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 The Activia Training blog 

 Main page for Jordan James 

Jordan James
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Jordan James is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Activia Training, a UK-based training provider specialising in improving delegates' workplace performance in business skills, management development and IT applications. Jordan is passionate about social media and customer service issues, and regularly blogs about these – and many other – topics on the Activia blog.
It feels like Microsoft Office has been around forever! And yet it’s actually only really been around for the lifespan of one full generation.

But as time as gone on, some of the Microsoft products have fallen by the wayside (Due to either better products from opposition or improved products from Microsoft themselves eg. does anybody use FrontPage anymore? Noooooo.)

So is PowerPoint still the best and most ...
Image for Jordan James Jordan James
Dec 11, 2018
You can’t turn the telly on or open up the newspaper without seeing an expert bemoaning the end of human communication as we know it. After all, with myriad new forms of communication made available in the past few decades (internet, SMS, smartphones, iPads, streaming TV, news on demand), the ways in which we speak and relate to one another has faced an irrevocable change. This isn’t going to change, and if a...
Image for Jordan James Jordan James
Aug 05, 2018
We all use spreadsheets from time to time, some people are on them all day every day. It depends on your job role. It pays to learn about the key formulas and functions that are needed to complete the tasks on Excel that you need to do.

Some people deal with “people data” and that’s all text based names and addresses etc. Some people are finance based so it’s all about the numbers, they need calculatio...
Image for Jordan James Jordan James
Feb 01, 2018
There are many different job roles out there, and many types of companies, but one common thread is their use of Excel across all industries and walks of life.

It’s a key business tool that’s developed over the years and has many incredible capabilities, far too many to discuss them all in this article.

1.    Industry Standard Software

So how is Excel useful? Well, let’s say you work in Finance, so...
Image for Jordan James Jordan James
Jan 23, 2018

In this blog article, we will look at a number of ways that Pivot Tables in Excel can help you. They are probably the most powerful thing in Excel for reporting your data with, so let’s take a look ...
by Jordan James, Jan 10, 2018

You know how difficult managing a personal project can be. However methodical your planning, there’s no accounting for the complexities ahead. The unexpected is never far away, like changes to your ...
by Jordan James, Jun 05, 2017

Are you a project manager experiencing ‘that sinking feeling?' One minute, everything seemed to be going well - then suddenly, you feel like you've hit a brick wall?
Don't worry, we’ve all ...
by Jordan James, Apr 13, 2017

When a team is inspired, they get a spring in their step. They’re more motivated to reach the team’s goals - and they’ll even work harder to get there.
So, if you’re a line manager, ins ...
by Jordan James, Mar 27, 2017

If you're a supervisor, chances are you feel you don’t always get the respect you deserve. Some lower-level staff think supervision is easy. Outsiders, too, may look at the organisation’s figurehe ...
by Jordan James, Mar 13, 2017

Managing a project can be daunting. It’s easy to know where the project should end. But knowing how you should start – and all the tricky steps along the way – are a different matter.
The ...
by Jordan James, Feb 28, 2017

The Oracle Database 12c is an enterprise class high performance database. Oracle has described this release as "the first database designed for the cloud." Oracle Database 12c has many important capab ...
by Jordan James, Jan 25, 2017

Leaders, and the skills of management, are sometimes undervalued. While lower-level work usually has a physical result (such as making or selling a product), a leader’s work is less visible. But tha ...
by Jordan James, Jan 20, 2017

Oracle is highly regarded as a leading database provider. Clients from SME to multinational organisations use Oracle for a range of services, including training through Oracle University. Whilst the O ...
by Jordan James, Jan 19, 2017

Managing a team can be one of the most rewarding things in the world… provided you love responsibility and multitasking. Because team management can also be incredibly stressful.
You know how ...
by Jordan James, Jan 12, 2017

Isn’t e-learning the best? It can deliver low-cost, interactive courses to hundreds of learners, anywhere in the world. There’s no need for a physical venue, or an in-person trainer. Scoring and o ...
by Jordan James, Aug 10, 2016

