Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Just do it

It's very easy to procrastinate or to get stuck in a lifestyle where you never really get anything done. It's there, it's easy, but you just never quite get to doing all those things that you kind of want or need to get done.

"Just start." Was the advice someone gave me. And it is the best advice possible, but also the least useful. It sort of falls on the same line as telling a smoker that would like to quit that he just has to "stop smoking."

It really IS as simple as that, but if the person was able to take such action, he would have done so himself ages ago.

Procrastination is also my cardinal sin, with lots of little chores and things that I kind of wanted to do that did not get done. Untill I got a new job. Suddenly, I'd leave home at 6:30 sharp and come home 12 hours later, at 18:30.

Suddenly, things that need to be done get done. There is no "Meh, later" because there will be no time later either. I have to admit I like the regularity. Though I dislike not being able to participate in fun stuff each evening.
But with time being short, it became valuable. And with it being valuable, I'm not going to waste it anymore.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Suddenly I understand why people in high-paced / high attention-span jobs drink so much coffee and tea. You get SO MUCH more done by just being high on caffein.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Management mistake #1

As a manager, you have little time to deal with the little details. You want to have all the information to effectively fix problems and nothing more, because if you're in a company employs 100 or more people, you simply haven no time to deal with the little stuff.

So we delegate and get flows of information back on how things are going. In general, things in the mind of a manager seem to have two possible categories:
- Working as it should. Don't fix it.
- Not working as it should. Do something about it.

There just isn't enough time to focus on everything. So a manager needs to be good at quickly determining where to apply himself and where not.
But there is a critical error that can be made here. Sometimes, working as should is not what you want.

A good manager, in my opinion, should be aware that there is a third category:
- Working for now. Need a better solution soon.
And this happens a LOT in IT business. The distance between the manager and the solutions implemented is so large that the manager never get to actually see the actual cost of the solution that is implemented. And then, the 'pain' of each incomplete implementation is carried by the IT department. They'll spend more and more time paying for those quick fixes than a good fix would have cost them.

So management solution #1 is :
Make sure that things that are fixed ( The problem has gone away) are really fixed and not just a quick fix. Your time is too valuable to keep adressing different quick fixes for the same old problem

Management mismatch

For some reason I keep running into the same problems in my line of work. This bothers me. This is starting to bother me more and more.

Whenever I bring up problems that I see at a company, the coworkers that have been there for years grin, shake their heads and tell me that somethings never change. They too saw the problem, so I feel validated in my view of the problem. And this problem always comes down to either mismanagement or company policy that is mismatched with the wish to run a department well.

It might be surprising, but people generally want to work well and achieve at their work.

And the reason why they cannot or just give up hoping that they can is because they run into problems which prevent them from doing so. Not technical problems, those can be solved, but human problems.

The problem with these human problems is that they can only be fixed by transferring your knowledge and view of the problem to those who are causing it. But there lies the crux: Usually the person causing the problem has no need, want or even capacity in understanding the problem.
Though it would be preferable if they would.
So we stick with a second option: using external pressure that can force someone into not creating the problem. Managers is what I believe they're being called.

Situations have an inertia of their own, meaning that once a situation is established, it requires work and energy to change. The same goes for management styles, which cán solve problems but generally bring a slew of problems of their own with them. That's why good managers practice management by exception.

So how do you change the human problem of a management style that does not match the reality and need of a company, when the company "can just work" this way?

It's IT the equivalent of everyone working on a win2k machine; "because gosh darnit, they still work, so there is no need to replace them is there?"

Friday, November 25, 2011


There is a strange comfort in a bowl of warm porridge that other breakfasts just lack.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kids these days

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

- Socrates

If you think kids are up to no good and in no way compare to how you used to be when you were young, then you are truly becoming old.