That Vitamin Distraction

April 14, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Quality, Teamwork 

There’s an old (and frankly, tired) query that investors will pull out of their bag of clichés, usually when they are leaning away from funding your idea: “are you building vitamins or painkillers?”. The suggestion is that painkillers fix an immediate need and sell better – more attractive to those that want instant financial gratification as well. Hopefully, we’re not all consumed by that myopic view. Read more

Symptoms

April 9, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

I was having lunch with a friend earlier this week, and after catching up with how our kids are doing and our shared interest in music, talk got around to the workplace. Generally things are going well for them, but a few interesting comments were made about one person that works with him. On reflection, I see these as symptoms. Read more

Flip the Switch

March 18, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

There’s one simple thing that you can do to improve your productivity, make better products, to make everything you do go more smoothly. It doesn’t involve a new tool, it’s not the latest cool process that is going to save the world, it’s not an app. It’s not something that a consultant needs to come in and anoint your team with for far more money than is reasonable, and it’s not protected IP. Read more

Consultant or Cheerleader?

February 12, 2015 by · Comment
Filed under: Agility, Leadership, People 

When you hire a consultant, you probably have an expectation of a specialized set of skills, or a particular value that you are looking for. That might be some expertise that you don’t have (or couldn’t readily develop) in-house, or an objective perspective to help you see things in a different way. Read more

Sensitive Leadership

December 4, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

As we gain more responsibility in the workplace, there comes a time when that new responsibility changes from ‘getting more complex tasks’ to ‘being in charge of others’. Whether or not we are prepared for it, there comes a time when we are asked to take on a leadership role. Read more

Murky Waters

November 26, 2012 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

I’ve run into a number of companies over the years that have a keen interest in breaking out, in growing or expanding, in really taking off. Many of those, unfortunately, need to understand that there things they need to do before tackling their next big adventure – they need to get their team swimming in the same direction. Read more

Absentee PM

October 23, 2012 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Project management 

I was talking to a friend the other day, listening intently as he described a project he’s currently involved with that is, politely, challenged. He was lamenting about a recent meeting where the project manager had spent a couple of hours telling the group what they needed to do on the project, then in exasperation, ended the session with “I don’t care how you get it done, just get it done!” Read more

A Social Endeavour

October 15, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: People, Quality, Teamwork 

A friend of mine has gone back to school to do some research into cognitive biases and how to mitigate them in the context of technology projects. As part of his research, he is reproducing an experiment that looks at the drivers surrounding particular tasks in projects – in this case, estimation. While the results are not yet comprehensive enough to satisfy the statistical gods, there is a trend coming out of the data that is interesting to ponder. Read more

Expertise vs Humility

September 11, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Teamwork 

There is no shortage of steps you can take to demonstrate your expertise in the world. It starts with basic degrees and diplomas, then you can add letters after your name at grad school, get more letters with professional programs, and collect a pile of certificates from, well, pretty well anywhere. Read more

Working the Fundamentals

October 15, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Teamwork 

With all the time we have watching our kids in their activities this fall, a pattern begins to emerge. All of these activities involve practice and drills intended to improve proficiency in fundamentals of each activity: dribbling and passing in soccer and basketball, scales and chord progressions in guitar, footwork drills and off-ice practice in figure skating. While the kids generally loathe this portion of their activities, there’s a good reason for this: they are working the fundamentals. Read more

« Previous PageNext Page »

  • Search by Topic

  • What’s Happening

    June 20 – Spoke to a sold out, enthusiastic group at the local chapter of the PMI on The Future of Project Success (it’s Already Here)!

    Whitepaper available here!

  • 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 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