Tools guy...

Once I was a freelance (and sometimes not so freelance) consultant type guy, now I’m a musician. Always building tools for myself.  Here they are, for your viewing enjoyment. Feel free to use/share them.

Musical Tools

Extended Frequency to Note Conversion chart — a chart that matches frequency (pitch) with musical notes on the keyboard.  Most such charts stop at the end of the piano keyboard (C8).  This one goes to A11 (56,320 Hz) which is way beyond human hearing.  I needed it for a bird call to MIDI project.

Management Tools

Mike’s Pretty Good Project Definition Worksheet — a series of questions you can answer when you are chartering a project. A good project charter will keep you out of all kinds of trouble.

Mike’s Pretty Good Business Planning and Strategy Gizmo — I don’t know how many times I’ve used this simple Powerpoint deck to help organizations answer the three basic business-planning questions… “Where are we now?”, “Where are we going?” and “How will we get there?”

Mike’s Pretty Good Instant CIO Checklist Gizmo — I’ve been a CIO off and on over the last 30 years (mostly off, I have a pretty short attention span and when things are running smoothly I tend to break things just so I can fix ’em again). This is a one-pager I use when I am asked to come in and give the IS shop a quick once-over-lightly.

Mike’s Pretty Good Information Architecture — my view of how all this evolving info-stuff fits together. ‘Did the first version of this at the University of Minnesota in 1991. Not bad, eh? It’s still pretty good, but it needs updating in a few areas.

Mike’s Pretty Good Forced-Pair Ranking Worksheet — this is a little Excel spreadsheet that can be used to rank up to twelve items.  People compare each item with each of the others (in pairs) and pick which of the pair they prefer.  It tallies their choices and identifies their ranking.

Mike’s Pretty Good Status-report Template — this is another Excel spreadsheet that’s great for small to mid-sized projects that just need a gentle tapping sound to keep them on track.  The only rule is that if one of the questions across the top gets a “yes” answer, you have to explain what’s going on in “Issues and Concerns” at the bottom.  One copy of this spreadsheet, administered weekly, usually does the trick.  Takes about 5 minutes to fill out.