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  • Agile Mindset Is Not A Silver Bullet

    Posted on July 29th, 2011 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

    I recently did a guest post for Check it out:

    Agile Mindset Is Not A Silver Bullet

    As always please feel free to leave me your comments here or on the site.

  • Apps in your Browser … Is it the beginning of the end for the Idea of the App Store?

    Posted on June 29th, 2011 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

    I just read an interesting article on CNN Money about Mobile Web Apps being developed on Browsers, see Mobile Web apps escape Apple’s iron grip. And it got me thinking about the future of the online app economy. In a few years will anyone download apps to their phone or will they just access it through their browser? Will all of  these app stores continue to grow or even exists? And will the power shift even more towards the developer or will it fall back to the heavy hitters?

    The App Store business model is a sound one (Apple, Amazon, Android) all take a cut of the developers revenue for providing the distribution channel, and more recently Apple announced recently that it wants to take a cut of any type of content or subscription sale made through it’s apps. As you could imagine this doesn’t sit well with most developers and from a business revenue stand point if you’re already giving up 30% and then paying taxes and operating fees your app revenue disappears quickly. So developers have started to build apps that are OS agnostic and can run through any of the widely accepted web browsers.

    Thanks to HTML 5 we may all be accessing our apps through browsers very soon.

  • The Only Constant in Life is Change

    Posted on March 31st, 2011 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

    A Change Management Post by Nelson Bodnarchuk

    You know the saying “the only things for certain in life are death and taxes”? Well I like to put more of a positive spin on things and say “The only constant in life is change”. Doesn’t matter what you do for a living, or what aspect of life you’re thinking of when reading this, father time doesn’t stop for any one and change is his right hand man.

    The only thing you can really do is take some advice from Bruce Lee: “Be water my friend”.

    So what’s the purpose of this post? I just started a new website, a fitness focused website to help people build lean bodies, and enjoy a higher standard of living. I created to help cut through all of the misinformation around getting in shape and making progress towards one’s fitness goals. It’s quite a bit different from my past ventures in Business and Consulting, and that’s what makes it so damn exciting. I was also looking for an excuse to post something that included the wisdom of Bruce Lee…making this post a win-win for me.

    Have a good one.

  • What If You Received $86,400 Everyday

    Posted on September 16th, 2010 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

    Imagine that your bank credited your account with $86,400 every day, and every night they canceled whatever funds were left over that you failed to use during the day, from the account.

    What would you do? Surely you would strive to spend every cent, every day! Or go find another bank that would do the same thing but let you keep the balance ;)

    Here’s the thing, everybody has this account. It’s the “TIME” bank, and every morning it deposits 86,400 seconds in your account. Every night it withdraws and writes-off whatever you failed to invest. Your balance is never carried over, no matter what the excuse and you have no overdraft. Each day a new account is opened, and each night the bank’s records are destroyed. You are the bookkeeper of your equity, experiences and knowledge. If you fail to use the funds, the loss is your responsibility.

      Live in the ‘now’ and seek to obtain the highest return on investment possible. By facing your pains, the injustices you’ve been dealt, your mortality and the challenges of your past, you’ll realize the true value of your “TIME” bank and look for ways to improve your ROI on future time investments.

      Time Perception:

      • 1 millisecond = the difference between who won silver and gold at the Olympics.
      • 1 second = the difference between someone who just survived an accident and some one who didn’t.
      • 1 minute = the difference between missing or catching your plane.
      • 1 hour = the difference between some one spending time with their family or missing it.
      • 1 day = the difference between a working or calling in sick if you’re on minimum wage, and have 5 kids to feed.
      • 1 week = the difference between a prisoner being released from their sentence.
      • 1 month = the difference between  giving birth to a premature baby or a healthy baby.
      • 1 year = the difference between passing or failing the exam.
      • 1 lifetime = the difference between realizing that you could have done better if you invested your time wisely.

      Can you hear the clock ticking?

      There’s always time to ask yourself can I start using my time better.

    • Conquer Doubt and Fear. Conquer Failure.

      Posted on August 19th, 2010 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

      My Grandfather once said the longer we live the more we realize that the greatest diseases of mankind are doubt and fear.  He wasn’t trying to take away from the seriousness of some of our other afflictions, however doubt and fear rob more people of more life than all the other diseases of the world according to him.  He said that they’re diseases because they’re acquired,  we aren’t born with fear and doubt we learn fear and doubt.  They’re communicable and most of the time they’re passed from one person to the next like a virus or bad cold.

      But the dictionary definition states a disease as: “a condition of the living animal that impairs normal functioning.”

      Doubt keeps us from making positive and long lasting changes in our lives because they’ll “rock the boat” of the status quo. Fear causes us to make weak and often irrational decisions that can hinder our future potential for the sake of today’s comfort. It takes away our happiness, our sleep, and our very lives.

