How to be helpful

If you are out for more than a day, set your out of office email address. You should also change your voicemail if you are at a critical point in the project or you know that people will want to reach you.
You will be able to tell people where your project team is so they can find the answers. Encourage them to also set up their voicemail and out-of-office email responses.
Your contact details should be included in your email signature. If your company already has a corporate signature format, you can use it. If your company does not have one, make something professional. Include your phone number. People will look at your last email first when looking for contact details. Outlook will not include your signature in a reply to an email unless you have specifically requested it to. It can be really frustrating to receive an email reply and then realize that you need to speak to the person. You will then have to look for their telephone number elsewhere because they don’t have a signature for return emails.
Your emails should be proofread and spell checked. Particularly if you are sending them via a BlackBerry or other mobile device. It is not helpful to anyone if the message isn’t understood by someone because you have missed ‘not’ or made a typo on the name of a document or person.
Make sure you have all the admin done: minutes of project team meetings, steering group meetings, shared project diaries, etc. It is important to keep it all current. If you need to, make sure to block time in your schedule for ‘admin days’.
Don’t promise to deliver what you can’t. This could be coffee for guests when the coffee machine is down, or project dates that you need to rely on unreliable people to deliver.
Follow through with what you say. Be clear about the deadline for feedback if you send a project document out for comment. Collect the feedback and update the document. This will allow others to plan around you.
Tell people as soon as you can if you are unable to do what you promised. This is the time of year to do capital reforecasting. If your project is not on track to deliver by December, adjust your forecasts immediately. It’s better than if your project sponsor discovers in October that you won’t be meeting your delivery or budget targets.

David Cleden at Experts’ Forum

David Cleden stated that there are no magic bullets for dealing with uncertainty when he presented at this year’s Gower/NCPM Experts Forum. His presentation was about organisational strategies to deal with uncertainty. Cleden brought up the famous “known/unknowns” diagram and pointed out how the common version with four quadrants fails to capture the things we don’t know.
Cleden explained that risk management goes beyond knowledge and experience. It’s about managing the uncertainty of managing “bolts out of the blue”. Cleden shared the story of a project that his company was involved in. The project manager was asked Friday if the software would be ready for the client to demo on Monday. He said that he was 100% certain that it would. It wasn’t Monday. This was not due to the project manager making promises that he couldn’t keep. The entire office, including software demos and all, was destroyed on Monday. Buncefield was within close proximity to the building, which was destroyed in the explosion. The disaster meant that the software demo was impossible, although no one was there at the time. This was definitely not something that the project manager wanted to risk.
Cleden recommended that exploratory work be done where possible to move risk into a quadrant that can be managed actively. You can’t project the future state of a project by projecting ahead. Things will change in a week and then there are many possible outcomes. This makes it difficult for logic and mathematical principles to predict the future.
His suggestion was to start with project’s end and then forecast your risk position backwards. This sounds similar to forecasting forward, but you have more control because you can plan your risk response from now to now without having to account for multiple variables in the future.
He also offered some additional advice on managing uncertainty.
Explore future uncertainty using piloting, prototypes, and iterative methods.
You need to understand the purpose and what is normal for your body so that you can spot deviations as they occur.
Use the knowledge you have to forecast backwards and make patterns.
Be able to empower decision-making at times of crisis and be able to bypass hierarchy.

Cleden also stated that the key to managing uncertainty is to be motivated to improve. Accept it and do your best to manage it.

Can we use Facebook for managing projects?

