Getting Back on Track

  1. Collect: Grab everything that needs your attention. Whether you use David Allen’s mind sweep or you prefer a list format, go through your messages, e-mail, missed actions, etc. and capture all the items that require some action.
  2. Meet: Sit down with co-workers. This is the people version of collecting. Find out what was managed was you were away, what new issues have arisen and add these to your mind-sweep list. This is also a good time to thank them for covering your unexpected absence.
  3. Process: Once you’ve collected all the open loops, figure out what you need to do to close them. Whether it’s as simple as throwing a brochure in the garbage or as complex as planning a management retreat, you need to identify the steps needed to move the item forward.
  4. Prioritize: Next, you can organize the action steps into lists of what you’re going to do.
  5. Get it done: Now that you know what you need to do, get started. It may take time and effort to get things reorganized to move forward, but don’t stop at the end of step four. Here’s where you can pull things back on track.

From: Ian’s Messy Desk

Blogroll Pruning

I had to face the fact over the last week while I was on vacaction that I need to prune my blogroll again. And as I have done in the past, any blog without a full-text feed is gone. End of discussion. If you don’t understand why, read the following article:

Truncated RSS Is A Bad Business Decision http://bit.ly/bQ5X9Z

Net result – if you want my attention, then communicate how I desire. No, that is not curmudgeonly – I just have no time for anything else.

My PM blogroll

Several people have asked me how to get on the blogroll. Here is my curmudgeonly view of how that is accomplished:

  1. Ask me

Surely it is not as simple as that? Well, it is, but…I read upwards of 1000 blog posts per day in order to keep up with things (i.e., not just project management). Consequently, I only want to look at high quality, really useful, stuff. I probably prune 20% of the blogs I follow monthly (yes, I probably add more than that). Here is what will get you pruned:

  1. Failure to deliver a full-text RSS feed. I read a LOT of blogs. I WILL NOT click through to read an article unless it is exceptional. And face it folks – there are only a few exceptional blogs out there worth spending additional time getting to. So I’ll follow a blog for a short time to see if the posts are exceptionally high quality, then you are history.
  2. Failure to be interesting. I am passionate about project management. I have strong opinions about project management. I love to teach project management. I’ve been doing it a very long time. I love the practical aspects. I love the theoretical aspects. So tell me something I don’t know. Tell me some I need to know and need to reinforce. But be interesting.
  3. If you don’t know how to spell, use a spell checker. If you don’t know how to write, use a grammar checker. And if you don’t know how to use HTML then either learn or become a consumer rather than a producer on the Internet.
  4. Don’t repond to me if I leave a comment on your blog. This is supposed to be a conversation. Worse, don’t answer me if I email you directly. If I take the time to try and engage, and you won’t, then you fall outside of my circle of trust. And off my blogroll, because obviously you are not important to me.

Let me respond to the folks complaining about losing advertising revenues because I won’t click through to the site. If I think a post is noteworthy enough to tweet about then I am going to click through to your site. The bit.ly link that I use is a link to your full page, and that is where I send visitors. So you get your ad revenue…but not from me!

To those who say, “but you don’t have xxx on your blogroll”, my response is:

  1. See #1-4 above.
  2. It is possible I don’t know about it. Tell me.
  3. Remember this is MY blogroll. If you don’t like it, start your own.

Having said all this, here are today’s additions to the PM blogroll:

  • A CEO’s Perspective on Project Management
  • Alec Satin on People, Projects and Process
  • All Things Project Management
  • Change Management Blog
  • Eric D. Brown’s Technology, Strategy, People & Projects
  • Eye on the Workforce
  • GigaBizByte
  • Just My Thoughts
  • Keeping the Peace
  • Learning Leader
  • Manager Skills And Management Development
  • Maven Training Blog
  • Paul Pondering
  • PMinFOCUS
  • Project Management For Real
  • Project Management Guide
  • Project Management Knowledge
  • ProjectOffices.com
  • Sounding Off
  • The Enlightened Manager
  • the Technology Garden

And yes, there have been some removals as well.

Governmental Dead Horses

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed down from generation to generation, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

In the Public Service, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

  1. Change riders.
  2. Buy a stronger whip.
  3. Do nothing: “This is the way we have always ridden dead horses”.
  4. Visit other countries to see how they ride dead horses.
  5. Perform a productivity study to see if lighter riders improve the dead horse’s performance.
  6. Hire a contractor to ride the dead horse.
  7. Harness several dead horses together in an attempt to increase the speed.
  8. Provide additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse’s performance.
  9. Appoint a committee to study the horse and assess how dead it actually is.
  10. Re-classify the dead horse as “living-impaired”.
  11. Develop a Strategic Plan for the management of dead horses.
  12. Rewrite the expected performance requirements for all horses.
  13. Modify existing standards to include dead horses.
  14. Declare that, as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line than many other horses.
  15. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

From: Wicked Thoughts

Words to Live By

  • Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  • Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  • Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  • Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  • Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.
  • If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  • It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  • Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you don ‘t have a leg to stand on.
  • Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  • The early worm gets eaten by the bird, so sleep late.
  • When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.
  • Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.
  • Ever notice that the people who are late are often much jollier than the people who have to wait for them?
  • If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t more people happy?
  • You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  • Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
  • Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.
  • We could learn a lot from crayons some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, some have weird names, and all are different colors but they all have to learn to live in the same box.
  • A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
  • Happiness comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open.
  • If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you’ll get what you want. Don’t go out without ID.
  • Be direct with people; let them know exactly how you feel by pissing on their shoes.
  • Be aware of when to hold your tongue, and when to use it.
  • Leave room in your schedule for a good nap.
  • Always give people a friendly greeting. A cold nose in the crotch is most effective.
  • When you do something wrong, always take responsibility (as soon as you’re dragged shamefully out from under the bed).
  • If it’s not wet and sloppy, it’s not a real kiss.

