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

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Entries from September 2013

Do We Actually Disagree?

September 30th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Disagreements often fall under the cliche, “we are in violent agreement.” Go past the quick decision and converse with the other person. Joe: I disagree with you. Moe: Really? Joe: Yes. Moe: Are you sure? Joe: Yes Moe: Let’s step through this to ensure that we disagree. Joe: ? Moe: Let me […]

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Tags: Communication

Prior Experience

September 26th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Every organization and endeavor is unique to a degree, but not absolutely unique. Learn the prior experience of each person and find a way to benefit from it. LikeĀ  many of my (hi)stories, this one is from yet another experience with morons in government. I had 20 years experience in the larger […]

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Tags: Learning · Management · People

One Editing Technique

September 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I present one technique I use to edit writing from others and myself. There are various techniques for editing writing. Here is one that I use more than any other. I reformat the paper in a word processor with a 0.3″ margin on the left and a 3″ margin on the right. […]

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Tags: Writing

A Timed Writing Technique

September 19th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I have been using a new writing technique lately in which I set a timer for uninterrupted writing, followed by a five-minute break, followed by another timed writing period. There are countless writing techniques. My advice for these techniques: Try the technique. If if works for you, use it. Otherwise, forget it. […]

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Tags: Work · Writing

Reverse Psychology

September 16th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips People used to use the phrase “reverse psychology” more than they do now. I suppose I act out reverse psychology a lot these days. I don’t, however, of it in those terms. I think of my actions in vastly different terms. People used to say the phrase that sits atop this post. […]

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Tags: Communication · Expectations

Going Dark

September 12th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Stay connected to the people who work with you. It is that simple. There is a phrase that was kicked around a lot a few years back in the software field. The phrase was about going dark. That phrase meant that a programmer would stop talking to everyone else. You didn’t know […]

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Tags: Communication · People · Programming

Less Programming, More Typing

September 9th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Sometimes the best thing to do is put your seat in a chair, your hands on the keyboard, and type in all the data manually instead of writing software to do it. I experienced it at least half-a-dozen times in my 28 years in government: We need to track our inventory. Due […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Programming · Systems · Technical Debt

So-and-so Won’t Attend

September 5th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips That one person won’t be attending today. Everyone sighs in relief. What does that tell us? I’ve attended more meetings than most people. I have 28 years of government work to thank for that. There was almost always one or a few people scheduled to attend the meeting that I was happier […]

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Tags: Fear · Meetings · People

They Made Us Do That in College

September 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips There are practices that time has proven to be worthwhile. Someone in school drilled them into us. We vowed to avoid them as soon as school was out, but life eventually catches us. I have lost track of the number of times I have seen this on the job. We have a […]

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Tags: Education · Excuses · Logic · People · Process · Risk