Information Technology Dark Side

Struggles of a Self-Taught Coder

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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 improvement – an approach he calls heuristic process improvement. If you are interested in process improvement OR are a chunk like me (or both) , I highly recommend you read James’s post.

Here’s a quote I appreciated:



I have no particular self-discipline. So, what made me stick with the program? I think it’s a matter of developing my skill and perceptions. I never before directly perceived the connection between specific things I did (or didn’t do) and my weight. This process has made me pay attention to that connection. Weight loss is now a game, with rules I understand. It’s a game I think I can win, instead of an endless and meaningless slog.

This same kind of transformation has to occur in a software project for things to get better. People need to feel that learning itself is a game they can win, or else they turn away from it.

– Dave

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Tags: Project Management

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