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Manager's Musings
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Manager's Musings #15
This kind of faith
It’s almost that time of the year again…A time for hope and good intentions, and, for many, a time of faith. Believing without seeing – which I always find a bit of a self-evident statement because the not seeing is the foundation for the believing, I guess.Anyhow, faith is such an absolute concept that it seems to defy classification. Either you have it or not – it doesn’t appear to leave too much (...)
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Manager's Musings #14
Wait until tomorrow
Time is a fundamental component in every project. I haven’t checked, but I must have referred to time in all my previous musings, one way or another. However, other project variables often get more attention, especially scope and cost – with time sometimes treated as a secondary variable, almost as an afterthought. In part, this is because sometimes a project duration is (...)
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Manager's Musings #13
Over the last few years, a widespread concern about sustainability of projects has arisen, to the point where it is parroted by everyone as “a very important thing” in general – don’t ask them to go further and explain, though, as things will get very fuzzy. Sustainability is a term that is confusing in general, perhaps increasingly so, because it is (...)
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Manager's Musings #12
The Needle and the Novelist (Part 2)
We all love stories. We devote a substantial part of our life to stories, whether it is by watching movies, listening to songs, following celebrities’ lives, reading novels, telling jokes, treasuring our own anecdotes... It is all about a good story, and how it triggers emotions and feelings in us - marketing people know this very well (...)
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Manager's Musings #11
The Needle and the Novelist (Part 1)
The generational divide is real. No matter how much I try to cope with the current times, my mind is just not comfortable with certain apps and functions – not to mention woke-ism and other modern things. I just can’t follow the logic. If I am having a good day, certain things just put a sad smile on my face, and it is kind of funny (...)
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Manager's Musings #10
A confession: I think I always tried to be the Miles Davis of research project management. That bloke was absolutely fearless, he just didn’t care – and, as a consequence, changed the shape of jazz forever several times. It’s the type of attitude we love, but we always leave for others. It is just so easy to not upset anyone and go with the flow (...)
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Manager's Musings #9
Everyone's a Wally
I was introduced to computers via a 1KB (!) ZX81. The next computer that my father bought was a 16K (later upgraded to a whopping 48KB) Spectrum. It felt like sci-fi, just fascinating. Inevitably, a good chunk of my teenage years was spent playing Spectrum video games (...)
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Manager's Musings #8
Venning communication dynamics
A while ago we discussed work dynamics as one of the key aspects that any project manager needs to pay attention to, coming up with a (hopefully inspiring) Venn diagram. Now’s the time to reveal that we need another one.Very few projects are purely personal, so in the majority of cases we completely depend on collaboration, involving a bunch of people (...)
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Manager's Musings #7
About moving
I just moved to a new house. No easy feat. It’s my third move, but the difficulty level stays the same. I think moving is widely acknowledged as one of the most stressful events in life. Everyone knows that changing where you live implies all sort of practical issues, big and small. It’s chaos, with (in my case at least) hundreds of boxes, organisational challenges (...)
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Manager's Musings #6
Venning work dynamics
All projects depend on a delicate balance of different contributions, an intricate maze of tasks and input-output relationships. What ones does will affect the others. The productivity you achieve for the project as a whole will depend to a large extent on the work dynamics that are created among the members of the team (...)
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Manager's Musings #5
A tale of fours: the compass and the DNA
Apparently, many important things in the history of humanity (as we know it) come in fours. The four seasons, the Beatles, the Gospels in the Bible, the chambers of the heart, the suits in playing cards, the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… Even the Three Musketeers (...)
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Manager's Musings #4
The neglected reviewer
As your career progresses, it is likely that you are increasingly asked to ‘review’ work done by employees or colleagues. It is a natural consequence of the accumulation of expertise and experience, and the respect that you deserve for that. If your career goes moderately well, chances are that you end up spending a large chunk of your days reviewing things (...)
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Manager's Musings #3
Embracing failure
I have the impression that this chapter of my manager’s musings may not be too popular... Then again, no one has ever made a difference by being politically correct. We’ll see.I am sometimes surprised by the overwhelming praise that success stories get. Take a look at your LinkedIn feed – everyone is either saving the world with their new product (...)
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Manager's Musings #2
Change the octave
I play bass guitar. I have been playing for decades, it’s my passion. I also play guitar and keyboards, but bass was always my “main” instrument, in a way. I have often read and thought about the role of bass in music – holding it all together, serving the song structure. It is probably the most understated instrument in modern music (...)
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Manager's Musings #1
Managing People: the H3 paradigm
We always think about managing ‘projects’. We sometimes think of projects as living entities, as some sort of being that grows, mutates, twists and turns. Sometimes we refer to a project as an inanimate object, something solid that can be owned, collected, ditched, put together with others of the same kind: “I have two projects in this area” (...)
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