Archive for the ‘Observation’ Category

Healthier Divisiveness?

Friday, September 16th, 2016

In listening to all the political sausage manufactured by both parties, we have all grown tired of the same old party lines. Racial differences, party differences, class warfare and religious differences are dangerous and divisive techniques that are at odds with our organizing principle of e plurbis unum. I have pondered this debate from both sides. Where can we find common ground and a shared objective? The “us vs them” perspective is fundamental to human nature and to political debate. Here is my half-baked idea for channeling this natural divisiveness into something more constructive.


C-student’s revenge

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

I think the mood of the electorate in 2016 is best summed up by  a phenomenon we affectionately call the C-student’s revenge. This is a snarky way of describing government incompetence. The supply of A-students and B-students largely moves to the more attractive demand in private industry where creativity and meritocracy are valued. The supply of C-students largely fills the demand of government roles where power resides.


New Hampshire Winners and Losers

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

It was so encouraging to see last night’s results. The big losers in the NH primary: the DNC and the RNC and the big political donors/lobbyists. The big winner last night: We the people.


Leaner Software Delivery

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Lean adoption can be planned with four loosely coupled adoption paths: Steer, Develop, Deploy and Operate. In the figure, the gray left hand column represents a stark description of the typical status quo. These are the predominant root causes of inefficiency and ineffectiveness in most organizations. The middle column represents the primary transformation in each adoption path with a differentiating theme of lean adoption: (more…)

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Most software teams and organizations waste 40% or more of their resources. I can’t prove this assertion, but most of us know it to be true in our current situations. Just ask your team. In larger enterprises and in organizations with compliance requirements, the ratio of productive activities to waste is even more pronounced.  Waste comes in several forms: unnecessary overhead, unnecessary rework, unnecessary features, and building the wrong thing.


Washington Redskins Should change Their Name

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Political correctness is a sport, so let’s just fight fire with fire.
No sports team would name their team after something with a negative connotation. (The UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs might be an exception). Perhaps the best way to reconcile such nonsense as the Washington Redskins flap is to deal with it through humor. (more…)

Principle vs. Practice: What’s the difference?

Friday, November 21st, 2014

We are always looking for simple ways to apply good principles (patterns of advice) with meaningful practices (specific actions). This is the crux of delivering consulting advice in most situations. What is the difference between principles and practices? Here is one illuminating example. (more…)

Intelligence and Stupidity are on the same scale.

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

I have had a lifelong fascination with stupidity, much of it through self-reflection. Here are some early, scientific terms for levels of stupidity: (more…)

I don’t disagree?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

There are many common double negatives that are proper English. However, there are positive ways to say exactly the same thing with no confusion. (more…)

How many words contain all 5 vowels?

Monday, August 12th, 2013

In the early 1990s, I was obsessed with identifying English words that contained all five vowels. As I ran across them in newspapers, magazines, and books, I added them to a list. After the list reached 30 entries, I thought it would be fun to create a short piece of prose that included all these a-e-i-o-u words structured into meaningful sentences. I used this as a basis for a puzzle for my family and friends. And it entertained me for months.