Working Up

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

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Entries from July 2017

The Efforting User and Us

July 31st, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Some of our system’s users will work and work to make the system perform for them. Others, however, will dump it at the first sign of frustration. We have a system. We think it is “good enough.” It can do things for a group of people that nothing else can do. It […]

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Tags: Communication · Customer

Fake News (and our misguided efforts to stop it)

July 27th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Let’s take a breath and pause regarding all this “stop fake news.” We have to stop fake news. It is ruining civilization. It ruined an election. It is wreaking havoc around the world. Come on everyone, when you see fake news, label it, punish it, eradicate it. Well, perhaps some pause is […]

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Tags: Communication · Fable

Ingenuity or Let’s Try Something

July 24th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The day we fixed a supercomputer with a cardboard box. I suppose this post has to do with good old American ingenuity or some myth we like to create about ourselves. Regardless of myths and selective memory, this is actually a true story. On the job we had serial number one of […]

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Tags: Computing · Consulting · Failure · Listening

How did You Write that Book?

July 20th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The basic steps I have used to writing a professional, non-fiction book and having it published. I have written about half-a-dozen professional non-fiction books. The counting is a bit fuzzy when you include a second edition or two here and there. These were published by the IEEE and other publishers of such […]

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Tags: Work · Writing

I’m Right versus I’m Learning

July 17th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A problem with being right is that learning tends to cease. There is a problem with being right or being on the right side in many senses of the phrase: learning tends to cease or at least greatly decrease. Consider what I used to tell boys when I coached them in various […]

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Tags: Change · Learning

Agile and Guaranteed Success

July 13th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips In many ways, using agile development guarantees success by definition. I was recently reading of a failed Federal government software program. Of course hundreds of millions of dollars were spent with nothing to show for it. The tale of woe consumed pages. Then there was one more paragraph that stated, “the government […]

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Tags: Agility · Success

Tired of Being an Adult? Try Agile

July 10th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Now that the title has infuriated everyone…let’s consider what Agile development does for me the customer. In the previous millennium, customers would decide what they wanted software to do, tell that to a group of persons who wrote software, and come back later at the delivery date. Time marched on, as it […]

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Tags: Agility · Communication · Management

Those Darned First Impressions

July 6th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It is usually my loss when I form a first impression of another person. “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Blah, blah, blah, and on we go. Most of the cliches about first impressions tend to put the burden of work on the new person trying to make […]

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Tags: Adapting · Change

What’s In a Name? Programmers and Such

July 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips We consider what the world calls “computer programmers” these days. Developers. That is what we seem to call computer programmers these days. I work in a building with perhaps a hundred developers. “Are you a developer?” people ask me. Sigh. The trouble is, these developers are not developers because they aren’t developing […]

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Tags: Communication · Programming · Word