EppsNet Archive: Jim McCarthy

Willing to Change


Saying that you want something implies that you are willing to change to get it. Otherwise, you really don’t want the thing. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

The Safety to Express Ideas


Teams must intentionally create an environment where it is safe to express all ideas. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

Time and People Shortages


High-tech workers fervently believe in time and people shortages. Much of the time, you have no idea whether a shortage really exists. You assume that the shortage is real, instead of carefully examining the situation. Many explanations based on insufficiencies arise from unexamined assumptions. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

Personal Goals


In any organization, no matter the size, the fundamental motivational unit is the personal goal. Any motivational scheme that does not build upon the diverse ecology of personal goals is doomed. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

The Real Development Task


The real development task of a project is to create a community capable of making and keeping hundreds of small but vital promises. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

Visualize the Properties


Imagine and identify the few properties of your product or service that will gratify the customer’s need. Visualize the properties, desire them yourself, and everywhere ensure and intensify their presence. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

The Goal on a Project


The goal on a project is not to have the correct plan in advance but to make the right decisions every day as things that were unknown become known. — Jim McCarthy Read more →



If you tolerate it, you insist on it. If you insist on it, it will be supplied. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

No Accountability Without Volition


There is no accountability without volition, you’ve noticed, right? You can’t go “You got to ship that by November 1st and I am holding you accountable.” It doesn’t work that way. You can’t hold someone else accountable, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable. It’s just like you can’t motivate someone else; you got to motivate yourself. And the more that you motivate people and hold them accountable, the more infantile they become. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

We Are Not (Just) Nerds


One thing that I resent about our computer culture is that they say we are nerds and that nerds don’t get along with people. I think that’s just insane. We are not just nerds — we are nerds, I mean, look at us! But we are not just nerds, we are like the priests or something in the Middle Ages, we are the Lords and Ladies of Logic. We are in charge of rationality for our era. We are bringing common sense and good practice and sound judgment and aggregated wisdom and glory to everyone. That’s our job. — Jim McCarthy I posted this quote on a blog at work and IT people were calling each other nerds all day. Good morning, nerd! How’s it going, nerd? Being a nerd felt like, like being a hero — just for one day. Read more →

Interview with Jim McCarthy


Q: What do you perceive as the greatest current challenge for software development managers and how do you help them overcome it? The greatest current (and past and future) challenge for software development managers, and for all humans everywhere I suspect, is accurately perceiving reality and effectively accounting for it in their behavior. . . .   Q: What is your number one software project management tip, trick or technique? Discussion should be illegal. Less talk, more code. — PM Interviews: Jim McCarthy Read more →

Foundations of Mediocrity: Scheduling


My primary complaint about scheduling is simple: that people are willing to proceed as if they can look into a crystal ball about the future. They act as if they can plan out the future. As if they can control the future. It’s the control part that really gets to me. It bugs me because it’s a false belief. It’s simply not true. You can not control the future, and the belief you can is just so destructive of creativity, teamwork, spontaneity and interaction among one another. This false belief is just a complete energy zapper, an unwholesome energy sink. — Michele McCarthy This transcript of a Jim and Michele McCarthy podcast is the best discussion of scheduling I’ve read today, maybe ever . . . Read more →

The Perfect Boss


In addition to the timely pay for acceptable services he offers, there are a few additional conditions that he imposes on you, if you are one of his subordinates. These are: What actions you take, you believe in. What commitments you make, you keep, What resources you have, you use. What words you say, you believe to be true. What you create, you intend to be great.   He knows that if you buy something from an expert, you are wise to let them to deliver it on their own. . . . He requires that the team credibly believe itself to be doing something great, and also insists that all involved relentlessly pursue – and always adopt – what they think is the best available idea. . . . He never allows people to say, “People say…” If unidentified “people” have something to say, they can come say it.… Read more →

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