Training With Paper Airplanes

So I was in an Agile and Scrum Management class yesterday. 


Always looking for new best practices and efficiencies for what we are doing in software development. 


We did one exercise to compare the old Waterfall methodology with Agile. 


And the instructor had us as a team build paper airplanes one way and then the other so see the difference in output and outcome. 


Lo and behold, we had almost 40 planes in agile and only 6 in waterfall. 


What you see in the photo is the testing phase: we actually had to see if they could fly at least 10 feet without taking a nosedive.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Types of Project Management Office

This is a quick breakdown of the 3 types of Project Management Offices (PMOs).

  • Enabling (Supportive) — Provides best practices, templates, and tools “as needed,” and compliance is voluntary.
  • Delivery (Controlling) — Adopts framework or methodology, policy, and repeatable procedures, and a certain level of the standards are enforced.
  • Compliance (Directive) — Establishes strict standards, measures, and control over projects, and these are highly regulated.

A good place to start is with an enabling/supportive PMO and then progress to a more delivery/controlling model. Generally, a compliance/directive PMO is for more highly regulated organizations.


(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal and concept via CIO Magazine and Gartner)

Harriet And The Underground Railroad

We saw the movie Harriet today. 


Obviously, it was about Harriet Tubman and her rescuing the slaves through the Underground Railroad of secret routes and safe houses. 


She was an amazing heroine that they even called her “Moses” for her rescuing the black slaves from the southern plantation where they were sorely abused in every way. 


Even though she herself was a runaway slave who made it though a100 treacherous miles from Maryland to Pennsylvania to Freedom, she went back over and over again to save others. 


The movie said she saved 70 other through the underground railroad and then in the civil war led the black troops to free another 750 slaves!


Her courage and faith through it all was truly inspirational.


I was so glad when she carried a gun and shot at her nemesis who enslaved her and her family before he could kill or capture and torture her. 


She didn’t kill him, but she told him in no uncertain terms that people were not meant by G-d to own and enslave other people!


We need more people like Harriet Tubman in the world who fight for what’s right and clearly know the difference between good and evil. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Goals Vs. Tactics

I liked this saying from someone in the IDF. 


Be “flexible in tactics, but stay fixed on the goals!”


There are many ways to accomplish the same thing. 


And different people have their own approaches. 


As in the lyrics: “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road.”


That’s absolutely okay. 


In fact, that’s one of the strengths and benefits of diversity.


We bring different ways of looking at the world to the table.


Hence, we can bounce fresh ideas off each other and come to a great way forward. 


The main thing is that we focus on our goals and progress to achieve them. 


Be rigid on goals and flexible in tactics. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s In Charge Here?

This was a funny photo…


Sign around the ape says:

Laugh now, but one day, we’ll be in charge


I guess you never know who will be in charge. 

  • Be nice to everyone. 
  • Never burn bridges.


All of life is a circle–and everything and everybody goes around and around.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

@Bagels and Business with CEO Hair Cuttery, Dennis Ratner

Hair Cuttery has 1,000 company-owned Salons in 18 states in the USA.  


Dennis Ratner, the founder and CEO is a huge success story.


– Puts people first. 


– Gives back to the community. 


– Believes in vision, planning, and execution. 


– Dennis said: “Effort = Reward” and to be “Relentless” in pursuing your passion.


– Great roles model. 


(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

UNDERpromise + OVERdeliver

Every manager is rightly taught to underpromise and overdeliver. 


It’s sound planning and good risk management to plan for contingencies–and certainly these do happen. 


Build in some buffer time and resources into your estimates, because reality bites and you need to have the ammunition to respond. 


My father used to tell me:

“A word is a word!”


When you say something, promise something, commit to something then that is it!”


To do otherwise is to have no honor, no character, and no fear of G-d. 


Similarly, when you overpromise and underdeliver, you fail yourself and your customers.


People commit time, resources, and faith in you, so you owe it to them to set realistic goals and plans to accomplish them.


To do otherwise, you risk damage to the longterm relationship, you hurt your credibility, and maybe most importantly, you hurt the chances of genuine progress. 


The philosophy that I believe works best is:  Be thoughtful. Be strategic. Be direct. Be honest.  


That’s what I would want from others and that’s also what I strive to be. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)