Why we remember failures and forget about successes?

mistakes5We are persuaded to remember our failures and learn from them. Self improvement is a positive phenomenon, but it requires energy and motivation. The question is: how to get them, when we’ve failed? Nowadays we are often working from task to task, but sometimes we cannot cope with the problems. Unfortunately, we don’t pay attention on our successes and no one remind us about them. We rarely feel satisfaction and pride and as a result we haven’t got motivation when it is especially important.

I expect that you will fulfil your responsibilities and deal with the problems. This is what we hear when we ask about our objectives. How to be satisfied, proud and motivated if every closed task is just a closed task? In my opinion it is very important to learn our brain, to pay attention to all the things we do well. Our company might help us with that, and this is very difficult and necessary responsibility.

Benefits and Values. Why we are working?

Why we are working? One may say that we are working to earn money, to have a power, to be a very important person. Let’s assume that these are the only or at least the most important reasons we are working. If so, why we like running, playing football, playing a guitar, reading books, learning etc. These activities give us a satisfaction but not money. In spite of that we are doing them, because we are taking care about our values!

There is a big difference between: want and have to do something. Financial benefits (carrots) are necessary to convince people to be responsible for the work they don’t like. Unfortunately, they are not sufficient. Some awards, a bonus payment, a health insurance, a company car – all of this things are connected with the money. Furthermore every penalty is nothing else than the lack of the financial benefits (stick). The image above shows an employer who is motivated by three carrots e.g bonus payments. The question suggests that the man has a lot of responsibilities and a promise of a reward. A lot of mangers thinks that one person could be as efficient as a group of people when we promised him a great reward. Unfortunately, it is not so simple. In this case the man could be frustrated, because getting a carrot may be too difficult for him. In the same time he has to do his job as usually, because of the penalty, e.g lack of promotion.

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We are who we are

To understand others we need to understand ourselves first. Our behaviour is connected with our personality. We can choose our friends, but it is almost impossible to choose people we have to work with. Unfortunately, any job-interview doesn’t guarantee that we will fit in well with the team. In this case it is very important to know, what is our behaviour in response to different situations. Let’s take a look at some example.

X: Hi. I hear, you are going to Florida. Is it true?
Y: How do you know that?
X: Whole company know that. You are very lucky!

Y: Let’s go to the point. Do you finish a report?
X: I forget about that. ……………………………………….
Y: …………………………………………………………………….

What will be your answer in this case? There are a lot of possibilities. Answers may be totally different depending on temperament. Continue reading

Can I make mistakes?

In theory everyone can make mistakes. Probably everyone know at least one very smart quote about making mistakes. Let’s take a look at some examples.

  • “The important thing in my view is not to pin the blame for a mistake on somebody, but rather to find out what caused the mistake.” Akio Morita (b.1921). Made in Japan, (1987), p. 149.””
  • “Those who make no mistakes are making the biggest mistakes of all — they are attempting nothing new.” Anthony de Mello, One Minute Nonsense (1992), p. 20.
  • “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” John Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love (1990), p. 85.

Do you hear about these quotes? Do you like them? I think that IT developers love them ;) Our managers never understands us. We are trying to finish our projects before deadlines but there are many problems during the development, e.g: code which we get from someone else is a piece of crap or business requirements changed many times.

I admit that it is hard to work with a code that we couldn’t understand. Of course also frequent changes don’t help. That’s true. In such situations, software engineers often treat symptoms because it is the most simple solution, often the only possible. We are creating more and more patches, wrappers, adapters to “fix” the code we get. To fix or to work around possible errors.

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Management By Objectives

It is believed that management by objectives is the best way to inspire employees to work efficiently. How it works?

  1. An organization defines its goals. It is usually done for one year.

  2. Employees choose their goals from the lists provided by their managers.

  3. Working on everyday tasks and measuring the work progress and performance.

  4. Performance evaluation, providing feedback and rewards or punishments

It seems simple but what about if management by objectives inspire employees to win in the lottery with the one rule: “there are no rules”? There are no rules to make goals from the lists and the only reason to achieve the good result during the evaluation are rewards or fear of punishment?

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Introduction to Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management is a specific approach to assure quality. It is assumed that a company exists for customers and the whole organization have to take care about the quality of the products and services all the time. Neither strict rules, nor special salary encourage people to look after their workplace. It is believed that people are working to earn more and more money but it isn’t the only reason. People are working to feel proud.


Total Quality Management doesn’t forget about the psychology. In most cases we don’t want to make a bullshit. Often we haven’t got a chance to report about problems and almost never to fix them. For that reason we usually warn our friends against the products we made. Does it seems strange?

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Open your mind

Without crazy people our world will be so very different.  Every discovery starts from something strange. It is impossible, it will not work… these two sentences are surely the most common among engineers, but unknown for inventors.

To change our neighborhood we need to listen inventors. Their opinions may be totally different than ours, but so what? We aren’t able to learn everything. Something may be difficult, strange for us, but this doesn’t mean that it is difficult and strange for our teammates.

I’m your project manager. So what? Does it mean you know everything?

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Be brave. Talk with them.

Courage to fund a company. Courage to be an employee. Courage to stand out from the crowd.

We should be very brave to sell our products to the customers, to design and develop them. Only brave people create totally new designs. It is obvious, that without courage we will never get further than we are now.

However, the most important is to have enough courage to talk with other people e.g our team members or our leaders.

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Values. Commitment.

Last week I wrote about the Agile methodology. In the next several posts I will write about the Agile values. Many of them will be common for different teams e.g associations, non-government organizations, music bands, startups, small companies and international corporations.

Commitment. Before I provide the definition I will assume that we couldn’t talk about commitment without giving its context e.g tasks, duties. People may be involved in some project and not involved in others in the same time. We would like to paint our parents flat, and don’t want to do it for our parents-in-law ;)

Moreover, it won’t be very surprising if I say that people are able to work without any commitment. For this reason, we will also work for our parents-in-law.

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