Good Times In New Orleans

Katy and I are just heading home from New Orleans. As usual, a great visit! We stay at a great B&B in uptown, Mandevilla, hosted by Marnie Borne.

Saw the kids, ate too much good food, played some mediocre (not terrible) golf, saw some Mardi Gras parades, and did NOT see a speck of snow.

As always, a nice visit!

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iPhone 4 taking a nap

Learned something new today about my phone. It was a normal afternoon, I’d spent the majority of it on the phone with folks, received an IM from a work associate, told him to call, and found that the phone was completely dead. Would respond when plugged in, didn’t respond to the power button. So, off I went to the friendly Apple store at the mall.

So, on getting to the store, the guy at the front of the store asks me if I’d tried resetting the phone. I thought I had reset the phone, but NO, apparently if you simultaneously press both the top and front buttons, the device resets.

Another day, another fantastic lesson. Pretty exciting, no?

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Team Management

Been thinking a good bit about this one of late (actually for quite some time). People are very interesting. We all have a unique blend of skills, behaviors, biases, fears, goals, and reputations. Everyone is different. Put a bunch of unique people together & you can get a broad range of results. Those results can be some combination of disappointing, entertaining, exhilarating, infuriating, and inspiring. Sometimes you get all of those things, sometimes just a few.

I’ve often wondered what the prescription is to maximize the positive things while minimizing the negatives. The simple answer is that…. (drumroll please) there really isn’t a simple answer. It’s almost like what makes a great chef get consistently amazing results, there are a combination of ingredients, and you must have the right mix. Some of the ones that come to mind include:

  • The right opportunity: what are you trying to do? Is there demand? Is it valuable enough to somebody (or hopefully, some bodies) so that its worth their while to spend significant amounts of money.
  • The right approach: do you have a way of answering the opportunity with a special solution? Is it more valuable than your competitors? What is the dimension that you’re going to compete in? Is it innovation, quality, price, allure?
  • The right people: do you have a group of folks with the right skills and rapport to make your approach real, and in a reasonable amount of time. Will that team sustain itself? Is it resilient? Will it never stop learning & improving.
  • A great support network: do you have management, peers, customers, advisors who are invested in, and can contribute to your success.
  • You: do you have what it takes? Can you help identify the key components, get the right people, empower them, guide them when needed, and help them take responsibility for their own excellence?

There’s a ton involved. The nice thing is that there’s always something to learn & every day represents an opportunity to be better than the day before.

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OK, I’m here, now what

Thought it might be interesting to put together a blog. I tend to read lots of stuff. Thought it might be interesting to write a few things.

I get paid to manage software development teams. I enjoy what I do. There’s never a dull moment & I get a chance to work with a bunch of bright people, whether they are employees, customers, peers or executives. I get to make a difference & learn as I go along.

Thought I’d setup a blog as a form of professional therapy. A lot of the things I read are for both professional growth as well as personal enjoyment. Given my chosen career, many of these topics have to do with business, managing people (recently topics about things like change management), technology, and development processes (I’ve become enamored with agile and lean methodologies).

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