Cost of Non-Quality

August 12, 2015 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Quality 

I just read an article, albeit a year old, that suggests preventable medical errors persist as the number 3 killer in the US, behind heart disease and cancer. I wasn’t surprised for two reasons: a) I had seen similar literature before from other sources, and b) I had worked with companies in the medical field and large IT infrastructure projects. Read more

Looking Back, Looking Forward – the First Ten Years at Clarrus

August 30, 2012 by · Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

It’s been over 10 years since I started Clarrus. Here’s a summary of what I see as some of the important things I’ve learned in that time, and a few of the upcoming things on the horizon. Read more

An Outside Perspective

January 27, 2011 by · Comments Off on An Outside Perspective
Filed under: Leadership, Teamwork 

In a consulting role for the past 12 years, I’ve worked with organizations from an outside perspective. Whether mentoring project teams in an academic environment, performing due diligence for a venture capital firm, or facilitating key team discussions, the value that I bring from the outside is something that is difficult to replace. Here’s my view on the synergy produced by this relationship. Read more

Precision With a Wide, Moving Target

November 30, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Quality 

One of the requests that I don’t think will ever go away in training and mentoring is the request for a recipe. Many people in this YouTube world of short attention spans aren’t interested in taking the time to understand topics in depth, they just want to know what will work, and simply apply it. Sorry, but I don’t think that makes for things more complex than chocolate brownies or IKEA furniture. Read more

Pitching Value

September 29, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Project management, Quality 

For almost all of the projects that I have seen, the most difficult challenge for the project manager is to be able to clearly express what the expected value for the project will be for the sponsor. Without this, though, all that you are proposing is to spend some someone’s money in a given time period. Read more

Rotten Carrots

August 30, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

In a recent TED Talk, Dan Pink waxed eloquently about the ‘surprising science of motivation‘, describing the problems with how we run our businesses. I agree with what he has to say, and would take it even one step further. 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

Balancing Cool with Necessity

August 5, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

Very often, for an established business or for one struggling to enter an existing market space, the biggest challenge is how to balance those features which are expected in that domain of products with those that will set the business apart from the competition. How well that tightrope is walked often makes or breaks the perceived value of the product, and sometimes the overall success of business. Read more

Insourcing

July 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

I received an e-mail recently from someone that had taken a requirements course with me in the past. He was looking for wording to use for an RFP to bring in some external consultant to wrangle the requirements of one of their systems together. Expectations were in the 2-6 person-months range, likely a contract that would entice some of the big players to bid on the proposal. I had no suggestions that directly addressed his needs, but did have some thoughts on what could be more effective. Read more

Delivering Value

May 18, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Project management, Teamwork 

It is hard enough to get a project team to focus on delivery of value when we are initiating a project, but it is all that much tougher to remain focused on this prize as the project plays out. I would argue that the main reason for this is that the tools we use to manage projects tend to divert our focus. Read more

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    Jim is simply one of the smartest and most knowledgeable software development professionals I have ever met. His vast knowledge of the discipline is both leavened and enhanced by his acute awareness of and sensitivity to “the real world” of what actually occurs with real developers in actual practice. Jim is also a warm, open, honest person – rare gifts and an asset in any consultant.

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