When I talk to people about social media tools, project managers, I get asked the question “What about Facebook?”
As you all know, I believe in the many benefits social media tools can bring to project managers. When asked about Facebook, I always reply that it is not a good tool to help project managers run projects.
I have always been skeptical about the role Facebook can play in managing projects. It’s not something I discuss in my book Social Media for Project Managers. It’s not business-y enough.
It’s not enough to have an opinion. I wanted to see if I was right. So I went on Facebook to see if I was right.
Facebook’s project management community
A search for “project management” brought up the PMI page, which is the most popular with over 41,900 people liking it. I also found [email protected] and The International Community for Project Managers. These sites and others like them had no original content. They simply aggregated content from their normal’ websites and uploaded it to Facebook.
Facebook allows users to comment on articles without visiting the organisation’s website. Some comments were interesting and some were very informative. However, I did not see anything that would make Facebook a better choice than an organisation’s website. I couldn’t find any presence for APM and IPMA.
There are also Facebook groups, but I found the search results confusing. The results were not alphabetical. I wanted to show the largest groups first to see which one I would like to join. After I looked at the groups, I realized that the discussions weren’t recent.
Is it worth it
LinkedIn’s discussion groups are more active and up-to-date if you want to participate in discussions about project management.
Facebook’s greatest benefit is consolidating your social media experience and bringing together all of your favorite project management reference resources in one place. It will save you time and you won’t have to go to each site individually. You can view all updates in one place.
This is useful only for networking and keeping up to date with the latest news. It does not help with the actual business of managing a project. I don’t believe that Facebook is a tool project managers can use for managing a project and working collaboratively with a group. Are you a different person?

The Best Books on Team Skills for Project Managers

Today’s video contains 3 book recommendations that I recommend for managing projects or, more specifically, how to get the right mindset to succeed within a team environment. You can scroll down to see more details about each book.
A Practical Guide to Dealing With Difficult Stakeholders, by Jake Holloway, Roger Joby and David Bryde
The authors combined their experiences in very difficult situations to share best practices and offer tips on how to deal with people who seem to be against you.
Although there isn’t much theory in this book, you can see that they have tried a variety of ‘classics’ ways to deal with difficult people.
It is a practical guide for dealing with difficult stakeholders, especially those in positions of power like sponsors. It is a quick read and some stories will surprise you. The case studies showed that there were some dysfunctional leaders in these organizations.
Conflict 101 by Susan H. Shearouse
This book will teach you how to deal with conflict at work. I hate conflict and would prefer not to have to deal with it. This book helped me to face conflict head-on and not worry about it. It changed the way I think about conflict at work.
Although the book is quite old, it still feels timeless. People argue at work for many reasons, and this hasn’t changed much over the years.
You will find examples of how teams have overcome difficult situations and come out on the other side. Although this book isn’t about project management, it will help you if you are a member of a team.
Results Without Authority by Tom Kendrick
When I read this book, many things came together for me. It’s a great book that will give you lots of advice about how to get people to do the right thing in a matrix setting.
You need to get people to work with you, even when they aren’t your boss. This book will help you create a culture of collaboration that works for you.
Results Without Authority would be my choice if I had to pick one book from this list.
These books are great for project management.
Best PRINCE2 (r) books
Books by Elizabeth Harrin (that’s you!)
The best books about project collaboration
The best leadership books for project managers
8 books you must read about stakeholder management
10 top books on change management

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Part 1: BAs and PMs working together

A month ago, I spoke at the Business Analysis Conference on how project managers work and how business analysts can help project managers to work more effectively together. It was a bit difficult to tell a room of BAs that project manager don’t want to hear too much detail and analysis paralysis. My presentation was followed by heated discussion.
You can still participate in the discussion if you weren’t there. I will be writing over the next four weeks about the key points I covered in that presentation. I will start with an explanation of the triple constraint, which is what project managers care most about.
Business analysts are often not able to understand the motivations of project managers. We are often faced with bizarre and sometimes absurd demands and use Gantt charts quite a bit. It’s easy to understand the motivations of project managers, but we don’t take the time to explain. None at all. To anyone. We get upset when people don’t understand the value we bring to organisations (BAs): Does this sound familiar? ).
Project managers are navigators. We see the big picture, and we want to get there as quickly and cheaply as possible. If we are good at our jobs, we spend all day thinking about OTOBOS.
OTOBOS is also known by the triple constraint, which stands for on time, budget, and scope. The problem is that project management has evolved and the triple constraint now includes other factors, bringing the total to three. These are generally:
Time
Budget
Scope/Requirements
Quality

These are the “normal” four. Some commentators include:
Risques
Customer satisfaction

The ‘triple constraint’ actually includes six items. It’s no wonder that project management jargon is so difficult to understand outside of our immediate colleagues.
Although the jargon may have changed, most stakeholders and sponsors still don’t. They are still most concerned with:
“Will it deliver on time?” “Will it cost what was agreed?” “Will it do what I need?”
This is OTOBOS. On time, on budget and on scope. If you do that, you are doing something right.
In the coming weeks, I will be writing about what project managers value and what we don’t in our working relationships with business analysts. The last part of this series will focus on how to improve workplace harmony between PMs, BAs.

