DEADLINE, chapters 8 & 9. If nobody notices it will be fine.

--Originally published at TI2011 – Roger's Rad Records

At the start of chapter 8, Lahksa and Mr. Tompkins were wondering what the optimal way of performing the management experiments would be, how would they measure which methods are more efficient? They didn’t know how to answer such a question, but they knew who could be able to.

Dr. Hector Rizzoli was an important personality in the field who had run several controlled experiments in the past. Thanks to Lahksa’s shenanigans, the doctor was tricked into staying in Morovia for a few days. Mr. T took this opportunity to get his help for their big experiment.

“Experiments” flickr photo by r i i d o shared into the public domain using (PDM)

Belinda, Dr. Rizzoli and Mr. T decided the main structure for the projects and their teams. Each of the projects would have three different teams working on different instances of the same product, every project would try to prove or disprove a particular effect set by specific learning goals.

Dr. Rizzoli and Mr. Tompkins got a chance to talk just the two of them. Mr. T told the doctor that even if they had three teams for each project there was no guarantee that any of them would create good enough products. He was scared of failing even if a lot of learning were to take place. This led to the two topics that Mr. T included in his journal:

First, productivity improvement. When Tompkins asks for a way to improve productivity in the short term, the doctor clarifies that there’s no such a thing. Productivity is improved by investing for the long-term. When I googled “How to improve productivity” all of the first results were articles with titles like “15 EASY ways of improving productivity in the workplace”, and they all seemed somewhat sketchy.

Continue reading "DEADLINE, chapters 8 & 9. If nobody notices it will be fine."

Deadline, what about part VIII and IX

--Originally published at TI2011 – FABIAN'S GEEK STUFF

And for today's post, a little bit more about our favorite story on the Deadline novel, and I have realized along all of this reviewed chapters that besides it is a story and sometimes is very suitable for the topics they want to translate from the theoretical perspective to the approach in the real world,... Continue Reading →

Deadline, Chapters 8 and 9

--Originally published at TI2011 – Miguel’s Blog

Chapter 8 is all about deciding how the experiments will be carried out. Tompkins and Lahksa are discussing possible ways to test the experiments and how to make sense of the results. To solve this Lahksa has a solution which is collaborating with Dr. Hector Rizzoli. This doctor has done similar experiments in the past so he would be a great person to have working on the project. But they didn’t exactly ask him to work on it, they tricked him into thinking he was going to Latvia for a conference. And all things worked according to plan, Dr. Rizzoli arrived in Morovia and gave his conference to the 1500 workers there. After some days, Topmkins finally gets a chance to talk with him and ask him some questions that he has been wanting to ask him since he arrived.

The conversation starts by giving the doctor an overview of the experiments they are conducting. First, while they are experiments, they need to succeed because the products are real products that need to be done. The problem is that by failing they learn a lot more, but they also need to succeed, they need a way to achieve both of those. Topkins asks the doctor for just one fir the best chance of success. Tompkins suggests an improvement program that’s CMM. I didn’t know what CMM was, but after some reading I found that it’s a methodology for software development. CMM has five levels and as the levels go up the process is more organized and systematic. For example, at level 1 everything is chaotic and there isn’t enough documentation and at level 5 processes are being constantly improved thanks to feedback. However, that’s not a good idea because productivity improvement comes in the long term, not on the short

Continue reading "Deadline, Chapters 8 and 9"

Deadline, Chapters 8 & 9

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management Blog

New chapter, new kidnap case, to be honest I’m getting a little used to it but now they took it to another level. Best way to kidnap someone famous temporarily? Make it so he doesn’t know he was kidnapped.

Tomkins asks Rizzoli (the “kidnapped”) about moving the entire staff from CMM Level 2 to Level 3. CMM stands for Capability Maturity Model, its a 5 level process improvement model to determine how well defined, controlled and standardized a process is. If you are unfamiliar with this model I suggest taking a look at this small reading.

” There is no such thing as a short-term fix in our business. There is never a way to improve productivity in the short term”

One of the big lessons in this chapter in project management, is that as well as many things in life improvements and achievements don’t come overnight. As many people say: “Rome wasn’t build in a day”. Many times the search for that instant and effortless miracle becomes a waste of time.

“Software development is a risky business and managing that business is, most of all, an exercise in risk management.”

The truth is process improvement will only take you so far, and risk management is crucial for the survival of any project. Mistakes happen and being ready for them can make the difference between a quick fix and source of a huge problem in the big picture.

Rizzoli a la Makrov – The Deadline chapters 8, 9

--Originally published at Parra’s Project Management Blog

In this chapters Tompkins learns about an odd manager: a retired Morovian general.

Two very interesting chapters with tons of value to learn from. The Deadline by Tom De Marco is getting more weird in these new chapters. The eight chapter begins with Lahksa telling Tompkins that they are going to meet a very important person: the eminent Dr. Rizzoli. He is a researcher and famous investigator for a lot of fields in project management. Fooled by morovian techniques, he thinks he is going to arrive in Latvia for a conference he was giving, but at the end he landed on Tompkins’ home.

In between breaks, both managers spent a lot of time together and had the opportunity to discuss the current tech project in Morovia. The biggest highlight that Rizzoli gave to Tompkins was at the field of risk management. He said that it is an excellent way to prevent wastes in production time, because risks are everywhere and managers have to keep them tracked. He suggested that he should create a document with all found indications of risks, write how they are triggered, when is possible that they can materialize and the cost they could have. This organizer is a perfect tool for decision making.

At last, they agreed on finding an efficient way to transport the bad news throughout the teams and projects. Sometimes people are ashamed and scared of telling the bad news, but if the problem is not reported at the right time it will snowball towards risks showing up. Tompkins was very motivated with this talk and was ready to apply it at the various projects he is in charge of. Time to say goodbye to Dr. Rizzoli.

Don’t worry, another interesting character arrives in the next chapter: general Makrov. They meet him and Continue reading "Rizzoli a la Makrov – The Deadline chapters 8, 9"

Chapters 8 & 9 reflection

--Originally published at Project Evaluation and Management

Chapter 8: The Eminent Dr. Rizzoli

Photo by in Pexels. Free license

In this chapter we see that our main characters are worried about not knowing how to handle the experiment, because it is the first time something like this has been done. They begin to talk and conclude that this is serious work for a consultant. They think that the only person who can solve this is Dr. Hector Rizzoli.

He ran a kind of software engineering laboratory for some U.S. Government agency. they say “I see what you mean. He could be a most usehl consultant for us. As soon as we began talking about running a set of experiments, our Project Management Laboratory, I should have asked you to contact Dr. Rizzoli. I wonder when we could get him here?”

They began to say that he arrives the next day in the afternoon. Mr. T, I suspect that he had kidnapped him by force, but apparently he was not going to visit them on his own feet. But it’s almost a kidnapping because our consultant goes to Latvia and has a stopover in Morovia, but since I came from India he could have some jetlag and be confused.

Photo by Sheila in Pexels. Free license

Mr. T and his colleague waited for Dr. Rizzoli, as he was confused he did not know or where he believed he was in Latvia, but Mr. T and his colleague made him dizzy a little with talk so he would not suspect anything. They talked to him about the experiments and he still didn’t realize what was happening. He gave a talk which made him feel satisfied. Then after a few days he began to talk about the experiments that were taking place, this table describes how

Continue reading "Chapters 8 & 9 reflection"