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

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Entries from March 2011

The Five-Paragraph Essay

March 31st, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips After many years, I finally learn what a five-paragraph essay is. Every now and then I learn something that embarrasses me. It is something that I feel like I should have learned a long time ago. Such is the case with the title of this post. I was stumbling around the Internet […]

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Tags: Writing

Be Prepared to be Unprepared

March 28th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I have learned that I am not capable of being prepared for everything. Hence, I have learned to be prepared for being unprepared. I often speak in front of people, lead discussions, teach classes, and generally attend meetings where people ask me questions. I am often unprepared for what people ask. I […]

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Tags: Choose · Culture · Expectations · Learning · Meetings

The Most Difficult Thing to Say – “no”

March 24th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It seems that the most difficult thing for a decision maker to say is “no.” Here are a few stories of efforts that were wasted because when given the opportunity, people could not bring themselves to say “no.” There is something difficult about saying “no.” I don’t quite understand it. Perhaps my […]

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Tags: Communication · Excuses · Judgment · Management

The iPad – part 0.9 – A Week-Long Conference

March 21st, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I attend a five-day conference with only an iPad and ZaggMate bluetooth keyboard. It worked! I recently attended a conference at work – eight hours a day for five days. WiFi was to be available. Hmm, eight hours, WiFi, I wasn’t sure about power connections, I decided to try my iPad with […]

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Tags: iPad · Meetings · Technology

Learning How to be Smarter

March 17th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips. I have multiplied my “smartness” in the last couple of decades due to techniques I learned from two peolple. I always wanted to be smart. Then I wanted to be smarter than that. I guess I am still working at being smarter. I recently switched to paying for Starbucks coffee using an […]

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Tags: Differences · General Systems Thinking · Learning · People · Thinking

Providing Feedback to Writing

March 15th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One of the more difficult tasks is reviewing something written by someone else and providing feedback that will help both the writer and the reader. Here are some things I learned from Jerry Weinberg. In 2004, I attended a writing workshop led by author and consultant Jerry Weinberg. A large part of […]

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Tags: Communication · Writing

Failure to Maintain Control of Your Vehicle

March 14th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips. There are a lot of standards today guiding our behavior. There seem to be a lot of people today who ignore the standards and yet they succeed. It is illegal in many places to talk on a cell phone while driving. It is illegal in many places to send text messages while […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Judgment · Management

No Live Demos

March 10th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Some 25 years ago, I learned something that has stayed with me. The reason it has stayed with me is that it still holds true: Don’t depend on live demos. The title of this post is a statement made often by one of my advisors in graduate school way back at LSU […]

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Tags: Management · Process · Technology · Work

Facial Recognition and Faces on the Internet

March 7th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Recent advances in computer networks and facial recognition software bring about some interesting possibilities for knowing that a person was in a place at a time doing an activity. Governments might want to know this information. Private companies, however, would more likely implement this for profit. This post brings about some interesting […]

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Tags: Image · Technology · Video

The Best Dinner of My Life

March 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It was the spring of 2006. I had been in California visiting the Contractor for several days. I flew home on Friday, caught the usual cab, and walked into an empty house. Adam, my youngest son, was playing in the high school jazz band. He was playing bass while his friend Arash […]

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Tags: Family