Moving to a ROWE

This post is inspired by my co-worker Jason's recent note he passed around our team on his thoughts on ROWE. My department hasn't officially moved to a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) - it's in the works - but my team has started to follow the thirteen guidelines. With this move, I've seen great success in our team and the focus on results has helped cut down on a lot of the noise and wasted effort. We also provide a good example to everyone else that ROWE works and I really can't wait until the whole department moves. One of the most positive effects on our group is the realization that it doesn't matter the location or time of day that the work gets done, so long as the result is delivered…
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Shaw Increases Prices Again In 2013

Recently I contacted Shaw's online chat support to inquire about why my bill for cable, internet, and phone is going up in September 2013 from $146 to $157 (plus tax) without a clear understanding of what, if any, additional service I could expect for the higher cost. Unsurprisingly, I will receive no benefit from this price increase. This is the same as in April 2013 when my bill went from $137 to $146. For those keeping score, that's a 14.6% increase in 6 months. My suggestion to Shaw is that they empower their front-line support employees to actually resolve customer complaints instead of requiring the employee to "talk to their supervisor" who - incidentally - isn't around. Shaw's frontline employees should be accountable for the decisions they make when resolving…
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Let’s Run a Pilot

At work I hear a lot about groups looking to run what they call “pilots” which essentially means moving forward with an idea rather than going through the due diligence and thoughtful analysis one would put together for an initiative/project. The result tends to be that time, money, and resources are wasted spent on creating/modifying a process or bringing new technology in-house without 1. A plan on how to support it (if IT is even told about this at all), 2. No real idea if it solves a problem or satisfies a business need, and 3. Absolutely no clue if the benefits will outweigh the costs (more likely it's the opposite). Now hold on there, Negative Ned, do you know how exciting it was when the "pilot” was running? It…
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RIBBONS!

My friend Simon recently wrote an article about Microsoft quickly responding to user complaints about the new interface of Windows 8. He also brought up when Microsoft introduced Ribbons in Office 2007's user interface. Little did he know it would reawaken the latent hatred I have for the Ribbons interface. I don't know if there's any topic that I get more irrationally fired up about. I swear I railed so hard against Ribbons when they first came out that I was hoarse for days. Most of my argument is predicated on the fact that Microsoft completely changed the interface and didn't give users a way to go back to the menu and toolbar interface that EVERY OTHER DESKTOP APPLICATION ON THE WHOLE DAMN PLANET employs. The company turned its back on…
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A Baby Story: Allie Michelle Edwards

Lots of time May 28, 2013 appeared to start the same as any other day in Dana's pregnancy: she was up early to go to the washroom while I remained asleep. As fate would have it, Dana came out of the bathroom at 5:20am and told me she was pretty sure she was in labour. Dana's contractions started at 6 minutes apart and we figured we had some time yet before needing to head to the hospital. We got up, had breakfast, I had an espresso, we both had showers - no problem. Around 6 or 6:30, I fired off a text to our doula, Nicall, to let her know Dana had gone into labour. An hour later at 7:30am, Dana had moved through 5 minutes apart and was on…
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Two-Day Workouts

I've tried five-day workout splits (one muscle group each day), three-day splits, and one-day full-body workouts. The ones that I like best though are two-day workout splits. It's easy to alternate, I can mix activities in between, and - if I miss a day - I know that I can still hit my goal of working out all my muscles at least twice in a week. Below you'll find the workouts that helped me achieve and maintain a lean-muscle build. Working out this way has had a profound impact on my everyday life (I'm all-around stronger and leaner) and especially when I play sports: running is easier, skating is easier, and I have greater endurance. If you're looking to change up your workouts give this a try for 4-6 weeks. *…
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A True ROWE Day

Today was a true ROWE day for me: I started work at home around 7:30am. At 8 I had a call with a co-worker in Calgary instead of at 9 because we were both available. Just after 9 I was headed to a nearby work office and spent the morning interacting with the folks there, exchanging instant messages with co-workers, answering emails, and talking to people on conference calls. Everything flowed and felt manageable. I headed out at 11:30 to meet a former colleague for lunch but, unfortunately, he ended up being stuck in meetings so I grabbed a quick bite at a pita joint. Back to the office? Nope, I went to Starbucks, got my regular double shot of espresso, and answered work emails and texts on my work…
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