Working Up

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

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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

Everyone Agrees about That, So…

February 6th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Take great care when everyone agrees about something. Once the world was plagued with the longitude problem. Long-distance sea travel was dangerous and fraught with the great unknown, “where are we?!?!?!?” Everyone agreed on the solution to the longitude problem. Everyone, that is, except the carpenter who solved the problem. For background, […]

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Tags: Engineering · General Systems Thinking · Ideas · Observation · Science

Systems Engineering and Interfaces

January 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Systems are commonly built by connecting smaller systems. This requires that the systems are connect-able, and that requires a defined interface. Most of the time, we build systems by connecting large boxes together in a system diagram. There are exceptions, and another post will discuss some of those. Still, connect the boxes […]

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

The Good Hackers

January 19th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The original hackers were the good guys. Some of today’s hackers still are. Nintendo recently brought back a handful of old video games in a clever packages called the NES Classic Edition. They sold a boat-load of them. The trouble is, you can’t add any games to it. Enter good-old hackers who […]

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Tags: Customer · Fun · General Systems Thinking · Programming

Expanding the AI Problem Set

September 5th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips First you work on a small problem set. Once you learn from that, you expand the problem set. Google recently started hiring speakers with accents to help train its speech recognition software systems. Why didn’t they do this sooner? Why did they only use middle-America, white-bread Americans, or some other Johnny Carson, […]

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Tags: Adapting · General Systems Thinking · Learning · Problems · Process

Significant Digits: Another Forgotten Fundamental

June 9th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Regardless of what Excel tells us, significant digits (remember that?) tells us otherwise. Recall something called significant digits from high school math? Consider calculating something with two numbers. One number has two digits while the other number has three digits. The answer can only have two digits. For example, 23 x 123 […]

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Tags: Analysis · Clarity · Computing · Estimation · General Systems Thinking

Me, and Something from Me

May 9th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Life is much easier when I distinguish myself from things that I produce. I write. I write blog posts, books, magazine articles, and lots of documents at work. People tear up some of the things I write. That can hurt, if I don’t know the difference between me and something I wrote. […]

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Tags: Choose · Communication · Differences · General Systems Thinking

3D? I Want 2D

May 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Call me too literal, call me too geeky, but I want to have actual 2D anything. 3D! 3D! 3D! Everybody wants 3D everything. We want… 3D printing 3D user interface on the smartphone 3D movies 3D gestures for control of computers 3D integrated circuits The list goes on. Silly me, I want […]

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Tags: Computing · Expectations · General Systems Thinking

Unintended Capabilities

April 4th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Systems built by persons often have more capability than intended. Someone will arrive who will find and use these. I stumbled onto this story recently about persons in Angola who have limited Internet access. They found ways to use Wikipedia and Facebook that the creators of those systems did not intend. The […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Systems

The Paramedics Rule

January 18th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Don’t do anything that you can’t explain to the paramedics. I learned this rule at a workshop held by author and consultant Jerry Weinberg. We were learning how to do simulations or exercises in seminars. You didn’t want to do anything that would accidentally break any bones or cause other things that […]

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Tags: Choose · Excuses · General Systems Thinking