Working Up

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

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Performers, Predictors, and Punishment

February 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips When a performer doesn’t perform as predicted, the predictor is in the wrong. Too bad that we usually fail to recognize that. I write this the week after all the big tech companies posted their quarterly financial reports. Some companies didn’t perform as expected, i.e., as predicted. The result was that the […]

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Tags: Competence · Estimation · Expectations · Judgment

Watching Competence Evaporate

August 4th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Competence evaporates when we are upset. There are some things we can do to work our way back to competence, but they are not easy. I recently watched a group of otherwise competent people behave in a most incompetent manner. They had an excellent excuse as they were under great emotional stress. […]

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Tags: Breathe · Competence · Health · Judgment

The Veto in Restuarants and Government Offices

November 11th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A veto is where one person can say NO, and that over rules a multitude of YESs. Look around and notice the prevalence of the veto. I was in a fast food restaurant early on a recent Saturday morning (old people like me tend to do those things). Three teens were sitting […]

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Tags: Government · Judgment · Management · People

The Driver’s License and Alcohol

March 4th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It seems odd that to purchase alcohol a person must show they have a license to operate a motor vehicle. There are things in society that seem odd to me. One is the relationship we have established between obtaining alcohol and having a license to operate a motor vehicle. If you want […]

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Tags: Culture · General Systems Thinking · Health · Judgment · Logic

The Flip-A-Coin Technique

March 5th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Binary decisions – choose either A or B, nothing else – can be difficult. Tossing a coin, but not looking at it, is a useful technique. I learned this technique a few years ago at a conference. You are confronted with a decision with two choices: A or B. You are uncertain […]

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Tags: Design · Judgment · Play

Reality Applies to Us, Too

October 27th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips As much as we might wish otherwise, reality applies to us, too. I was recently speaking with a group of people age 13 to 60. My question was: How far back can you remember? The near-unanimous answer was, “age three.” Some people could vaguely remember some things that happened when they were […]

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Tags: Culture · Judgment · Logic · Magic

Odd (but Frequent) Decision

October 17th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips In government acquisition, the government employees make the decisions about projects. They often have to decide whether to continue or cancel a troubled project. The decision they often render is odd. I worked in government acquisition circles for over 25 years. One of the principle tenets of that field is: Contractor employees  […]

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Tags: Judgment · Management · People

The Most Difficult Thing to Say – “no”

March 24th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It seems that the most difficult thing for a decision maker to say is “no.” Here are a few stories of efforts that were wasted because when given the opportunity, people could not bring themselves to say “no.” There is something difficult about saying “no.” I don’t quite understand it. Perhaps my […]

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Tags: Communication · Excuses · Judgment · Management

Failure to Maintain Control of Your Vehicle

March 14th, 2011 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips. There are a lot of standards today guiding our behavior. There seem to be a lot of people today who ignore the standards and yet they succeed. It is illegal in many places to talk on a cell phone while driving. It is illegal in many places to send text messages while […]

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Tags: General Systems Thinking · Judgment · Management

Fatigue Wins Again

September 20th, 2010 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Fatigue is natural. Thinking that I can beat fatigue is wishful. Find a test that indicates your level of performance. Adjust your activities to meet your level. Fatigue beats wishes, but rest beats fatigue. I wish that fatigue didn’t always win. I wish I conquered fatigue all the time. I that no […]

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Tags: Excuses · Health · Judgment · Thinking