At the APM conference

Yesterday, I spoke at the Association for Project Management conference in London. My presentation focused on equipping project managers to meet the challenges of modern businesses, including the credit crunch and outsourcing and offshoring. It also highlighted the role of new technology in 21st-century ways to work.
I arrived just as Geoff Whittaker was wrapping up his presentation on objective-setting in project management. I was able to attend the Q&A session with Geoff, David Daly, and the wonderful blog Outside of the Triangle. David’s talk was about the state of project management. I didn’t have the opportunity to see it but he had prepared a detailed paper that I thoroughly enjoyed. As part of the Q&A, the audience was asked to vote on questions. Only 61% of those surveyed agreed with David’s view that project management is in a midlife crisis.
I was one of the 61%. My argument was centered on the fact that we aren’t working as smartly and efficiently as we should. It was difficult to stand up knowing that 40% felt everything was fine in the project management world and that we don’t have to change anything.
After lunch, it was my turn. As I clicked on my first slide, I realized that the version being shown to the monitors to either side of me was an older version of my presentation. The audio-visual company had experienced some difficulties and hadn’t received the most recent version of my slides. Although they didn’t make any changes, I don’t think it was a problem for the audience. However, it did throw me off balance because the version I had on the Lectern with all my notes and scribbles on it wasn’t the same one as what was on the screen. I was not behind the lectern the majority of the time, so if I had stood behind it, no one would have been capable to see me.
Nick invited me back to the awards dinner last evening. Unfortunately, the stress of the day was too much and I was unable to attend the awards dinner last night. The APM website has a complete list of winners.
Some interesting feedback was received from my presentation. The session I shared with Martin Price also featured interactive Q&A with an audience vote. I’ll return to that in another post. I’ll also upload the correct version of slides here for anyone who is interested in what you should’ve seen.

Willie & Tahlia – The Glades, Robina, Gold Coast | Rezolution Photography

Willie & Tahlia – The Glades, Robina, Gold Coast
This photogenic duo created a glamorous affair for their Robina real wedding at The Glades.
With thanks to a large budget and an organised bride, Willie and Tahlia Dixon made some unforgettable memories along with 65 of their closest friends and family.
Date: 5 April 2014The Couple: Willie and Tahlia DixonLocation: The Glades, Robina, Gold CoastNo. of Guests: 65First Dance Song: Watch Over Me – Bernard FanningTheme: Black, white and blingBudget: $35 000 plus – without honeymoon
How did you meet?  Willie and I met through our mutual friends when I was 17 and he was 21. Our good friends continuously tried to set us up until one day we finally got to talking and once we did, we never stopped.How did you meet? Willie and I met through our mutual friends when I was 17 and he was 21. Our good friends continuously tried to set us up until one day we finally got to talking and once we did, we never stopped.

Tell us about the proposal… We were holidaying in New Zealand and Willie had organised a surprise dinner at the revolving restaurant in the Sky Tower in Auckland. Once we were there he had originally planned on proposing on the observation deck but didn’t realise how many tourists would be there so he had to think of another plan. Once we got to the restaurant he snuck off and spoke with the chef who then wrote in chocolate on my desert plate will you marry me?

Why did you choose The Glades for your wedding? I just fell in love with it. I instantly knew I wanted to get married there the minute I saw it. I wanted an outdoor ceremony and the lawn area, the gardens and the view was just divine.What did you do for your hens and bucks? I had nothing to do with the planning of my hens weekend. My five wonderful bridesmaids planned the whole thing and I never knew what was coming next! We started off in a beautiful suite at the Mantra Circle on Cavill Avenue, where we were joined by the rest of the guests, followed by some hilarious entertainment. After a few drinks we went onto the second location where I had some more entertainment at a night club and danced the night away.  The boys stayed in a lovely house on the Sunshine Coast. They had some entertainment of their own, went paint balling and swam and drunk lots!

