“Hullo, Webster” – Chapter 23

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

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This is the end of the journey.

The journey started 22 or so chapters back then.

There’s not much to say about chapter 23. Mr. T had a very weird dream (seriously, what the heck), all (or most of) the loose ends where tied up, people got promoted and well positioned in places Mr. T considered appropriate given their set of abilities, and so on.

Mr. T handed his journal, because he knows he won’t need it anymore and prefers that other people can benefit from its knowledge within. A very noble thing to do.

He returned home, but on the way SURPRISE!  A little stop in a foreign country now ruled by a new Noble National Leader.

And when going to greet him ANOTHER SURPRISE! He IS the new NNL! WUUUUUT?

And then at last (and I mean AT LAST) he proposed to Lahksa. Not in the most romantic way, but it worked! And they set on their way to their next adventure. One they would tackle together.

This last chapter was more a conclusion than a lesson in my opinion, but it was necessary in order to give closure to the story, to tie loose ends, give resolve and a sense of purpose to the beloved protagonist and secondary characters. It was, in my opinion, rather hurried and maybe not well thought, but hey, it worked.

This might be a brief introduction to them topics of project management, but I’m glad it was a funny one, with narrative and “real life” examples that could illustrate the reality of this.

But even more than an introduction, it was a inspiration for me, to learn more about the life and many challenges of a manager, and the lessons one can learn in Continue reading "“Hullo, Webster” – Chapter 23"

“Blisters in the pecker” – Chapter 22

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

Sad doggo foundz at https://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/can-dogs-cry

What a painful thing to witness. Or to read.

But he (Belok) had it coming.

Now, this chapter is kinda sour.

It is when NNL returns to recover the throne and basically tells Mr. T “we don’t need you anymore. And it will be way behind when your original contract said.”

I don’t want to get misunderstood. It was all said in a friendly matter. It’s just, I thought this was going to last longer (and so Mr. T). But in the end, I guess we just stay for the required time. And then, we must move on. A painful thing to do, of course, but not that painful when you become rich AF, and specially if it comes directly from you sweat, tears and blood. Goddamn Mr. T he knows he deserved this.

But well, the goodbyes come later. Here we’re going to briefly talk about the last important lesson this book can show us.

As Mr. T said, “Lean and mean is a formula developed in failing companies by the people responsible for the failure.” Which is right.

A company should focus on being Prosperous and Caring, as all things should be, and one must inspire kindness and passion always, in everything we do.

Just like that succeed, in life and in the industry. Not by being failing and frightened, but by being and aiming for prosperity.

I think we could thank Belok for that lesson, because not anybody can demonstrate it over and over again; what we should and what we shouldn’t do.

This one’s rather short, but highly valuable as always. Also, we’re at the end, which means things are going to get simple and emotional.

Thanks for joining me today.
We’ll meet again next Continue reading "“Blisters in the pecker” – Chapter 22"

“I never thought of it that way” – Chapters 20 & 21

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

Thinkingz doggo foundz at https://www.reddit.com/r/Thinking/comments/akpejs/doggo_think/

“There is something rather awful about me. I have a terrible habit. I put things in people’s drinks” said Lahksa.
No shit, sherlock. It’s like the 4th time you do it.

Jokes aside, he did good. Basically, he put herpes in Belok’s drink. Now you get what you deserve, you imbecil!!!
He will be for a whole year in a clinic in the US, which means the path for Mr. T is completely clear to do whatever he sees fit. It sure feels like a Deus Ex Machina from the author, but it felt good.

Here we are in chapters 20 and 21, where Lahksa RETURNS!! At last.
Also puts a STD in Belok’s drink. Also kisses Mr. T. OMG the excitement.

Now, back to the normal talk.

Many things happen in this section, so we’re gonna get through most of them.

First, a well-known author comes to Morovia, and teaches a valuable lesson about agendas in an overcrowded meeting.

In a meeting, an agenda must be established and be punctual. And only the required people must be there. The other people can dedicate to other important matters.

Also. he uncovers the reasons why a manager was angry: he was afraid; afraid of failing to his team, to Mr. T and to Morovia. They learned that, for some reason, anger is an acceptable emotion, but because fear isn’t people who are afraid tend to get it out by being angry at others. This must end, and the best way of doing so is making people aware that fear is normal and natural, and that they don’t need to hide it or run from it. They need to express themselves.

Later on, happens the stuff about Belok, and two of the greatest lessons Continue reading "“I never thought of it that way” – Chapters 20 & 21"

“Ambiguity implies unresolved conflict”– Chapter 16

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

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For me, this chapter is special, because it gives us a perspective not many people have, or at least one that many ignore or doubt the truth behind it. And it is important because it applies to the real world and to our very lives.

