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Showing posts from February, 2011

Dreaming of iPad with Thunderbolt (Updated)

What would you say to an iPad with a Thunderbolt port ?  Both high-res video and high speed data transfer. Well March 2, 2011 came and went, the iPad 2 didn't get a Thunderbolt port but did get HDMI output.  Looks like they've made the iPad 2 too thin for a Thunderbolt port.  Didn't see that coming. UPDATE:  But wait, perhaps a redesigned iOS connector would do the trick.  This is what some think is coming to the iPad and iPhone. Thunderbolt coming to iPhone and iPad  

And they called it Scrum (iteration 5)

[ Why iteration 5? Just because I wanted to see what would happen if I iterated toward a finished blog post.  I learned that I do not consider blog post to be finished works of writing, the better the post the more I wish to iterate on it. ] I'm sitting here drinking a Big Orange and thinking about Scrum.  How much does Andy's monologue, What it Was, Was Football sound like your management or C-level? Why did they call this lightweight process (that later became know as an Agile process framework) Scrum?  I don't know - but allow me some revisionist historical fiction, and I'll tell you. Scrum by definition is a play in the real sport of Rugby.  I think Jeff Sutherland ( roots of Scrum ) may be a Rugby fan.  Being an observant guy and noticing the similarity to software development and the true game, it hit him one day in the midst of a game (it was most likely a legal hit, as there are few illegal hits in Rugby - this ain't Footbal

Innate Scrum - we are born with it.

It would appear that humans have innate ability to do empirical process control within a very difficult domain (language) right from birth. At TEDxRainier, Patricia Kuhl shares astonishing findings about how babies learn one language over another -- by listening to the humans around them and "taking statistics" on the sounds they need to know. Clever lab experiments (and brain scans) show how 6-month-old babies use sophisticated reasoning to understand their world. I'm a typical American, I only know one language.  I also have a bit of a impediment in hearing some sounds.  I was born and raised in the south (North Carolina) so according to the dialect maps I pronounce the words: pin, and pen the same.  I also pronounce the words: hill, heal, heel the same.  May be it's just me and not my dialect from Stanley County, NC.  I also had a speech impediment as a child and with the help of parents and teachers I over came the impediment - I normalized. I did the typ

Pair Chess Game Exercise

Some years ago I designed this exercise for a Pair Programming simulation using the media of the game of chess.  The idea was to have a pair on each side of the board, they would work together to finish a famous game against their opponents (a pair also).  Chess Game Pairing Exercise Instructor.PDF I never used the exercise because the developers I was working with didn't know the game of chess, and didn't seem interested in the simulation.   If you use this please let me know how it works out. Game 1 (after 31 ... Bxa2) Garry Kasparov (White) vs X3D Fritz Computer (Black) Man-Machine World Chess Championship 2003

How did I drive up my reader stats?

What will increase your web-blog traffic the most - getting aggregated into a well known site like All About Agile   or pictures of dogs? Well it may be too early to tell for sure.  But here are some early stats. Daily stats for the week that my site was added to All About Agile some time Saturday.  I see traffic up about 100+ page loads.  That's great - wonderful. However that's just one data point, and one aspect of the study.  What drives traffic to a blog? I have another data point.  In late November I added about 12 dog photos on a post about story estimation.  How has that effected traffic? Here we see monthly (not daily) page load counts.  That spike in December, 90% is the dog story from Nov 28th.  Below are individual pages, my site sees a few hits a day per story - until aggregated with All About Agile, then it bounces into the 20 - 35 range.  But nothing compares to pictures of puppy dogs! So go ahead... I know you want to look at the dogs. Dog Groomin

Which will you choose - the 2 step or 4 step?

When it come to being a messenger - we all should receive a Kevlar vest. So you have bad news - you feel that the upper management will not like to hear about it.  Here are two options. The Harvard Business Review recommends a simple 4 step process : Describe. Provide a general overview of the problem, and explain the impact. Be sure to position this in terms of what matters to your manager.  Identify a solution. Recommend a specific solution or approach, along with alternatives.  Analyze your solution. Share the pros and cons and explain the implications. Be prepared to discuss the risks or barriers that may be of concern to your boss.  Accept responsibility. Let your manager know that you are willing to take the responsibility for the outcome of your proposed approach.  Or you could use the Two Step : Lift carpet. Find somewhere to put the problem out of sight - out of mind.  Sweep. Keep sweeping the problem out of the bosses sight line.  Which is going to b

Your next Scrum Board.

What would you do with a million dollars? Here's your next Scrum Board.

What's the worst bug ever?

