Decisions Not Made

April 15, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Project management 

When you get right down to it, we spend a lot of time every day making decisions. From the clear decisions of how we are going to spend our time, whether we are going to do this or that, to decisions that are not as consciously performed, like how we’ll make that first coffee in the morning or choosing our route home in the evening. Read more

Labour Shortage, or Underfostered Talent?

April 1, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

In what seems to be a vicious cycle, the local tech community is currently expressing a dramatic need for more talent. There is a huge number of job postings that remain unfilled, and upswing in placement activity for the local recruiting community. At a personal level, far more people are asking me if I know someone that can fill a role, rather than asking if I know anyone that might need their services. Read more

Cultivation

February 25, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

A common business adage these days is that “if you don’t move forward, you will fall backwards”. This is reasonable, in a sense. There is a good chance that in a competitive environment, maintaining the status quo internally will give others an opportunity to make advances and leave you in the dust. In effect, you indeed fall backwards. Read more

Shaping Your Projects

February 4, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Project management 

When it comes to getting a great deal of work done, there’s nothing like defining a project as a means of collecting your thoughts, organizing the activities and understanding the expected outcomes for your efforts. This is true if you are building a fence or a software product, but it also applies when the end result is far less tangible as well. The same approach can be very effective in building a competitive position in the marketplace, or systematically evolving your perspective on a topic. 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

Tar Pits or Tar Sands?

October 16, 2005 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Process 

One of my earliest memories of leafing through our old copy of Encyclopedia Britannica as a kid were the artist’s depictions of the La Brea Tar Pits, down in an area that is known today as Los Angeles. All those prehistoric animals stuck in the tar, doomed to an unpleasant death, where 40,000 years later their fossils would be found in an era of a very different type of challenging and frustrating existence – undisciplined software development. Read more

Data Quality

February 22, 2004 by · Comment
Filed under: Process 

Data comes in all shapes and sizes. Quantified measures, qualified relative information, anecdotal recollection, opinions, theories, and misinformation all are used with varying success as a means of making informed decisions. An astute organization will recognize the different levels of quality that is embodied in the data provided, and use that knowledge to help identify the corresponding quality of the decisions that are made. Read more

Getting the Right Support

January 25, 2004 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

There is no shortage of individuals and companies ready to step up and provide you advice about how to run your business. Indeed, there is likely more than ever, as many skilled people that have been downsized over the past couple of years have decided to put up their shingle – consulting is a growth industry. If you are in a management or executive position in your company, the unsolicited suggestions that someone can help you run your business may outnumber the spam you receive requesting your help to get money out of Africa or telling you how to make money on EBay. For many, the glut has created a standard response: “We don’t need any of whatever it is you are selling.” Read more

A Good Auditor is Your Friend

January 11, 2004 by · Comment
Filed under: People 

There was a time in my career where I was naïve enough to think that everyone was always focused on improving their job performance whenever possible. Read more

Pick a Number

August 24, 2003 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Process 

More than once in discussion or during a training session, someone has asked me for a number. What is the right number of testers for a development group of this size? What is the right number of levels of management in our organization? What productivity number should I use for this estimate? For each of these questions (and most others of this type), it is possible to quote industry statistics as a response, but the result would usually be worse than to not provide any answer at all. With the diversity of software development organizations, projects and products, it is a rare question that would fit any average number the industry could cough up. In all these cases it is important to dig deeper to find the real questions, and then look internally for the answers. Read more

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  • What’s Happening

  • 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:

    • Blissfully at home in Vancouver, BC over the summer!
  • What People are Saying

    Jim is a man of integrity. He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of software development, deployment and project management. He has a great deal to offer as a mentor and thought leader. It is always a pleasure working with Jim.

    — Jas Madhur, Director of Quality, MDSI