Speak out in a Quick Poll
By Jon Backus
Welcome back to Open Opportunities, the OpenMPE column. Hopefully, after reading our initial column you visited the Web site (www.OpenMPE.org) and joined the e-mail discussion group (OpenMPE-L). You may have become a member of the organization; after all, its free. If not, perhaps this months column will encourage you to join.
Since the last column, we attended HP World. From an OpenMPE prospective, it was a mixed show. The number of people taking part in MPE-related sessions was way down but among those attendees, we saw a pretty high percentage that took part in one of the OpenMPE-related sessions. There was an OpenMPE official update, SIG-MPE, the e3000 Customer Needs Panel, and two homesteading sessions. There has even been talk about separating out the OpenMPE track so a greater focus can be made. In fact, by the time you read this column, there will have already been a Quick Poll about this very topic on the organizations Web site.
These new Quick Polls are a feature of the OpenMPE Web site that allows us to generate information about important topics. Typically it is a one- to three-question poll that remains open for one-week intervals. It takes just a couple of minutes and allows you, the user community, to shape the future of OpenMPE.
Our first Quick Poll was about how you feel the OpenMPE organization is doing right now compared to last year, and how many live sessions you have attended in the last year. The results were very interesting and will surely spark some discussion on the OpenMPE-L. For example, 25 percent of you have a high level of confidence that OpenMPE will be successful and 56 percent have a medium level of confidence. Sixty-eight percent of you feel the same or a higher level of confidence as you did a year ago.
Despite that, sixty-eight percent of you did not attend any of this years three major Interex events that included OpenMPE (the East and West Coast Solution Symposiums or HP World). Now we need to examine these results and talk about them. Was the low percentage of attendance due to budget, timing, content, or what? What can OpenMPE do to raise your confidence level? Is it a lack of communication, taking too long to accomplish goals, or dissatisfaction with what has been done? These, and related topics, are sure to be discussed over the next few weeks in the OpenMPE-L.
Future Quick Polls will help to define the scope of OpenMPE (the organization); issues around HP 9000 to HP 3000 conversion ability and the PA-RISC emulator. You also have the ability to suggest a topic that you would like for a future poll.
The polls are just another example of how we are trying to make sure that OpenMPE is doing what the user community wants us to do. After all, OpenMPE represents the user community. Please make sure you get involved, even if its just a couple minutes a week to complete a Quick Poll.
In addition to being Chairman of OpenMPE, Jon Backus is president of Tech Group, a Maryland-based consulting company that specializes in project management, contract programming, system management, training, and all things MPE. Jon can be reached at JMBackus@TechGroupMD.com.
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