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Crisis? Use your brains! (only in Dutch)

in: Optimized May 2009

Make sure that the quality of every part meets certain minimum requirements, or some local problems will bring you down globally.

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Entitled to constraints (only in Dutch)

in: Optimized November 2008

IT pro’s are famous for their social ignorance. For me, that is true to a fairly degree, but I should not speak for my colleagues. But is anyone really interested in the human side of the IT-pro after all?

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Organizational Improvisation

in: Agile Holland website October 2008

Gert Poppe illustrated organizational improvisation by comparing it to improvisation that jazz musicians engage in. After the presentation I asked him if he was aware that Henry Mintzberg wrote an interesting article on this subject. Gert didn't. Good for him because, I far as I know ;-) Mintzberg didn't. Karl Weick did …

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Tomorrow is the first day (only in Dutch)

in: Optimized April 2008

The title reminds us of the fact that yesterday doesn’t matter anymore today, and that today doesn’t matter anymore tomorrow. It’s generic zero-based budgetting: only look at future costs by zeroing out the present and the past. Because tomorrow does matter today.

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Productivity, you can learn it (only in Dutch)

in: Optimized September 2007

Things become a commodity when they are no longer “art”. As long as you’re seen as an artist, you don’t have to worry about prodcutivity. But as soon what you make becomes common, you loose prestige, and the consumer becomes frugal. In that situation, productivity is a prerequisite for succes.

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Mens sana in corpore sano (only in Dutch)

in: Optimized March 2007

“a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” For IT: hardware, software and interfaces that are not merely free from defects, but are in good condition. No systems that just run, but systems able to do the marathon within two hours and a half!

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Striving for dullness (only in Dutch)

in: Optimized October 2006

One common European payment area. Will that make payments cheaper than the institutions and systems that run our payments nowadays? All replication can be undone. That’s a gain. But it will not be a free lunch. As usually every advantage has its downside.

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Evolutionary theory and organizational strategy (only in Dutch)

in: scriptie June 2002

Being aware of the existence of and knowledge about the operation and effect of evolutionary processes on all levels can clarify the perspective on the world of the researcher, the advisor and the manager, for, although rarely the only explanation, it almost always explains a part of it.

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Blind spots (only in Dutch)

in: Informatie December 2000

Too much confidence in a model leads to selective perception: you don’t see what does not fit the model.

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Analogies for the testing process (only in Dutch)

in: informatie October 2000

Testing is not something that simply follows building. The systems are so complex that during design attention must be given to the fact that testing is a part of the process.

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Comforts and inconveniences (only in Dutch)

in: informatie October 2000

‘No one has yet proved himself wise enough to propound a universal system of constructs. (…) For the time being we shall have to contend ourselves with a series of miniature systems, each with its own realm or limited range of convenience.’

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Causal models (only in Dutch)

in: informatie September 2000

Causal model play a central role in charting norms and values, problems and solutions, goals and actions realizing those goals.

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Reuse, components and services (only in Dutch)

in: informatie September 2000

A component is a part of a larger whole. A service is an action, performed when requested. The meaning of this words depends on the context in which they are used. When the context is not clear, the meaning isn’t either, resulting is misunderstanding.

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Phase transitions (only in Dutch)

in: informatie July 2000

In that area between ice and water something special happens: to change zero degrees ice in zero degrees water an extra 300 joule is needed per gram.

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Too much of a thing is good for nothing (only in Dutch)

in: informatie June 2000

A core quadrant describes core quality, pitfall, challenge and allergy in their mutual relationship.

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The devil's triangle (only in Dutch)

in: informatie May 2000

IT-departments don' have a choice between opportunistic or systematic. They must choose for which projects a systematic and for which projects a opportunistic approach is best suited.

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Managing expectations (only in Dutch)

in: informatie April 2000

The formula satisfaction = result x expectation contains two variables we can use to influence satisfaction: next to result also expectation.

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Fuzzy logic (only in Dutch)

in: informatie March 2000

…that it is better to learn to deal with fuzzy situations that waisting energy in denying them.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (only in Dutch)

in: informatie January 2000

not developing the functionality that is not used after all, would save a lot of development time.

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From Murphy to Gödel, laws to laugh and laws to cry (only in Dutch)

in: informatie December 1999

Architecure is a subject worth mentioning in this context: much so-called architecture-wisdom has the character of Murphy's Law and the Peter Principle.

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Organization theory and IT-systems (only in Dutch)

in: informatie November 1999

The motivation of employees and the motivation of end-users seems to be alike where it come to satisfiers and dissatisfiers. The already mentioned infrastructure is never a reason for applause. And just as bad coffee does, problems with the infrastructure result in high scores on dissatisfaction.

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Fradon’s archiving drawers (only in Dutch)

in: informatie October 1999

Why do we react the way we do? Because we see what we see, and we think about that in the way we think about that.

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Evolution (only in Dutch)

in: informatie September 1999

… concepts should only be defined to a certain extent. Everybody who has participated in useless discussions in which people tried to define essential differnces, black against white, in a world that only knows varaitions of gray, will recognize The ‘to a certain extent’.

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Chaos as destiny (only in Dutch)

in: informatie July 1999

The analogy does not imply that systems become more chaotic over time, but that it takes energy to prevent his.

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The law of conservation of misery (only in Dutch)

in: informatie June 1999

Every solution introduces its own, new problems. And like the total amount of energy in a closed system, the total amount of problems does not change.

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The pattern of an argument (only in Dutch)

in: Informatie May 1999

Toulmin built a framework for the qualitative judgement of reasoning and argumentation on a level that is independent of the field in which the assertion is made. This model is valuable for IT too: the quality of our reasoning and arguments are links in the chain that determines the quality of our products and their acceptance.

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Weick’s clock (only in Dutch)

in: Informatie April 1999

[...] it is impossible for a theory of social behaviour to be simultaneously general, accurate, and simple. At least, that is what Thorngate postulated (1976). According to Thorngate the social scientist faces the dilemma that choosing two properties leaves the third one out of range.

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Book review: AntiPatterns, Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis (only in Dutch)

in: informatie March 1999

In their book ‘AntiPatterns’, Brown c.s. describe tens of these ‘constructions to be avoided’, grouped by three perspectives on software development: the developer’s, architect’s and the manager’s. It’s a book with a clear message: it can be done better, and it should be done better.