No More Mills!

August 20, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

I have found over the years that there are two reasons that people will engage organizations like ours to work with them: to demonstrate to a third-party that they are doing a bang-up job, or to actually improve at what they do. Read more

The Down Side of Good Tools

December 7, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Process, Project management 

Often, out of the sea of different opinions of how things should be done, there rises a few techniques that make it to the level of becoming a standard way of doing things. They can be codified in a Body of Knowledge, if such a thing exists for that discipline, or become generally accepted as a ‘best practice’, though we all know that these things are quite rare. Even when they are raised to that level, there is danger that they can become overused: while every technique has it’s niche, no technique should be used too broadly. Such is the case with Work Breakdown Structures and Gantt charts. Read more

Estimation: Size Does Matter!

September 4, 2008 by · Comments Off on Estimation: Size Does Matter!
Filed under:  

Many organizations find it difficult to explicitly take the step of deriving a size for the elements to be estimated, leaping directly from an overall definition of scope to the final effort or duration estimate.

Sizing is an essential step in the estimation process, significantly improving the insight and fidelity of the resulting estimates. How the practice of sizing fits into the overall estimation process is explored in this interactive workshop. Read more

Pet Tricks

June 22, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: People 

Have you ever run into a situation where all else seems to fail, so you resort to measures that you hope will work, but really don’t know if they will make a difference? Of course you have. If you have ever worked on Windows before, you probably know the most common pet trick of all: ctrl-alt-del. Read more

Why Wait for Value?

April 27, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

I have often heard different perspectives on how long you can expect to wait before a new hire is productive. Usually the numbers come in around 3 to 6 months, and in many shops where there isn’t a sound infrastructure for communicating the company’s business sector, products and practices, this seems a reasonable timeframe. What is important to recognize, though, is that in those initial months, we should at least make sure that this new hire is not a liability. Read more

The Truth About Best Practices

July 8, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Process, Project management 

It is likely that “best practices” is the most overused term in software development today. Anyone discussing what needs to be done to improve the situation on projects will use the term. It is the basis for almost any consultant’s pitch. We train in best practices, we study and promote best practices, and we still face challenges. What is it about these best practices that makes them so compelling, and why don’t they seem to work as well as consultants would suggest? Read more

Why I Write

June 3, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Process 

People are often surprised when I explain that I put out a weekly (once a week, if not always on Sunday) newsletter, and have done so for almost 5 years now. It is admittedly a difficult effort to sustain at times, and there are times when I wonder if there remains value in continuing. Read more

No Problem!

May 20, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Process 

While rare, there have been times that I have run into businesses that consciously chose to turn a blind eye to what was clearly dysfunctional practice. In both cases, this blind eye was accompanied by a rationalization that allowed them to justify this behaviour. Amazing! Read more

Industrial Strength Software

March 21, 2004 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

Googling the term Industrial Strength brings up a surprisingly high number of entries in the technology sector, with contexts ranging from development languages to operating systems to frameworks, even to a company that uses the term in its appellation. I had expected far fewer technology entries, with more pertaining to things like oven cleaners or aluminum foil. The difference is probably due to the internet being within the technological universe – I don’t recall surfing the web the last time I needed to clean the oven (though my wife would probably suggest the internet wasn’t around the last time I cleaned the oven…). Read more

  • 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 knows what he’s talking about and leverages his experience well. His goal is to make you better at what you do and has an uncanny ability to do this without being too intrusive! His weekly newsletter is just another example of how he educates as he assists.

    — Viktor Ohnjec, Founder, M2VP