DIY Details I hand made all of my photo booth props and hanging pom poms. I bought a lot of my own decorations for the reception such as my lolly buffet, birdcage wishing wells, candles and drink dispensers for after the ceremony.Key Styling Inspiration I wanted something visually beautiful that wouldn’t date! I wanted lots of white with a bit of black and of course bling. The bridesmaids dresses and flowers worked great by adding that pop of colour.

What gifts did you give your guests? We gave them black baroque frames that doubled as their name card holder.

What was the funniest moment of the day? There were actually quite a few funny moments. During our ceremony, our celebrant made a small mistake by asking Willie to, “take me as his lawful wedded husband”. Which threw him off a bit and of course ended in fits of laughter. Willie’s brothers speech – although written on a coaster – went for quite a while and was filled with hilarious stories and memories.What was the most special memory from the day? Other than marrying the love of my life, having all of our family and friends come together  to witness Willie and I get married. It was amazing. We feel very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.

What did you do for your honeymoon? We went to New York, San Francisco, L.A, Vegas and Hawaii. We had an absolute blast! Some of the highlights were; seeing all the sights in each city, going to watch a basketball, ice hockey and baseball game, snorkelling with turtles, cycling through Central Park, seeing two Cirque Du Soleil shows in Vegas, going to Disneyland and Universal studios, hiring a car and driving around Waikiki.

Special thanks to…All of our family and friends. A lot of them made such an effort to be there for our wedding day and we will be forever thankful.What advice would you give to future brides-to-be? Book the major things first, a lot of the popular suppliers and venues go quickly! To do lists: I may have planned my whole wedding in the notes section of my iPhone (this I probably wouldn’t recommend) but it was so handy to have it with me wherever I went and to add things to whenever I needed. Looking at lots of wedding photos for inspiration was a great way for me to figure out what I wanted my wedding to be like- which came in handy for when I went shopping or had to choose colours etc. Related posts
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Featured Wedding Willie & Tahlia This photogenic duo created a glamorous wedding. With thanks to a large budget and an organised bride, Willie and Tahlia Dixon made some unforgettable memories along with 65 of their closest friends and family. Featured Wedding Willie & TahliaFeatured International Wedding Natasha & Stuart We travelled to La Digue, Seychelles via South Africa for this tropical wedding – What an amazing event, view all the images here. Featured International Wedding Natasha & Stuart Copyright © 2014 Rezolution Photography.
Made By Flothemes

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WEDDINGS ENGAGEMENT PORTRAITS WEDDING FILMS REAL WEDDINGS FAQ ABOUT PRICING REVIEWS CONTACT US REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY Social Networks Wedding advice for brides.Rezolution photography offers brides the very best in wedding advice below.Are you getting married on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane? Who will be your Gold Coast wedding photographers?
Here is a list of some of the things you should consider when looking for a wedding photographer.
Personality.
When selecting a wedding photographer you are selecting more than just a photographer for your wedding day. You are hiring a wedding photographer that will be with you, your family and your group all day on your wedding day. Personality is a huge part of the selection process and should not be overlooked or discounted in anyway. Your wedding photographers personality can set the tone for your entire wedding day and your bridal party. Ultimately it can impact your wedding photography altogether. You will more than likely be working with your wedding photographer for a year, or longer in some cases, by the time you factor in your engagement session and post wedding photography and albums.
Price.
While price is always a factor when selecting your wedding photographers, it should not be the only thing that matters. All too often we hear horror stories from brides who made a decision for their wedding photography based purely on price. It turns out to be foolish in the end. When its all said and done, your wedding photography will be all you have to remember your wedding day.
Wedding albums.
What will you do with all your images from your Queensland basedwedding photographers? Most people opt to place them in a beautifully designed wedding album that your wedding photographer should provide you with. Don’t underestimate the importance of a wedding album from your wedding day. This is your first family heirloom and your one keepsake you will have forever to remember your wedding day. When selecting a photographeryou should look for an album that best represents you and your new family. Wedding albums come in all shapes and sizes.
Here are some questions you should ask. Your wedding photographer
1) How many pages come in the wedding album?
2) How many images will be in the wedding album?
3) What cover options are available for my wedding album?
Coverage.
Something often overlooked when selecting a Gold Coastwedding photographer is the number of hours that will be offered during the coverage of yourGold Coast wedding. Typically you will want your wedding photographer to be with you to document all the moments of your day. After all, that’s what you are hiring them for. That being said, typical coverage requirements for your wedding day should be about 8-10 hours. Be careful here. Some wedding photographers offer cut-rate prices by offering you less than adequate wedding coverage for your day. These become hidden costs and once you realize it, it’s often too late.
Do they offer both Photography and Film?
Look for a company that can provide you with both Film and Photography as they will work better and know each other systems, With different vendors providing different services it can make it difficult to capture your wedding day perfectly. Best results will be madewhen hiring less vendors to get the job done and as a bonus they will normally offer you a better deal if you add on more services.
Number of wedding photographers.
How many wedding photographers will be at your event? Most events need at least two wedding photographers. This ensures that your wedding photographer is focused on working with your group and directing the day and allows the second wedding photographer to have coverage going on at the same time. We find that by having two Gold Coastwedding photographers at your event, your wedding photography needs can best be met all while ensuring that nothing gets missed from your big day. Rezolution Photography are Gold Coastwedding photographers and also service Brisbane, Tweed and Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
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Wedding Blog | Rezolution Photography