Consistently delivering projects on time and within budget is the Holy Grail of project management. But whether you are a client or a project manager, you have to admit it, lots of projects fail. Proj ...
by Jordan James, May 25, 2016

Although the project management landscape is constantly changing, its statistics can make for some pretty bleak reading. It's widely known that a large number of projects fail to deliver within the te ...
by Jordan James, May 19, 2016

Anyone who's been in a position of authority knows just how hard it can be to relinquish control and delegate tasks to others. In fact, many managers admit that delegating is one of the hardest things ...
by Jordan James, May 11, 2016

Organisations are constantly on the lookout for effective ways of managing their time and money. In project management, we're tasked with coordinating teams, keeping track of intricate workflows and o ...
by Jordan James, May 04, 2016

People are not machines. Pretty obvious statement, right?
So why do project managers insist on trying to program their teams to do exactly as they say and expect consistently high performance? ...
by Jordan James, Apr 26, 2016

Effective team work is widely regarded as one of the main drivers of any significant organisational progress. But building the right team of people is one thing, keeping them engaged is another. It’ ...
by Jordan James, Apr 18, 2016

To most people, the proverb ‘measure twice, cut once’, may sound cliché. However, in project management, it happens to be an unofficial but important rule.
These days, projects seem to be ...
by Jordan James, Apr 12, 2016

“The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.”
When the poet, Robert Burns wrote the poem To a Mouse in 1785, he probably never thought it would one day apply to project management. ...
by Jordan James, Apr 06, 2016

“Death march projects are the norm, not the exception.”
When Edward Yourdon made that statement in his book, Death March, many assumed it was a problem only present in the software industry ...
by Jordan James, Mar 30, 2016

Wouldn’t it be just great if everyone got along with everyone?
Sadly, that is but a wish; no matter how nice you think you are, conflict is unavoidable when you work with other people. When a ...
by Jordan James, Mar 22, 2016

Everyone who works or has ever worked in customer service knows how stressful this field is, and how hard it is to stay focused and motivated throughout the job. Customer service advisors have to deal ...
by Jordan James, Dec 23, 2015

Performing regular quality checks is part of maintaining a good customer service system. The structure is fluid: you hire new employees, some employees leave, and there are changes in the level of per ...
by Jordan James, Dec 17, 2015

Understandably, many business owners focus most of their efforts on getting new customers and making greater sales. For them, influx of new customers is the best indicator of growth. And to some exten ...
by Jordan James, Dec 11, 2015

When it comes to providing effective customer service, respecting your customers is essential if you want to maintain a good relationship with them and make sure that they stay loyal to you and your c ...
by Jordan James, Nov 24, 2015

Unfortunately, mistakes do happen from time to time – it’s human nature. The good news is that your customers don’t expect you to be perfect and are generally more than willing to forgive occasi ...
by Jordan James, Nov 20, 2015

I already talked about the importance of customers and providing an excellent customer service in my previous article, but it’s something that can’t be emphasised enough. Retaining your customers ...
by Jordan James, Nov 16, 2015

In today’s business world, customers – and customer feedback – are crucial for a company’s success, so it’s vital that you bring the best customer service to the table. Great customer servic ...
by Jordan James, Nov 13, 2015

In today’s competitive business world, simply being good isn’t enough anymore – you need to be better than that if you want to succeed. Whatever product or service they are looking for, customer ...
by Jordan James, Nov 11, 2015

If you run a business, I’m sure you know how important customers are. They are the backbone of your company, the ones providing you with revenue and income. You depend on them for your livelihood so ...
by Jordan James, Nov 09, 2015

In today’s highly competitive business world, it’s vital to keep evolving. Which means that you need to monitor your online reputation and customer satisfaction, and if you find any discrepancies ...
by Jordan James, Nov 05, 2015

Although project closing might seem like an insignificant step in your project management journey, it is, in fact, a crucial part of delivering a successful project. To help you get this step right, h ...
by Jordan James, Nov 02, 2015

