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

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Entries from December 2014

Kids do the Strangest Things—So Watch

December 29th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips People with no experience in a situation do the unthinkable. Often, the unthinkable leads to the impossible, and we want to know about the impossible. Kids do things that are just, well, I struggle to describe them as they are out of the ordinary. Here are a few examples: My oldest son […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Ideas · Knowledge · Learning

Christmas 2014

December 25th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Do not take anyone in your life for granted. I am writing this post on December 2nd. Such is the wonder of WordPress and all that. It happens that Christmas Day falls on a Thursday this year, and Thursday is one of the days of the week that I post to this […]

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Tags: People

When You Write Something (Anything)

December 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When you write something (anything), also write your name and the date. This is pretty simple, but usually neglected. Always write your name and the date next to anything you write. If you are writing in a notebook with your name on the cover, it may be sufficient to write just the […]

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Tags: Communication · Writing

The Sweet Spot

December 18th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Go to the optimum, then back off a quarter turn on the knob. There you are. One principle of technology and systems in general is not to operate at the extreme. Go to the extreme, but move back just a bit towards the ordinary. Odd things occur at the extremes. This behavior […]

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Tags: Design · General Systems Thinking · Ideas · Systems


December 15th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Communicating can be reduced to one simple question. Answering that question is the pursuit that inspires me. I have an idea in my head; I have a feeling in my heart. Here is the crux of communication: How can I affect the other person? I love to try to answer that question. […]

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Tags: Communication · Consulting · Writing

A Writing Hierarchy

December 11th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Writing, like most endeavors and systems, has a hierarchy. There is a trade-off between resources spent and quality. I have a writing hierarchy. It has something to do with a trade-off of time and quality. My hierarchy is basically: jot on a napkin note in my journal my daybook blog posts paid […]

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Tags: Writing

The Zero-th Step of Any Process

December 8th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Before doing anything else—think. Yes, this is old advice, but it still works. Process, process, process. The world uses Agile processes now. (At least those people whose job it is to tell everyone else what their organization does tells the world that they are Agile. I tend to doubt that they actually […]

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Tags: Choose · General Systems Thinking · Learning · Management · Process

The Describe-a-Picture Method of Writing

December 4th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One method of writing that has worked for me is to sketch a picture or diagram and then describe it. I have used this method of writing for years. I needed the assistance of others to understand that this is what I was doing. Here is the method: sketch a picture or […]

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Tags: Communication · Writing

The Question and Answer Method of Writing

December 1st, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One way to write is to first write a list of questions, set the questions some place you can see them, and answer all the questions. I continue to work with college students on their writing, and they continue to teach me. A recent assignment the students were working involved answering a […]

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Tags: Communication · Education · Writing