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

Reductio ad Absurdum

January 24, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Process, Quality, Teamwork 

I got a note recently from someone halfway across the world, asking about a detail in my white paper about quantifying the quality requirements of a system. The query me ponder for a moment before I came up with a reasonable response, but I think it highlighted something that applies in a broader sense as well. Read more

Spotting Potential Conflict

May 4, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

With almost any team endeavour, whether it is called a project or not, there will be ample opportunities for stresses to creep in, for decisions to be made that don’t make everyone happy, for things to not go according to plan. Just as with any stresses, if left unchecked there is a really good chance that matters will only get worse. Everyone on the team needs to be able to spot when something is not quite right, and deal with the issue at first opportunity. Read more

High Cost of Success

March 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Project management, Quality 

In all kinds of projects, despite all the theory behind project management best-practices or ‘branded’ methodologies or lifecycles, I would say that the majority of projects get done with more than a little ‘seat-of-the-pants’ effort. In construction circles you will see ‘as built’ notations on the drawings, in many projects you will see a lot of scurrying, sprinkled with some long hours, and a dash or so of frayed nerves. The project gets done, we declare success, but at what cost? Read more

Working with People You Hate

December 3, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

Quite often, there are situations where a couple of teammates have stepped on each other’s toes too many times. While the easy way out might be to go find another team, this is not always possible. How to continue to work with someone you currently loathe? Read more


September 22, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People, Quality, Teamwork 

Particularly in these challenging times, over and above the uncertainty that is usually associated with technology projects, there is one attribute that should guide us in building our teams, and support us in weathering the current storm: resilience. Read more

Stepping on Toes

June 13, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, People 

I spend a lot of my time in front of a classroom of adults, or presenting on topics to a group of often seasoned practitioners. Over the years, I have come to form a number of opinions that, shall we say, deviate slightly from the commonly accepted way of thinking. Put these two together, and I am finding that I sometimes step on a few toes. Read more

Benefit of the Doubt

May 24, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

When I start to work with a new team, whether it is with a new group for a training session, a new client site where I will be working for a period of time, or that client brings a new employee into the fold, I tend to start with the assumption that everything is good out of the gate. My initial trust is pretty high, and I have high expectations that we’re going to get along well and do good work together. I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, even if people have tried to warn me in advance. Read more

Communication 2.0

February 15, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: People 

The proliferation of different ways to connect these days is unbelievable. I swear that some days, the requests to become friends or linked or follow tweets outnumber the regular e-mails in my old-fashioned inbox. That stated, though, I’m not sure that the real issue is going away. Are we really communicating more effectively? Read more

Trust Retention

November 16, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: People, Teamwork 

When I let one of my kids know they’ve got 10 minutes before we need to be out the door for one of their activities, it’s a safe bet that the response I will get is an “OK Dad.” Unfortunately, it is also a pretty safe bet that we’ll be getting out the door more than a few minutes late. It’s a dance we have fallen into that happens all too often with technical teams as well. I can’t trust them to be good to their word, and I have fallen into the trap of just letting that happen. 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