Working Up

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

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Entries from May 2011

Tutoring Writing – Part 1 – Big Concepts

May 30th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Here are some items I see often when working with college engineering and science students – part 1. For the past couple of years, I have been working with engineering and science students at George Mason University on their writing. I found myself spending the vast majority of the time discussing a […]

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Tags: Writing

Change the World – 0.06 – Hello, My Name is…

May 26th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Introduce yourself by name. I was sitting in a meeting that had started five minutes earlier. The person to my right was presiding over the meeting and was talking without pause. I recognized enough of what he was saying to know that I was in the right meeting, but I didn’t know […]

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Tags: Change · Communication

Change the World – 0.05 – Five Minutes

May 23rd, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips While racing through the day from event to event, add five minutes to an event. During those five minutes, do something wonderful for someone else who is at the same event. Most of the people I know are busy. Most of the people I know are so busy that they just get […]

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Tags: Change

The Curse of the Small Project

May 19th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Small projects are great for new engineers. The new engineers learn so many different aspects of building a system on a small project. I used to think that; I no longer do. Instead, I think that small or smaller projects carry with them a curse that can ruin an engineer or programmer […]

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Tags: Management · Problems · Systems · Work

PMP Certification

May 17th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I  obtain the PMI’s Project Management Professional certification. It seemed that every request for proposal that we received from the government wanted the same thing: a certified project manager.  It didn’t matter that a person, like me, had years of experience, three degrees, and had written several books on project management (like […]

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Tags: Learning · Management · Work

The Curse of the First Draft

May 16th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Avoid asking an engineer or some other non-writer to write a complete first draft of a document. The result will be bad, but the non-writer will love it more than himself. There are few anguishes known to man as that experienced when a manager tells an engineer or some other professional who […]

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Tags: Management · Writing


May 12th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Systems are built to satisfy the requirements of the user. Sometimes, engineers want to add things, i.e., they desire to add things. Such are “desire-ments,” and they can kill projects. I walked into an existing project. Well, I  wasn’t in the middle of the project, but I was to work with a […]

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Tags: Fun · General Systems Thinking · Requirements · Work

Whatever Happened to Tracing Paper?

May 9th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I reminisce about tracing paper. When I was a kid, I would trace things. Now that I think about it, I recall tracing some things when I was in graduate school working on a PhD. Whoa. Anyways, I would trace things. These things were for school projects most of the time, but […]

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Tags: Change · Design · Family

Change the World – 0.04 – Smile

May 5th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When you call me that, smile from “The Virginian: a horseman of the plains” by Owen Wister The statement above is one of the most misquoted from American literature, movie folklore, and culture. The misquote is: smile when you say that The implication is simple, if you are smiling, you can say […]

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Tags: Change · Culture · Health

Osama bin Laden Celebration – part 2

May 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips This is a famous photograph taken during the celebration that ensued when victory in Europe WW II was celebrated. Victory was being celebrated as in “we won.” Also being celebrated was that the killing stopped. The sailor kissing the girl wasn’t going to be killed. How does this relate to Osama bin […]

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Tags: Observation