Thursday, December 22, 2005

January 2, 2006


As is customary every year, it is time for "out with the old, and in with the new." Of course I'm talking about some new year's resolutions to consider for application developers. Knowing my ideas are not always in vogue, I decided to cover all of my bases and develop two offsetting sets of resolutions. Feel free to use whatever applies to you.

I will accurately document information resources so they may be shared and reused by others thus promoting system integration and reducing development time. I will define information resources for the convenience of my application, but not for others. Data redundancy and system integration will be someone else's problem, not mine.
I will communicate effectively on a standard and consistent basis, not only within my department, but with end-users. I will lace my language with as much technical gobbledygook as possible to establish a smoke screen of my activities.
I will take the time to understand the end-users in order to appreciate the actions and decisions they have to make, thereby making more informed decisions during system design. I will rush to programming before truly understanding the business problem to demonstrate I am working on something.
I will produce well documented program source code that is easy to maintain and modify, not only for myself, but by others. I will produce garbled source code in order to promote job security.
I will thoroughly test all components of the system prior to release to the user community. I will install prematurely and further alienate the end-users.
I will actively participate in project planning activities in order to express my commitment to the project. I will resist and undermine all forms of discipline, organization, and accountability.
I will prioritize my work effort in accordance with the company's needs. I will prioritize my work effort in accordance with whatever technical mood swing I am having that day.
I will select a practical and cost-effective technical solution to satisfy the needs of the system and users. I will bow and pay homage to Bill Gates.
I will accept the same degree of change in my work habits that I recommend to the users. I will resist change to the same degree end-users resist the use of my systems.
I will make a concerted effort to build quality into my systems. I will make a concerted effort to build obsolescence into my systems before they are installed.
I will make an effort to deliver what the end-user wants. I will let the users know what they need.
I will make every effort to deliver project assignments on time and within budget. I will make every effort to use up every nickel the company has and deliver my assignments when I am good and ready.
I will continue to read Tim Bryce's columns on Information Resource Management. I've decided I have had enough of this management babble.

Hopefully you should be able to use something from these lists in making your new year's resolutions. Good luck in 2006.

OUR BRYCE'S LAW OF THE WEEK therefore is...
"There is only one problem with common sense; it's not very common."


The IT Executive Retreat will be held at the Don CeSar Beach Resort on St. Petersburg Beach in FL on January 23rd-24th. For information, call the IMF in Atlanta at 770/455-0070

On March 6th-8th, the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit 2006 will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, IL. For info, contact Gartner at 203/316-6757

The 17th International Conference of the Information Resource Management Association will be held May 21st-24th at the Wyndham Hotel in Washington D.C. For information, call IRMA headquarters in PA at 717/533-8879

If you have got an upcoming IRM related event you want mentioned, please e-mail the date, time and location of the event to


I was fortunate to have grown up during the "Golden Age" of television. My kids find it amusing when I talk about black and white TV, no remote controls, only three or four stations to choose from, and that the stations signed off at about 1am only to be started again at 5:30 with the farm reports. Maybe it was beause there were only three or four channels that we enjoyed some of the best programming of all time as only the cream of the crop made it to the small screen; programs that have been converted into the movies of today.

As we all know, today we have dozens of channels and a real void in creative programming. There are plenty of stations now with movies; specialty stations for sports, news, food, history and home improvement; heck, there is even a few that specialize in re-runs. The major networks primarily offer police dramas and some lame sitcoms. But their real "bread and butter" for the major networds are the "reality" shows that have been popping up over the last five years; shows such as Survivor, Fear Factor, the Apprentice, and American Idol. The ratings on these shows are impressive but you have to ask yourself why. Evidently, viewers like to observe human behaviour in seemingly real-life situations. In actuality, these are all rigged situations that are well choreographed for dramatic effect. In other words, these shows have as much to do with reality as a comic book does. If the public honestly has a fascination with reality TV, why don't we give them some true-to-life exposes. How about life on death-row just before an execution? Or how about a soldier's life in Iraq or Afghanistan? How about following a bill through Congress? Or how about life in a real E.R.? I'm sure we could dream up dozens of such shows that would certainly be more educational and socially-redeeming. But this will never happen. The viewing public likes their reality TV sugar coated and turned into a game show. God forbid we should ever turn television from an entertainment vehicle to an educational one.


I received an e-mail from a Bob Carlson in Los Angeles who wrote me regarding last week's essay on "What is good program spec?" Bob writes,

"You mentioned international support as one of the objectives of Software Engineering. What did you mean by that?"

Thanks Bob for your e-mail.

As I mentioned in my November 28th broadcast on creating Universal Systems, anybody who is burying screen panels, maps and messages into their source code is asking for trouble. Instead, such items should be maintained in separate files for easy translation to suit foreign languages. Further, consideration should be given to the use of the DBCS for Asian alphabets, and to the automatic conversion of certain untis of meaure, such as currencies, measurements, as well as expressions of time and date. Lacing such things into source code is not only stupid, it is irresponsible.

Again, Thanks for your e-mail. Keep those cards and letters coming.

The only other announcement I have is the release of a free new on-line multimedia presentation I've entitled, BRYCE'S CRASH COURSE IN MANAGEMENT which offers pragmatic advice on how to discharge the duties of a manager, whether it be for a commercial or non-profit enterprise. Frankly, for someone aspiring to be a manager or for a new manager, it will be the best 45 minutes you can invest in yourself. Check it out on the cover of our corporate web page at:

For a complete listing of my essays, see the "PRIDE" Special Subject Bulletins section of our corporate web site.

Folks, In case you haven't heard, the "Management Visions" is now available in the MP3 file format suitable for Podcasting or other audio devices. It is also available in versions for RealPlayer and Microsoft Media Player. See our web site for details. You'll find our broadcast listed in several Podcast and Internet Search engines, as well as Apples' iTunes.

MBA is an international management consulting firm specializing in Information Resource Management. We offer training, consulting, and writing services in the areas of Enterprise Engineering, Systems Engineering, Data Base Engineering, Project Management, Methodologies and Repositories. For information, call us at 727/786-4567.

Management Visions is a presentation of M. Bryce & Associates, a division of M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. The program is produced on a weekly basis and updated on Sundays. If you have any questions or would like to be placed on our e-mailing list to receive notification of future broadcasts, please e-mail it to

We accept MP3 files with your voice for possible inclusion in the broadcast.

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Copyright © 2006 by M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. All rights reserved. "PRIDE" is the registered trademark of M&JB Investment Company.

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This is Tim Bryce reporting.

Since 1971: "Software for the finest computer - the Mind."