How to make your project fail!

Check out the following presentation at Parleys: Project anti-patterns. How to make your project fail

This presentation shifts the concept around abit . You’re generally used to getting presentations on how you should do certain things. The principal technology officer of Cap Gemini tries a different approach to identify the issues of failed projects.

DevWork’s Ten Essential Linux Tricks

Learn these 10 tricks and you’ll be the most powerful Linux® systems administrator in the universe…well, maybe not the universe, but you will need these tips to play in the big leagues. Learn about SSH tunnels, VNC, password recovery, console spying, and more. Examples accompany each trick, so you can duplicate them on your own systems.

Lazy Linux: 10 essential tricks for admins

How to be a more productive Linux systems administrator

  • Trick 1: Unmounting the unresponsive DVD drive
  • Trick 2: Getting your screen back when it’s hosed
  • Trick 3: Collaboration with screen
  • Trick 4: Getting back the root password
  • Trick 5: SSH back door
  • Trick 6: Remote VNC session through an SSH tunnel
  • Trick 7: Checking your bandwidth
  • Trick 8: Command-line scripting and utilities
  • Trick 9: Spying on the console
  • Trick 10: Random system information collection

Brain Magician

The next video is from Keith Barry at TED. He demonstrates how our brains can fool our bodies. I’m a believer of NLP yet this seems to go the next level, more towards the “magician”. Here I must say that I don’t believe in magic, that it’s always an illusion… 😉

Where Leadership Styles meet Tuckman

You might remember the Tuckman stages for group development. If you’ve checked up on this, you might have wondered how to manage this.

  • Forming: The group comes together and gets to initially know one other and form as a group. During this phase you’ll have to be very direct in your goals, and stay close.
  • Storming: A chaotic vying for leadership and trialling of group processes. Here you’ll be applying a coaching attitude.
  • Norming: Eventually agreement is reached on how the group operates (norming). You should take part of the group, yet you should only guide them.
  • Performing: The group practices its craft and becomes effective in meeting its objectives. You’re comfortable to delegate things, as they are at their peak.

Greiner’s Six Growth Phases

The growth phases model of Greiner suggests that organizations go through 6 stages of growth and need appropriate strategies and structures to cope. It is a descriptive framework that can be used to understand why certain management styles, organizational structures and coordination mechanisms work and don’t work at certain phases in the development of an organization. The 1972 model of Greiner describes five (six) phases of organizational development and growth.

While growth is fun when things are going well, when things go wrong, this chaos can be intensely stressful. More than this, these problems can be damaging (or even fatal) to the organization. The “Greiner Curve” is a useful way of thinking about the crises that organizations experience as they grow. By understanding it, you can quickly understand the root cause of many of the problems you’re likely to experience in a fast growing business. More than this, you can anticipate problems before they occur, so that you can meet them with pre-prepared solutions.

Continue reading “Greiner’s Six Growth Phases”

We’re predictably irrational!

Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Professor Dan Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities. Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They’re systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.

The four levels of evaluation by Kirkpatrick

Donald Kirkpatrick is known for creating the training evaluation model. This model consists of four levels of learning evaluation. Kirkpatrick’s ideas were first published in 1959, in a series of articles in the US Training and Development Journal. The four levels of Donald Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model essentially measure:

  • Reaction of student : what they thought and felt about the training
  • Learning : the resulting increase in knowledge or capability
  • Behaviour : extent of behaviour and capability improvement and implementation/application
  • Results : the effects on the business or environment resulting from the trainee’s performance

Level 1 : Reaction
Reaction evaluation is how the delegates felt about the training or learning experience. For example the ‘happy sheets’, ‘feedback forms’, etc

Level 2 : Learning
Learning evaluation is the measurement of the increase in knowledge before and after. Typically assessments or tests before and after the training are used for this level.

Level 3 : Behaviour
Behaviour evaluation is the extent of applied learning back on the job / implementation. Observation and interview over time are required to assess change, relevance of change, and sustainability of change.

Level 4 : Results
Results evaluation is the effect on the business or environment by the trainee. Measures are already in place via normal management systems and reporting. The challenge is to relate to the trainee.

For more info, check out the BusinessBalls‘s article on Kirkpatrick…

Time to Jump the Box

A while ago I talked about Bitnami, that enabled you to jumpstart several OpenSource stacks. Now I just noticed “JumpBox“…

JumpBox Open is a collection of easy to use virtual appliances for Open Source software. Each JumpBox is focused on a single task (or single application) and is carefully crafted to capture the best practices for how the software should be implemented. The goal is to save you time and allow you to get more done with less effort. JumpBoxes will run on all of the popular virtualization platforms including VMWare, Parallels, Microsoft Virtual PC/Server, Virtual Iron and Xen.

JumpBox might help you to deploy certain services faster, just like LAMP jumpstarts your basic webservice environment!