Blogs

Key Person Won’t Participate

Unable to gain the participation of a key person for a project retrospective? A retrospective, sometime called a post-mortem or lessons learned session, is an event designed to discover and preserve the aspects of a project that were managed well; and discover and change the aspects that weren’t. I consider this event a fundamental feedback […]

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Trade-off: Go For Quality

What typically happens when product development decides to create a superior product? The most likely result is 1. slower delivery or 2. costlier development or 3. both slower delivery and costlier development. Why? You don’t get something for nothing. Producing a higher quality product takes more development time, which delays delivery to the customer and […]

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Tell Me What You Want Me To Do

Are you overwhelmed by a mountain of email? I suggest you take a page out of the playbook of my colleague Eric Sperley who knows how to ask for what he wants. Eric sent the following message to the people who reported to him: Guys, Look, I am getting well over 250 emails a day. […]

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A Wild Horse Called Chaos

Is chaos like a wild horse? The root for the word “manage” is an Italian word that means “to train a horse.” Inhumane horse trainers (managers) see a rebellious animal who must adjust to a new environment. They transform the horse through a process they call “breaking.” They break the will of the horse so […]

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Catch Them Doing It Right

Rewards can be powerful management tools, but only if you implement them effectively. Discover how the right timing and getting to know your employees better can improve the impact of your recognition methods.  My article Catch Them Doing It Right was published in the January, 2008 issue of Better Software Magazine. Check out a copy […]

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Ban Crackberries from Meetings?

Todd Wilkens advocates banning crackberries from all meetings. I agree with Todd that people distracted by emails and phone calls aren’t focused and become impediments to an effective meeting. But, in my experience, too many organizations have terribly ineffective meetings. If your organization’s meetings are terrible, will a ban on crackberries make them effective? No. […]

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The Recipe for an Effective Proposal

Does management reject your ideas? A typical cause for rejection is a failure to frame the idea effectively. Frame your idea effectively and it becomes a proposal, which will demand consideration by management. What is the recipe and key ingredients for an effective proposal? The key ingredients are X (the idea), Y (the benefits), and […]

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We Know Best

“We know better than they do about what’s needed.” Whenever you hear an influential member of your team utter those words, fasten your safety belt. The team is nearing the Twilight Zone. The person saying, “We know better than they do about what’s needed,” is referring to the customer. When decision-makers say “We don’t have […]

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Ingredients for Successful Teamwork

I have had the good fortune to be a member of many successful teams during my career: But my career hasn’t been all bliss—I have also been a member of unsuccessful teams. In my experience, the recipe for the most successful and satisfying team experiences contained ingredients that were ignored by the unsuccessful teams. What […]

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Full Time Pay for Half Time Work?

Albert, without fail, has exceeded all of his production objectives for the past five years. He is a top performer who produces high-quality results. Colleagues like him. Clients adore him. But Albert never works more than 20 hours per week. That’s less than one-half the amount of time his colleague’s work. Albert receives a compensation […]

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