How to Rescue Failing Software Projects: Practical Proven Methods That Work

IMG_1712 My book is finally available as an eBook, on Amazon Kindle and on Amazon. I wrote this book to share my experience in how to rescue failing software projects. When I was going through such a situation, I had no one to turn to. My hope is that the information in this book will be useful to those in similar situations. Although the information in the book pertains to software projects, I have come to realize that the techniques can be used in many other situations. I have personally used these techniques in business and technical projects.

You can read more about it here.
My book can be purchased here at
Amazon Kindle version is available here at

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

self effectiveness: What percentage of time are you conscious?

In my previous post, I wrote about living consciously. By logging time, you will come to realize how 'conscious' you really are everyday.

I have managed to track my time usage up to 70% on good days. On other days, it may be as low as 30 to 40% where there are lots of interruption. By logging your time as I described earlier, you soon realize that distractions will throw you off your daily plan. In planning, I dare say that no one is able to plan 100% of their time. Time must be allowed for you to deal with distractions. I normally plan about 40 to 50% of my time. Based on my current time pattern, it is a comfortable range.

If you plan 100% of your time, you will end up stressed because you will also have to deal with distraction on top of your planned activities, which means that you will need more than 100% of available time to deal with all activities, which is not possible, which leads to stress!

Everyone percentage of time usage is different, depending on their job nature and personal nature. The key is to have conviction of your goals, write your plans and track your time usage as described earlier, and you will learn the meaning and value of 1 minute.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Self Effectiveness, Wealth, Health: Alive but not conscious?

Over the weekend, I had a flurry of activities to do, one after another. At the end of Saturday, the first day of a long awaited weekend, I realized Saturday was gone! Where did it go to? I had been looking forward to it all week and now it was gone in a blink of an eye!

Have you gone through a similar experience? This normally happens when either we do not have a goal (long term or short term), or when we lose sight of our goals temporarily. We perform activity after activity because we have to or obligated to.

If I had performed the activity with the mindfulness that it was to fulfill a goal/objective, the day would have been more fulfilling. I performed that same activity without the mindfulness that it was to fufill a goal, and I didn't feel fulfilled. Why?

Human beings are surprising creatures. Human beings thrive on achievement, whatever it may be. If we perform one activity without mindfulness that the activity helps to achieve a goal, it doesn't mean much.
In my case, these activities were necessary. I needed to accomplish my activities for Saturday and I did have a goal. But in rushing from activity to activity, I wasn't mindful of it.

How many times have you spent a day (let's say Saturday) out with friends/family, shopping, at the beach enjoying yourself, then suddenly find yourself at the end of Saturday, feeling a sense of loss/regret that more could have been done? I have.

For example, there was once I spent the day at the beach with friends and family. I had an enjoyable time. At the end of the day, I felt like the time just whizzed by and I yearned for another day at the beach. I didn't have enough of it.

The secret is to live in the present. To enjoy every present moment. To be mindful of the present. To be conscious of the present moment. How do we do this? We need to train ourselves. Writing things down and keeping a time log is a surefire way of noticing the present (See my previous blog posting). If you log your time every hour, you will be very conscious of your present activities and maximise your enjoyment at every present moment and not let it slip away.

Try it. You will be surprised what time logging can help you achieve. Even if you are going through a rough moment, time logging helps you to clarify you thoughts/feelings.

Stay in the present. Enjoy the moment, whatever it may be. With time logging, you will begin to live in the present and begin your journey in accomplishing your activities with greater passion and thereby achieving your goals.

Learn to enjoy every moment working out to improve your health. Learn to enjoy every moment in learning how to build your wealth. Learn to enjoy every moment in being effective. The greatest motivator is within you. It is knowing that you have a clear CONVICTION to your goals and every activity you perform is helping you get closer to it.

"You can't deal with what you can't write down. Do not simply be alive. Be consciously alive!"-- mrbolt

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Self Effectiveness - What do you do every day? Start a time log

How time flies. In a blink of an eye, before you know it, its 10 years later. Will you ponder on where the time went to? Many will ask these few questions:

1. How time flies. Where did all the time go to?
2. What did I do in the last 10 years?
3. Was I a different person 10 years ago? How am I different now?
4. I had so many dreams 10 years ago. Did I achieve anything?
5. I wish I had done this activity.
6. I wish I had done that activity.
7. I wish...I wish...I wish

Will you be asking yourself these questions in 10 years time? Will you regret?

How many more 10 years we have? How many more times can we ask these questions?

The time to stop this wishful thinking and regret is NOW. Everything in life revolves around taking action. Without action, nothing changes, nothing is achieved, whether it be wealth, health, peace of mind, happiness, great relationships.

We have all heard and read about time management. In my view, its not really about managing time. Its about managing the activities we do each day and allocate the appropriate amount of time to effectively use it.

Many of us begin by planning. I beg to differ. What we should be doing first is to create a time log. That's right. I'm not being crazy. Create a time log. You wondered how time flies? Stop wondering. Get to the bottom of things. Find out exactly where time went to!

Create a time log. Record your activities in a log. If you can't measure it, you can't fix it. A simple log will contain the activity name, start time, end time, duration and classification. For example, each activity can classified into personal, health, family, work, spiritual. Keep it simple for a start. Do this for 30 days. You will be amazed where your time flew to. With the time log, you can then determine if the activities you do are directed towards achieving your goal. If it is not, then why are you doing it? Every activity consumes time. Time once consumed is gone forever.

