December 3rd, 2013

Illuminati

Interesting Links for 03-12-2013

Illuminati

My new favourite quote on project management

I'm perpetually fascinated by the various ways that large projects go wrong, particularly software ones. Largely in the hope that if someone ever says to me "Right, Andy, _you_ build a digital records system or NHS Scotland." I'll be able to do so without driving the whole country into bankruptcy.

And so I end up reading a variety of different articles on different ways of running projects, as well as a lot of pieces on how projects went wrong (there seem to be a lot more of those than articles on why projects went right). I just found my favourite quote in a long time:

“The waterfall method amounts to a pledge by all parties not to learn anything while doing the actual work.”

The complete quote is:
Like all organizational models, waterfall is mainly a theory of collaboration. By putting the most serious planning at the beginning, with subsequent work derived from the plan, the waterfall method amounts to a pledge by all parties not to learn anything while doing the actual work. Instead, waterfall insists that the participants will understand best how things should work before accumulating any real-world experience, and that planners will always know more than workers.


It's from this rather excellent article on why the US healthcare site was so badly implemented, and its major insight is about transparency - that the setup was such that nobody was admitting that failure was a possibility, which made it almost certain that failure was the only possibility. It's worth reading all the way through. And then forwarding on to anyone who manages projects, anywhere.



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Illuminati

You win some, you lose some, pizza edition

Julie isn't a big fan of store-bought pizzas, finding them altogether too cheesy. I can't eat store-bought pizzas, because they don't tend to be gluten-free.

So we decided to make our own.

Julie's in very plain - sauce, and an absolutely minimal topping of cheese.


Mine has all of the cheese that was left, mushrooms, onions, chicken, and sweetcorn. It clearly wins.


Except...shockingly it turns out that Sainsbury's gluten-free pizza bases taste almost exactly like cardboard.

This being the case, I either need to find better pizza bases, or next time we do this I'll be adding mushrooms, onions, chicken and sweetcorn to nachos. Mmmmmm, nachos.

Unless anyone can recommend good gluten-free pizza bases?



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Illuminati

My Christmas is not very efficient. I blame Amazon

I have ordered, from Amazon, a present for my brother Hugh, a present for my brother Mike, and a present for my father. They were all ordered today. They will all arrive at my parent's house tomorrow.

And yet, one is being delivered by DPD, one by HDNL, and one by Royal Mail.

This seems a little silly. I mean, I did order them a few hours apart, but the first hadn't left by the time I ordered the last one, you'd think that they'd be slightly more sensible.


(I do wonder what their algorithm is for choosing what courier to use. Do they have them queuing up outside, and the next one to arrive gets handed a parcel? Do they do a reverse auction on each parcel? Do they carefully weigh and measure each parcel, and work out which courier is the cheapest for it? There must be some kind of reason...)



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