Can you see the patterns in this picture? What’s something breaking the patterns? Photo by: D. Ramos

I was talking with someone the other day about how improvements can be accomplished. For me, a lot of it is identifying patterns and the conversation triggered my memory banks. I thought about where I’ve worked, I’ve identified patterns and made improvements and it’s kind of like music.

When I was a musician I had to find patterns to make music. Jazz was a big influence. I took a course in jazz music and appreciated the idea of listening to the crowd and improvising. The thought of jamming and coming up with ideas was interesting to me and it tied to identifying patterns. However, my skills of improvising on the spot was limited. I spent a lot of time in front of a computer using grids to figure out what patterns sound good. A habit that was useful later on in my career as an IT professional.

Recently, I came across this article ( establishing the differences between jazz and classical music. Both genres of music are using different paths to get to the listener. Classical is geared towards a written form, kind of like being really good at writing. Jazz is geared towards recorded form since there isn’t a written structure to note the immediacies of improvisation.

To tie this train of thought that went to music and tie it back to pattern identification and improvement, everyone identifies and records patterns differently. We assume that it cannot translate into something recorded and blame “gut instincts” or “tribal knowledge”. However, I believe there’s a way to record, mimic, and identify improvements. It just may not be through traditional methods.

How do you identify patterns? Do you record your observations by writing/typing notes? Or do you depend on your gut instincts? Let’s talk story and see what we can improve. Holler @ me.

What Should I Buy to __________


Plenty of my friends who look at me as their IT guy always ask, “What kind of computer should I buy? What kind of software/service should I put my money on?” I end up asking questions to help shape their decision. On the other hand, most of my time in workplaces, decision makers have invested money into software without including IT in the early stages. That window of opportunity of providing valuable insight has passed compared to my friends who ask my opinion.  This approach is a problem but not impossible to fix.

To get started on the fix, here are a few of the questions I ask decision makers:

  1. What are you trying to get done?
  2. How can you measure your activities?
  3. What’s your budget?
  4. When are you trying to get this done?
  5. Who’s your audience?

These seem like common business questions but from experience, I’ve seen many people invested in the day to day, heads in the grass activities. I don’t blame them but I want to help. I sincerely believe that if basic questions like those are answered initially, we have  a stronger chance of finding an appropriate solution and success. Also, it’s not too late to establish those basic answers and shape the current. Nothing is impossible but we have to manage expectations and be realistic about the process.

Have you experience the phenomenon of putting the carriage before the horse? How do you deal with it? Feel free to holler @ me and we can talk story.