As the title of this post says, ambiguity implies unresolved conflict. But what does this mean?

It means that, instead of resolving conflict (regarding projects, among people, or even in oneself) people paper over it with ambiguity; because ambiguity evades commitment, responsibility. It’s like a patch that “works” for political reasons, or just for making a deadline. But there is no real value to it, and when the time comes to really understand the situation, one can only get confused.

That’s the case with documentation the gang is analyzing and reviewing about a very important project that never saw the light of the day.

The documents are large, they say nothing, and they are supposedly specification documents.

In reality, a specification is a statement of how a system (a set of planned responses) will react to events in the world immediately outside its borders. It is basically a set of inputs, outputs and the reasons behind that transformation.

Sometimes, people can enter conflicts, of interests, ideas, you name it. When that happens in a project and a specification must be delivered, ambiguity is the most used tool because it allows the creators to avoid being specific and technically “get the job done by not disagreeing with nobody”. But his is dangerous.
Not only the documents are useless, but the whole project; that ambiguity can lead to failure, in both project management and the real life and real relationships.

For that, one must avoid it. How, you could say? Continue reading "“Ambiguity implies unresolved conflict”– Chapter 16"

“PEOPLE UNDER PRESSURE DON’T THINK FASTER” – Chapter 15

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

Presurez doggo foundz at https://www.toledoblade.com/a-e/living/2020/05/25/Be-prepared-Heartworm-season-is-fast-approaching/stories/20200524022

It is what it is. People can’t think faster, wait faster, or work faster, even if pressure is applied to them.

(Did you hear me, stupid Belok? You’re crazy for wanting people to work all 7 seven days a week with overtime! So selfish)

This is not only obvious or trivial, but it was modeled by Mr. T and Belinda. With data recovered by Waldo (Mr. T’s assistant) from older projects done in Morovia, they could uncover and prove that higher pressures or impossible work conditions can’t accelerate a project’s speed or efficiency.

On the other hand, they found something rather curious:

Overtime makes people work less!

Funny it came out, because this very thing is happening to me right now in my job.

Turns out people who do overtime tend to say “Meh, I can do it later at night, it’s okay”.

But no, it isn’t. By doing this, the work done in regular hours is of less quality and/or quantity due to the “flexibility” that the new added hours present.
Instead of the goal that is really work the paid hours and deliver something of value.

So, what’s the alternative here?

Send people home. For real.

All managers should state that employees should not stay up late doing work. They should turn off the lights and say “everybody OUT”.

Maybe they usually apply pressure and overtime because they don’t know better, or they’re afraid of the difficulty that other methods present. But reality is one must do what’s right and what’s best , for the employee, for the company and for the project.

So, no more overtime and no more slacking.
From now on, I’ll only work on the designated hours. Afternoon hours won’t be used as overtime no more.

Thanks Continue reading "“PEOPLE UNDER PRESSURE DON’T THINK FASTER” – Chapter 15"

“You don’t accomplish anything by standing in front of a train” – Chapter 11

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

Dogs on Gatineau Park Trails - National Capital Commission
Dogo in parkz founs in an articlez: https://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/blog/dogs-on-gatineau-park-trails

I love being at peace the most.

With ongoing projects following their track, things being taken care of, enjoying the early results of good work. And even more if I reflect about this surrounded by nature?

Who doesn’t enjoy a peaceful walk in the park? A quick stroll perhaps?

Anyways.

That’s how this chapter started. Right in the middle of a peaceful reflection and tasting success as it develops.

Then sh*t got LIT.

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Scurred dogo founs in stok photoz: https://unsplash.com/photos/MjKUUaYQQ6U

After Mr. T was at peace with the decisions made, he encountered a mysterious and nasty figure in his office. Turns out NNL and Hoolihan are in a business trip in the USA, and all that’s left to “run” the country is Minister Allair Belok, NNL’s emissary.

He discusses (and by discuss I mean yells and gives a stupid monolog with a horrendous agenda) with Mr. T the deadline he set for all the projects to be delivered. It appears Belok will cut it in almost half and will dismember without care the 18 teams Mr. T formed just to unify them under one humongous team for each of the 6 projects and dismantle the Project Management Laboratory. Mr. T rage intensifies with each word Belok says, but ultimately agrees to his demands (in order to keep his head in place).

After that, Mr. T discusses with his star team their chances of keeping the lab running AND keeping his head on place while doing so.

With that conversation, one of the most important lessons of work-related content that I’ve learned arose:

“If you’re not willing to put your job on the line, your job is not worth having”

Mr. T said.

