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Entries Tagged as 'Thinking'

And Then What Happens?

March 27th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips There is a fundamental question to ask in analyzing and engineering systems. Why don’t we use it more often? A: We put this into the system. B: And then what happens? A: Well, now the system can do this great function for the users. B: And then what happens? A: For one […]

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Tags: Adults · Communication · General Systems Thinking · Questions · Systems · Thinking

When Documentation is More Valuable than Working Software

November 24th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Working software is more valuable than documentation—except when it isn’t. And we have Dwayne’s Declaration. Part of the Agile Manifesto states: We…value working software over comprehensive documentation Some of us are old enough to have known this years before the manifesto was manifest. Of course we wanted working software, except when we […]

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Tags: Agility · Analysis · Authentic · Communication · Engineering · Management · Thinking · Work

It is the People, not the Technology

March 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips We try to relearn this again: people have to use technology in some “smart” way. Money goes to big data projects, but not much comes back. Where have I heard this before? Oh yes, it was with fill-in-the-blank-with-one-of-those-new-technologies-that-was-going-to-change-the-world-by-itself. People use technology. Well, sometimes we use it, and sometimes we use it in […]

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Tags: Management · People · Technology · Thinking

Don’t Try so Hard

January 26th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I try hard at everything. Sometimes I try hard too much. <start advice> Slow down. Back away. Breathe. Drink a cup of coffee. Relax. Take a nap. Find your own little zen thing that helps you to not try so hard. <end advice>

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Tags: Breathe · Choose · Coffee · Health · Problems · Process · Thinking · Time

Change the Training

August 21st, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips We have a #1 response of any bureaucracy in the 21st century. Any time a bureaucracy has a flub up (technical term), the response is the same: We will address this item as we change the training. This is the #1 response to any situation in the 21st century. Gosh. At least […]

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Tags: Change · Education · Employment · Thinking

Mental Concentration and Awkwardness

August 14th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Looks are often deceiving. Especially how you look when you are concentrating. Many years ago, a college professor told a calculus class I was in something like, “People think you are wandering the campus absentmindedly when the opposite is true. You are in deep concentration.” I often find myself standing to walk […]

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Tags: Breathe · Thinking

Want Time to Think?

June 30th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips If you want time alone to think, do something distasteful to your colleagues. They will leave you alone. A few years ago I was in a job where we had a small refrigerator of soft drinks in the office. One thing that comes from such is that someone has to refill the […]

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Tags: Thinking · Time

There is a Diagram for That

April 17th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips There is an old diagram that helps explain what a system does. Sometimes, these old diagrams are lost and need to be found again. Apologies to Google and the Chromecast, but it is a good example to mention. Me, i.e., old engineer: What is that? Young Engineer: It is a Google Chromecast. […]

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Tags: Communication · Systems · Technology · Thinking

The Purpose of Testing

April 7th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A good test provides information—no more and no less. Let’s take a step back to the fundamentals of engineering and building things. Part of building some thing is to perform some tests on the thing. Why perform a test? The oft-cited answer is, “to show that the thing works.” Deep sigh. We […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Systems · Thinking

The Napkin (or Envelope)

February 17th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The napkin or envelope is still one of the best tools for the engineer or manager or fill-in-the-blank. I have a(n old-fashioned) laptop computer, a smartphone, and a tablet – and I still write notes on a napkin. Yes, I am old, that is part of the explanation. Yet, there is something […]

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Tags: Design · Estimation · General Systems Thinking · Ideas · Notebook · Thinking · Writing