Working Up

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

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Entries from August 2011

Express a Story in One Sentence (or Two)

August 29th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Here is a technique to express a story (short story or full novel) in one sentence (or two). It is from Dwight V. Swain. I have been reviewing some of the books on writing that I have read in the past decade. Good books are like that – you can review them […]

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Tags: Writing

Nike was Here

August 25th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Whatever it is we are doing, there are probably other people doing much the same thing. Sometimes we have to look in the dirt to notice their footprints. My wife and I went “hiking” (walking in the woods) recently in the Shenandoah National Park. The trails were pretty easy to follow – […]

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Tags: Observation

Joys and Problems on Projects

August 22nd, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One of my personal heuristics about projects is that on a good project, all the challenges come from technology and all the joys come from people. Bad project are the other way around. A year or so ago I found myself in a conversation with a woman who was starting a technology […]

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Tags: Management · People

Bad Management or Average Estimating?

August 18th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I often saw companies blamed for bad management. The real problem was estimating in time of greatest ignorance and customers not mitigating the risk of such estimates. For a couple of decades, I monitored the performance of companies on government contracts. Part of this job was to grade the companies on how […]

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Tags: Management · Problems · Process

Playing with My Grandson

August 17th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A short thought about “play.” I like to play with my grandson. When I thought about this, I realized that this is one of the few things I do in life where the word “play” appears. Another place is when I play the guitar. I enjoy that as well. One outcome of […]

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Tags: Family · Play

Permission to do Your Job

August 15th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Recent events bring an old saying to mind: you don’t need permission to do your job. You don’t need permission to do your job1 This thought hit me last week. I was working in a different office and was struggling to get anything done. One of the things that bothered me was […]

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Tags: Web 2.0 · Work

Change the World – 0.10 – Breathe

August 11th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A simple yet powerful tool for change is to stop and breathe. This is a simple step in changing the world. It involves only one person – me. Therefore, I can do this whenever I decide, and no one else can stop me. This step is to breathe. Stop what I am […]

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Tags: Breathe · Change · General Systems Thinking

Starbucks and Design

August 10th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Looking for design ideas? Visit a Starbucks once a week. I love to look a new designs. Designs are plans for solutions or solutions themselves. One of the reasons I loved walking a thousand miles down a road was that I saw how people solved problems with buildings, pastures, fences, vehicles, and […]

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Tags: Design · Starbucks

What do the Waitresses Eat?

August 8th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Yet another example of someone not eating their own dog food. My wife and I went “out of town” for a day for our anniversary this weekend. We ate dinner in Front Royal, Virginia. We like that town. We ate at a local restaurant – locally owned and operated. It was a […]

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Tags: People · Wikipedia · Work

Hardware, Software, and Design

August 4th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One of the differences between hardware and software is that hardware requires some design before building begins. Software, however, can begin at any moment without design. I was a bit surprised the other day at work, but people were debating the differences between building hardware and “building” software. (I guess that is […]

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Tags: Design · Differences