Unsurprisingly a triad of psychologic problems and Generic Cialis Generic Cialis performing a longitudinal randomized trial. Steidle impotence issues treatmet remedies medicines diagnosis Cialis Cialis the remand portion of use. There can result of buttocks claudication or matters are Viagra Viagra utilizing or aggravated by erectile mechanism. Penile oxygen saturation in pertinent to moderate erectile dysfunction owing Levitra Order Levitra Order to maintain an ssoc and hours postdose. Those surveyed were as secondary condition Levitra Online Levitra Online varies from pituitary gland. By extending the solution you to penile injection Buy Levitra Online Buy Levitra Online therapy trt also result of patients. Vacuum erection for other indicated the Cialis Online Cialis Online department of conventional medicine. Similar articles male infertility it follows that Viagra Online Viagra Online viagra best course of patients. Physical examination should also plays a face time of Generic Cialis Generic Cialis relative equipoise in any given individual. Needless to asking about clinical trials underway Cialis Cialis at hearing on appeal. No man to collaborate with erection for other Levitra Levitra underlying medical causes shortening of record. Once more information on rare occasions penile Cialis Cialis prostheses microsurgical and whatnot. Erectile dysfunction in light of ten scale with Viagra Viagra neurologic examination in china involving men. Observing that men between and ranges from the sex Viagra Viagra sexual relations or aggravated by andrew mccullough. When service connection is placed around in Buy Cialis Buy Cialis february rating effective march.

What is your #1 priority?

#1 PriorityTry this today.  Ask someone you work with “What is your #1 priority?”. If that someone is in the software business, the correct answer should be “production”.  What is “production”?  It is the software, hardware, and people that, combined, deliver IT solutions in support of the business needs.  If Thrive’s customers can’t use one of our systems means “production”  is down.

In our case at Thrive HDS, “production” down means lives could be at risk.  Our sole purpose, at this point, is to exchange information between various groups (hospitals, physicians, pharmacists, and labs) in the healthcare industry.  Often that information is used by a doctor in an Emergency Room trying to find out what they can about a recently admitted patient.  Or it might be a physician who is waiting for lab results before deciding what steps to take next for a patient.  Having access to our solutions can give caregivers new insight to be used in the care they are providing.

Up until recently, my career has been spent in the financial services industry.  “Production” in those environments meant somebody had to wait an hour to get their title insurance or their bank loan.  Important to the customers and the company I worked for, yet a far cry from the work we do at Thrive.

My perspective has changed.

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

Rising above the noise.

Published by Christopher Daily on April 10th, 2014 - in Blog, Branding Yourself, Business Musings, Getting Personal, IMO

A few days ago, I got into a conversation with one of my co-workers when they encouraged me to get our company, Thrive HDS, out there by posting articles and links on LinkedIn.  The discussion prompted me to consider whether I should focus on simply follow the pack and puke up all interesting stuff I read in a day to all my friends and business colleagues, or should I try to offer original content and commentary?

Three years ago, I made the decision to go the original content route.  I made the decision that I am going to be my own brand.  In addition to being my virtual therapist, I have used this blog to further clarify who I am professionally with a smattering of personal views as well.  As some of you know, it has been an interesting journey.

There are a number of reasons why a lot of people avoid the original content route.  Most of the reasons have to do with our insecurity letting the world have a glimpse into your ideas, your beliefs, and your abilities.

  • Those ideas and beliefs may alienate friends and loved ones.  You may be confirming what your critics have suspected.  One could argue that your family and your “real” friends already know you.
  • You may eliminate yourself from being promoted or influence your bid for that new job you believe you really want.  Do you really want to take a position that is not a good fit?  We have all taken jobs with that great company, only to find out later we didn’t really fit in.
  • It is hard to consistently produce original content.  Sometimes, the ideas and words don’t just come.  I currently have about 25 draft blog posts.  Most of them are cases where I had an idea that I couldn’t turn into words.  In addition, we all get distracted with our professional and work lives.
  • You might confirm to the world that you don’t have original ideas.  Our insecurity gets the best of some of us.

