Sunday, November 29, 2009

CSS Stylesheets and a New Website

At long last, the website refresh is complete. Even though my webmaster created the CSS and the layout, there was still a pretty solid learning curve for me. Not too difficult, but learning the difference between html and shtml (no, its NOT "secure" html as I had been led to believe), what a #include statement means, making sure you have all your relative and absolute path names correct, then making that final tar ball, waiting FOREVER for it to upload, then figuring out what to use ftp vs telnet vs ssh for. Once the tar ball was unzipped, there's that final little QA check and the "oops, thought I'd done that," with a few quick little ftp file transfers and voila, we have a new web site.

I like it. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A New Look for

Well, the technology rewrite is in progress and very soon I'll be moving a whole new version of my website on line. It won't look too different from the current website, but the underlying technology upgrade will improve the consistency of the site and allow much easier "face lifts" in the future. Plus, a new site for Knowledge Integration: Retro will be launched. For the technology history buffs out there, there will be some trips down technology's memory lane.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Will You Know When You Are Wealthy?

What if you were taking a road trip and got lost? Has that ever happened to you?

But even worse, are you trying to reach a destination in life, but have gotten lost?

Have you ever written down the signposts to success? Don't be caught by this trap! Read
How Will You Know When You Are Wealthy?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Antidote to Wealth

The Antidote to Wealth

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

- Teddy Roosevelt

What do risk, wealth, and failure have to do with each other? See my article on
Do you fear failure?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Michael Jackson - Is Wealth Fame & Fortune

I have to admit, I couldn't resist writing a short article in honor of Michael's recent passing. I pose a question to you: Who has the highest net worth?

  • The Queen of England
  • The President of the United States
  • JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame
  • Michael Jackson

Read the article Michael Jackson to find out.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Moving Day - Tech Refresher

Wow, its a lot more work hosting your own web site. First you have to create the directory structure. Then you have to make sure all your html references the correct directories for images, index.html, and all the articles. Then you have to make sure each index page has the links to the articles, and that the articles are formatted correctly. And we won't even go into CSS and stylesheets.

Then the fun part, going back to shell scripts, ftp, telnet, and tar files. I do miss the old days.

Come visit my new home

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Moving Day -

Moving!!! Exciting, new change! Or Oops, where did I pack my toothbrush?

I love the ease and convenience of blogger and I'll continue to post to this site. But I've decided to expand what I do and need to move to a hosted web site to allow greater flexibility. Please come visit at

Monday, March 23, 2009

SDLC and Intuition

I'm very excited to be giving a talk on SDLC at the Sacramento Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Its a refreshing change of pace to climb back out of the trenches for a while and go back to the roots, which is theory and process.

SDLC always seemed so obvious to me, especially having both software engineering and PMBOK backgrounds, but there are some companies that really struggle with it. I've come to the conclusion that intuition and process cannot easily coexist in the same brain. Add to that a regulatory-compliance mentality, where the regulators tell you what you must & must not do, and life gets really complicated really fast.

The intuitive problem solver relies on relationships and feelings to solve their problems. Things either "feel right" or they trust that others have done their part to solve the problem and know when all the pieces fit together because of the way it feels. They tend to get sidetracked by too much detail.

The logical problem solver, on the other hand, understands the value of reasoning and breaking down a problem into its component parts and process flows. No level of detail is too great if the problem is important enough.

Now ask yourself, have you ever tried to build a process flow chart to document your organization's trust relationships?

Or have you ever tried to feel your way to the answer to a complex mathematical algorithm?

Each problem solving style works great for certain types of problems, but fails miserably for others.

And this is the SDLC nightmare I have been living with one of my clients: trying to build process into an intuitive corporate culture.

Starting with more modest goals, ie an "SDLC Light" for the business side and a full-featured SDLC for the IT side, has allowed for faster adoption and better results in other companies. Starting with a few core departments and slowly spreading it throughout the corporation over a 2 year period generally creates less pain. Many have found putting less emphasis on templates and more emphasis on communication and responsibility will always yield high return on investment. Hiring a VP with a Six Sigma blackbelt and no people skills is just not the right strategy for an intuitive corporation. But what a rare bird to find an intuitive, process-oriented person who can lead and teach.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Principle of Reciprocity

"You scratch my back & I'll scratch yours."

That old saying always left me feeling a little creeped out because I always associated it with corrupt politicians. But I have come to realize that friendship is the key to so much in life. If you look at reciprocity as a part of a friendship, you begin to see the power of it.

I'm wrapping up a $2,000,000 project at my company and looking for my next project. During the course of the two years this project has been going, I have worked with many people. Some of them have been a joy to work with, some have been a real challenge. This one person was a little of both. Whenever I talked to him it just seemed like I couldn't pin him down on anything. I'd leave a meeting thinking we'd worked out the impact to his area, then a week later I'd find out he was off onto something new. Eventually I realized that there was no easy answer and that he was "peeling the onion" as it were to figure out how best to meet a regulatory requirement while keeping the cost to the company as low as possible. So rather than the "waffler" I at first thought him to be, he was actually very conscientious & thorough in his job. This was proven to me when I saw that he had been promoted a month or two ago.

I called to say hello and congratulate him on his promotion. He was in a great mood and was very happy to talk about it. After he had "talked my ear off" he took a breath and asked if there was anything he could do for me? It turned out there is a project I was looking at that he is involved with. His vice president was looking for someone to take on the project. I let him know I would love to and we are in the process of putting it together.

This is a perfect example of the principle of reciprocity.

I gave my business associate a chance to talk about something he is passionate about: himself and his recent success. After he had "talked my ear off" it was like he had just enjoyed Thanksgiving feast. He was happy. Since I had been the one to let him feel this happiness, he felt obligated to return the favor. Luckily, there was something he needed that I can help with. So his sense of obligation to me motivated him to take some action on my behalf.

Now would this have worked if I had waited till the next day to call him back and ask a favor of him?

No. Reciprocity only works immediately after the other person shares his or her joy with you. Just like Thanksgiving feast, by the next morning you are hungry again. You no longer feel a sense of obligation to the other person.

Timing is just so important in relationships with other people. If you mess up your timing, rather than adding joy and happiness to your relationship, you may be putting a sense of burden or resentful obligation on the other person. Same request, but the emotions are different, and the request is different.