Working Up

Working Up in Project Management, Systems Engineering, Technology, and Writing

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Entries from March 2009

Task Size != Cost

March 30th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Small tasks should need small effort. Large tasks should need large effort. Those nuggets of management wisdom are often wrong. I find that task effort relates to task difficulty, and task difficulty relates to the experience of the people on hand. I recently helped some people remodel a person’s house. We did […]

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Tags: Culture · Management · People


March 26th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Some system developments take a long time and drain people. You walk in to work and there is no energy. A demonstration of capability is one way to awaken people and bring focus to a project. Several years ago, I was working with about a hundred people on a large ($100 million) […]

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Tags: Design · Management · Technology

The Fable of the Watermelon Monsters

March 23rd, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Bringing about change in a group of people is perhaps the most difficult task anyone can undertake. An old fable sheds light on one technique for encouraging change. I wish I knew the origin of this little fable. I hope that I relay it well enough. Anyways, here goes: Once upon a […]

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Tags: Change · Culture · Fable · Learning · Management · People

A Sense of Urgency (Energy)

March 19th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Urgency and energy are great qualities to have in the people on your project. Urgency can be instilled in people via careful and thoughtful motivation. Energy may come in the door with some people. Given either of these, work moves quickly. Without them, work doesn’t move. I have become my father. That […]

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Tags: Learning · Management · Uncategorized

On Death Marches

March 16th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Author and consultant Ed Yourdon is updating his book “Death March.” He is working on the book online as a type of blog. You can participate by reading and commenting. The instructions for joining are here. I have joined in the discussion. I like this type of thing – reading something written […]

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Tags: Management · Uncategorized · Writing

Education Games and Simulations

March 12th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Games can be great teaching instruments. Some people are able to use computer games as education tools. Computer games, however, are costly to create. Simulations of real life can be created with far fewer resources. I recommend two places where you can experience such simulations. I just finished reading an article about […]

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Tags: Design · Learning

I Got a Job through LinkedIn

March 10th, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I just got a job through LinkedIn. That Web 2.0 stuff may actually work. I retired from my government job several months ago after 28 years of “government service” (as we fondly like to call it). I had some skills and qualifications and wanted to work a few more years, and my […]

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Tags: Employment · Web 2.0

Learning to Smile

March 5th, 2009 · No Comments

Managers and others in high position don’t “just know” how to work well with people. They have to learn it. Some of the rest of us have to learn that the managers have to learn. by Dwayne Phillips I kept my four-month-old grandson for a couple of hours yesterday while my wife and daughter-in-law went […]

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Tags: Management

Problem Solving – caught vice taught

March 2nd, 2009 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I had an enjoyable evening yesterday. My son was working on a programming project for a freshman-level computer science class (college). I – after being asked – jumped into the problem. Several observations. (1) Computer science professors aren’t any better at creating meaningful programming assignments than they were 30 years ago. (2) […]

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Tags: Culture · Judgment · Logic · Observation