Monday, September 7, 2009

Methods of Work

I just realized something about my self. Maybe I've known it, but it popped this time. It is in big type, this time. It is "methods of work". That's the part I like the best.



I've been reading my father's Fine Wood Working magazines for over 20 years (at $8 who can afford them?). I just bought the Oct 2009 issue of Fine Wood Working, my wife saw it and noted that Sam Maloof (1916 - 2009) had died, they feature him on the cover in one of his fine rocking chairs (a great cover). I read the articles, and enjoy looking at great furniture, however I keep finding that I enjoy the how to articles the most. It not just the 'how to' that intrigues me it is the process of making something even better/easier to accomplish or how to make a jig that allows for a more precise/accurate machining step. I've read my father's Fine Wood Working off and on for years now. This issue it hit me like a ton of... rough cut 2x8s - the title of the how to section is now called "methods of work"! It has always been my favorite section (regardless of its name). It is the section with tips from readers, with drawings of jigs and fixtures, diagrams of how to assemble some complex component, a how to section on making a blind dove-tail joint.

Well it fits. It is the same thing I love about working with Agile teams. I love to make them function just a little bit better. Maybe if the task board had sticky notes shaped like people with a name, then we could apply the sticky-people to a story and know who is working on that story today. And the arts-n-crafts factor would be high, so it would challenge the Scrum Master's scissors dexterity. Great I'm trying it!

For me Agile is all about methods of work, experimenting, and finding the things that do work and then tweaking them, small incremental improvements to process as well as product. Find something interesting to experiment with. As Sam Maloof did with his chair designs that have become a classic, he is/was the master, and he taught many people how to make similarly beautiful functional pieces of art.
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