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, March 20, 2007

Learning to excel?

Very recently, I was an an optometrist, you know, the guy who tests your eyes and gives you a prescription for lenses so that you can see better.
I noticed a lady in the store and overheard her conversation with the optometrist. No, I wasn't eavesdropping. :-) I just happened to be nearby.

She had long-sightedness in one eye, and short-sightedness in the other. Her right eye never needed any prescription lenses until it become short-sighted. All the while, she used her left eye to look at things far away (with a prescription lense), while her right eye was used to read (no lenses). This was done automatically as the brain adjusted and compensated for the distance.

This time, her right eye was more short-sighted and needed a prescription lens. WHen she put on the lense, she felt like the world had gone topsy turvy. It felt uncomfortable. Reading was difficult and slower.
The interesting observation the optometrist made was that the brain had not yet learned how to adjust to the correct eyesight in the right eye and the neorological connections in the brain were not yet made. It would take time. I'm glad to say that her brain has already made the neorological connections today, and its been only a few days.

This proves one premise that I always held. The human mind is very intelligent and adaptable. It will do whatever it takes to survive. This also proves that nothing is unlearnable. In this instance, the brain did the neurological connections automatically.

What about time management and effectiveness?

As I had written in my previous posts, effectiveness can be learned. It is a skill that must be cultivated into a habit. This example clearly demonstrates that we can all learn anything and be good at it. It only requires the willingness in our mind to want to learn, to want to excel, to want to achieve. Without this passion, nothing is possible. The brain makes neorological connections because it has to in order to survive. It had become a 'MUST'.

Is being effective a 'MUST' to you? How much do you want to achieve? Why do you want to be effective and achieve your goals? Why?
Ask yourself 'why' three times to help you clarify your goals. For example, if you want to have a net worth of $1 Million, ask why. Having $1 Million is only an objective. Why do you want it? After you answer the first why, ask a second why to your answer, and later a third why. This will draw out the real reason to your goals, then it becomes a 'MUST' with passion.

You can learn to excel and achieve anything you wish for. The ability to learn and adapt is within everyone's DNA. Unleash your power and shoot for the moon!

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Do you know where you are going to?

As the song goes, "Do you know where you're going to". Think about it. Do you REALLY know where you're going to? Every day, we have a deluge of tasks and activities.

Sometimes in the morning, I feel over overwhelmed, nervous, agitated. Nervous about what the day will bring. I replay the activities I have to do in the day. THen I replay it again, and again and again, reminding myself of what I have to do today. Sometimes, the sequence of activities get rearranged and I replay it again. Then I feel nervous about it, hoping I will not forget my tasks for the day, and to do it in the correct sequence. I used to have all these feelings. I used to do this when I woke up in the morning, during my shower, on the way to work. That was then, this is now. All this miraculous went away after I used the techniques I have described in this blog. The simplest of all is to write things down, everything you need to do have to be written down.

Another important step normally forgotten is to assign a start time and end time for each activity, otherwise the list is only a to-do list, and a to-do list without the time element is a wish list at best.

Imagine yourself swimming out at sea and a boat comes along. Someone from the boat throws a float with a rope attached to it. The person on the boat is holding on to the rope. If the sea has strong currents, you will be bobbing to and fro at sea, and will be unable to carry on in the direction you wanted to go.

However, if you caught on to the float, it will help to steady your position and you can pull yourself along the rope to the boat, even though the sea currents may be strong.

The rope is like your activity list with the time element. It helps you navigate through strong and rough currents of the day without gulping sea water or feeling helpless and tired.

No matter how busy you are, always practice this habit. This is the simplest and most basic habit in time management, yet many neglect it. Many choose the path that will have them thrown about helplessly in the sea of overwhelming activities in the day, rather than spend 15 minutes at the end of each day,planning for the next. Let's not even talk about planning for the month or the day, or even about goals yet. If you cannot even plan a day and follow the schedule, how can you plan for a month and begin to achieve your life dreams?

Take one step at a time. All it takes is one step at a time. Have patience, practice this simple habit, and your dreams will slowly manifest themselves as you take consistent action daily.

Carpe Diem!!! (Sieze the day!!!)

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 02, 2007

What are you doing NOW?

We all have many activities we perform every single day. When asked, you will normally get the reply, "I have a thousand-and-one things to do today". Really? How effective is that?

What you do today or now is an individual's decision. What you do not do today or now, is also an individual's decision. So, is not doing anything bad?

Not at all. You would have read in many books that we must take action, we must be effective. Lest we forget, we also need rest to recharge.
I was in a cab today. The cab ride was to be about an hour. I felt really restless as I wouldn't have any internet connection to check email etc. I didn't really want to read a book for fear of getting carsick! :-) But doing nothing for an hour is a waste of time. Well not really. I decided to write this entry as relaxation and take a break from the hustle and bustle of my schedule. I decided on that action. I repeat, 'I' decided on taking that action. I felt really good. We would normally just go with the flow and do stuff. Once yo are aware and fully conscious of your decision on an activity, whether it be for work or play, somehow, you get more focused on it, and put in 100% effort, instead of simply doing it. Sounds really mystical? Not at all.

Many of us walk around in a daze, as though we are sleep walking. We need to practice the art of being in-the-moment, being here in the present, being aware of the present. Do this experiment. Do you notice your breathing?....Now you do. And I bet you took a deep breath when you noticed. That single breath provided some calmness to you. Because you were aware. We need to cultivate this habit in our daily lives. Yes, its a habit. We are normally caught up in our own world of problems that we forget to smell the roses...till its too late.

Make that decision. Take the responsibility. Give yourself permission to be fully in the present for 5 minutes. You will feel your energy levels increase, you will feel calmer and more focused.

One way of making this a habit is to keep a time log (see my previous posts). A time log forces you to notice what you HAD done and rate yourself. When it becomes a habit, you will tend to notice the present.
Just a small piece of the effectiveness puzzle I'd like to share.

Go on, smell the roses, and record the activity in your time log.

Copyright © Bernard Ong, 2006,2007.
All Rights Reserved