Information Technology Dark Side

Struggles of a Self-Taught Coder

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Entries Tagged as 'Project Management'

Check Out BugBash.net

January 11th, 2008 · No Comments

You know, I’ve always made the case that life in corporate IT is drastically different from life in a real software company, and I still believe that to be true but… there might be more similarities than I’ve suspected. Apparently, not all the stupidity in corporate IT is driven by the fact that nobody sells […]

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Tags: Project Management

Upcoming Course: Exploratory Testing Practicum

January 8th, 2008 · No Comments

On March 19 & 20, Mike Kelly & I will be presenting a new course we’ve co-created about exploratory testing. It is based on our experiences teaching business & IT professionals to use exploratory testing in complex IT projects. I’ve used exploratory testing to a large degree in user acceptance testing for the last couple […]

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Tags: Announcements · Project Management

James Bach: Heuristic Weight Loss & Process Improvement

December 15th, 2007 · No Comments

James Bach wrote a post about using heuristics to lose weight that really resonated with me. Like James, I have very little “self-discipline” and really very little appreciation for it. And I’m pretty fat these days. James was challenged by his dad to lose ten pounds, and he approached the same way he approaches process […]

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Tags: Project Management

How to Succeed By Failing

December 11th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Drew Kime followed up my post on perverse incentives with his own description, which I think is worth reading. I thought the following quote was classic: One class of these perverse incentives comes from the methodology police. These departments exist to turn all processes into checklists. If only you would follow the checklist, everything will […]

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Tags: Project Management

Countering Perverse Incentives in Project Management

December 6th, 2007 · 6 Comments

One of the hallmark traits of corporate IT is the abundance of perverse incentives. I define perverse incentives as follows: Any policy, practice, cultural value, or behavior that creates perceived or real obstacles to acting in the best interest of the organization. Let me give you an example. I once ran a project that needed […]

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Tags: Project Management

The Difference Between the Camera and the Photographer

November 19th, 2007 · No Comments

Dave Kokoska sent me a link to an article this morning by Ken Rockwell that I think is terrific and is certainly applicable to the issues we face in IT. Here’s a quote: You waste a lot of time worrying about your equipment and trying to afford better. After that first 20 years you finally […]

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Tags: Job Advice · Project Management

SMART Requirements are for PANSIES

November 13th, 2007 · 2 Comments

One of the first PM courses I ever took was about requirements gathering. The instructor introduced a mnemonic for remembering the attributes of “good” requirements. Here it is: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Timeboxed I remember how everyone in the class was nodding their heads as the instructor talked. It makes sense, right? It’s simple and […]

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Tags: Project Management

Followup: Rigor of Waterfall

November 5th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Every now and then I write an article that gets a lot of attention for whatever reason. My post, “Is there REALLY any rigor in waterfall,” was one of those. Sure, it wasn’t as popular as “The Rules of Office Romance,” by DJ1.0, but it captured a considerable audience for a few days and became […]

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Tags: Project Management

Project Managers & Project Administrators

October 29th, 2007 · No Comments

Scott Berkun asks the question “are you a leader or a tracker” in his most recent blog post complaining about the ambiguity surrounding the title “project manager.” He lists a number of questions he has to ask anyone with a “P” or an “M” in their title to figure out what they REALLY do. I […]

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Tags: Project Management

The Meaning of Rigor in Project Management

October 27th, 2007 · 7 Comments

Rigor is a popular topic among IT project managers, often used in the context of describing how a PM should adhere to a particular process. It’s been on my mind quite a bit lately, and I’ve made some conclusions about what “rigor” means to me, as project managers who use agile are frequently criticized as […]

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Tags: Project Management