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Project Readiness: Score Your Way to Success

Whether launching an IT project or going to market with a new product, executives contemplating a move forward have long relied on obsolete methods of decision-making. Using inaccurate measurements, such as past performance and other forms of bias, make it far too easy to fail.  What’s the answer? A project readiness score using objective data from within your organization.  The traditional steps to deciding whether or not an organization should spend resources, time, and energy on an initiative have been: ideation, analysis, and approval. The middle part, analysis, is often squeezed between the pressure of go-to-market forces or solving a problem that results in executives wanting to go straight from ideation to approval.  Left out are important considerations like, can the organization succeed and what factors stand in the way of success? Government agencies are particularly attached to this conventional approach.  One example of how a government agency broke away from such old patterns is CalPERS.  The program that manages more than 3200 different pension systems for 1.6 million public employees and retirees needed to update its aging actuarial system.  Considering the financial impact and strict auditing requirements, the CalPERS board knew how important time and accuracy were to upgrade the 25-year-old system.  They had no tolerance for a meandering, undisciplined project. CalPERS spent nine months undergoing a rigorous assessment of their situation and discovered major vulnerabilities related to operating units that changes to the new system would have impacted.  While nine months may seem like a long time to analyze how ready the organization is to move forward, the project came in early and under budget, saving time, money, and countless future headaches.  In addition, it currently serves as a shining example of how a government agency can successfully execute a project, given the correct data and insights.  A project readiness score leads an organization through the appropriate amount of analysis while considering objective data that shines the light on critical vulnerabilities that might otherwise doom a project. 

Robotic Process Automation: A Silver Bullet for Government Backlogs

One of the most common features of government programs includes collecting and processing data, such as personal information related to applications for benefits, professional licenses, or permits. Often, programs fall behind because they cannot keep up with surges in workload, like when unemployment skyrocketed during the pandemic.   Such backlogs have long plagued departments, resulting in delays and hardships for constituents, not to mention political headaches for government leaders.  It’s easy to imagine stacks of paperwork piling up as program staff work day and night to evaluate and process forms. Fortunately, modern technology has caught up with this dilemma and offers hope that can greatly enhance the way that agencies serve people.  Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software technology that any business can use to automate repetitive steps using a “bot” to execute human tasks based on business rules. RPA enables developers to program bots by observing human tasks– such as navigating an application, looking up records, evaluating data fields, identifying matches and mismatches, reconciling discrepancies and duplicates– and then replicating those actions with incredible speed and accuracy. Bots can also be programmed to escalate more complex cases to staff queues for manual review.    While RPA is not a substitute for human judgment, it can have a tremendous impact on backlogs by expediting the low-level, time-consuming tasks that create bottlenecks in processing. This allows personnel to spend more quality time ensuring that final outcomes are achieved, such as issuing benefits to families in need. Deployed and managed by skilled software developers, such as our expert team at M Corp, RPA can increase the speed and accuracy of backlog processing while boosting opportunities for government staff to focus on more rewarding, mission-based work.

Install Your Email Signature

Some quick tips on getting your email signature up and running can be found below. If you haven’t already generated your custom code, please fill out the form on this page. Outlook HTML signature installation is a little tricky, but don’t worry! This guide will walk you through the process it step-by-step. Note: These instructions are for Outlook 2010 specifically, but should work for other versions as well. Visit /signature/ Enter your contact information (All fields are required) Open your email and locate message from “M Corp” Highlight the code and press Ctrl + C on the keyboard Create a new signature (Outlook 2010) ☑ File > Options > Mail > Signatures > New ☑ Enter a meaningful name ☑ Select OK Use dropdown menu to assign new signature as default Locate the Windows Explorer icon and click once to open Navigate to the signatures folder on the C: Drive ☑ C: > Users > yourusername > AppData > Roaming > Microsoft > Signatures Locate the HTML document (the one with the name you used in Step 5) ☑ Click once on the file name to highlight it ☑ Right click on the file and select Open With > Notepad (a new window will open) Replace the HTML contents ☑ Delete the existing HTML code from this file (yes, all of it) ☑ Press Ctrl + P to paste your new code into this file ☑ Select File > Save ☑ When done, close the window Compose and send a test message to yourself   Apple Mail has a pretty complicated process of installing your signature. Don’t worry though! We will walk you through it step-by-step. You will be using the HTML file we provided to you for this process. Note: These instructions are for Apple Mail on 10.9.X but all versions are similar. Add a placeholder signature In Mail.app, go to Preferences > Signatures and create a signature with any random content. Name it something meaningful. You will be swapping this out later. Drag the temporary signature to the email account on the left where you will likely use it. Now quit Mail.app. Open the signatures folder This process differs if you are using iCloud. First open the following folder: ☑ Using iCloud: ~/Library/Mobile Documents/com~apple~mail/Data/MailData/Signatures/ ☑ Not Using iCloud: ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Signatures/ Open the folder to show your email signatures in Finder. If you are having trouble opening the ~/Library folder, try holding down the Option key and clicking the “Go” menu in Finder. Check here for more tips if you are still having trouble opening the ~/Library folder. Drill down through the appropriate folders as shown above. Find the placeholder When you created a temporary placeholder signature in step 1, Mail automatically created a .mailsignature file that represents it in this folder. Locate the .mailsignature file in the ~/Library folder. It will have a random name. If you are using iCloud, it will start with ubiquitous. If you need help, you can open the file in Safari and view the contents to make sure it is the right one. Open the placeholder file When you have located the placeholder .mailsignature file, open it with your html editor. I use TextMate, but you will probably find it easiest to use TextEdit. If you are using TextEdit, make sure you have the “Display HTML files as HTML code…” option set in TextEdit preferences menu. Once open, you will see a few metadata lines on the top of the file and some html code below it. Replace the HTML contents Keep the top metadata lines, but replace the HTML in the file with the contents of the HTML file we have provided for you. Save the file when you are done. Lock the mail signature file THIS STEP IS ONLY NECESSARY IF YOU ARE NOT USING ICLOUD. IF YOU ARE USING ICLOUD, PLEASE SKIP THIS STEP. Even though you save this file, Mail.app will use the original version and overwrite your new signature unless you lock the file. With your text editor now closed and the file saved, find it again in Finder and press command-i to bring up the info pane for the file. On this info pane, mark the “Locked” checkbox. Restart mail Restart Mail.app and go to Preferences > Signatures. If you have images in your signature, they will not show here in the preview, but they will show in the real signature if the location is valid.  

