Working Up

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

Working Up header image 4

Agile and the Kitchen

June 19th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips In which I consider what happens in a kitchen and ask, “what was it those guys with the manifesto invented?” For years, my wife has managed kitchens in all-volunteer organizations. For years before that, my wife’s mother did the same. Consider the situation: There is unprepared food There is an end-state—prepared food […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Adapting · Adults · Agility · Learning · Observation

The First Few Minutes

May 11th, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Be alert when first meeting someone. You first few minutes are often the most valuable. Consultant and author Jerry Weinberg once told me, “Pay attention, your customer will tell you their problem and its solution in the first few minutes.” I have found this to be true, many times. Recent examples of […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Consulting · Customer · Meetings · Observation

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, […]

[Read more →]

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

Don’t Try So Hard

February 4th, 2016 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips One of the worst things to do in many situations is to try really, really hard. One of the best pieces of advice I received from author and consultant Jerry Weinberg is: Don’t try so hard I have to force myself to remember this when I find myself staring at something and […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Breathe · Observation · Work

Kickstarter and the Office of President

November 5th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips Kickstarter campaigns raise more money than presidential candidates. Who, if anyone, should be ashamed? Some Kickstarter campaigns for little gadgets are raising more money than some presidential candidates. Americans should be ashamed for putting more time and money into silly little gadgets than they do into who will be the next leader […]

[Read more →]

Tags: America · Observation

Integrity

April 9th, 2015 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips We all say that we are people of integrity. But are we? I hate to write this blog post. I know I hate to do it because I have been meaning to write it for seven or eight years, but still haven’t done it. Well, here goes. We like to say that […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Integrity · Management · Meetings · Observation

Remote Sensing is Difficult

September 4th, 2014 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips It is difficult to measure things from a distance. That distance can by in space and it can be in time. We often attempt to measure things from a distance. We take photos of the ground from 10,000 feet up in the air. We then run through geometric calculations to determine the […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Estimation · General Systems Thinking · Observation · Technology

The Most Important Moment in a Project

December 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips The most important moment in a project is not when you hold your breath during the final system test. Rather, it is a moment of interaction between persons. Quick and to the point: The most important moment in a project is when a person tells the project manager some “bad” news, and […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Management · Observation · People

Labeling People

July 18th, 2013 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips A  practice in government was labeling people. It was a lazy but oft-used practice. Happenstance was the main source of labels. I worked in government 28 years. Managers were often overwhelmed with things to do. Much of the “work” was self-created, but that is another story for another time. Anyways, one result […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Employment · Government · Management · Observation

Flip Flopping to Extremes

November 29th, 2012 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips I have observed people change their mind from one extreme to another. Is there a name for this behavior? I have observed something about people and I am searching for a name for this behavior. I have observed this across decades, organizations, and areas of endeavor. Here is how it goes: Consultant: […]

[Read more →]

Tags: Communication · Culture · General Systems Thinking · Observation · People