EppsNet Archive: Management

Stephen Covey, 1932-2012

 

Stephen Covey, the author of the best-selling book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” died early Monday morning at 79 years old, according to The Associated Press. — TODAY.com Here are the seven habits: Be Proactive Begin with the End in Mind Put First Things First Think Win/Win Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood Synergize Sharpen the Saw One way to assess the value of advice is to ask, “Would anyone advise the opposite?” If the answer is no, then all you have are platitudes and truisms. Let’s try it: Let Life Wash Over You Like a Big Wave Go Off Half-Cocked Proceed in a Frivolous, Undirected Manner … You get the idea. By selling more than 25 million copies of this book, and becoming known as one of the leading business thinkers of his time, Covey revealed the vacuousness of the modern mind, although I don’t… Read more →

Following Directions

 

I see the history of management as an effort to perfect the instructions that you hope someone will follow this time — even though they have never followed directions in their whole life. — Margaret Wheatley Read more →

The Buffalo Bridle

 

“Well, if you’re going to control buffalo, you got to know two things, and only two things: First is, “You can make buffalo go anywhere, just so long as they want to go there. “And second, “You can keep buffalo out of anywhere, just so long as they don’t want to go there. — Gerald M. Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting Read more →

It’s Always a People Problem

 

Even when it’s “really” a technical problem, it can always be traced back to management action or inaction. Even so, the experienced consultant will resist pointing out that it was management who hired all the technical people and is responsible for their development. At the same time, the consultant will look for the people who should have prevented this problem, or dealt with it when it arose. — Gerald M. Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting Read more →

Management by Getting Out of the Way

 

Sometimes the best management is no management at all — first do no harm! — Bob Sutton Read more →

Misled by Metrics

 

From a Sr. IT Consultant: I recently asked a colleague [CIO] whether he would prefer to deliver a project somewhat late and over-budget but rich with business benefits or one that is on time and under budget but of scant value to the business. He thought it was a tough call, and then went for the on-time scenario. Delivering on time and within budget is part of his IT department’s performance metrics. Chasing after the elusive business value, over which he thought he had little control anyway, is not. Read more →

5 Questions for Improvement

 

What is your target condition here? What is the actual condition now? What obstacles are now preventing you from reaching the target condition? Which one are you addressing now? What is your next step? (start of the next PDCA cycle) When can we go and see what we have learned from taking that step? — Mike Rother, Toyota Kata: Managing People for Improvement, Adaptiveness and Superior Results Read more →

Leadership Lessons of the Ottoman Turks

 

“Flexibility,” “Adaptability,” “Gets along well with others.” I don’t believe they’re what’s needed today if we’re going to force our institutions to adapt to us–which is our central problem. The Ottoman Turks for over three centuries produced an unbroken succession of able leaders. Their performance appraisal sheet would have looked like this: Adaptability 0 Adventuresomeness 100 Cruelty 100 Energy 100 Flexibility 0 Intelligence 100 Justice 100 Gets along well with others 0 — Robert Townsend, Further Up the Organization Read more →

Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

 

It is essential not to profess to know, or seem to know, or accept that someone else knows, that which is unknown. Almost without exception, the things that end up coming back to haunt you are things you pretended to understand but didn’t early on. At virtually every stage of even the most successful software projects, there are large numbers of very important things that are unknown. It is acceptable, even mandatory, to clearly articulate your ignorance, so that no one misunderstands the corporate state of unknowingness. If you do not disseminate this “lucid ignorance,” disaster will surely befall you. Human nature is such that we dislike not knowing things that are important to our well being. Since there is so much we don’t know in a software project, the nearly universal tendency among developers and their managers is to gloss over or even deny altogether the extent of their… Read more →

Middle Management

 

In most failing projects, there are a few people at the top of the organization who think they are in trouble, lots of people at the bottom who know they are in trouble, and a bunch of worried middle managers trying to keep those at the top from talking to those at the bottom. — Ken Orr Read more →

Don’t Look Back

 

In uncertain conditions the main question should not be: “Why didn’t your performance yesterday conform to the original plan?” Rather, it should be: “What kind of feedback can help you learn faster and perform better tomorrow?” — “Ninety-Nine Rules for Managing ‘Faster, Better, Cheaper’ Projects” Read more →

Stand Up for Your Opinion

 

In areas critical to the success of the project, stand up for your opinion. When necessary, challenge senior management and negotiate project objectives or the resources needed to accomplish them. — “Ninety-Nine Rules for Managing ‘Faster, Better, Cheaper’ Projects” Read more →

Early Planning

 

The maximum potential for influencing project outcomes occurs early in the conceptual and definition phases of the project. Autopsies of most failed projects indicate that the disasters were “well planned” to happen from the start. Therefore, even in an era of uncertainty and accelerated speed, don’t rush to execution with only superficial preparations — invest quality time in early planning. — “Ninety-Nine Rules for Managing ‘Faster, Better, Cheaper’ Projects” Read more →

Twitter: 2010-04-07

 

We are using the word 'guru' only because 'charlatan' is too long to fit into a headline. — Peter Drucker # Read more →

I Am a Programmer

 

They were like spectators. You had a feeling they had just wandered in there themselves and somebody had handed them a wrench. There was no identification with the job. No saying, “I am a mechanic.” At 5 P.M. or whenever their eight hours were in, you knew they would cut it off and not have another thought about their work. They were already already trying not to have any thoughts about their work on the job. — Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance   We had a manager’s meeting today on the subject of employee recognition. The text we were given to read in preparation for the meeting was indistinguishable from a handbook on training your new puppy: Behavior which is reinforced is usually repeated. . . . You risk extinguishing the positive behavior by not recognizing it. . . . Provide compliments in a timely fashion,… Read more →

Passive-Aggressive Responses

 

I’ve got a manager’s meeting later this morning to address the question “What is the impact of passive-aggressive team members?” Possible responses: “How should I know?” “Why am I always the first person called on? This is so unfair.” Roll eyes and sigh loudly. Show up late for the meeting and avoid eye contact with anyone. Read more →

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