You’ve just been assigned a big project. After painstakingly analysing all the aspects of the project, you created a project schedule. You’ve been working on the project tirelessly, only to sudden ...
by Jordan James, Oct 26, 2015

Managing multiple projects at the same time is not an easy task, especially if all of them seem equally urgent. So what can you do when every project is a priority and budgets are tight? How do you pr ...
by Jordan James, Oct 16, 2015

It doesn’t matter how well you planned your project, unfortunately, project delays are inevitable. They can happen for a number of reasons, but the important thing is not why they occur – it’s h ...
by Jordan James, Oct 14, 2015

Every project manager’s aim is to deliver projects on time and within budget. However, 2 out 3 projects fail to reach the finish line on time or end up costing more money than what they’ve initial ...
by Jordan James, Oct 12, 2015

What would it do to your project planning if every task and decision was given equal importance?  It would be pure chaos, to say the least. Without a way to measure your progress or plan the next sta ...
by Jordan James, Oct 08, 2015

Project constraints are certain things that restrict your project and affect how you manage it. Unfortunately, these constraints are an inevitable part of any project and even though you can discover ...
by Jordan James, Oct 06, 2015

Working on a project with a tight deadline is a stressful process for everyone involved. Expect frayed tempers, an unhappy boss, and team members grudgingly working long hours. And all this because so ...
by Jordan James, Oct 02, 2015

Staying at the helm of affairs is surely very exciting and challenging. The more you grow and perform, the more responsibilities you will be rewarded with. But these responsibilities also mean that yo ...
by Jordan James, Sep 30, 2015

The success of any project largely depends on the goals and objectives that you set for yourself and your team. So, it is of utmost importance that you always define these goals first whenever you’r ...
by Jordan James, Sep 28, 2015

Training is often one of the first business expenditures to be cut whenever there is an economic slowdown. However, this is often a costly mistake. Only when a business is able to compete in the marke ...
by Jordan James, Sep 03, 2015

E-Learning is an incredibly powerful tool that many businesses have embraced over the last decade. But are some businesses relying on it too much, to their detriment?
Training is an inevitable ...
by Jordan James, Aug 28, 2015

We’ve all been there. It’s the annual budget table, and the subject of training comes up. No one would dare say that it is unimportant – yet, the finance department and just about everyone else ...
by Jordan James, Aug 26, 2015

Like so many other facets of business, the recruitment process has changed considerably in recent years. Perhaps you remember the days when all you needed to do was place adverts in a local newspaper ...
by Jordan James, Aug 24, 2015

Change is an inevitable part of life and business. If your business is not changing regularly, then it's unlikely to last beyond the short-term. All durable organisations have strategies and processes ...
by Jordan James, Aug 20, 2015

Training the trainers - it's a crucial step to any growing, thriving business that seeks to adequately equip its employees. As people are promoted to management roles, it is essential that they know h ...
by Jordan James, Aug 18, 2015

Talent management is an ongoing challenge for modern organisations. Over the past few decades, talent management practices have been largely dysfunctional, leading businesses to lurch from shortfalls ...
by Jordan James, Aug 14, 2015

How well you manage your project can determine its success or failure, so it isn’t a responsibility that should be taken lightly. If you want to finish your job as efficiently as possible, you need ...
by Jordan James, Aug 14, 2015

All leaders should continually improve in order to progress in their career. If you aren’t growing in your capabilities, and you aren't stretching yourself, then you're either stagnating, or maybe e ...
by Jordan James, Aug 13, 2015

Project managers are an integral part of most organisations, but are all of them effective? Well, not really. The truth is, it’s not easy to find highly effective project leaders. A good project man ...
by Jordan James, Aug 12, 2015

A team – and the way members of this team work together - can make or break a project, so developing an effective project team is one of the primary responsibilities of a project manager.
How ...
by Jordan James, Aug 10, 2015

In any business, it's the few high performers that are responsible for the big results: they're the innovators, the decision makers, the fixers and the profit centres. So how can businesses squeeze mo ...
by Jordan James, Aug 07, 2015