I know that’s some serious and Continue reading "“You don’t accomplish anything by standing in front of a train” – Chapter 11"

“Modeling hunches” – Chapter 10

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

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Link found in the following link about Link: https://www.gamesradar.com/legend-of-zelda-links-awakening-walkthrough/2/

This chapter felt like an extra episode of a running tv series, one where the main character goes off the main course of the story arch to achieve some goal or check on someone who can give her/him some insight about something, and then on the next episode they return accomplished and triumphant.

Or maybe more like a The Legend of Zelda mission in the same way. Where link goes on a mission and finds valuable intel or a new tool that will aid him in the rest of his adventure.

It was like that for sure.

Mr. T travelled far (not that far really) to attend some business when he met a friend of a friend (that’s all I have to say about mister I-came-out-of-nowhere) that gave him a tool that could aid him in his business venture (see? Just like Zelda).

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Graphin dogo founs at Tenorz: https://tenor.com/es/ver/doge-dogecoin-hodl-gif-10727302

Turns out the friend of a friend of Mr. T was developing and testing some new innovative tool that could model project management processes, but he needed some input data (it was funny when mister new guy made Mr. T angry with his comments about irrational management decisions. It seemed necessary though in order to force Mr. T to give the correct data).

By modeling processes based on the hunches of an experienced manager such as Mr. T, they arrived at important conclusions about how to improve certain processes and model even more, and discussed some of the following:

The manager must be concerned every day about the trade-off between people and time; about the possible productivity a team of n members can produce and how it can be affected by team members coming and going.

Continue reading "“Modeling hunches” – Chapter 10"

“I don’t even know where Morovia is” – Chapter 3, 4 & 5

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

Yakko’s meme can be found in his famous song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x88Z5txBc7w

So, we meet again. I thought I wouldn’t see you here again. Glad you stayed close.

Now that we are all here, we must continue our learning path with exactly the right question: “Where the f*ck is Morovia?”, as Mr. T would’ve said if I was the one writing The Deadline hehe.

Aside from kidding, Mr. T seemed very confused at the beginning of chapter 3 by waking up in a foreign country in the middle of, apparently, nowhere.

Little by little the details of his new endeavor are explained to him by the friendly but honest words of Hoolihan. He is there to manage a huge ton of people, and to help Morovia succeed in the software industry. He’d have everything he’d need, from tools to people.
And yes, money is guaranteed for Mr. T, but most importantly, he’ll enjoy the thrill of the thing and a feeling of achievement (at least that’s what Hoolihan tells him).

Carefully, he accepts the offer, but makes very specific notes about his requirements (yes, my people, this is our first lesson from today):

  • In a team, people must be co-located. There’s no productivity when people are scattered.
  • The manager requires final word over all schedules. One project can only succeed if the time organization is carefully done.
  • When there are too many people for so many projects, a manager can only experiment with the output.

And that’s exactly how he gains his motivation. Morovia has so many available people and just a handful of projects. What could he do with all that extra workers?

The first Project Management Laboratory, a magical place where several projects can be realized under certain conditions in order to study how

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Mundo Animal on Twitter: "“Dog, el perro constructor”. http://t.co ...
Continue reading "“I don’t even know where Morovia is” – Chapter 3, 4 & 5"

“You’re a manager. A systems manager, and a good one” – Chapters 1 & 2

--Originally published at Meeting the Deadline

Sysadmin dogo founs in da Redditz: https://www.reddit.com/r/corgi/comments/e1ir21/tate_is_confused_about_his_new_sysadmin_role/

Welcome everybody, ladies and gents, to this great and profound adventure that is Project Evaluation and Management.

Today it’s indeed a great day, because today is the day we start to unravel the lessons learned from the journey of Mr. Webster Tompkins, a systems manager that, in words of Lahksa Hoolihan, is “a good one”.

Webster and Lahksa are essential part of The Deadline: a novel about project management, a book in which this post (and most of the following posts) is based. The book gives us a head start about what to expect in project management matters while covering the story of how a country in the third world carefully crafted a plan to create a world-class software factory and become the first in the world in export of shrink-wrapped software by the year 2000, which of course had its up’s and down’s.

We will be covering all the chapters in the book in posts containing from 1 to up to 3 or 4 chapters, leaving only the key concepts expanded and some key situations of the narrative. Also, from time to time, we’ll be covering extra topics outside of the book related to project management and business economics. More on that on future posts.

So, make sure you have with you paper and pen, notes and pencils, tablets and laptops, because you might want to take notes of some of this. Certainly, it is an insight of TOP SECRET information from one of the most profitable (I do hope so) venues of the Morovian Government.

Sysadmin dogo founs in da Twitters: https://twitter.com/nixcraft/status/770654517280989184?lang=ca

Let’s begin by describing how the life of a very talented systems manager (but unappreciated in his work environment) took a drastic turn, because Continue reading "“You’re a manager. A systems manager, and a good one” – Chapters 1 & 2"