      However, for the person who identifies the symptoms of these diseases, there are cures available. There are five techniques that Grandpa passed on that you can use to beat these diseases:

      1. Fear is an opportunity that has been given to you as a way to bring you closer to your full potential.
      2. When you run from your fear you miss the opportunity to grow.
      3. Your beliefs are the basis behind your behaviors dictating your results.
      4. Your everyday habits reflect your beliefs and fears.
      5. Change your beliefs to change your behaviors. Change your behaviors to change your results. Change your results to change your life.

      Use these five techniques to help change the way you think and feel to fully enjoy your life.

    • Leadership Must Have’s

      Posted on June 25th, 2010 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

      Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with teams over a broad spectrum; from Venture Capital Investors, to Automation Programmers, to hard working Electrical/Instrumentation/Mechanical Maintenance Crews in a mining and metallurgical plant, to Web Developers building the next killer app that’ll change the world, and finally to the Design/Maintenance/Reliability Engineers that are focused on continuously improving the operation of plant equipment and the safety of those within the plant. In each of these teams I’ve had a varying degrees of responsibility; from Engineering-Intern to Crew Supervisor, and Project Manager. It’s almost been a decade since I graduated and joined the real world, if I’ve only learned one thing since graduation it’s been that in any position you’re in it’s important to demonstrate leadership. Leadership at any level within an organization helps to get things done, however great leadership helps to get the right things done and done sooner, all while improving team morale. So here’s Ten Leadership Must Have’s for every leader out there. Which is basically everyone.

      It’s important to note that I’m not claiming any credit for coming up with these, it’s more of a composite list from my journey to date. As Issac Newton said “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.

      A good leader has an honorable character that selflessly serves his/her organization, weather that organization is a company, social group, family, or sports team. What makes a person want to follow a leader? People want to be guided by people they respect and who have a clear sense of direction. To gain respect, they must be ethical. A sense of direction is achieved by conveying a strong vision of the future.

      Ten Must Have’s for Every Leader:

      1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement. Understand yourself by continually strengthening your attributes through reading and self-study.

      2. Be technically proficient. You’ve got to know your job and have a solid familiarity with your employees’/coworkers’ jobs.

      3. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. Search for ways to help your organization reach new heights, and when things go wrong, and they will, do not blame others.

      4. Make sound and timely decisions. Use good problem solving, decision-making, and planning tools. I always try to remember the Chinese Proverb “Many a false step is made by standing still”.

      5. Set the example. Be a good role model for your employees/coworkers/kids/teammates. People believe what they see, not what they hear.

      6. Know your people and look out for their well-being. Knowing a bit about human nature and the importance of sincerely caring for your team, is vital. One spends the majority of their day with the people at their place of work so being a solid team-mate counts in any arena.

      7. Keep your people informed. Know how to communicate with your team, seniors, and other key people within the organization.

      8. Develop a sense of accountability, ownership and responsibility in your team. These traits will help them carry out their responsibilities, and the entire team will benefit from the extra effort, in along the boards or in the board room.

      9. Ensure tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished. Communication is the key to this responsibility. As a manager I view myself as a multiplication symbol in the work equation. My job is to ensure that the work is organized, clear and linked to the organizations goal(s) while removing barriers to goal completion within my team.

      10. Train your people as a team. By developing team spirit, you will be able to employ your organization, department, section, etc. to its fullest capabilities. My favourite analogy is the “engine firing on all cylinders”.

      Here’s a few extras I think help summarize the Ten must have’s above, since everything is a process, here’s the five main steps to achieving great leadership:

      1. Inspire a shared vision – use words that matter to your team, not generic terms such as: “We will provide world-class customer service in an effective and efficient manner for our clients.”… I can apply that statement to any organization on earth.

      2. Challenge the process – First, find a process you believe needs to be improved the most, then work your way through each process until you’ve improved them all. Then start again at the first process, never stop reaching for full entitlement in a process.

      3. Enable others to act - Give people the tools, authority and methods to solve problems themselves. Removing red-tape and reaching the teams goals are priority one for any leader.

      4. Model the way – When the things get tough, get your hands dirty. A boss tells others what to do; a leader shows it can be done. (i.e. I recently had to become a “junior graphic designer” to help the design team break through a creative mental barrier, instead of waiting for them to break through the wall, I got in there with them and started chipping away on the front lines until they were able to break through. It’s important to note that I did not do the work for them I just set them up for the goal, they were the one’s that deserve all the credit for their outstanding work. Check it out at, be sure to “Explore Wildwood” to see their work in action.)

