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Showing posts from April, 2017

Agile Movement's parallels to Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

What parallels are there between Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and the state of the Agile movement's union? Lincoln was a primary figure at the dedication of Soldiers' National Cemetery , in Gettysburg. He did not wish to upstage the keynote speaker, Edward Everett , and so summarized in 2 minutes the principle of human equality as defined by the Declaration of Independence and the Civil War.  Do you remember, the keynote speech?  Few people do. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address : Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation migh

Info Radiation vs Info Refrigeration - a metaphor

Is a metaphor a form of lightweight model? "All models are wrong, some models are useful." -- George Box The metaphor of information radiation is quite well know to many in the software industry.  Did you ask why?  Maybe because much of our work is very hidden from view, until we run the program and the computer interprets the code to produce some desired outcome.  Even that outcome may be obscured from view, and we must produce reports upon the data that the program produced.  So in a world where smoke and mirrors are common, one antidote to the common problem of not knowing where one is along the path toward product completion, a visualization is a powerful tool. Generally speaking the information radiator has similar properties to the old fashion building heat radiator that used a steam media source to heat heavy iron and radiate the heat from the iron into the room.  It feels great to be standing next to a radiator when you've just come in from the cold.

Design Your Competition's Support Department

You are presented with a common business problem.  One technique that has always helped me to define the problem space is to invert the problem, take it to an extreme to explore the continuum of your domain.  Let's imagine that we want to redesign our software support department at MegaSoft Corporation.  Applying our inversion principle we will leave our MegaSoft support as is, and instead we will design the competitors support group. It's going to stink, people are going to hate to even call them, their people will be arrogant techies with no human compassion - they will actually hire with those skills required.  Let's pause and give this company a name...   TechHard sounds great. Who's time is most valuable?  At TechHard the support engineers time is very valuable, so we will have process that time how long a support tech. is on the call with a customer so that our process gurus can optimize for the use of this most valuable resource.  A typical call from a directo

Can we have a dialogue about Estimation and the behaviors it drives?

Some topic are taboo - not safe to discuss.  I've never appreciated that concept.  Those taboo topics are my favorite topics to discuss. Taboo Topics (ordered by fear of conversation) Gender - Sexual preferences - non-standard practices Religion as truth, my religion vs your wrong religion Politics - the correct way to govern a group the results in my opportunity Pay for services rendered - why my gender is paid more than yours counting - off by one errors and how to mask them; we're # 1 estimates - how wrong your estimate was and why I'm missing my commitment prioritization - ordering methods laziness - the art of not doing work I've recently been embroiled in a "dialogue" about the twitter topic of #NoEstimates.  I would write a summary of the topic but cannot do better that this one: Estimates? We Don’t Need No Stinking Estimates!  by Scott Rosenberg "How a hashtag ( #NoEstimates ) lit the nerdy world of project management aflame — or

Leadership re-envisioned in the 21st Century

Is there a new form of leadership being envisioned in the 21st Century?  Is there someone challenging the traditional form of organizational structure? Leading Wisely - a pod cast with Ricardo Semler. Leading Wisely "Join organizational changemaker Ricardo Semler in conversation with leaders challenging assumptions and changing how we live and work." S1E01: Killing the Dinosaur Business Model (Part 1) with Basecamp’s Jason Fried & DHH S1E02: Killing the Dinosaur Business Model (Part 2) with Basecamp’s Jason Fried & DHH S1E03: Reinventing Organizations with Frederic Laloux S1E04: Self-organization with Zappos' Tony Hsieh S1E05: Busting Innovation Myths with David Burkus S1E06: Merit and Self-Management with Jurgen Appelo S1E07: Letting Values Inform Organizational Structure with Jos de Blok S1E08: Corporate Liberation with Isaac Getz S1E09: The Police & Self-Management with Erwin van Waeleghem S1E10: Season Finale: The Commo

Multiple Views of Truth are Perceptions

These are a few of the images that resonate with me. For me they are very close to a door of perception . Now I've never done a mescaline trip, so perhaps I've no clue to what a door frame of perception even looks like... but these images are pretty good with a few beers and some colleagues to discuss there deep meaning and what truth is. Would we even know the truth if it walked up and slapped our face? Translated: "This is not a pipe" Cover image of book: Godel Escher Bach This is Truth; while this and that are true In any article I write that mentions a door of perception - I would be remise if I didn't mention one of my all time favorite poets and musical group - Jim Morrison and the Doors.  Now do you know that the band is named for? Aldous Huxley's The Doors of Perception "Huxley concludes that mescaline is not enlightenment or the Beatific vision , but a "gratuitous grace" (a term taken from Thomas Aquin

Waggle Dance -or- Standup Meeting

Bees do a dance that bee keeper refer to as the Waggle dance... It is with great pleasure that you can watch and using the power of science have this dance translated into English. Bee Dance (Waggle Dance) by  Bienentanz GmbH What does this have to do with Scrum?  The power of a metaphor was well known to the creators of Extreme Programming (XP) - so much so, that it is one of only 12 "rules" that those really smart people decided to enshrine into their process.  It is also the most likely rule to not be mentioned in any survey of software development practices.  Unless you happen to be chatting with Eric Evens, and he may agree that he's captured the underlying principle in Domain-Driven Design, the Ubiquitous Language pattern . Have you ever observed a great scrum team using a classic tool of many innovative company environments - the physical visual management board (Scrum Task Board). The generic behavior for a small group of people (say around 7 plus/m