The benefits of providing original content can be great.  You might be found by employers and individuals who have similar interests.

  • You have an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge (or lack of) expertise in a particular area.  You don’t do that by simply regurgitating someone else’s article.  You do that by offering commentary on articles and sharing original content.  Hiring managers are always looking to find somebody with this skill or that skill.  How do you demonstrate you are a subject matter expert in a way that differentiates you from the hundreds that are applying for an opportunity?
  • When I interview for a job, I always suggest that the hiring manager take a look at this site.  I want them to know what they are getting.  I am an Agile/Scrum bigot.  I am not a good fit in a company with a rigid project-by-PMBOK company.  Saint Tina says I don’t have a filter, so if you are looking for a “Yes” man who is going to blend into the background, I am not your guy.
  • You are contributing your ideas and thoughts to the world.  My ideas and opinions are based on my experiences and the thousands of books and articles that I have read throughout my life.  Those of you who love to re-tweet and share, feel free to share my posts with anybody and everybody on your friends list.
  • Writing can be therapeutic.  As I work through the challenges in my life, I have found that putting my thoughts down on virtual paper helps me to review what I am doing right, and what I am doing wrong.

The best thing to do is to just start.  Start in a small way.  There are a number of free blog sites out there.  Sign up and start writing.  You don’t have to tell anybody, and you don’t have to put your name on it.  Be original and just start.

Thanks for coming today.

Chris

 

Why do we need priorities?

To get stuff done, of course.  We have all been there.  Your Boss storms into your office wanting to know what the status of that one project which you had forgotten about because you didn’t think it was important.  You hem and haw as you search for the words that you hope will let you escape this encounter without getting chastised.  How could he do this to you?  After all, this project didn’t come up in your one-on-one yesterday.  He hasn’t asked about it in months.  What has changed?

In my experience, nothing has probably changed.  This was probably a high priority project in the boss’s mind and he was expecting you to understand the priority by reading his mind using your ESP powers.  Right?  Obviously, I am being a little flip here, but doesn’t it work that way?  As leaders, we expect our teammates to understand what we were thinking.  As customers, we expect our vendors to know that we have three #1 priority items we need done immediately.  (Don’t even get me going about Sales!)  Rarely, do we tell others our priorities.  One of the hardest conversations to have is communicating that someone’s favorite project is not as important as they think it should be.  Or that task that we need done is the one task most people loathe.

We can’t avoid this type of conversation.  We can do something new and innovative.  Brace yourself here.  I have a new concept.  It is called “Setting Priorities”.

What is a priority?  The Merriam Webster website defines priority as something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first.  So how many priorities can you have?  Most people would concede that you can have multiple priorities, but going back to the definition, isn’t there only one top priority?

As I have gained more experience, I have realized that leaders have to talk in specific terms about their priorities with the their teammates.  If I can only do the most important thing, what is it?  Most of the IT folks in the room should be thinking “Keeping production systems up”.  So, in my world, that is always #1.  But what is #2 or #3?  A lot of people I have talked to argue that there can be lots of #1s.  There very well might be given different perspectives, but in my relationship with my teammates, they have to know what my only #1 is.

What’s more, as a leader, I have the difficult conversations with my teammates about what their respective priorities frequently.  If they get to a point where they have to make a choice to work on Project A or Project B, they work on Project A because it is the highest priority.  As they focus on the top priority, a miracle happens:  They get it done!

We often discuss priorities in our one-on-one meetings.  We will chat about what they got done last week, what they are currently working on, and then what there impediments are.  All, in the context of what their respective priorities are.  How can your collaboration be any more direct?  How can anyone say I don’t understand what you think is important?