Gold Coast WeddingsOPENTravis & Shelley Links Hope Island Weddings
Travis and Shelley – Links Hope Island Weddings Gold Coast WeddingsOPENWillie & Tahlia – The Glades, Robina, Gold Coast
This photogenic duo created a glamorous affair for their Robina real wedding at The Glades.With thanks to a large budget and an International WeddingsOPENNatasha & Stuart – La Digue, Seychelles
Natasha and Stuart – La Digue, Seychelles WeddingWe travelled from Brisbane, Australia all the way to South Africa and then Brisbane WeddingsOPENKieran & Nicolette, Brisbane City
 Kieran & Nicolette, Brisbane City.Date: 3/2/13This was our First wedding of 2013, It was a real gem. Everything was gorge Gold Coast WeddingsOPENBen and Mikayla, Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast
Ben and Mikayla, Burleigh Heads – Gold Coast Gold Coast WeddingsOPENJames & Michelle, Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove
James & Michelle, Intercontinental Sanctuary CoveDate: 15/12/12Bride Preparing: InterContinental Sanctuary CoveCeremon Gold Coast WeddingsOPENHeath & Carmel, Parkwood International, Gold Coast
Heath & Carmel, Parkwood International, Gold CoastDate: 9/11/12    Bride Preparing: Palazzo Versace       Ceremony and RecepFeatured Wedding Willie & Tahlia This photogenic duo created a glamorous wedding. With thanks to a large budget and an organised bride, Willie and Tahlia Dixon made some unforgettable memories along with 65 of their closest friends and family. Featured Wedding Willie & TahliaFeatured International Wedding Natasha & Stuart We travelled to La Digue, Seychelles via South Africa for this tropical wedding – What an amazing event, view all the images here. Featured International Wedding Natasha & Stuart Copyright © 2014 Rezolution Photography.
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Testimonials – Rezolution Photography