Every business owner and manager knows that their biggest asset is their team. Employees probably represent your largest ongoing fixed cost, but they're also the lifeblood of your business. It stands ...
by Jordan James, Aug 06, 2015

No matter how much we want them to be, no project is completely risk-free. Whenever you take on a project, there are several factors that can cause delays, accidents, quality issues, added expenses, a ...
by Jordan James, Aug 06, 2015

Risks are a natural part of a project and therefore, risk assessment should be a natural part of project planning as well. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case – and risk assessment isn’t a ...
by Jordan James, Aug 04, 2015

It’s a common assumption that the success of a particular project depends largely on organisation, the management of resources and people management. The truth is, however, that none of these will m ...
by Jordan James, Jul 31, 2015

Project management can be fraught with challenges and every manager struggles to ensure that the project stays on track, as well as within budget. There are a number of variables (both internal and ex ...
by Jordan James, Jul 29, 2015

As we are constantly being told, jobs are becoming scarcer and scarcer, whilst the numbers of hopeful applicants increases exponentially. There seems to be a great piling-up of the last five years’ ...
by Jordan James, Jul 21, 2015

Writing a CV and sending it out to employers can be a nerve-racking experience. Creating the perfect CV that highlights your achievements and, more importantly, will get you the job takes some time an ...
by Jordan James, Jul 17, 2015

As we tumble towards 2016, good business writing skills are becoming more important than ever. But why, you might ask, is writing more important now than at any other time in the past? Surely the adve ...
by Jordan James, Jul 14, 2015

You can’t anticipate everything
Sometimes it’s possible to spot the early signs of conflict and take preventative action. But there’ll also be occasions where this isn’t possible. Dispu ...
by Jordan James, Jul 13, 2015

So, you have been asked to take the minutes of the next meeting. You want to make the best possible job of it, because that’s the sort of person you are and because you know the minutes are importan ...
by Jordan James, Jul 10, 2015

We all know the Two Ronnies sketch where a man walks into a shop and asks for fork handles, only to then tell the bemused shop assistant that he was, in fact, after four candles. This is perhaps an ex ...
by Jordan James, Jul 09, 2015

Stress is all around us and we all experience it. Have you ever planned a wedding? Had a baby? Moved house? Even happy events such as these can be stressful - all of these can set the body’s stress ...
by Jordan James, Jul 08, 2015

When you’re at work, it’s important for you to know that your opinions matter and that those around you are more than just colleagues. That’s why it’s important for employers to take a careful ...
by Jordan James, Jul 08, 2015

Understanding the Basics
Sales is not about luck. It’s about understanding the product or service you’re selling. To attain this level of knowledge it’s important to put in a certain amou ...
by Jordan James, Jul 07, 2015

Thelma and Louise. Cheese and wine. Talent management and training - things that all go hand-in-hand, and the latter is something that you can't overlook in business.
Many do, but the best prac ...
by Jordan James, Jul 01, 2015

Winning Business with the Right Presentation Skills
Throughout life, many of us will take every opportunity to avoid being in the spotlight. Who wants to be picked first to read out loud at sch ...
by Jordan James, May 27, 2015

The idea of giving a presentation can be a daunting one, especially when the question of winning new business depends on it.
It is, after all, an unusual experience to have people who you do no ...
by Jordan James, May 20, 2015

How many times have you read an email, only to feel confused, dismayed, or even, quite frankly, a little bit annoyed? There’s no doubt that many people will at some point have received an email whic ...
by Jordan James, May 06, 2015

Cloud Computing is changing the way in which businesses operate. Referring to a combined use of applications, the term ‘cloud’ does not signify weather patterns but a digital platform in which doz ...
by Jordan James, Jan 29, 2013

There may be many reasons to explain why a company wants to change the way in which their day-to-day operations are run. If a large or medium sized company have a huge workforce, a considerable number ...
by Jordan James, Jan 24, 2013

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