Hero Worship

October 4, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Teamwork 

My son is just starting a new season of soccer (yes, we play through the winter out here). Last year, there was a ringer on another team that clearly outclassed everyone else in the league. When my son’s team played against them last year, our coach’s focus on teamwork prevailed, and we managed to win. This year, as they tend to scramble the teams each season, my son now happens to be on the same team as that ringer. Read more

Don't Spend, Invest

January 29, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Project management 

There is no shortage of indicators that we are in for in for a rough stretch ahead. While there are some that are still debating whether to call what we are going through a recession or a depression, it is clear to everyone that this is no time for frivolous spending. I would argue that we should always be aware of where we spend our money, and always spend with an understanding of the return we expect. Read more

When the Going Gets Tough

December 28, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

In many sectors, 2008 has been a tough year. There are very few people that expect that 2009 will be much better, and most indications are that the foreseeable future will be at least as challenging, if not worse. How people and organizations deal with these difficult times is a strong indicator of how well off they will be as the situation improves – or whether they are still around at all. Read more

Help Yourself

August 31, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: People 

For a long time now I thought I understood the adage that in order to best help others, you need to be able to help yourself. It turns out that there are some things that you don’t truly understand until you experience them in action. Read more

Blindsides

July 20, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Project management 

There is plenty of chatter in management literature about risk and risk management. It usually takes one nasty “I should have thought of that” moment for a project manager to learn his or her lesson: a risk register becomes part of the standard toolkit from that point forward. While a great tool, a disciplined approach to risk is still not perfect. We need to recognize that there will always be blindsides. Read more

Is It Worth Not Doing It?

May 4, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Project management 

Usually, when I’m talking about different requirements practices, I use traceability as a practice that adds quite a bit of value for things like impact analysis. In most shops, though, the cost of developing and maintaining exhaustive traceability, whether real or perceived, far exceeds any potential value. That’s not always the case, though, and sometimes it takes a different approach, risk analysis, to understand how that value reaches the tipping point. Read more

Erosion

May 13, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process, Project management 

It seems to be pretty rare for people to consciously undermine any established system that has been put in place to develop software. At least, few will admit doing so. What usually happens is more subtle, an erosion over time of the good practices that make the software development machine tick. Read more

Home Handyman Syndrome

November 12, 2006 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

Most people that own a home have at least one project languishing somewhere around the house. We have a few window sills that remain unfinished from a renovation started 5 years ago, there’s that stained glass project that sat around for a couple of years before my wife recently finished it. This has now become a project on my list, as I have to frame it. Read more

Outsourcing

November 2, 2003 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Project management, Quality 

It is impossible to pick up a business oriented trade journal these days without finding an article about the exploding phenomenon of IT outsourcing. Whether it is software development, maintenance, or call center support, moving some operations offshore is on everyone’s mind, either as an opportunity to streamline and cut costs, or as a nasty new attack that is placing further pressure on an already depressed sector of the economy. Read more

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  • What’s Happening

    September 15, 2016: Thanks to the Vancouver chapter of the IIBA for inviting me to present a talk about Real Analysis agility - the bottom line is thoughtful application of effective analysis over Cargo Cult application of the latest fashionable approach! - fabulous interaction, great feedback!
    November, 2016 - A workshop series to help you develop resilience in the workplace and in your life!
    Next open enrolment sessions start soon - contact us to get involved!
  • On The Road Again

    Jim frequently travels across Western Canada for engagements, and welcomes opportunities to meet, run a workshop, Diagnostic or Lunch and Learn session.


    Contact Jim if you would like to connect around any of the upcoming dates:

    • March 1-3, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
    • March 6-8, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
    • March 15-17, 2017 - Victoria, BC
  • What People are Saying

    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.

    — Bonar Harris