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Frank Patrick's Focused Performance Business Blog
This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Another Point of View on Civility -- From Rageboy's commnentary on the 10th anniversary of Cluetrain:
"While some have suggested that civility is the most important value we should propagate in our social exchanges, I think that sometimes the most honest conversation can go a little like this.

'Fuck you!'

'Yeah, well fuck you too!'

"After that, if the guns don't come out -- very important not to come to the table armed -- some kind of actual communication can take place. I know not everyone will agree with me on this, but I think too much civility can be toxic. After you. Oh no, after you! But I insist. But you are too kind.



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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

GETS Thee to an OASiS -- Following up on last week's post on consideration, Matthew at Lean Project Consulting writes...
"A Toyota executive says that to be able to deal with issues, they first have to have a cordial environment. This for him is OASiS representing Ohayo (good morning), Arigato (thank you), Shitsurei-shimanshita (pardon me), and Sumimasen (excuse me; I'm sorry). Being polite are the first step in creating a culture that encourages open and collaborative communication. Especially with people on the front lines. Especially when we need them to say whatever they must to whoever in the organization.

"A colleague of mine (thanks Rebecca McCoy) suggested another acronym - GETS. Good morning, Excuse me, Thank you, Sorry. Anyway, the point isn't this silliness. It's having a cordial environment."
Read the whole thing at OASiS for projects.

Cordially yours...

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Consideration -- On thinking of not just yourslef, but others, from 5 Tiny Steps to Quit Being Such a Jerk at Zen Habits...
1. Admit youíre not perfect...
2. Place yourself in the shoes of others...
3. Act with compassion and kindness...
4. Practice, practice...
5. Do 5 little things...
These are only the steps. For the explanations, go read the whole thing.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Linkage: Johanna and Esther -- You may have noticed a core group of blogs and sites that I tend to link to. Obviously they are the one's I read. In addition to Glen Alleman, two of my regular go-to gals (so much for PC) are Johanna Rothmann and Esther Derby. Here's a pile of posts from them that are worth your time.

From Johanna Rothmann:
  • Why Everyone Needs to Manage Their Own Project Portfolio - "...Developers (and testers and writers) need to let go of old work. Their managers need to stop assigning everything that smells like that old thing to those specific developers, and add in the new requests to the entire project portfolio....The key is for everyone to know what they are working on for a short while, and what their personal backlog is..."

  • Measuring Productivity: More Difficult for Managers - " to measure knowledge workers. For software project teams, itís easy: the number of running, tested features over time. The features have to be complete. No partial credit for partially done features. But what about for managers? Thatís a little trickier..."

  • Which Kind of Project Are You Working On Now? - "...Especially in this economy, I would do as little as possible on keep-the-lights-on projects, avoid normal growth, and see if I couldnít transform my business. But thatís my strategy, and fits my risk-taking approach, not yours. Do you know what kind of project you are working on? Should you be?"

  • Partial Commitments to Projects Create Unpredictable Projects - "...Partially-committed projects are not projects you can predict anything about. Yes, they have people assigned to them. Yes, they even make some progress. But how can you predict anything about the project?..."
  • From Esther Derby:
  • Specialists AND Generalists - "...if you have a project with many specialists, you end up with lots of politics as people seek ascendancy for their particular concerns. If the specialists are acting as vendors to a project team, those specialists may not be invested in the delivery goal of the project, only in delivering their part answering their concerns."

  • Three Myths about Teams - "...Teams that are working well together make the work look easy. They work at a purposeful, yet relaxed pace. They even look like they are having fun."

  • Visibly Valuable - "...Here are 10 things you can do as a developer to make yourself more visibly valuable, which may keep you off the RIF list..."
  • They've also got a few books, most of which I've read, and all of which I would recommend...
  • Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management, from Johanna.

  • Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, from Esther.

  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management, from both.

    ...and coming soon...

  • Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects, from Johanna.
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    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    General Specialist or Special Generalist -- Steve Hardy stole something from my "to-blog in-box" with Specialists and Generalists in 3D, his comments on a provocative image from Dave Gray of XPLANE which has achieved wider distribution via David Armano.

    Steve hits the nail on the head about the roles of specialists and generalists.
    1. Generalists and specialists need each other...
    3. Projects grow exactly because of the combination of generalists and specialists...
    4. Many people are generalists and specialists at the same time...
    No problem is an island. (It's a peninsula.) Every problem lies within the domain of a larger system. While specialists are needed to solve the detailed technical aspects of a problem, generalists are necessary for keeping the big picture in mind, and watching over the possible systemic implications of the specialists' solutions, or at least knowing which other specialists to check with.

    Generalists are the keepers and askers of the necessary "informed dumb questions" that can be too easily overlooked and unasked when buried in the guts of a problem.

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