Feb 262012
 

Some of you know I am the CIO of a company that went into and out of chapter 11 restructuring in 53 days, completing with the sale of our company to a stalking horse private equity firm. I started with the company about seven weeks before our chapter 11 filing. What all of that means (for the sake of this story) is: My first four weeks were heavily influenced by taking out costs and conserving cash The next three weeks involved “discovery” and other processes leading to bankruptcy We spent 53 days [read more…]

Feb 082012
 
Padding estimates and promises

A few days ago, we uncovered an opportunity that depended a lot on timing. If we could get it going in five days, we could exploit it… if it took longer than that, the timing was going to impact some other strategic concerns. I asked a developer for an estimate of the effort, and he said it would take ten days to complete. About my own estimates I have always been sensitive to suggest my own estimates to other developers. My estimates nearly always scared others, but I had a [read more…]

Jan 152012
 
Beyond dodging the bullet

Whew! Sometimes we get lucky and unexpected situations don’t take us out of the game. After we dodge the proverbial bullet, conventional wisdom suggests we ought to figure out what happened and find a way to prevent it in the future if we can. Even more powerful wisdom suggests that we find ways to learn from the situation as part of a continuous improvement discipline. Either way, it pays dividends to have the courage to act beyond the self-preservation of dodging the bullet. In this post, I want to highlight two [read more…]