Two years with my Chromebook

We write June 28th of 2015. It is now two years (July 2013) since I purchased a Samsung Chromebook model 303C12. Faithful sidekick when traveling light and long battery life are required, when in couch surfing mood or for typing my blog posts, I happen to be disappointed sometimes. But as it goes with friends, it doesn’t last long before we find back together.

My Chromy is a convenient, silent and always ready sidekick at home, when I couch-surf or need quick access to the Web, but also as a travel companion on holidays. The highlights for me:

  • lightweight, slim, compact
  • long battery life
  • silent, barely warming

You may read >my testing here<

In December 2014, after one and half year, I got more and more frustrated and wrote a rather angry post stating the honeymoon ends. After a while, my Chromebook found a way to get my favor back.

One thing that is really unmatched with it is the comfort of its Chiclets-keyboard. As writing posts is one of my principal uses of my Chromebook, I appreciate.

So, finally the second anniversary of me and my Chromebook is only a few days ahead.

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Six-day Logical Thinking Process training with Bill Dettmer



I was fortunate to attend the six-day Logical Thinking Process (LTP) training delivered by Bill Dettmer, June 2015 in Paris, France and here are some thoughts about it.

Prerequisites for attending Bill’s training course

Good command of English

First of all, the training course and related material are delivered in English. Even if Bill takes great care to speak with chosen words and use minimum idioms, non-native English speakers must be aware of the required command of English in order to follow the lectures, the readings and the comments during a fairly fast-paced training course.

Reading the book(s)

Reading Bill’s book beforehand, at least the chapters he’ll indicates, is another prerequisite.

And indeed I can’t imagine anybody without sufficient prior knowledge about LTP follow the dense and again the relatively fast-paced training course.

Having a real problem to solve

Having a problem to solve is another prerequisite which makes sense from the very first day: each participant has to solve his/her own problem, that is go through the whole LTP with a problem he or she knows well enough.

Without this, no way to pick a general example and leave the session with an actionable example of how to solve a complex problem. Therefore, the training course is much more suitable for people having control or at least sufficient influence within the organization.

Every participant left with his (no ladies this time) set of trees and Conflict Resolution Diagrams, scrutinized and robust, ready for communication and action.
This is a real bonus compared to many other training courses where only simplified case studies, specifically designed to fit the purpose, are used.

So, attending the training course having no problem to solve is a problem!

Military rigor

Bill’s first career as officer in the USAF shows not only in the numerous war stories (not documented in his books!) he told us, but also in the rigorous manner the training course is designed and delivered.
It is simple, thorough, straightforward and backed up with checklists.

What could appear as too simplistic at first glance proved tricky enough when it was time to do it ourselves!


Military rigor during the hands-on exercises does not mean we spent six days in excruciating  bootcamp-style drill. No, we had a lot of fun.

First because Bill has a highly developed sense of humor and uses cartoons and jokes in his lectures. Most of his “war stories” are funny, as is the way he usually speaks.

Second the venue was in Paris, France, a place not notorious for grim seriousness in the summertime. In the capital of the good food and drinks country, it is mandatory to relax during lunch and diner.

Third, sooner of later participants find themselves trapped in some kind of silly situation in front of their trees, which escape will be an occasion to get a laugh.

The weekend in between

When going for six days, and it sure is difficult to figure out how to do it in less time, a week-end at least has to cut the training course. Being myself delivering trainings, I know how draining it can be for the trainer. In this case I must admit it is tiresome for participants too, and the brain really needs a break in between.

All the non-Paris area residents participants picked the opportunity to stay and enjoy France’s capital over the weekend. Monday morning started exchanging the experiences..!

Inspiration and help

When working hands-on, which is about half of the time, participants can get inspiration and help from each others. This implies accepting to expose the current reality of one’s organisation to the others and be scrutinizer as well as scrutinized in turns.

This is great because it offers more opportunities to train the scrutinizing ability and get many feedback on one’s work, on top of the feedback from the Master.

Scrutinizing other’s trees and clouds proves that many problems are pretty generic, which is no surprise.

One-on-one with the Master

Regardless of the number, Bill spends time on one-on-one reviews of the work and will give directions and advice as a private mentor. Do not expect complacency, if it’s crap you’ll know it.

Bill is merciless about clarity and all other Categories of Legitimate Reservations. His suggestions (feel more like orders!) about the statements in the entities sometimes appear as to force to express something else, but ultimately the statement is reflecting the reality, in a much better way!


Attending the course gets participants in touch with other practitioners and alumni, which can be helpful in future, both for maintaining and nurturing the LTP principles and tools mastery and for finding advice if necessary.

What did I personally get from the training course?

Besides the pleasure of deep-diving into something I like and have fun with the others, most of all I got a kind of ‘calibration’ by the expert and Master.

I started to learn and practice the Logical Thinking principles and tools by myself, so it allowed me to assess what I got right, what I did not get exactly right or why Bill does it his way and finally what I developped and will keep even it is not (yet) in the books.

As I use LTP more and more with our clients, I was also interested in the practical how-tos: how to initiate the work, how to setup the scene, even how to place post-it notes onto brown paper!

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So many wasted data

In many organizations people capture a lot of data and… just ignore them, wasting their potential value.
The latest case, at the moment I write this post, is with an aircraft MRO company.

This post echoes a previous one: Trouble with manual data capture

Every aircraft undergoing MRO requires a lot of mandatory paperwork for the sake of traceability. The required information is either directly captured in an IT system, either written on paper and later input into the IT systems.

As this company wants to drastically reduce the duration of the aircrafts’ grounding for MRO and improve the reliability of its planning, the primary source of information to understand the causes of the problems is the data logbook.

I could easily figure out what kind of analysis to do and the correlation to look for, as adherence to planning for example.
Alas, as I was presented the database my enthusiasm quickly faded.

Some of the data supposed to be entered into the system simply wasn’t. Of course it happen to be the most interesting data for my analysis.

Work Breakdown is not always consistent across the portfolio, which makes comparisons challenging.
Mechanics would not always report their work on the appropriate work order. Thus work order lead time to workload correlation would be flawed.

It didn’t seem to worry management as much as it worried me, not because it could compromise my analysis but because the clients would not be charged the right amount (hours spent on an aircraft are billed).

According to data some aircrafts departed the MRO facility before they flew in. An indication of the lack of rigorous tracking as well as a lack in the software’s input trustworthiness checking.

And the list of flaws goes on.

A bit troublesome in a business boasting about safety by the way.

The pity is, as so often, that companies allocate resources to capture data and just ignore them. It would just require a little extra energy and rigor to exploit the data and use them to monitor, drive and improve their business.

Instead of that, just accumulating the data without exploitation is nothing more than wasting its value.

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