Unlearning

March 24, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, Project management 

The well-known Marshmallow Challenge asks teams to construct the tallest tower they can using spaghetti, tape and a string. Young children regularly do better than MBA graduates. Read more

Lenses

March 6, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, People 

If you like to watch movies, you have probably found that there are movies from certain directors that fit a particular style, giving you a bit of a short cut to decide whether you are likely to enjoy another of their movies. The Wachowski siblings are likely to challenge your view of reality, Alfonso Cuarón is going to take you through some long harrowing scenes without a break, The Coen brothers are going to throw plot twists at you that you could never imagine. They all have their particular lenses through which they see the world. Read more

Wait…How is Dynamics Easy?

February 28, 2017 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Process 

In my last post, I asserted it doesn’t make sense to put together a static process for something that is as dynamic as the human endeavour of collaborating on projects. Despite my suggestion that dynamic analysis is more complex than static analysis, I even asserted that this approach easier than you might think.

Let me be a bit more nuanced here. Read more

Choice

June 9, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, People 

We all have times when we’re exasperated with the world around us – frustrated or scared or angry at something or someone. We’ll lash out, blame others for our predicament. Sometimes we depend on others for our own validation, relinquishing control to external drivers. In all cases, we’re setting ourselves up for a fall. We’ll rarely get the result we are looking for, and there’s a good chance we’ll fill our heads with negative self-talk, kicking ourselves in the butt for being so stupid. Read more

It’s Not About the Tool!

November 16, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Process, Project management 

I’ve been building stringed instruments as a hobby over the past couple of years, and there are a few tools that I have become particularly enamoured with. I’ve got a nice little Japanese file that seems to be just the right size to fit into all the nooks and crannies to tidy things up, and I’ve got a laminate trimmer that’s got plenty of power but is really light and maneuverable compared to the big, clunky old router that I inherited from my dad. Read more

Deadlines and Commitments

September 27, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Project management 

While some projects absolutely must be high quality, and others might be physically constrained by size, there is one dimension that is clearly the most prominent point of discussion on projects of all shapes and sizes: When must it be finished? Read more

Attacking Technical Debt

August 26, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Agility, Process 

Two of the artifacts of incremental or iterative development are that you tend to use scaffolding as you go to prop up the product, and you tend to build similar capabilities in several different locations. Over time these can add up to quite a bit of cruft, or technical debt. Read more

Feet to the Fire

June 21, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Project management, Teamwork 

In recent years, there have been several movements in software development that would suggest that we wait until the latest possible moment to make decisions, so as to avoid or delay the associated costs of change that would seem inevitable if we decide too early. Read more

Finding Time

June 1, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Agility, People 

I spent a couple of days last week up in Campbell River, working with a group at their very isolated location there, going through tips on personal productivity. Whenever I run that program, I am reminded of tips that I had forgotten myself, and get a bit of a boost myself. Read more

Blurring the Boundaries

May 15, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Agility, People 

We have been running our own small business for more than 7 years now, and from most accounts, everything is running quite smoothly. While the pipeline has thinned a little as training budgets are slashed, there are indications that even this is turning around. Receivables have been very good, something that I would attribute to personally knowing who cuts the cheque in most places (the biggest challenges have come from the biggest vendors, where I am an anonymous ‘little guy’ with no apparent clout, but I have my ways to get things done there as well…). There remains one area that I struggle with – the traditional boundaries of the workplace. Read more

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