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Showing posts from November, 2011

Play != Games

I'm excited to see Game Storming the iPhone app.




Dave Gray notes that "games and play are not the same thing."  He will teach you to bring games into the work place to get work done.  I think one of the side effects is that you may start to have fun.  For many people work will never be the same as play.  Yet if you want to change the world (thank you Steve Jobs); if you wish to have a purpose aligned life, then you will need to find a way to make play equal to work.  For me, this involves bring games into the work place.

Related posts:
Games and the Human
Agile tools for your iPhone - a list


Every object should have multiple uses.

Working on a honey-do item from the task board today.  It was to cut the dinning room table into, shorten it by about 12- 20 inches.  I was working with a limited selection of tools.  I needed a short straight edge, skill-saw guide.  I had a 6 foot straight edge for the table top - but needed a small one for the table skirt. Looking around I couldn't find one until I looked at the book shelf.  So I grabbed "Agile Estimating and Planning" by Mike Cohn.  I though it was quite appropriate.

Help me Circle you up on G+

Do you want to help me circle you on G+ - if so edit your profile and place a sentence or two in the field "Employment". Then when I mouse over your name I get a richer understanding of who you are. It helps me decide which of my circles I'd like to put you in - keep in mine the empty circle is also a choice. So help me out.

G+ > Profile > Employment (describe yourself)



What have we LEARNED?

Scrum is a stepping stone toward the organization becoming a learning organization, and much of being Agile is about the opportunity to learn. In the modern world of knowledge workers, if the people are not learning on the job, then they are not creating new knowledge. We create new knowledge by understanding the context of new problems, deconstructing the problem, understanding the forces acting within the system, creating solutions to solve them, and then remembering the decisions that resolved the forces and applying them to new challenges. Experience comes from numerous encounters with similar problems. When we reflect on new problems, we generalize and abstract guidelines and rules – this synthesis is learning. Reflection requires time and distance from the immediate problem.


At what point in the Scrum framework do we focus on learning? Well, for a truly mature Scrum team it is constantly, at varying levels. That's what makes working on an Agile team fun for me. We’re constan…

It is not about Sprint Zero; Think Sprint-N

There is a good dialogue on the topic of Scrum's Sprint Zero going on at Scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com.  If you follow the group you will surely learn something about Agility.  It will just seep into your pores.  Go right ahead - click the link and join up... I'll wait here.

The "raging" debate in the Scrum world for years is - should a Scrum team have a Sprint Zero?  A sprint in which they get setup for doing real work.  A sprint for installing all that infrastructure (DB, Version Control System, App Server, build a few [sarcasm] frameworks). [Hint: when a developer says they just need to build a framework - it is geek-code for I don't have any idea how to use The Google to find a tool to do that job - so I will have to forge my own special handmade tool - check back with me after I reinvent the wheel.]

I think perhaps the wise and wonderful man behind the curtain - Ron Jeffries - captures the best thinking on the topic:

"I do, however, object to calling …

The Ultimate Wallboard Innovation

Some years ago Atlassian ran a contest to find the Ultimate Wallboard.  The winner Vodafone's board was awesome.  There are other nice boards there - if you are in need of inspiration to improve your task board.

Ole Højriis Kristensen from the Vodafone Web Team in Denmark was voted the Ultimate Wallboard winner in Dec. 2010. An interview with Ole on the creation of their wallboard.

It uses RFID to track the task on the board and projects on the board real time graphs of work in process and burn up rates.  This allows them to integrate with team members in remote locations.  Yet they do not lose the tactile sense, nor the spatial processing that the vision center of the brain do so effortlessly for us.

While I'm expecting nice online version of wall boards to keep improving, I don't believe there is a better way to learn Scrum than with a physical low-fidelity wallboard.

We don't learn to do arithmetic using a calculator.  No, one starts with simple addition and by th…

Have you written a Manifesto lately?

What is it lately - everyone wants to get into the Manifesto authorship racket.  When I was growing up - only commies and the unibomber wrote manifestos.

Well after taking a stroll through the internet, there are quite a few nice manifestos out there.  Here are a few that I subscribe to...

The Agile Manifesto - four comparative value statements and 12 principles for how to build better software.  With an industry failure rate of 72% boy do we need a manifesto!

The ScrumMaster Manifesto - because this is a group of people that are downtrodden every day.  Sitting in a seat for 2 days straight without nodding off is no bais for a system of government - to paraphrase Dennis - come see the violence inherent in the system.


The Manifesto for Software Craftsmanship - because we need the bar raised.

The Mother [bleep] ing Manifesto for Programming Mother [bleep] ers - because sometime a four letter word says more than a well crafted phrase.

The MoreAgile Manifesto... because incremental improv…

A trick for motivating people

If you're task is to motivate people - you may be surprised that you will fail very often. Invert your thinking.  Figure out, how do you not demotivate people?  It is easier to not demotivate people than to motivate them.  Here are a few ideas from Jim Collins, author of Good to Great.


Don't first sell people on a vision.  Confront the reality (the facts).Don't decide first and then appear to discuss.  Have a true dialogue, then decide.Don't make progress toward the goal invisible.  Show progress, make it obvious.

Related posts:
my notes on Dan Pink's book Drive!
see Sinek TED Talk video in Be or Be Not; there is no Do in Agile


A Timeline of Digital Storage Media

It is a well know fact that humans are relatives of the packrat. We love to store stuff - useless stuff away for a later time. Therefore we need bigger storage lockers, and more storage lockers. We need 30,000 sq-ft homes with basements the size of a high school gym. We need climate controlled storage lockers - off site, but still within 5 miles of home.

The same is true for our digital lives. Who still has the code for the first program they wrote for the x86 chip set? Now we have more storage on our key ring than was in the corporate data center of 1984 (I am Big Brother).


The History of Digital Storage [INFOGRAPHIC]

My how time flys! The rate at which data storage capability increases is exponential. But is it limited?

See Also:
51 Most Popular Tech Gadgets through the Years