Posts tagged ‘management’

February 3rd, 2012

Peerfighting

One of my earliest heroes (somewhere between Han Solo and Charlie Kaufman) was Socrates, who — although perhaps unfit to make the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs — elevated dialectic into the realm of epistemology, where it remained an inviolate pillar of Western logic until the emergence of Larry King, apparently sometime in the late 14th century.

March 14th, 2011

Recommended: Google’s Rules

For those who might’ve missed it in the business section of the New York Times this weekend, Google has formalized what it believes to be the perceived attributes of a successful manager, and there’s much to admire here:

December 22nd, 2010

Of Studios and Sweatshops

For some reason, many companies treat their production team as a fixed quantity, something to be accommodated or disbanded but rarely improved. It’s the rare C-level executive who understands that a production team exists on a spectrum between good and bad, and that thoughtful management can influence the quality of their team. Perhaps this says something about the quality spectrum of C-level executives: the fewer people at the top of the pyramid, the narrower and more polarized the output.

November 16th, 2010

Re-engineering a Better Performance Review

There’s a dirty little secret about performance reviews, which is this: most of them are useless. Managers dread them because they’re tedious and time-consuming and potentially volatile. Employees hate them because all too often a performance review is the only objective data point informing compensation and bonus. Rarely in my experience does a performance review actually accomplish its primary goal of encouraging superior performance or correcting unproductive behavior.

October 17th, 2010

Five Strategies for Negotiating Bad News

Several years ago, as a relatively inexperienced project manager in Toronto, I was sent to a seminar on the art of strategic negotiation held in a hotel conference room out by the airport. The session was led by a real estate guru turned motivational speaker, and while I don’t remember his name, I do remember that he paced the room in a lavalier mic and black swim cap, and that because he’d shaved his eyebrows he resembled a particularly intense mannequin or sunfish.

October 17th, 2010

Bird’s Eye Resource Management

Managing a team of any size on multiple concurrent projects requires some level of process and dashboarding at both the macroscopic and microscopic levels. For microscopic resource management, there’s no beating industry-standard task-based tools like Microsoft Project, Basecamp and Jira (three tools we currently use at Vortex Mobile). Macroscopic resource management remains a challenge. For some reason, there just aren’t a lot of accessible out-of-the-box visualization tools for project managers who need to quickly juggle projects, people and time without committing to a costly ERP infrastructure.

July 10th, 2010

Process Refactored

I recently held a project management summit at Vortex Mobile where I asked my project managers to question each of our existing processes and come up with new approaches to any of our endemic challenges. Although refactoring code is commonplace among progressive software development companies, few companies talk about refactoring methodology. For many, it’s easier to either cling to outdated processes (remarkably, Staples still offers next day delivery on carbon paper) or invest in the development of cumbersome enterprise-scale methodologies intended to predict and accommodate any conceivable circumstance.


show
 
close