes within a good technology framework that facilitates good process. Also, politics and protecting of turf tend to keep businesses in silos of under-performance.”

Brian: What motivates you when you’re working client-side?
Christian: “To put this simply, I love solving problems and helping others. We can use our strengths to save companies money and improve their profit margins, enabling them to do what they do better. I love that, we love that…and over time, our clients love it too.”

Brian: You have a day off. What do you do?
Christian: “I enjoy tending to my vegetable garden – I get a lot of peace getting my hands dirty and participating in the lifecycle of plants and food. Part of my fascination with growing food and plants is experimentation with nature’s processes, transactions, and cycles. Ultimately, everything in life is subject to the same constraints and basic elements, and has a life cycle. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; gardening gives me a real sense and reminder of that.

Aside from gardening, I like to keep active. I enjoy wake boarding, fly fishing, whitewater kayaking, running, mountain biking – anything outdoors – as well as spending time with my lovely wife and two dogs.”

Brian: What is the airspeed velocity of an African swallow?
Christian: “That’s funny, are you searching for the Holy Grail? This question reminds me of a skit/presentation we did while I was at Tactica Technology Group eight or so years ago in Dallas. The skit was a spoof on Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. We took the plot from the movie and applied it to a huge EDI project we completed for a major utility in Dallas in preparation for the deregulation of the Texas Electric Market – it was cheesy, but fun.

As for the actual answer, I’d have to look that one up; I don’t know a thing about African swallows. I don’t think I’ll register this one to memory either…as Einstein put it, ‘Never memorize what you can look up in books."

Topics: praecipio-consulting blog partners consulting-services continuous-improvement
1 min read

Looking Forward to SXSW 2011

By Praecipio Consulting on Nov 4, 2010 11:00:00 AM

We’re excited to announce that Praecipio Consulting’s Christian Lane and Brian Nunnery are helping out with SXSW 2011as Interactive Liaisons. From now until the March festival, Christian and Brian will be using their strong communication and management skills to ensure that SXSW speakers and presenters have the support they need for their panels and presentations. It’s important for us to promote creativity and drive innovation, so we’re jazzed about having a hand in this year’s event.

Since the late 1980s, SXSW has attracted national attention by showcasing the latest technology and trends in film, music, and interactive media. In recent years, nearly 100,000 folks have flocked to Austin to attend the festival, which has served as the launchpad for such tech apps as Twitter and Foursquare. If you’re thinking of coming to SXSW’s film, music, or interactive festivals, check out the 2011 schedule. If you wouldn’t miss it for the world, then we’ll count on seeing you there!

Topics: praecipio-consulting news sxsw twitter consulting-services

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