Testimonials
Kirsty and Nathan…………..WOW!!! Thank you so much!!! We spent all of last night looking at our photos! They are truly AMAZING! The location ones are gorgeous, the Ceremony ones brought tears to both of us!! You have captured the exact feeling of the day, and have clicked at just the right moment..when I have leaned in to whisper to Nathan and when I have wiped the tears away. These are the ones I didn’t expect and I am blown away! We could never Thank you enough for capturing these moments!!!!
Kate and Leon……….You guys are just the best and i will telling everyone i know how great you guys are. everyone has been talking about how awesome you guys were and focused, and professional. im so glad we found you guys. look forward to seeing you in the next chapter of our lives. thank you
Angela and John……… Nandie and Matt, these photos are simply amazing!! You guys are so talentedOur wedding day has been everything we dreamed of and we cannot thank you enough for capturing the emotion and memories for us! Perfect day, perfect weather and views to die for on the edge if the cliff face at BurleighWe can’t wait to see the rest of the happy snaps!! xxx
Phil and Christine………………These are so amazing, you guys have really done a great job. I can’t wait to see more, they are just breathtaking!!! Thank you so much for capturing everything so perfectly!!!
Pete & Camille – June 19th 2010 Hi Nandie and Matt Camille and I wish to say thankyou so much for the photography service you provided for our wedding. We were so impressed with your generosity of time, professionalism, efficiency and ability, and it made a huge contribution to the success of the day. The photos you took were fantastic, and we have already had 2 of them mounted on large canvases. We really also appreciate your generosity with the number of images you provided, it made our job difficult, deciding on the best images for an album! We are happy for you to use our comments as a testimonial, and have no hesitation recommending you to others. In fact, we have recommended you to a few people who might be interested in family portraits some time soon. Best regards and thanks again, Pete and Camille Baker
Emily Ritchie…………. Thank you so much Nandie, they are amazing as always. You are truly a very talented lady x
Michelle ………….. Absolutely the most beautiful pictures in the whole world. Well done Rezolution photography you are the best .
Zoe and Nathan………Got my photos today thank you thank you thank you …… love them! Just beautiful! Couldn’t be happier
Kirsty and Mike ……….The FINEST photographers I have ever met! They put some much thought and love into their craft and deliver something so incredibly special! Thank you Nandie and Matt for my wedding photos in 2007,my maternity photos in 2010 and soon my little girl’s photos. Love the Hamby’s xoxox
Nathan and Belinda Ronnfeldt Married 26th June 2010 When planning our wedding, choosing a good photographer was very important to us. Matt and Nandie have blown us away with their professionalism, they are very talented at what they do. Two months on we are still receiving so many compli…ments on our photos, they are just breathtaking. They captured the happiness of our day in so many beautiful shots. We could not have asked for anything better. We would recommend Matt and Nandie for any special occasion. We will certainly be asking for Rezolution Photography to shoot any special event we have in the future-maybe when we hear the pitter patter of little feet!
Cath & Phil – We love our wedding photos! You guys are amazing at what you do and we are so happy we were lucky enough to have you capture our wedding day. Thanks guys!
Harrison Famiy …………..Had a wonderful day with my family. Rezolution Photography were very understanding of taking photos with young children and small dogs. Very impressed with the photos.
Just wanted to say a big thankyou to Nandie for the beautiful pictures of Grace.. We are very happy … Emma Fewtrell
Darryn & Jenn – Thank you both for coming from Australia to New Zealand to photograph our wedding. The photos are amazing and you both were relaxed and easy to work with. The Album you gave us is fantastic, all our friends and family love it. You have created lasting memories for us, that we will never forget. Thanks again.
Melanie & Peter – Peter and I wanted to say thank you so much for the amazing job you have done on our wedding photos. We have had many people complimenting us on them and saying they are the best wedding photos they have ever seen. Peter and I are both quite fussy about photos and we were blown away by the consistently brilliant quality of all our photos. We also cannot thank you enough for making our day so enjoyable. We both hate having our photos taking and so were very nervous about having so many photos taken. You two made the experience not only bearable, but very pleasurable. We had a great time, as did our bridal party.Thank you also for being so accommodating about our requirements for the day and meeting us before hand. It meant we were completely relaxed about what was going to happen on the day and didn’t need to even think about it. We would definitely recommend you to anyone. The photos you took for us not only captured our day perfectly but also captured our personalities. I’ve said to many people that booking you was the best decision we made regarding the wedding.
Liz & Mike – Thank you so much for your photography for our wedding, We really enjoyed having you both there as part of our day and the photos are stunning and well beyond what we imagined. Fantastic value for money! We would highly recommend your services and we’re sure you’ll do well overseas.
Geoff  & Phil – Matt and Nandie, were our photographers for our wedding day on April 7 2006.   We can not speak highly enough of their service – everything from their relaxed and unobtrusive manner, highly organised/excellent time management, the photos that were taken and the after wedding service in reproducing the wedding DVDs for us.The style  and composition of the photos were imaginative and artisitic, we especially love the use of black/white and colour in the same shot. We were just so thoroughly impressed with Matt and Nandie and we have recommended them to several of our friends.
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