Jerry Madden retired from NASA in 1995 as Associate Director of Flight Projects at Goddard Space Flight Center. During his distinguished 37-year career, he have collected more than 100 observations about project management
IMHO, these are the best three:
(#14) Never ask management to make a decision that you can make. Assume you have the authority to make decisionsunless you know there is a document that states unequivocally that you cannot.
// I have deleted the last part since I really think that people should strive to make decisions even if there is a document that states that you can’t…
(#16) Never make excuses; instead, present plans of actions to be taken
// IMHO, NO Results with a GOOD excuse will never even resemble Results
(#59)Running does not take the place of thinking. For yourself, you must take time to smell the roses. For your work, you must take time to understand the consequences of your actions.
October 4th, 2008 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 2 Comments
When “The Moscow Cats Theater” came to New York, the Russian clown Yuri Kuklachev was interviewed: “the secret of training them is realizing that you can’t force cats to do anything […] If the cat likes to sit you can’t force her to do anything else […] Each cat likes to do her own trick […] Maruska is the only one who does the handstand. I find the cat and see what they like to do and use that in the show […] I have a cat now that loves to be in the water…”
Personally, I think that managing engineers is much more complicated than herding cats (although I didn’t have the twisted pleasure to herd a cat yet)
When you go out of your way to hire the best people around than soon enough you will find yourself herding a superior, class A, hyper-developed mutant Ligers* who are much more knowledgeable than the herder (a.k.a. you)
In this environment you have to learn to simply trust your people (although this is not simple at all :), mark the vision, let them loose and only help to get rid of the stones in their way (this concept was best described as the Open Kimono** policy in Peopleware)
Well…. Managing the Delver Engineers is like Herding Legendary Ligers and you need to make a superior effort to see what these ligers “likes to do” and run fast enough to set the Vision and move the rocks out of the way.
* The Liger, is a (huge) hybrid cross between a male lion and a female tiger
** Open Kimono Attitude: You take no steps to defend yourself from the people you have put in positions of trust.
By the way, The best answer I found on the origin of the term “Herding Cats” was in Google Answers
October 3rd, 2008 by Moti Karmona | מוטי קרמונה · 1 Comment
According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2008 is a Year of the Rat (Earth), which begins on February 7, 2008 and ends on January 25, 2009. First in the cycle of 12 Animal signs, Rat Year begins the sequence and recurs every twelfth year.
So… what did we have until now?
Beijing Olympic Games a.k.a. 51 Chinese Gold Medalists
Yesterday we had the Skype privacy thingy a.k.a. Skype admitted that TOM-Skype, the Chinese version of the Skype service, had been scanning users’ text messages for sensitive keywords like. Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, Karmona Pragmatic Blog etc.
Two insignificant Ratatouille facts:
Sir Ian Holm, the voice of Skinner (3′ 6″ tall head, Napoleon looking chef at Gusteau’s), is two feet taller than Skinner and has played Napoleon Bonaparte three times in his illustrious career.
Skinner’s name is a nod to behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, famous for his experiments with rats.