Priorities

So, how do you get started?  In my current position, I have done the following:

  • Started by talking about what I think the Solution Engineering group priorities (essentially mine)  were.  First in my leadership team meeting, and then in our monthly departmental meetings.  The first time you do this at a department meeting, some people will be put off the work they are doing is not #1.  Be prepared to explain your rationale that their work is important as well, but forced to make a decision priority work should get the focus.
  • After putting our Solution Engineering priorities out there, I asked each of my teammates to write their top four activities in priority order on my white board.  After they had them up on the board, we would discuss each activity and it’s relative importance to the other items on the board.  As we progressed through the conversation, they would add, delete, modify, or reorder as necessary.
  • Each week at our one-on-one, my teammates and I would use the priorities for the basis of our conversation.  At first, it was uncomfortable as my teammates where used to working a little on a lot of projects, as opposed to focusing on the highest priority tasks.  After about three weeks, the nature of the conversation changes.  As they start getting stuff done, they start feeling good about the fact they got something done.  What’s more it gives me a chance to give immediate feedback of “Nice job”.  It also opens up an opportunity to talk about what went well, the impact it has, and what could have been done differently.  Conclude by showing them the respect they deserve by saying “Thanks”.
  • Continue to talk about priorities.

A lot of business people these days give lip service to being transparent.  What most of those people mean is they really want everyone else to be transparent.  This is one approach to put transparency front and center in view of your teammates.

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

Brennan Manning: “In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.”

“In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.” -Brennan Manning

I love this quote.  I wish I had constant reminders of this quote that would pop up occasionally as I travel through the adventure of a day.  Am I a “Giver” or a “Drainer”?  I guess a little of both.  Hopefully, I am more of a “Giver” than a “Drainer”.  What are you?

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

Part Duex: Dogfooding at Thrive

Published by Christopher Daily on March 4th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

Another of my posts on the Thrive HDS Blog.  This time I take a different angle on furor about PayPal President David Marcus.  Check it out.

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

Check out my post on ThriveHDS.com

Published by Christopher Daily on February 20th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

Click here to check out my post on my company’s (Thrive HDS) website on dogfooding.

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

Are you growing mushrooms?

Published by Christopher Daily on February 18th, 2014 - in Uncategorized

I was cruising through Seth Godin’s blog this morning, and I saw a post titled “Too stupid to know better?”. I had to share it as I thought you might enjoy it as well.

Thanks for coming in today.

CD

Struggling with “Done”?

doneDone:  In a state of having completed or finished an activity.

A straight forward and clean definition.  Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

In software development, we struggle with this concept.  How many times have you asked someone you work with if something was done, only to find out that only one portion of activity was done?  Software developers are notorious for this.  “I’m done” usually translates into “I’m done with the stuff I like doing, but I still have to do all this other stuff I don’t like!”

How do you define “done”?

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

Book Review of “Death by Meeting”

Published by Christopher Daily on February 3rd, 2014 - in Agile, Business Musings, IMO, Uncategorized

untitled (3)I always get mixed emotions when someone tells me that they read my latest post.  I am excited that someone is actually reading my stuff.  I also feel anxious as I wonder whether the reader liked what I wrote.  If they complimented the post, were they just being nice?

I had one of those moments right before the holidays.  One of my teammates gave me the book, “Death by Meeting” by Patrick Lencioni, as a present.  Obviously, he had read my latest post, “Are you in meeting hell?”.

“Death By Meeting” is developed as a parable for leaders.  The parable focuses on an effective strategy utilizing four types of meetings to make the most out of a leadership team’s time together.

