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

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Entries from November 2011

300,000 Words a Year

November 28th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I prove to myself that I can write 1,000 words a day with one hour writing per day. I’ve been conducting a writing experiment. I wanted to learn if I could write at a pace that would produce 300,000 words in a year. This pace means 50 weeks, of the 52 in […]

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Tags: Writing

Difficult Task or Distasteful Task?

November 24th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips That’s hard to do. Is it really? How “hard” is it? How much time will it take? How much learning will it take? Often, “difficult” tasks are really “distasteful” tasks, i.e., tasks that I really don’t want to do.

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Tags: Employment

Thanksgiving Day

November 24th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. I am thankful that my three sons, all in their 20s, still talk to me. I am thankful that my oldest son married a young woman who thinks enough of me to let me spend time with their children, my grandchildren.

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Tags: Family

They’re Not Upset, They’re Just Thinking

November 21st, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Take care when you have opposite types of people in the room for a meeting. Be sure to have someone in the room with the primary interest of ensuring communication among the groups. A few months ago, I sat in a meeting. On one side of the table were customers; on the […]

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Tags: Communication · Meetings · People

Accepting Less Than Perfect

November 17th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Self-driving cars are almost here. They are safer than human drivers. They aren’t perfect, but they are better. Nevertheless, we might repeat our past and not employ less-than-perfect computer systems. Maybe, however, our younger generations may accept it this time. Google has been working on self-driving cars. Others have as well. Those […]

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Tags: Risk · Systems · Technology

Lesser-of-Two-Evils Questions (and Meta Questions)

November 14th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips There are times when I ask if my situation was caused by one of two shortcomings. Neither answer is pleasing. Then I move on to ask why I am in such an unsatisfactory situation. A couple decades ago, I heard a statement about explaining a bad situation. One paraphrase of the statement […]

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Tags: Communication · Excuses · Learning · Problems

Thoughts on Heating and Cooling

November 10th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Facebook puts a data center near the arctic circle. The natural cold air will cool the computers. Why is this news? Why is this hailed as a brilliant “green” action? It was December of 1980. We had a small room with a dozen racks of heat-producing equipment that needed to be cooled. […]

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Tags: Adapting · General Systems Thinking · Management

The Information Thermocline

November 7th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips All bureaucracies, in my experience, stop the flow of information at each level of the hierachy. About half the important information is stopped at each level. There is hope, but people at the top have to work hard at getting the information they are being denied. The title of this post is […]

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Tags: Communication · Management · Problems

“Cubicle Suite” and other Contradictions

November 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Several years ago, I saw a sign proclaiming “Cubicle Suite” outside an office door. Cubicles are cubicles – yuck. A suite is some place really nice. The two works next to one another are nonsensical. What other words can we place next to one another and make no sense? How about: Short […]

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Tags: Communication · Writing