Working Up

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

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The Plan versus the Idea

June 1st, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Often “plans” are merely “ideas.” Ideas suffice if they are small enough. We have a lot of plans where I work and recreate. The trouble is, I can’t ever seem to find them. No one can produce an artifact that records the plan. Truth is, the plan is in the mind of […]

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Tags: Analysis · Clarity · Communication · Ideas · Planning

Important Nonsense

May 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When an otherwise rational person starts speaking nonsense—pay attention as something important is happening. People tell me how important a topic is to them by how they speak to me. Rational, logical, focused—nope. Not those adjectives. I am writing about important topics. When something is important, something burns inside. The heart quickens, […]

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Tags: Breathe · Communication · Consulting · People

The Pre-Meeting

May 18th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The pre-meeting is one of the better techniques for holding a successful meeting. Want to have a “good” meeting, i.e., one where the outcome is to my liking? Hold a pre-meeting. Meet before the meeting. Plan what you and yours will do and say in the meeting. Plan what you and yours […]

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Tags: Communication · Meetings

The Reframe or Perhaps We have this all Backwards

May 8th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One of the more beneficial techniques I have learned is how to reframe a situation or turn it around backwards or upside down. Is it (1) the donors aren’t giving enough money or (2) the leaders aren’t inspiring the donors. I hate my boss, so I should (1) become my own boss […]

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Tags: Change · Communication · Consulting · Reframe

The Steam Roller—What’s in a Name?

April 20th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips We still refer to the steam roller even though no one has one such a machine in over a hundred years. So what? Maybe something important. We once used steam rollers to flatten things. They had a steam engine for power. They weighed a lot. They were effective. We quit using steam […]

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Tags: Communication

The Commissioned Trade Study

April 17th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The follies and pitfalls of a trade study. One of the more wasteful things governments, persons who work for governments, do is commission a trade study. Go forth, study something, and report back to us. Time passes. Persons run about asking questions and reading readings. The money flows. Keyboards clickety-clack, spots appear […]

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Tags: Analysis · Communication · Customer · Expectations

The Opposite of Synergy—Yet Another Example

April 13th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Often, the individual members of a group don’t understand what the group has decided. This is wonderful. I found a discussion online where persons who care about words were trying to invent a word for the opposite of synergy. No one suggested the obvious—the US Congress. Politics aside, or maybe politics of […]

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Tags: Communication · Competence · Decide

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

The Final Nail in the Coffin for the Old Media

March 13th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Facebook was the end of the old media. Facebook didn’t start the downfall, but it ended it for good. Mark Zuckerburg recently released a new manifesto for Facebook. The mainstream media is dead. Facebook didn’t kill that big, bad, old mainstream media, it just finished it. Of all things, talk radio on […]

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Tags: Adapting · Blog · Change · Communication

Software Systems Engineering and Agile Development

March 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Agile development is not an excuse for knowing what you did, why you did it, and how you did it. You’re doing agile development. You hold a meeting to start a sprint (different methods use different names for this). You sprint! You meet again at the end of the sprint. What did […]

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Tags: Agility · Analysis · Communication · Engineering · Systems