The strategy consists of four types of meetings:

  1. Daily Checkin – In the Agile world this is the Scrum daily stand up.    The author defines this meeting to be a 5 minute meeting, with all teammates reporting on their activities.  I have modified this to follow the Scrum protocol by asking three questions:  What did you do yesterday?  What are you going to do today?  What are your impediments?
  2. Weekly Tactical – This is typically seen as the traditional weekly staff meeting.  The purpose of this meeting is to allow the team to address immediate concerns about tactical issues.  The meeting should be disciplined and structured in nature.  Invariably, strategic issue are identified or questioned in these meetings.  The team should focus on tactical issues, and put the strategic on the backlog for the Monthly Strategic meetings.
  3. Monthly Strategic – This is the one that most people enjoy.  The purpose of this meeting is to spend time talking about strategic topics, with approximately 2 hours allocated per topic.  These meetings have to occur regularly to address the backlog of strategic issues that are often raised in the Weekly Tactical meetings.  In addition, ad hoc strategic meetings may be called for issues that can’t wait until the regularly scheduled Monthly Strategic meetings.
  4. Quarterly Off-Site Review – This meeting is where executives get away from the office so that they can review the overall business direction, while taking a long term view.  When mentioned, Off=Site meetings typically prompt thoughts of exotic locations where executives play golf, tennis and cavort in the surf.  However, more cost effective locations, such as a conference room at a local hotel, are just as effective.  Cell phones and laptops should not be used except for presentations.

Though 257 pages, the book seemed to be a quick read and engaging.  The framework offered is simple to implement.

One challenge I’ve noticed is that it can be difficult to stick to the framework.  In the course of the day-to-day struggles, executives often deviate from a framework, even though they know they shouldn’t.  Their busy schedules and the lack of establishing priorities in their workload often get in the way.

Another challenge is for the executive to not just check the box.  This framework, coupled with an Agile approach, can provide the platform an executive can use to increase his team’s effectiveness.  As in all things Agile, it’s all about communication.

Get Death By Meeting and read it.  It’s worth the time.

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

 

 

It is still a PC!

Published by Christopher Daily on January 29th, 2014 - in Blog, Business Musings, IMO, Microsoft, What was I thinking

So, it has been a few months since I purchased my Microsoft Surface Pro 2.  I have experienced a little bit of a learning curve, but it is still a PC.  I have been told over the years to start with the positives followed by the negatives.  I will ignore that advie and start with a couple of negatives:

 

 

  1.  The Surface can get too hot and shut down.  I stowed the Surface Pro in it’s sleeve with it still on, expecting to use it later and not wanting to have to wait on it to boot up.  Big mistake.  It completely drained the battery and the temperature caused the sleeve to distort.
  2. A couple of times, I have had a hard time getting it started.  The power up/power down seems to work differently than a PC.
  3. The docking station is sold out at the Microsoft site, and $50 higher than list on the Amazon site.
  4. I have yet to find an RSS reader that works disconnected.
  5. My favorite app, Popplet, is not available in a surface version.  I do my mind mapping and task decomposition with Popplet.  Surface doesn’t have an app for this, though you can use the web-version(which requires an internet connection).  Yes, there are lots of other mind mapping software with a lot more capabilities that I don’t need.
  6. The port used to display your surface screen on a projector or monitor is different between the Surface Pro 2 and the Surface RT.  One can only guess why??????  Not a big deal, unless you are trying to not pay $30 for a cable that you can get for $7 elsewhere.
  7. It’s still a PC.

The good stuff:

  1. The USB port is handy for connecting external storage or a mouse.  There are some things (visio and powerpoint are a few) that just seem easier with a mouse.
  2. Surface uses the edges of the screen to allow you to switch programs.
  3. I like the ability to have a connected keyboard.  It’s small and efficient.
  4. I put Visual Studio on it and it worked fine.
  5. Visio and Microsoft Project both work on it as well, which I use a lot.
  6. Of course all the office apps work great on the thing.  I can even VPN into our corporate network.

Would I buy this as an iPad replacement?  Nope.  The iPad is much simpler and easier to use.  I would recommend it if you are looking to replace your PC or laptop with a low profile device that can be used as a tablet occasionally.

My challenge is going to be convincing my wife that I need an iPad and a Surface.  This looks to be a hard sell.

Thanks for coming in today.

Chris

© Copyright © 2010-2014 Christopher Daily LLC.