Start now. Its never too late. I have personally found this very useful and effectively. After 30 days of continuous discipline (extremely difficult at first), I began to question myself on the activities I do. Every single activity I do gets scrutinized because when I record the activity into the time log, I cringe when it does not bring me closer to my goal, knowing that I just wasted 2 hours that is lost forever. It makes me feel uncomfortable enough to streamline my activities and drive me forward towards my goal.

Easy enough? No. It sounds easy. Its very difficult to do because it requires discipline! We are all creatures of habit. Bad habits are hard to break. Do this, and write all your time-bound activities down (as stated in my previous blog entries). You will soon see yourself in a new light.
Good luck and happy logging. Drop me a note to let me know how it goes.

Check out this book by Peter Drucker called The Effective Executive. Fantastic and in my opinion, the only book on effectiveness ever needed.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 10, 2006

self-effectiveness: Time is ticking away!!!

Its been a week since I last posted. In this post, I want to spend some time talking about...time. Everyone takes time for granted. Everyone knows that time is precious. In my view, this is all lip-service. Knowing and truly realizing it are two different things. I, too, know that time is a precious commodity. I've read about it, been told about it. Pretty hard to 'realize' it.

Everyone's time on this earth is limited. Hard and morbid as this may sound, but it is so true. Everyone's time is limited. Everyone has the same amount of time. So why are some more successful than others? Luck? Family connections? I beg to differ. Yes, these do play a part. However, a lot of it deals in making full use of our time.

Time, once gone, is lost forever, and I mean forever. There is no recovery software that can ever bring it back. We are what we are because of the seeds we planted and nurtured in the past. Our present is the future of our past. We now have to plant and nurture our seeds for harvest in the future. Do not neglect the power of a minute.

Let's put this into perspective. From wealth perspective, if we study and learn how to invest wisely in a few minutes and take action, the yields will be great. Think about investing wisely. If you invest $1 everyday at a 15 or 20% return, your returns will be great. Every little bit counts, only if we begin TODAY and now.

From health perspective, watching sports on TV or reading about it is fine. If we do not take action TODAY and now, we will only be walking libraries about sports, instead of getting a workout TODAY to be fitter to enjoy our life and wealth.

I was on the commuter train this week and observed people on the train.Many were either listening to music, reading, talking on the phone etc. I was thinking, "How nice it would be if we could be making money every single minute without us being physically present.". Think of the enormous freedom you will feel. It may be through investments, Internet business, owning a business, royalties etc. But all this can be achieved only if action is taken TODAY and now.

What you do with your time is your choice. Whether it be watching TV, going for a walk, reading a book, exercising, learning a new skill, its all your choice. Even staring blanking at the wall is fine because its your choice. The critical point is whether the activity you are doing is going to get you closer to your goal.

Time is ticking away. Remember to write your goals down. Every action and activity you write must be time bound to have significant meaning. If all your daily actions are directed towards you achieving your goal, then you will surely achieve them. Its all about making proper and effective use of your time.

Copyright Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

Friday, September 01, 2006

Self effectiveness, wealth, health: Questions are the answer?

I have recently been reading Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins. I'm only half way through it. In my personal opinion, an excellent book!

There are many concepts and theories that if implemented in earnest, I believe will yield tremendous results. Well, I'm not that effective yet. I am taking once concept and practicing it until it becomes a habit and then move on to the next. It may take longer, but I'm confident I'll be a better person for it.

The one thing that struck me like a ton of bricks was the section about questions. The use of questions is an extremely powerful tool. Asking yourself empowering questions will most definitely yield empowering answers, empowering you to act. Ask yourself disempowering questions, you get disempowering answers.

I recently began trying this concept. I was asking questions like "Why is this situation so bleak? What caused this situation to become so dire?". The reason was because I wanted to seek an answer in order to resolve an issue in an effective manner. I realized that these questions were good in this instance. However, I realized the limiting effects. I needed to act and propel myself and those around me to the next level of effectiveness, which is not about what went wrong and what needed to be fixed, but rather how to induce massive change to turn a bleak situation around. I began asking questions like "What can I learn from this?", "What do I need to do to exceed the customer's expectations?". Simple as it may seem, I got an answer that allowed me to excel and push the boundaries from problem resolution (which may please the customer) to delighting the customer by not only fixing the problem, but also going further in achieving substantial progress on exceeding the customers requests.

I am also asking more empowering questions about wealth and health. Instead of asking questions like "I'd like to be rich. How should I achieve it?", I ask "What do I need to do to create tremendous value for my customers in order to truly delight their expectation?", "What do I need to do to achieve financial abundance through passive income so that I can provide for those around me and help those in need?". I link my empowering question to a pleasurable need. In this case, my question and need for financial abundance is linked to my need to provide for those around me and those in need, which gives me happiness. I find that if I do not link the empowering question to a pleasurable need, the question loses its appeal and the answers seem mediocre.

I am a person who believes in simplicity. The simpler a concept, the easier to practice, the more you will achieve. Using this technique with writing (as posted in my earlier posts), you will realize that the activities you write will be empowering ones, in line with your goals.

Recently, I was tempted to buy a camera with 10 megapixels capability. I was close to buying one. Then I began asking myself, "Do I really need one now?", "What do I need to do to achieve financial abundance in order to provide for those around me and those in need?". Suddenly, my desire for the camera dissipated. I would still want to buy one, but not now. There are more things I can do with the cash like investing for a better return, which will help me achieve the answers to the questions of financial abundance. Only then will I reconsider buying the camera.

Try it. Go on writing (as stated in my earlier posts). Ask yourself empowering questions every day, every hour, every bleak or difficult moment you encounter. Let me know if it works for you.

I will be writing more about the system I use beyond simply writing. I will share about how to make the activities time bound and other effective techniques in managing your time in future posts.

Copyright Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved