Posts in category: Craftsmanship

Project management models: Agile, PRINCE2 and PMBOK

The five broad stages of the PMBOK stake out the common baseline course along which every project inevitably runs As with all models and methodologies, these are ultimately guidelines only. To follow a methodology strictly is unwise; as is not following any at all. On...

Agile, change-embracing, accelerated projects

The Agile Methodology is typically associated with accelerated software development. The core principles of Agile can be effectively applied to general project work. Its iterative nature, marked with incremental milestones, and flat, open collaboration between...

Maintaining the experience

When the product you sell is an experience, you’d better make sure to maintain that experience. A level of collusion is required from your customers to keep the appropriate illusions alive. It can be a challenging balancing act. On a cruise ship for example, we...
Happy medium age!

Happy medium age!

In order to live our best lives, we need to find the happy medium between the child-like visionary and the grown-up wise person. When we were young, when anything was possible, we were blessed with clear and grand visions. The simplest things can be as delightful as...
Change toolkit

Change toolkit

1. Accept uncertainty. Embracing change means being OK with uncertainty. Hard though it may be to contend with, we need to accept the fact that there is actually very little that we can control in the world. So we should stop trying so hard! 2. Build resilience....
The dark side of expertise

The dark side of expertise

Sometimes, the more we know, the more uncertain and doubtful we become (at least for those of us who have some level of self awareness.) Experience gives us the wisdom to correctly anticipate pitfalls. This predictive insight also makes us more reticent and...
Driving innovation vs driving chaos

Driving innovation vs driving chaos

Food for thought from Alistair Dabbs’ article Innovation creates instability, you say? BLASPHEMY, you SCUM: Innovation is the buzzword of the moment. … it has become a licence to create change for its own sake, with betterment being experienced only in the...
Feelings vs reality

Feelings vs reality

I have paraphrased one of my takeaways from Oliver Burkeman’s The Antidote: Our feelings about a situation and the reality of the same situation are two different things. When assessing our personal security for example, we are subject to both cognitive and...
The changing nature of my work

The changing nature of my work

I made an interesting discovery while responding to one of the provocations on somewhere.com: I have been taking mostly text-based notes on the go in the past few years. I would have thought I do a last some visual notes, as I used to when I was using paper notebooks....
My kanban

My kanban

I added a kanban view to my jobs database recently. It made at-a-glance status updates way easier. The Doing and Waiting lists are limited to 6 cards each. I have no idea why it took me so long to get to this… You can read about kanban here:...
Square peg round hole

Square peg round hole

Jeanny Wang on Somewhere.com shared this insight with me recently: Clement Mok wrote a piece back in 2003 asking whether the diversity and fragmented state of design is the root cause as to why the field will never establish itself as a respected and united...

Context, relevance and richness

The volume of information we have access to coupled with the short attention span of social media seem to foster a population that increasingly knows just enough to react, but not enough to contemplate or comprehend at a deeper level. In our rush towards the next...

Confidence vs arrogance

Do you find yourself wishing you could be more confident at times? Wishing you had the gift of the gab and the effortless charisma to be the life of the party? Or even just the ability to make decisions with unwavering conviction? There is no denying that confidence...

Judgement vs discernment

We all make judgements in response to different life situations. It may be useful us to contemplate the nuances distinction between “rapid judgement” and “considered discernment.” A rapid judgement is final and closes the door to further...

Acceptance vs acquiescence

Have you ever found yourself struggling against some immutable external factor, trying to stay calm and soldier on? Perhaps you are in such a situation right now? At what point does maintaining a functional level of inner peace become too much unproductive hard work?...

Detachment and problem solving

Daniel Pink wrote an interesting piece about research that shows how people are more creative when “they tackled the problem on behalf of others rather than for themselves.” It seems that “the more remote the recipient [is from the person providing the solution], the...

Goals vs habits

After not setting goals for a couple of years now, and knowing how well they worked for me in the past, I decided to restart the practice this year. Writing down a handful of (real and meaningful) goals for the year was the relatively straightforward part. Devising a...

Death by deliberation

At the start of projects, there is necessarily a lot more more deliberations than decisions. As the project moves towards implementation, the amount of deliberations should go down, while decisions go up. If deliberations continue to siphon up considerable amount of...

Facts, emotions and crises

Facts don’t by themselves cause crises. It is our emotional responses to them that can spin a situation into a panic. A crucial aspect of any problem solving is to acknowledge and work with the emotional aspects (in additional to the hard facts.) Exploring and...

Inspiration fatigue

I had a great day at TEDxPerth recently. Until I got inspiration fatigue towards the end. Inspiration is great. But inspiration alone is not generative. it does not produce any outcomes. Actions are what matter. So what is the conversion rate from inspiration to...
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