Paying the predictability tax.

February 24, 2019. Filed under management 123

The core observations from Fred Brook's The Mythical Man Month is that assigning more folks to work on a project often slows down delivery. Part of that is the predictability tax.

Why limiting work-in-progress works.

February 17, 2019. Filed under management 123systems-thinking 6

Several years ago, my friend Bobby showed me an article about a CEO who used systems thinking to understand their company's bottlenecks, which eventually lead to him buying out his cofounder, who had been leading their sales team. As is the case for most stories about ourselves that we decide to publish widely, this decision turned out to be the right one, and their business flourished.

Notes on Soul of a New Machine, Messy Middle, Crazy at Work, Company of One.

February 2, 2019. Filed under management 123review 13book 11

Every year or two I spend a month or two reading some general business and management books. On average, these are not my favorite books, but they usually have a couple interesting ideas and are imminently skimmable. Recently I've read through The Soul of a New Machine, The Messy Middle, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and Company of One.

Growing with your company's complexity.

January 29, 2019. Filed under management 123career 17

When finishing up a difficult project, sometimes I pause to dream about how it'll extend [my career](/career-narratives/). If I bundle this project with a few others, mix in supporting a healthy and impactful team, add a dash of time for the flavor to deepen, and undoubtedly this will get me to the next level.

Meeting people.

January 26, 2019. Filed under management 123career 17

In the earliest bits of my career, I spent a lot of time worrying that my lack of pedigree was holding me back. How much easier things would have be for me, I imagined, if only I'd attended a feeder school like Stanford or started out at a prestigious company like Google. Memories of that angst bubbled up when I was chatting with someone at a recent conference, and they asked how I knew so many of the people nearby. My first reaction was that I don't know very many folks, but it's also the case that I know meaningfully more folks today than I did just a few years ago, and that change isn't entirely accidental.