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

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Entries from August 2012

On Models and Their Use

August 30th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A reminder about models. Please take care when using them to predict the future. George Box is credited with: all models are wrong, but some are useful It is a model, an approximation that helps describe real life. It is not real life. Some of these descriptions are useful to help us […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking

A Note about Computer (In)Security

August 27th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips If it has software, it can be hacked, i.e., it is not secure. Sorry to write that, but I can’t find any way around it. What a wonderful world. We have computers everywhere. Those computers all run software, which is nothing more than instructions written by persons. And all those persons have […]

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Tags: Privacy · Security · Systems

Expecting and Inspecting

August 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips “You get what you inspect, not what you expect” (source forgotten, lesson relearned painfully too often) Relearning can be painful. At least “learning” is in there somewhere, and I believe that learning is a fruitful use of time. Here’s a recent conversation: Manager: I can’t believe how bad the quality of work […]

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Tags: Communication · Expectations · Management

Another Wise Saying Confirmed (Again)

August 20th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The later in a project you correct a mistake, the more it costs. Confirmed again. There are many wise sayings associated with managing and working  projects. Many of the wise sayings are myths that have been busted. Many, however, are true, and we stubbornly refuse to believe them. Our stubbornness is evidenced […]

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Tags: Management

Disdain and the Transfer of Power

August 16th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I observe that some people will transfer the power over their lives to people whom they disdain. I find this odd, but I find it often. Some people will give other people power over their lives. The conversation goes something like this: Person A: “That person is ruining my life!” Me: “How […]

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Tags: Communication · People

Knowing What You are Doing

August 13th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips There is no substitute for knowing what you are doing. I love working with people who know what they are doing. They come to the workplace, see challenges in front of them, and eagerly plow into the work. Short pause – I don’t live in LaLaLand. I live and work in the […]

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Tags: Learning · Work

The Ideal Co-Workers

August 9th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I find there are three characteristics I want to see in the people who work with me. There are three things I want to see in the people who work with me: They know what they are doing They have the self-discipline to do it They have the courage to tell the […]

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Tags: People · Work

Failures at the Boundaries

August 6th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips If a system fails at one boundary, it will probably fail at another boundary. Hence, if you find a boundary failure, start looking for other boundary failures while you still have a chance at prevention instead of correction. A few years back I had a problem with my van. I couldn’t reliably […]

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Tags: Systems · Thinking

Time and Change

August 2nd, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Change in people (and what other type of change is interesting enough to consider?) takes time. Plan for it. Change takes time as people just don’t change quickly. Sometimes in an emergency we change quickly, but who wants to face an emergency? Here is a true story. I was working on the […]

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Tags: Change · Management · Time