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

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Entries from August 2013

Effort and the Consequences of Failure

August 29th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips How much oversight, process, testing, and any activity other than writing software should you do? The answer lies in the consequences of failure. Don’t let the quest for better destroy your software project. How much effort should you spend testing software? How much management oversight should software projects have? How much effort […]

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Tags: Management · Programming · Risk

The Power and Utility of Policy Statements

August 26th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Policy statements can be the most useful things that managers can produce. They help persons make decisions daily. Yes, managers can, and sometimes do, contribute to work. One of the more useful contributions they make is policy. Let’s define terms: Policy statements articulate broad direction for an organization. For example, Write code […]

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Tags: Communication · Management

Agile Development and Risk

August 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Agile development can reduce risk, but not every kind of risk. Agile development does reduce risk. Agile is a form of the spiral development created by Barry Boehm (okay, scream now). Spiral was created to reduce risk and, if used properly (loaded words), it does reduce risk. So, let’s consider Agile: Agile […]

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Tags: Agility · Management · Risk

Imply vs Infer

August 19th, 2013 · No Comments

By Dwayne Phillips I am unable to say, “You implied such-and-such.” I know it is a small distinction that difference between imply and infer, but it bothers me. I continue to stumble upon these two words: imply and infer. I her people say, “You implied such-and-such.” Since this is my blog, I can rant to […]

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Tags: Communication · Writing

The Weight Factor

August 15th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Can you measure a manager’s good-ness by the weight of the people being managed? I contend that you can. First, a little story: I was eating lunch with Rob. Now that he had moved to a new job, he ate lunch in the cafeteria everyday. In his previous job, he rarely ate […]

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Tags: Health · Management

Don’t Let Agile Slow You Down

August 12th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It seems that everyone is using an Agile process these days. There really isn’t anything new in Agile. And, in some cases, Agile can slow the delivery of software to users. What? Agile be slow? Yes, Agile processes can slow the delivery of software to users. Twenty years ago, I worked in […]

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Tags: People · Process · Programming

Blaming and Placating

August 8th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips An incident in the cafeteria illustrates blaming and placating – incongruent stances created by a misconception of the self and the other. First, a story: A lady – a customer –  is walking through the cafeteria at work. She falls to the floor. A second lady – the cafeteria manager – runs […]

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Tags: Fear · General Systems Thinking

The MD vs the Veterinarian

August 5th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Should we send our customers to a veterinarian, i.e., someone who is accustomed to working with beings that cannot speak? First, a story: My granddad was a stubborn man. My granddad was ill and went to a doctor, an MD. My granddad was paying the MD a lot of money, so he […]

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Tags: Communication · Requirements · Systems

It’s Not the Org Chart

August 1st, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips In government, we loved the org chart. We loved it so much that we often forgot that the org chart was not the people. The org chart is a representation of how we organize persons. The org chart is just a picture, not the reality. Often, in soft matters, we confuse the […]

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Tags: People · Systems