      5. Encouragement for the Team – Share the glory with your team, keep the pains to yourself. These phrases may sound basic, well they are, and they work:

      • “I admit I made a mistake.” – I am an expert on this one, however as long as it’s not a repeat offense you’re usually good to go.
      • “You did a good job.” – his one only works if they actually did a good job.
      • “What is your opinion?” – I like “What do you think?”
      • “If you please.” – “Please” works as well.
      • “Thank you,” – “Thanks” is a great substitute for this one.
      • “We” – stay away from “I”.
    • 5 Ways to increase Employee Productivity

      Posted on October 23rd, 2009 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

      From Past Experience as a PM in a range of companies from large to small and dealing with diverse backgrounds such as Power and Energy, to Metallurgy, to Software Development. I’ve learned that low employee productivity isn’t always due to a poor employee. I would actually apply the 80/20 Rule in this case and state that 80% of the time lackluster productivity is due to employee motivation and their effectiveness relates directly to the manner in which they are managed, while only 20% of the time it’s actually just a poor employee.

      Office Space

      It’s easy for employers to look at lackluster productivity and attribute the problem to “poor employees”.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating that you coddle employees like a 6 month old or give them smiley faces each time they do something right, this isn’t Kindergarten it’s the Big Leagues (or at least we should be leading teams like it’s the Big Leagues). So as a manager what can you do to impact the amount and quality of output from your team. Here are five of my tactics that I tend to pull out of the ever expanding tool box that today’s leaders require to get the job done and score the game winning goal.

      1. Give team members freedom over their work. Let them have input on the tasks they perform and how they perform them. Give them choices in assignments or creative control to complete tasks however they wish. This will boost their feelings of ownership and allow you to focus on the bigger picture instead of hovering over their shoulder and essentially treating them like a Kindergartner. I personally follow the 1 planned interruption a day rule, I have one 15 min meeting a day with my teams to sync up our priorities, answer questions and understand their impedance’s so I can help remove the barriers to the teams success. After that I won’t interrupt them for the rest of the day, unless there’s another planned meeting with a specific agenda or the fire alarm goes off.

      2. Challenge employees. Give them difficult tasks that push them further, or load their work funnel until it’s almost overflowing. Don’t make the tasks so difficult that you set them up for failure. However, by pushing them slightly further you’ll motivate them to perform their best and also encourage pride in their work. Again I come back to the 1 planned interruption a day rule, I can only interrupt them once per day because I’ve given them task worthy of their full concentration and they don’t need any unnecessary distractions from an over bearing manager.

      3. Provide each employee with the right motivation. While cash may motivate employees to accept a job or stay in a job, it may not motivate them to put their best foot forward at that job each and every day. Instead, tailor motivation to the personality and lifestyle of each individual employee. Work to understand what’s really important to an employee and use that to create motivational tactics. What works for one, may not work for another. I like to develop what I call a P3 sheet for each employee. A P3 is simply a Personal Performance Plan, and as long as it’s specific to the employee then it will be relevant and help to drive performance from the trenches and help to improve not only the organizations bottom line but help the person improve their skills and level of satisfaction from the work as well. This is a great tactic used by some of the best performing companies out there, Jack Welch discusses this in his book “Winning“.

      4. Convey to employees their value. Explain how their pieces of work fit into the greater puzzle that is your business. Employees that are aware of what they bring to the table will feel more part of the team and truly have an impact on the success of the company.

      5. Recognize and address employees’ concerns. Be cognoscente of employees’ concerns and the problems they may be facing. Once you have an understanding of how they feel, communicate that you are aware of the issues and are willing to work with them to create a better overall environment.  You don’t need to solve all of their problems, however removing barriers and providing a positive, professional and performance based environment will help to set the framework for success. These tactics aren’t something that you do once and then you’re done. To ensure productivity for the long run, you need to be constantly repeating the cycle and going further to nurture the work and demand that your employees perform at only the highest standards. That doesn’t mean them working 17 hr days or skipping vacation, it means to strike that balance and find the optimum point where you and your team get the highest productivity for the time spent working towards the successful completion of the goal.

      Dilbert Motivation

    • The Most Difficult Management Challenge: You!

      Posted on September 25th, 2009 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

      I’ve found that no matter how difficult it seems to manage a team, managing oneself is the most difficult management challenge of all. Being objective towards yourself is next to impossible when when you really think about it. Put another way there is an immediate and inherent bias and error with your internal gauge when measuring your own performance. I find that there are extremes, at times I forgive myself for offenses that I’d never accept in others, while other times I’ll hold myself to impossibly high standards of performance setting the stage for failure. To avoid such extremes, one must approach the task of managing oneself as if they were managing someone else.

      The Golden Rules for Managers, by Frank McNair, offers the following suggestions for self management:

      1. Focus on your weak points: admit to yourself where you’re most likely to fail. Identify your shortcomings and surround yourself with people whose talents will help compensate for what you lack in these areas. Continue to grow, in order to mitigate your weak spots until they become areas of strength. Avoid focusing only on your current strengths, this will limit your potential for success.