Thanks to William Teach

Some Wisdom from Will Rogers

  1. Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
  2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
  3. There are 2 theories to arguing with a woman…neither works.
  4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
  5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
  6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
  7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and put it back in your pocket.
  8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
  9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  10. If you’re riding’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.
  11. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier’n puttin’ it back.
  12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you’re full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Thanks to Wicked Thoughts

Blog changes

After a long period of inactivity (and procrastination) I am firing the blog back up. The major change is a de-emphasis on categories, and the tagging of all posts. This will take a while as I work through the old posts to build a meaningful tag hierarchy. I have also decided to incorporate all my blogs together, so tags and categories will become more important to sort out my ramblings.

After upgrading WordPress from a (really) old version, I have turned comments back on. Hopefully I won’t be spammed to death like I was before. We’ll see…

Other stuff that I have planned in short order: I’m looking at how to incorporate books I want to read and books that I have recently read on the blog here. We’ll see what happens. I may also go back to the blogroll in the sidebar. I plan on reworking the reference lists, in particular adding the reference list from my dissertation. And I need to update my Firefox configuration, because it has changed radically.

More to come.

A Brief History of Time

This is a great overview into the work of one of the geniuses of our time. Mere mortals may, or may not, understand it!

A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

The Long and Winding Road

I have been remiss in updating this blog recently, between travelling, excessive work, and starting on my dissertation. Partially in response to that, and partially as an effort to keep my committee up to date, I have created a new blog where it is my intention to document my daily efforts and struggles through this process. Join me at The Long and Winding Road. I do still intend to continue with posts of interest here on my regular blog.

When the customer isn’t right – for your business

Positive Sharing » Top 5 reasons why “The Customer Is Always Right” is wrong

Here are the top five reasons why “The customer is always right” is wrong.

I feel, therefore I am

Townhall.com :: Columns :: I feel, therefore I am by Mike S. Adams – Mar 21, 2006

Good morning, students! I can see by the expressions on your faces that you are surprised to see me empty-handed this morning. After all, you took a test last class meeting and probably expected your results back today. But, don’t worry one little bit. I have a good reason for not grading your exams. I simply didn’t feel like doing it. Not once, during the first 41 years of my life did I ever entertain the notion of shirking my responsibilities simply because I “didn’t feel like” doing something. But that’s all changed this semester. Despite the fact that I am paid to give and grade exams, I have decided to follow a philosophy of life modeled by several of you this semester. And I’d like to thank you all before I explain how my new philosophy of life is going to affect you between now and the end of the semester.

The Importance of Having Friends Who Disagree

One Man Hacking: The Importance of Having Friends Who Disagree

Paul Graham says, in one of his essays “….Why do you need other people? Can’t you just think of new ideas yourself? The empirical answer is: no. Even Einstein needed people to bounce ideas off. Ideas get developed in the process of explaining them to the right kind of person. You need that resistance, just as a carver needs the resistance of the wood.

Five excellent mind habits to develop

Five excellent mind habits to develop – Paul’s tips

Want a more useful mind? Your mind is like a muscle, it can be trained to be stronger and more efficient. Here are some good ways to help you develop your brain into a better tool. I’m not saying they’re easy, but they’re definitely worthwhile.

Life is good!

The Calvin and Hobbes Searchable Database

Seth Godin on Marketing

“All Marketers are Liars” – Seth Godin speaks at Google – Google Video

Digital Rights Management

The big DRM mistake

Digital Rights Management hurts paying customers, destroys Fair Use rights, renders customers’ investments worthless, and can always be defeated. Why are consumers and publishers being forced to use DRM?

The Secret Cause of Flame Wars

Wired News: The Secret Cause of Flame Wars

According to recent research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, you’ve only a 50-50 chance of ascertaining the tone of any e-mail message. The study also shows that people think they’ve correctly interpreted the tone of e-mails they receive 90 percent of the time.

A Culture of Success

Eric Wise : A Culture of Success

Culture is king. Think about that for a moment. Think back on all the jobs you’ve ever worked, successes and failures. When it all boils down to it, a strong culture is probably the most influential factor in the success or failure of an organization…

You can design the best process in the world, implement the latest technology, but if you can’t get people to adopt it and use it properly it will fail.

The End of the Internet?

The End of the Internet?

The nation’s largest telephone and cable companies are crafting an alarming set of strategies that would transform the free, open and nondiscriminatory Internet of today to a privately run and branded service that would charge a fee for virtually everything we do online.

Verizon, Comcast, Bell South and other communications giants are developing strategies that would track and store information on our every move in cyberspace in a vast data-collection and marketing system, the scope of which could rival the National Security Agency. According to white papers now being circulated in the cable, telephone and telecommunications industries, those with the deepest pockets–corporations, special-interest groups and major advertisers–would get preferred treatment. Content from these providers would have first priority on our computer and television screens, while information seen as undesirable, such as peer-to-peer communications, could be relegated to a slow lane or simply shut out.

Under the plans they are considering, all of us–from content providers to individual users–would pay more to surf online, stream videos or even send e-mail. Industry planners are mulling new subscription plans that would further limit the online experience, establishing “platinum,” “gold” and “silver” levels of Internet access that would set limits on the number of downloads, media streams or even e-mail messages that could be sent or received.

Early Retirement

Early Retirement

This article addresses the joys, challenges, and some practical aspects of retiring young. The author retired in 2001, at the age of 37.