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

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Entries from October 2011

Effective Teachers?

October 31st, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I suggest a method of measuring teacher effectiveness. ¬†The vast majority of methods for measuring teachers rests on a simple question: do we trust students? Bill Gates and his wife have been working towards improving education in America. I applaud their efforts as they could be using their billions of dollars to […]

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Tags: Education · Learning

Reality Applies to Us, Too

October 27th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips As much as we might wish otherwise, reality applies to us, too. I was recently speaking with a group of people age 13 to 60. My question was: How far back can you remember? The near-unanimous answer was, “age three.” Some people could vaguely remember some things that happened when they were […]

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Tags: Culture · Judgment · Logic · Magic

A Few Thoughts on Greed

October 24th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Often, greed is not the result of one great big greedy villain, but rather the sum of many well-meaning people who wanted to add just one little item to a system. The Occupy Wall Street occupiers continue to occupy Wall Street and a few dozen other famous places in a few dozen […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Greed

A Project Managing Pleasure

October 20th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips There are many pleasures that come with managing a project. One is learning that you didn’t ruin the people who worked with you. Author and consultant Jerry Weinberg once wrote: One of the pleasures of having your children grow up is seeing that you didn’t ruin them after all. My corollary of […]

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Tags: Management · Success

It’s Called “Winning the Pennant”

October 18th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips <rant>Baseball now moves into the World Series. You take the pennant winners from the National and American leagues and play a best-of-seven series to see who is the best in the world. Now, let’s see if we can ruin this. People must be trying to ruin this, because they are succeeding at […]

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Tags: Communication · Fun

Odd (but Frequent) Decision

October 17th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips In government acquisition, the government employees make the decisions about projects. They often have to decide whether to continue or cancel a troubled project. The decision they often render is odd. I worked in government acquisition circles for over 25 years. One of the principle tenets of that field is: Contractor employees¬† […]

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Tags: Judgment · Management · People

We’re Missing a Few Layers (and Adaptability)

October 13th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips We have chased manufacturing out of America. We now have holes in our job structure and have lost the ability to adapt to a changing world. I read a few posts on the “Econolypse” lately. Here is one post, and here is another. We have chased the manufacturing jobs from the U.S. […]

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Tags: Employment · General Systems Thinking · Generation Y · Ideas

Leave Well Enough Alone

October 10th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When things are going well, be careful about adding more “good” things. An addition is a foreign element and will change the situation. I wish we had a bigger budget so we could do more of what we are doing now. Wishes are often like the above. Granting a wish will surely […]

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Tags: Change · Management

Contractors and Grandparents

October 6th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Government-hired contractors are like grandparents in that they will give you anything you want. Here is a request to government employees to be adults and only ask for things that are practical and will be used. I’ve worked in government acquisition since 1980. For 25+ years, I was on the government side […]

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Tags: Government · Management

The Myth of the Top-Tier College

October 4th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Top-tier colleges? I think they are grossly over rated. I read this post recently about someone returning to a top-tier engineering school to recruit employees. He was impressed with the high-quality of the students and the competition among companies to hire them. Sigh. I’ve been in the workplace for 30 years. I […]

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Tags: Learning · Life