Working Up

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

Working Up header image 4

Entries from February 2016

Losing Their Way

February 29th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Sometimes projects “lose their way.” Of course that is impossible as what really happens is that people come and go and change their minds. In government, we had a phrase about projects that seemed to go forever and consume every penny in sight and produce nothing: They lost their way Some of […]

[

Tags: Adults · Management · Work

Synonyms Don’t Work (Sometimes)

February 25th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When writing about technical subjects, use the correct nouns and verbs as synonyms don’t work. In various forms of writing about technical subjects, synonyms don’t work. For example, when describing electric current, flow—as in the flow of electrons or current—can’t be replaced by drift or glide, which are otherwise perfectly good synonyms […]

[

Tags: Communication · Writing

Talk to Everyone, Everyday

February 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips This is fundamental project manager advice. Avoid at your peril. I’ve managed a lot of technical projects. These projects employed engineers, programmers, scientists, administrators, and so on. One thing I’ve learned is: People tend to keep their work to themselves. Hmm. So how is the working progressing? These people won’t come to […]

[

Tags: Communication · Management · People · Work

The Power of Collaboration (or is it just silly?)

February 18th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I repeat an old, old story. Does it illustrate the power of collaboration or is it just another old, silly story that we tell children to have them behave? The old story… There was a farmer who grew excellent quality corn. Every year he won the award for the best grown corn. […]

[

Tags: Culture · Fable · Trust

Design Success! (or is it failure?)

February 15th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips If a system designed to last a few months last 12 years, is that a success or a failure? A recent story hailed the success of the NASA Mars rover. The rover was “designed” to last a few months, but is still going after 12 years. Wow! What a great design and […]

[

Tags: Design · Engineering · Government · Requirements · Systems

The Advantage of Cultural Ignorance

February 11th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Ignorance is often bliss. Ignorance of culture has kept me from trouble many times in my life. I guess this is an advantage of being a nerd. I remember as a kid other kids walking up to me and, with their most earnest face, saying, I dare ya’ They were really serious […]

[

Tags: Culture

How do You do Your Job?

February 8th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It can be most helpful to many if you would write what you do to accomplish your job. How do you do your job? Can you answer that question? Most people I have met cannot. I find that quite frustrating. Part of my job is to describe to possible customers how my […]

[

Tags: Communication · Knowledge · Learning

Don’t Try So Hard

February 4th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One of the worst things to do in many situations is to try really, really hard. One of the best pieces of advice I received from author and consultant Jerry Weinberg is: Don’t try so hard I have to force myself to remember this when I find myself staring at something and […]

[

Tags: Breathe · Observation · Work

Too Bad They Used a Cliche

February 1st, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I wish I knew what they meant, but, unfortunately, they used a cliche. Oh, what a cute cliche. I wonder what the writer actually meant. I’ll never know because the writer used that cliche instead of words with meaning.

[

Tags: Clarity · Communication