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IF you are above 40, have a look at this post.
If you are not … have a look at this post anyway 🙂

I met a CIO like that. He told me his policy was to never say No to the business. So he always said Yes, and the business was always angry because things he agreed to didn’t get done, or got done poorly or far later than they wished. His Yes meant nothing.

via Insights You Can Use » Blog Archive » Yes. No. Negotiate..


Interesting post on zen habits blog about the fact that discipline is overrated:

Every single specific action you can take to make yourself do something is motivation. Not discipline.

And that’s why discipline is a myth. It might sound good, but it’s not a useful concept. When it comes to taking specific actions to make yourself do something, the only things you can do are motivation. Not discipline. I’ve challenged people to come up with a discipline action that isn’t motivation for years now, and no one has done it.

via The Myth of Discipline | zen habits.

Do you agree? What does motivate you when you need to change? What are your strategies for change?

Traditional teams attempt to drive out uncertainty by planning and analysis. Agile teams tend to drive out uncertainty by developing working software in small increments and then adjusting. […] Dealing positively with uncertainty, being willing to accept that certain things are unknown and unknowable (for now), is a big part of learning to be an agile manager.

via Embracing Change | Jim Highsmith.


Courtes of racatumba - Some Rights Reserved

When people talk about their IT departments, they always talk about the things they’re not allowed to do, the applications they can’t run, and the long time it takes to get anything done.

Here is the beginning of an intriguing post called:  The end of the IT department – (37signals).

Let me state immediately that  I consider it oversimplistic and a  just sales pitch (guess what’s the proposed alternative to the status quo?) but … there is A LOT OF TRUTH in the post! And we, the evil IT departments, should always keep in mind these things I’ll quote from The end of the IT department – (37signals): the list of why your It department  sucks

  1. When people talk about their IT departments, they always talk about the things they’re not allowed to do, the applications they can’t run, and the long time it takes to get anything done
  2. If businesses had as many gripes with an external vendor, that vendor would’ve been dropped long ago.
  3. There’s no feedback loop for improvement.
  4. IT job security is often dependent on making things hard, slow, and complex.
  5. It’s the same forces and mechanics that slowly turned unions from a force of progress (proper working conditions for all!) to a force of stagnation

I agree on all these diseases and I seriously doubt the solution is the new silver bullet: “today you can get just about all the services that previously required local expertise from a web site somewhere“.

Is  this “you can find everything from a web site somewhere” changing  a lot the way we  do IT? Yes … and it’s not the silver bullet as it was not the  outsourcing or SOA or … It’s a tremendous arrrow, among other arrows.

The step ahead in IT departments will not be done thanks to a ‘technology’: as I use to say “if you think technology can solve all of your problems you don’t know technology or you don’t know your problems“.

But I’m more interested in learning from you: why does your IT department suck precisely?


Being a Premium Membership Subscriber (from the very beginning) of Manager Tools, I’ve the privilege of receiving a regular email from Mark called “Things I think I think”: as usual another very good piece of value from Manager Tools tools (if you don’t know them, go and listen to the HUGE AMOUNT of free content and then apply for the Premium Membership).

In the last one, before Christmas 2010, there was this recommendation I couldn’t agree more:

I don’t really recommend New Year’s resolutions, but if you like them, two suggestions:

  1. Just one
  2. Physical fitness

The ancient latins used to say “mens sana in corpore sano” and it’s something you really understand when you get 40: you cannot imagine how your performance (however you define it: playing with your son, making business, staying with your family, working hard …) is affected by your physical shape.

So, if you are not yet in your 40, don’t wait: start now (no matter the New Year’s Resolution 🙂 )!


Courtesy of
Matt from London

How many time have you heard this sentence “yes we did that small stuff but don’t worry: nothing changed”?

It can be a tiny technical modification to a system, it can be a small organizational change, it can be something that you said to your team, it can be a change in a signature of your email … it doesn’t matter.

When it’s about complex systems any modification no matter its size, no matter where you make it, no matter when you make it, can have an unpredictable impact on any part of the system: that’s basically the definition of complex system.

And I tell you a secret: a group of people that have a relationship IS a complex system (family, office), IT stuff IS a complex system, SW IS a complex system, YOU are a complex system.

So please don’t tell me that nothing changed when you changed something!!!
And remember that this effect has also its good side:

No situation is ever hopeless. Because whatever the situation may be, the moment you start to take action, you change it (Ralph Marsdon)


p.s. By the way, note that complexity is often overrated especially in SW dev 🙂

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