Daily Archive: July 17, 2005

This looks like a book I should read

Although I am more of a solution manager than a project manager I have managed 30 odd projects in my time and a fair few programmes.  I have gradually developed a dislike for formal methodologies and templates because of their tendency to prevent the team from thinking.  That said I think there are some key management skills that every project team needs, but I have rarely seen described very well.  This book looks like it is my sort of style,  it in my Amazon favourites in case anyone wants to buy it for me.

How to deal with burn-out

FireIts pretty rare that I get burnt-out, partly because I am pretty aware of my workload and the pressure I am under, but also because I have this sort of unwritten – until now – strategy:

  • I encourage a peer group support culture,  help other people when they are struggling and they might help you when you need help
  • I am honest about how I am feeling and am not afraid to have a good moan
  • I speak up when I don’t agree with something,  but know when to give in
  • I don’t keep lists,  I know if its important I will remember and if its not I will forget.  The ability to forget stuff thats not important or urgent means I rarely feel overwhelmed
  • If I struggle sleeping, (because of work), that means there is a problem, do something about it the very next day
  • I try to develop a relationship with my manager along the lines of – I’ll do my best for you, so long as you are there when I need you
  • I keep good records and am pretty professional
  • I break rules (but not important ones) or find ways around problems
  • I operate on the principle of assumed responsibility (if …

Teaching and learning

BrainsurgeryPassionate is fast becoming one of my favorite blogs – and the graphics are great too!  This post is no exception, it provides some great tips for trainers and teachers, and some great insights for anyone needing to communicate in general.  The introduction goes like this:

I’m amazed (and more than a little disheartened) how many people believe that simply by virtue of their being skilled and knowledgeable in something, they’re implicitly qualified to communicate, mentor, teach, or train that thing. It devalues the art of teaching to think that because you’ve been a student, you can teach well. That because you’ve experienced learning, you can craft a learning experience.

The post then talks a little about the fact that people can be self taught:

nobody needs a PhD (or in most cases — any degree at all) in education or learning theory to be a good teacher. Just as there are plenty of great software developers and programmers without a CompSci degree. People can be self-taught, and do a fabulous job, for a fraction of the cost of a formal education, but they have to be motivated and they have to appreciate why it’s important

which I have definately …

Interesting overview article on document security

Only a few weeks ago I received my first document that used Microsoft IRM technology in Office to set an expiry date.  Not suprisingly the document was early information on a product that’s still in beta and the document expired at around the time the next beta was due to ship.  I liked this use of IRM, seemed very useful.  So I was interested to come across this article discussing the security related issues we have with document leakage which are also addressed by IRM technologies.  here is the summary:

Business documents are the lingua franca of commerce. Every day, sensitive information is leaked without our knowledge, and it is incumbent on us to act now, or answer to the consequences later. Business leaders must realize that while they won’t necessarily make the headlines each time a document leaks sensitive data, they could lose a key partner, customer or lawsuit–or worse, their public image.

Blogging at work

CollaborationI am desperately waiting to me able to blog at work!  I find it very frustratng that most of the technical blogs posts I want to post I am unable to, because they can only be released under NDA and even more frustrating that other people at work can not work with me in the collaborative, community building fashion that blogs enable.  We use Notes at work for email, document sharing, discussions etc and are deploying WebSphere as our collaboration portal, so the news that WorkPlace will include blog support is encouraging.  It seems very primitive at this stage, but its a start.

Great motivator to start GTD

StepsI like the GTD methodology,  although I don’t follow it myself, although have I tried it.  I have found that after reading and absorbing lots of different approaches over the years that my natural condition is organised and prioritised (and I don’t need lists and flow charts to achieve it).  Every month or so I do need to write down a great big list of stuff to do and decide what needs to be at the top,  but then I can last a few more months quite happily.

For those of you who need more than me though I highly recommend this email interview.