Next week I’m speaking at Qbit’s test expo. I’ve been working on my slides today, experimenting a little with what Office 12 brings. So far my productivity is way down. Plenty has changed in Office 12. When we were pitching DotP’s content management system we’d often plug the idea of consistent design for government websites (search in the top right, navigation on the left hand side etc) by comparing government’s sites to Microsoft’s Office. The line was something like “imagine if Microsoft moved the save button every time you opened word – one day it was under file, the next time it was under tools, the time after that it was under help”. It was a strong argument for consistency then and it’s a strong argument now.
Once, in conversation with Bill Gates, I asked him why he hadn’t made certain changes to the way Windows works – things that would take it several steps forward. He said that it was because big changes upset people and forced them to change their work practices, reducing productivity and increasing the learning curve. Plainly that stance has changed. Office 12 makes some big changes. And it’s taking me some time to find my way around them.
One of the things that most surprised me was: after creating the first draft of my slides I saved it in Office 12 format. The file was just over 2mb. When I saved it in Office 97-2003 format, the file was 8mb! I didn’t think I used anything special – no fancy backgrounds, no new animations. Even when I zipped the 8mb file it was still 7mb. Not much saving there.
“Projects always start late. Sometimes it will be delays in approvals, other times it will be that the board meeting overruns and doesn’t get time to approve it, it might even be that the business case needs several further revisions. Whatever, your project always starts late. Sadly, end dates are always fixed � there might be a ministerial commitment, a marketing campaign with associated media-buying, a really fixed date (2012 Olympics anyone?) or a need to be in the market before an important date, like Christmas.”
Anyway, if you’re in Manchester on Wednesday, come to the conference. Looks like there are some good speakers and you can always leave before I get on stage.