The Art of War, Skunk Works, and the Innovation Underground: How We Make Our Small Projects Successful
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The Art of War, Skunk Works, and the Innovation Underground: How We Make Our Small Projects Successful

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Paper presented in June 2005 at the University System of Maryland Regional Oracle/PeopleSoft Conference, Baltimore, MD.

Paper presented in June 2005 at the University System of Maryland Regional Oracle/PeopleSoft Conference, Baltimore, MD.

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The Art of War, Skunk Works, and the Innovation Underground: How We Make Our Small Projects Successful Presentation Transcript

  • 1. The Art of War, Skunk Works, and the Innovation Underground: How We Make Our Small Projects Successful
  • 2. Presenter Ted Simpson Manager of Administrative Systems Maryland Institute College of Art tsimpson@mica.edu
  • 3. Maryland Institute College of Art Small size, limited resources, and reliance on creative solutions allow us to look (way) outside of our industry Institutional mandate as a challenge
  • 4. The BIG Secret We have a lot (maybe even too much) FUN doing what we do “No company ever went out of business while having fun. Work ceases to be fun long before that happens.” Russell Denson
  • 5. Projects The Needs The Projects We Need a Resource25 Scheduling System! Does anyone know Project CHAOS who does what? When? How? We need a place to Project NEXUS dump our brains!
  • 6. Theoretical Frameworks The Innovation Underground Who invented Post It Notes? Skunkworks Who made the Stealth Fighter so stealthy? The Art of War Significant enough to be taught at the Naval War College?
  • 7. Teams Use the BEST people you can find, including Chief Engineer (Plus Competition) The People Person The Linear Person Advocatus Diaboli
  • 8. Buy In and Support Specifications agreed to in advance Ask for advice before you ask for resources Honor and educate your sponsors
  • 9. Project Leaders Be quick, be quiet, be on time Underpromise and overdeliver Do any job necessary
  • 10. Strategies “I don't believe in strategy in the popular understanding of the term. I use it to get up just as close to the enemy as practicable . . . then, up guards, and at them.” - U.S. Grant
  • 11. The Empire Strikes Back Counterattack Logistics Use support network Use your linear to protect against people and devil’s counterattack advocates to anticipate logistical Don’t wound problems before they problems, kill them happen
  • 12. Deliverables Make sure that you deliver a finished, polished product The product is theirs, the process is yours
  • 13. Outcomes We Need a Resource25 Scheduling System! Live since 02/2005 Does anyone know Project CHAOS who does what? In progress When? How? Project NEXUS We need a place to In BETA since dump our brains! 05/2005
  • 14. Overcoming Fear “I never had time.” Set Backs Sherman: “Well, Grant, we've had the Devil's own day, haven't we?” Grant: “Yes . . . lick 'em tomorrow, though.” Failure “In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.”
  • 15. Belief “I don’t believe it.” “That is why you fail.”
  • 16. THANKS! Questions? Comments?