Terms of Use

By downloading or using the application called “Engine”, created by M Corp these terms will automatically apply to you, therefore make sure that you read them carefully before using the app. We are offering you this app to use for your own personal use without cost, but you should be aware that you cannot send it on to anyone else, and you’re not allowed to copy, or modify the app, any part of the app, or our trademarks in any way. You’re not allowed to attempt to extract the source code of the app, and you also shouldn’t try to translate the app into other languages, or make derivative versions. The app itself, and all the trade marks, copyright, database rights and other intellectual property rights related to it, still belong to M Corp. M Corp is committed to ensuring that the app is as useful and efficient as possible. For that reason, we reserve the right to make changes to the app or to charge for its services, at any time and for any reason. We will never charge you for the app or its services without making it very clear to you exactly what you’re paying for. The Engine app stores and processes personal data that you have provided to us. It’s your responsibility to keep your phone and access to the app secure. We therefore recommend that you do not jailbreak or root your phone, which is the process of removing software restrictions and limitations imposed by the official operating system of your device. It could make your phone vulnerable to malware/viruses/malicious programs, compromise your phone’s security features and it could mean that the Engine app won’t work properly or at all. You should be aware that there are certain things that M Corp will not take responsibility for. Certain functions of the app will require the app to have an active internet connection. The connection can be Wi-Fi, or provided by your mobile network provider, but M Corp cannot take responsibility for the app not working at full functionality if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, and you don’t have any of your data allowance left. If you’re using the app outside of an area with Wi-Fi, you should remember that your terms of agreement with your mobile network provider will still apply. As a result, you may be charged by your mobile provider for the cost of data for the duration of the connection while accessing the app, or other third party charges. In using the app, you’re accepting responsibility for any such charges, including roaming data charges if you use the app outside of your home territory (i.e. region or country) without turning off data roaming. If you are not the bill payer for the device on which you’re using the app, please be aware that we assume that you have received permission from the bill payer for using the app. At some point we may wish to update the app. The app is currently available on Android and iOS. The requirements for both systems (and for any additional systems we decide to extend the availability of the app to) may change, and you’ll need to download the updates if you want to keep using the app. M Corp does not promise that it will always update the app so that it is relevant to you and/or works with the iOS/Android version that you have installed on your device. However, you promise to always accept updates to the application when offered to you, We may also wish to stop providing the app, and may terminate use of it at any time without giving notice of termination to you. Unless we tell you otherwise, upon any termination, (a) the rights and licenses granted to you in these terms will end; (b) you must stop using the app, and (if needed) delete it from your device. « Help Center

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Create an Initiative

There are two ways to create a new initiative: From the dashboard, tap the icon at the lower right, or From anywhere in the app, tap the menu at top left and choose New Initiative. Give the initiative a short, identifiable name. Add notes on the project, if you wish. Select the type of initiative. Tap Create. Notes It’s important to choose the initiative type carefully, as this choice will affect Engine’s report results. If this is your first initiative and your account was created with Facebook or Google credential, you will be prompted for some additional information before being able to proceed. « Help Center Run the initiative »

M Corp sponsors event featuring Department of Justice CIO Adrian Farley

California Department of Justice Chief Information Officer Adrian Farley recently detailed the latest developments in combating crime with the help of information technology, a critical focus with the Internet and a fast-growing mobile world. Farley discussed everything from accessing firearm registration information for law-enforcement officers to the “Justice Cloud,” an effort to leverage cloud service. He also detailed a so-called justice mobile service, the ability to access information on mobile devices. Farley has held numerous positions within state government. M Corp sponsors numerous events and fundraisers throughout the year.

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