Category Archives: curiouscat.com

Online Management Resources

Since long before I started this blog I have maintained the Curious Cat Management Improvement web site. In fact, that web site has been online since 1996; the blog started in 2004. I feel the web site has tremendous resources for managers looking to improve the performance of their organization (or course I am a bit biased).

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Top Blogs for Software Development Managers

I am happy to say our blog has been included in the Top 100 Blogs for Development Managers. The list of blogs is quite impressive, including blogs referenced here previously: Joel on Software (ranked 1st), Coding Horror (2nd), Seth Godin’s Blog (3rd), Paul Graham’s essays (4), Signal vs. Noise (40), Agile Management Blog (43) and Lean Software Engineering (68). The Curious Cat Blog is ranked 41st.

You can read our software development category to get our posts specifically related to that topic. Some specific software development related posts that might give you a flavor for the blog: Software Supporting Processes Not the Other Way AroundFuture Directions for Agile ManagementMetrics and Software DevelopmentThe Defect Black Market. And hopefully many of our other posts will also help software development managers.

These, and similar, rankings don’t mean much, other than according to the criteria used this is now they ranked. Still it is nice to see the Curious Cat Management Improvement blog was nominated and according to the criteria used did so well.

Related: #2 Engineering BlogPerformance without AppraisalSearch Share Data, Checking the ACSIBest Research University Rankings (2008)

National Museum of the American Indian Photos

photo of the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC photo of a Mayan Calendar

Photo of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC by John Hunter. The museum is the newest addition to the collection of Smithsonian museums on the Mall. The second photo is of a Mayan calendar. Photos can be used with attribution.

Related: Botanical Garden, Washington DCMount Saint Helens National Volcanic MonumentThe Cloisters Museum, Manhattan

Management Articles, Posts…

Reddit is a web site that ranks web pages by user votes. If you login and vote yourself they will develop a pattern of what you like and can show you a list of the pages you are likely to enjoy. I believe this is done by matching your likes and dislikes with others. When showing you a list of recommended links it gives some importance to up votes by anyone and more priority to up votes by those that have shown a tendency to like what you do.

I have recently setup a management sub-reddit (a distinct topic-focused-area on the management improvement topics covered in this blog). If you sign up you can not only vote on the links displayed but add new links (that then will be voted on by others). I think Reddit does a very good job of using social aspects of the internet to provide recommendations that are worthwhile (I have used the site for years). The success of this management subreddit depends on reaching a critical mass of users. So I encourage you to give it a try and vote on links you enjoy and add new articles, web sites, blog posts… The benefit of this subreddit will grow as we grow the number of participants.

I have also recently added a page to johnhunter.com with links to my online presence on various sites (such as: StumbleUpon, Kiva, LinkedIn…).

Related: Dell, Reddit and Customer FocusCurious Cat Management Improvement SearchCurious Cat Management Improvement Library

Parfrey’s Glen, Wisconsin

John Hunter Durwood Glen

photo of Yellow Flower in Parfreys Glen

See more photos from my visit to Parfrey’s Glen Natural Area in Wisconsin, about an hour outside of Madison. It really was amazingly beautiful – the pictures do not do it justice. The Parfrey’s Glen trail is under a mile but well worth visiting. If you want to hike more try the Ice Age National Scenic Trail or nearby Devil’s Lake State Park. The top photo is of me (John Hunter) at nearby Durwood’s Glen. The yellow flower is from Parfrey’s Glen.

Related: Coopers Rock State Forest, West VirginiaMetropolitan Museum of ArtSouth Carolina travel photosThe Importance of Management ImprovementHoh Rain Forest and Ruby BeachNorth Cascades National Park

Parfrey’s Glen is Wisconsin’s first State Natural Area, is a spectacular gorge deeply incised into the sandstone conglomerate of the south flank of the Baraboo Hills. The exposed Cambrian strata provide excellent opportunities for geological interpretation. The walls of the glen – a Scottish word for a narrow, rocky ravine – are sandstone with embedded pebbles and boulders of quartzite.

I Don’t Know

Guest post by David Kerridge (originally posted to the Deming Electronic Network):

This is part of a series in which I recall striking or thought-provoking things that W. Edwards Deming said, but did not put into his books.

I remember taking a manager to his first Deming 4-day seminar. Afterwards my friend said to me “I was very impressed with that man. He said ‘I don’t know.'”

Something in our culture makes us ashamed to admit ignorance. We expect quick, slick answers, whether from politicians, managers, or consultants.

Deming said “I don’t know” more often than anyone I have ever known. Sometimes you heard the answer about two years later, in his seminar.

I also remember him saying “I have learned more in the last six months than in the previous ten years.”

Maybe one quotation explains the other.

Related: Dr. Deming quotesInstant PuddingDeming on being Destroyed by Best EffortsWhere to Start Improvement

Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve in Ohio

photo of Tree at the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
The Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve in Ohio is quite a nice short hike. Photos by John Hunter. If anyone knows what the green beetle is please add a comment.

I visited the preserve last year. Other sites from the trip include: Rocky Gap State Park, Maryland and Coopers Rock State Forest, West Virginia.

More photos: Rocky Mountain National ParkMount Rainier National ParkCapital Crescent Trail (Washington DC)travel photo directory

photo of a green beetle

Post Number 1,000

This is the 1,000th post to the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog. Here are some highlights:

Management Seminar in May

The Deming Institute is sponsoring, How to Create Unethical, Ineffective Organizations That Go Out of Business, 12-14 May, 2008 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Kelly Allan and I will be presenting the seminar. Please let me know if you sign up.

Twenty-seven faulty management and corporate governance practices create most of the problems in any organization. These practices will be identified, and better practices recommended. It will be shown that as better practices are introduced, quality of products and services increases, costs decline, and you create a globally competitive advantage for your organization.

Learn how governance practice leads to the heaviest losses, how inconsistencies between policy and strategy create sub-optimal outcomes, how mismanagement of people leads to unethical and ineffective behavior, and how to overcome these problems. Study the theory and practice of management. Not quality management, not good management, not excellent management, not knowledge management, not risk management, not process management, not performance management, not supply or asset management, not technology management, not time management, not emergency management, just plain management.

Related: Deming on ManagementCurious Cat Management Improvement CalendarDeming Seminar and ConferenceDeming Companies