Beating A Dead Horse – some sage advice

We’re always trying to solve the most toughest technical challenges but some challenges are just dead horses. You might as well try riding something else. A mighty philosopher in our firm imparted this sage advice to me –

Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. However, in government we often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Saying things like “This is the way we always have ridden this horse.”

4. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

5. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.

6. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.

7. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.

8. Comparing the state of dead horses in today’s environment.

9. Pass legislation declaring that “This horse is not dead.”

10. Blaming the horse’s parents.

11. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.

12. Declaring that “No horse is too dead to beat.” [Classic if you ask me]

13. Providing additional funding to increase the horse’s performance.

14. Do a Cost Analysis to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.

15. Procure a commercial design dead horse.

16. Declare the horse is “better, faster and cheaper” dead.

17. Form a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.

18. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.

19. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.

20. BRAC the horse farm on which it was born.

21. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position

via The Humor Bin – Beating A Dead Horse.

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The Cult of Done Manifesto (@bre)

Love it. Just happened to run into this post and i can’t agree with this more (especially #12). Check out the article for more…

The Cult of Done Manifesto

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.

2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.

3. There is no editing stage.

4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.

5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.

6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.

7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.

8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.

9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.

10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.

11. Destruction is a variant of done.

12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

13. Done is the engine of more.

via Bre Pettis | I Make Things – Bre Pettis Blog – The Cult of Done Manifesto.

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Project Portfolio Management

Just some important information to keep in mind about porfolio management (source – The PDMA ToolBook for New Product Development)

There are four goals in Portfolio Management

  1. Value Maximization: Allocate resources so as to maximize the value of the portfolio.
  2. Balance of projects: say high-risk & low-risk, or long-term & short-term, etc.
  3. Strategic direction: Portfolio should truly reflect business strategy
  4. Right number of projects: Keep in mind resource available.

All four goals have the potential to compete with each other.