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

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Prevent Goal Fatigue

Set your goal? Planned your course of action? Taking massive action towards your goals? Having written so much about the value of setting goals, what it means to us and how it gives us a direction in our daily lives, I'd like to pause and think about the unthinkable...goal fatigue.

We set aggressive goals at the beginning of the year only to falter and stop executing our actions. Why is that? Several reasons:

1. We fear failure.
2. We lose faith in our goals.
3. We change our goals.
4. We lose sight on the importance of our goals as we go through our daily lives
5. We get tired of executing and need a rest and the momentum slows down

Let me just write a little note about the last point, that we get tired. Have you ever felt that you have been executing your actions daily and feel that you need a break? I have. I realised that I had been executing day-in and day-out, feeling exhilarated by my daily achievements. I pushed myself far and beyond what is really necessary. Then the inevitable...goal fatigue.

Suddenly you feel that you need a break from this execution and just stop doing it for a while, get away from it.

This happens when you do not spend enough time to rejuvenate yourself. How do you do this?

Your goals need to be balanced. If you focus only on wealth creation goals and neglect the other aspects of your life, you will feel that life is not that enriching. I wrote earlier about taking one step at a time, and therefore, start with only one goal and work on it. At the same time, you should also set goals for your family, as an individual, spiritual goals, health goals, wealth goals, career goals. Setting it doesn't mean you need to execute all of them at the same time. Setting it means that you have a view of what you want in the various aspects of your life, but start execution on one goal first, until you get into the habit of execution, then start on your second goal.

Without writing the other goals, you will feel that your life is narrowly focused. As you begin executing one action at a time on one goal, remember this very important point: "Life is a journey. Totally immerse yourself, reflect and be completely aware as you execute your action. Enjoy the execution.". Doing this will give you the joy of experiencing the journey with your goal in mind, instead of simply executing and not enjoying the execution. This is what is meant by "slow down, stop and smell the roses along the way".

As you enjoy your journey, never lose sight of your destination. Constantly read, review your goals on a daily basis. Remember the old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind". If you do not review your goals daily, you will soon lose all interest in your goals and stop enjoying the journey.

Enjoy everything you do with passion and full awareness and enjoyment of the journey, and you will never experience goal fatigue.

To your success in your journey...cheers!

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 27, 2006

Why goals?

I recently overheard a conversation about goals, goal setting and achieving goals. Someone asked about what his friend's goals were and whether he was able to achieve it.

This rather simple conversation got me thinking. We seem to take the word "GOAL" lightly. It seems to be an overused word. Everyone has goals.

Have you ever stopped to think, "What are goals for?"

We might say:

1. Goals are for us to achieve.
2. Goals are for us to get what we want in life.
3. Goals give us direction in life.
4. Goals will make us successful.

While these statements are true, I would like to offer my opinion about these statements.

Goals are good and gives us direction. However, without an action, goals remain a dream. It will continue to remain a dream for many years.

Even when action is taken, we tend to forget to enjoy the journey we took. Can you imagine this scenario:

1. Goal: Have $1,000,000 in cash by age 60
2. You take action, day in and day out.
3. Sometimes, the action you take gets you closer to your goal. Sometimes, the action doesn't yield the result you are after and you get frustrated. No matter what, you continue to work hard and plough on towards achieving your goals.
4. At age 60, you wake up at 7am in the morning and realise that you have achieved your goal. Whoooooopeeee!!!!!!

Really? You would probably be happy. You would also be wondering where did all these years go? You are already 60 years old. Yes, you have achieved, but you did not fully enjoy the journey. You did not savour the process of achieving one step at a time.

This is the part that is missing in goal setting and execution. We are so focused on reaching the end goal that we miss out the enjoyment of the journey. As the saying goes, "Take time out to smell the roses".

As we go through our lives and clearly set goals, remember to be conscious of your daily lives. Be aware, full aware of what you are doing NOW! Notice that you are breathing NOW! Be in the present. Enjoy what you are doing and know that you are doing the action for a purpose. You will feel amazingly at peace and motivated everytime you take action towards your goals, because you are living in the present, achieving every single minute and enjoying it!