If you've had beers with a few programmers, sometimes the conversation gets around to a one-ups-manship game of who's faced the worst bug.  One story I retold just the other day was about the IT department that was truncating long running connections at the firewall for security.  Silly programmers, we had written our applications to assume that a TCP/IP connection could last as long as the application needed it to last.  While it didn't take long to discover the bug, it did take weeks to clean it up - policy decision are the hardest to change.  Policy is not software - it is ink & paper signed in blood-ware.  Much harder that hardware.  Capable of withstanding krypton drills and sharks with frigin laser beams . Here's a picture of the first-ever computer bug. "One of the primary programmers for the Mark I was a woman, Grace Hopper . Hopper found the first computer "bug": a dead moth that had gotten into the Mark I and whose wings were blocking the

The Starbucks Test

I proposed the test in February  2011; it's not really been widely accepted as the defacto standard - yet. What is the purpose of the Starbucks Test?  To indicate to me, a Fluent Digital Immigrant, the likelihood of happiness when engaging with a new an unknown organizations. The premise:  When one walks into a Starbucks one expects to increase their happiness. Either by making a "fair" exchange for a coffee with lots of options, and the opportunity to speak in riddles (order: I'll have a tall, skinny, why bother) to the happy staff that deliver value in a very predictable and expected way.  Or to not exchange any of my hard earned money - and just soak-in the cool (or warm) air and spend some quality time using their wonderful space to think, chat, or while-away some hours. The exchange is fair because you both agree to it. It is not the best price that a fair market should trend toward. But there are so many externalities that keeps this best price from bei

Will Mash-ups start happening outside of software?

Just watched this video about Lean-Agile process being used by WikiSpeed to build fuel efficient cars (100+ MPG). Wikispeed is using Agile and Lean to manufacture parts, components and assemblies - generating very fast innovation. I then watched this video about eRocket Bike - you still peddle but the bike is assisted and goes about 50 MPH!  Move over Lance Armstrong. So what would happen if we mashed these two startup innovators together?  We do this in software all the time.  I worked with some guys that mashed Fit/Fitness with Selenium and out poped StoryTestIQ .  Could we all be peddling our cars in the future? See Also: Ricardo Semler: How to run a company with (almost) no rules

The Digital Generation: Teaching to a Population that Speaks an Entirely New Language

A paper and presentation at The Chair Academy , April 1 - 4, 2008 in Denver, CO. THE_DIGITAL_GENERATION_v2.ppt (PowerPoint presentation) Did You Know video by Karl Fisch & Scott McLeod.  Join the ShiftHappens conversation . THE_DIGITAL_GENERATION.pdf PDF Authors Info Tracy L. Gibson, Ed.D. Assistant Professor Organizational Leadership Chapman University -Bangor Mark Van Den Hende, Ph.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs & College Dean Waycross College University System of Georgia David A. Koontz Agile Coach Introduction   Traditional aged students today were born in 1987 and according to the Beloit College's Mindset List for the Class of 2009, “they don't remember when "cut and paste" involved scissors. They learned to count with Lotus 1-2-3. Voice mail has always been available. They may have fallen asleep playing with their Gameboys in the crib. Bill Gates has always been worth at least a billion dollars. Pixar has always existed. D

Agile Coach -or- Transition Guide to Agility

A good dialogue on what it means to be an Agile Coach on Quora - Buckminster Fuller wrote in his 1970 book I Seem To Be a Verb : "I live on Earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know that I am not a category. I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process – an integral function of the universe." Much of the coaching I enjoy doing is about being a "Transition Guide" toward Agility. My thinking on this is that I don't want to have to wear the Kevlar vest of the Change Agent. I prefer to model the behaviors of the best guides I've had the pleasure of knowing - the community of Outward Bound guides I've learned so much from.  And the role of a true coach is one totally focused upon the client's needs (not the sponsor's desires for the client).  That ethical constraint is not respected in the Agile community. These are people that can not afford to spe

Organizational Change Models

A short little comparison of Organizational Change models. There is Kurt Lewin's 3 stage model:  Unfreezing , Change , Freeze . See: Frontiers in Group Dynamics (1947). A change towards a higher level of group performance is frequently short-lived, after a “shot in the arm”, group life soon returns to the previous level. This indicates that it does not suffice to define the objective of planned change in group performance as the reaching of a different level. Permanency of the new level, or permanency for a desired period, should be included in the objective. -- Kurt Lewin Then there is the most well known:  John Kotter's 8 Steps model. Establish a sense of urgency . Create the guiding coalition . Develop a vision and strategy . Communicate the change vision. Empower employees for broad-based action . Generate short-term wins . Consolidate gains and produce more change. Anchor new approaches in the culture . These were developed from Kotter's study of fai

Time to Market - not sufficient reason to transition to Agile.

If your number one reason to switch to Agile software development is - Time to Market - you should come up with a better reason. Dig deeper. Ask WHY this is important to your customers (not just your companies bottom line). In " The 12 Key Reasons Companies Adopt Agile " by Mike Cottmeyer notes this as reason #1. While I agree with his list of reasons, I don't agree that those reasons are always sufficient to motivate people to change. 1. Faster time to market – Lots of folks that decide to go agile are pretty fed up with 18 month delivery cycles that quite often deliver the wrong products to market… one’s that our customers just aren’t interested in buying. The idea of two week delivery cycles and quarterly release cadences is pretty appealing. Our markets and our competition are just moving too fast… we’ve got to get better at getting working product out the door faster. If the best reason your CEO can come up with is to increase the rate of product deliver,