      2. Set a deadline and reward yourself only if you meet it: the next time you have to complete a difficult less than exciting project, become your own boss and get it done! Set a due date for completion and offer a performance based incentive, such as dinner at a fancy restaurant or show. You’re likely to achieve the goal if the payoff for reaching the objectives is clear, use SMART goals (Specific Measurable Attainable, Realistic and Timely).

      3. Keep Positive, the more negative you become, the less effective you become: in the heat of an argument, we have all said and done things that, if given the option, we wouldn’t choose to repeat. You’ll never meet anyone who thinks better and makes better decisions when they’re angry (With the exception of Ron Hextall). Refuse to allow yourself to react to a situation in a compromised state of mind, this can damage valuable relationships. Remember that, as a manager, you don’t have to get angry in order to give feedback.

      4. Don’t skip holidays: in 20 years, the only people who will remember that you didn’t take your vacation will be you and your family, who will recall feeling shortchanged by your excessive devotion to business. Take time off to experience the joy that comes only from being with your loved ones. You’ll also return refreshed, energized and bring new insights to the table.

      5. Fire yourself if required: at some point, many people find that they’re in a job that is not satisfying. Most people stay due to a fear of change. That can happen even if the job is CEO and it’s your own company. If you reach this point, you should “fire” yourself—either by finding a way to fire yourself up with renewed enthusiasm for the work, or by actually firing yourself from the job. If it’s the latter, you need to find a job you like better, whether within your own company or elsewhere, and then attack it passionately. You only live once and in life there are no dress rehearsals, so spend your time doing something that you love doing. If you do you’re more likely to enjoy life more fully and make a positive difference in those around you.

    • The 8 Rules of Lean Project Management

      Posted on July 28th, 2009 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

      The eight rules of Lean Project Management (LPM), re-posted from the Project Times, Summarizing the Rules of Lean Project Management by Claude Emond. A great set of  rules for any PM to follow:

      Rule # 1: the “Last Planner” Rule. The one who executes the work is the one who plans the work. This saves time, money and resources due to reduced waste.

      Rule # 2: the “Tracking Percent Promises Complete (PPC)” Rule. Do not track time (effort) or cost; track small promises that you can see over time.

      Rule # 3: the “Expanded Project Team” Rule. Expand the project team to include and integrate all significant stakeholders, as part of the team as early as possible.

      Rule # 4: the “Humans, humans, humans” Rule. Humans execute projects, and project deliverables materialize through humans and for them. So be considerate to humans as, without them, no project can be a success.

      Humans from

      Rule # 5: the “Rolling the Waves” Rule. Roll the waves. Make your choices and commitments (promises) at the last responsible moment. Make them in the form of work packages that will deliver the desired results anticipated with a high degree of certainty. Plan the work, execute the work, learn and adapt, plan the work, execute the work, learn and adapt, plan the work, execute the work…succeed!

      Rule # 6: the “Opening, Adapting and Closing Often” rule. Open-Adapt-Close, Open-Adapt-Close, Open-Adapt-Close… all the time. The IPECC (Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control, Close) cycle is a recurring process; this recurrence is the true key to successful projects, lean-influenced or not. In order to close a project, you have to open-adapt-close formally at the phase level, to open-adapt-close formally at the work package level, to open-adapt-close for each required deliverable (small concrete promises), to open-adapt-close each required activity undertaken.

      Rule # 7: the “Executing Your Small Promises on Single-tasking Mode” Rule. Execute your small promises on single-tasking mode. Once your deliverables are cut into smaller pieces, deliver them one after the other, as much as possible. By cutting your project work in smaller pieces/promises, you will save on set-up time each time you are interrupted, thus accelerating delivery. This accelerating effect can be increased furthermore, if you also try to execute these promises, one after the other, this saving an additional amount of set-up time. In a multi-project/multi-tasking environment, the most productive strategy is to single-task, doing these multiple tasks in series, when possible.

      Rule # 8: the “Using LPM Principles to Implement and Adopt LPM” Rule. Live and use what you preach to implement LPM; by “walking the talk”, you will succeed in increasing the speed and extend of LPM adoption and ensure a lasting and fruitful change.

    • New Avatar Walking Cycles

      Posted on June 19th, 2009 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

      The development team added the new walking cycles for each of the 5 Avatars for the Paws and Tales Games, and I have to say, they outdid themselves great work guys. It also didn’t hurt that we were working with original assets for each character.

      You can check them out by signing up for a free account at and then selecting each character. If you were on the game prior to this addition you’d notice the difference as the older avatar didn’t walk as much as they shifted side to side while hovering accross the screen.