So go ahead. Give yourself permission to "smell the roses" in your journey towards success.

Wishing you an enjoyable journey.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Motivation to Succeed with Goals

How do you motivate yourself to succeed. How many of us have read, heard, been spoken to about the importance of goals?

Everyone has, in one way or another. If you have not, think again. Think of a time when you had some work (or game) to complete. Everything activity or game we engage in has a goal. For example, watching a TV program has a goal. The goal is enjoyment. Every game has a goal.

Why is it really necessary?

Without goals, we drift through life without direction. Every activity we do should be directed towards getting us closer to our goal on a daily basis.

How should we set goals? Again, may books have been written on it.

This is what normally happens. A person reads a book on success through setting goals. Immediately after reading the book, motivation is high. He/she spends one day writing goals, objectives, action items, clarify values and more. The next day, execution begins. One week later, motivation wanes. Two weeks later, the pace slows. Three weeks later, no more progress. Is it no wonder that we are all afraid to set goals again? Is it no wonder we procrastinate time and again?

Let me share a secret in setting goals that will keep you engaged.

The secret is...take one step at a time.

There are many areas of your life that requires goals. For example, income goals, health goals, family goals, personal goals, spiritual goals, career goals, wealth goals. For a start, choose one or two areas ONLY. For each area, identity 3 to 5 activities that needs to be done. These activities must be completed within the next 48 hours. This gives you the momentum to do the next 3 to 5 activities. When these goals are clear, and action has been taken quickly, the momentum builds and tends to carry on pushing you.

The next step is to write your goals and activities down. You MUST review your goals and activities every day. Yes, every single day. This gives you the motivation to keep on executing your activities to achieve your goals. As stated in my earlier posts, you must write, write, write things down, and do daily reviews.

This MUST be become a habit. As you do your goal review daily, your motivation becomes higher as you successfully execute activites. When you see that you take action to complete the 3 to 5 activites in such a short time, you will feel motivated to do more because you can see that you are closer to your goal.

The mantra: TAKE ACTION NOW!

Of course there are many areas such as clarifying your values and beliefs, and these are done during goal setting.

Go ahead. Set one goal now. Write a list of 3 to 5 activities and being executing. Let me know how you feel.

May you achieve your goals with great motivation to achieve the success you desire!

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Self effectiveness: Time log and effectiveness

Its been some time since I last wrote. In this entry, I'd like to relate my experience with using time log recently. I have been keeping a time log for some time. Time logs are like a journal of the way you used your time. (See my earlier entry on the importance of time log). You have to be able to measure how you use your time before you can improve your usage. Time is a precious commodity that cannot be replenished. So use your time wisely. If you never think about the limited time we all have, think again.

Try this. Take out a monthly calendar from your planner, diary or PDA. Stare long and hard at it. All your available time for the month is on that piece of paper. Every goal you want to achieve, every activity you want to do (or not do), has to be done within the constrains of that piece of paper, no more no less. I repeat. No more no less. No one has more time than others. If you want to achieve your goals, do it now, or plan for it.

I was in the Philippines recently and was stranded at the Manila airport due to a typhoon. There was even a black out at the airport. There was not electricity except for critical functions of the airport. All hallways were pitch dark. Because I have the habit of keeping a time log, I am very conscious of what I need to write into the log. At the airport, I could have just done nothing and relax. I felt uncomfortable because I would not be able to account for my time in the time log. This pushed me to use my time in the dark to complete my work on my laptop until its battery went flat, then I proceeded to use my phone to work on email until that went flat, then I started to do planning for my goals. All in all, I accounted for my time, and it made me feel great that I used it to accomplish important activities that moved me closer to my goals.

This may sound trivial, but this is what goal achievement is about. Make use of your available time. If you think this is trivial, try this. Take out a monthly calendar from your planner, diary or PDA...for last month. Stare long and hard at it. All your available time for last month is on the piece of paper. What did you achieve last month? What did you do last month?

If you don't know, then you have squandered your time away.

Time is ticking away. Don't waste it. You can't save it for a rainy day.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006.
All Rights Reserved