Visual – Backlogs with User Input

One of the first things to help a business to gain agility is to connect the product development to the actual user community.  A simple way to do this is to connect the backlog to user input.  If you can show the users your backlog of scenarios, and they can help you prioritize and validate…

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30 Nuggets on Software Development from Shaping Software

A while back, I started a site called Shaping Software.   The purpose was to create a collection of little nuggets on lessons learned from designing, building, and shipping software. I ended up writing more than 100 articles on software development (browse the archives for a quick view). The didn’t maintain the site.   For one reason,…

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Any Activity Can Be Turned into a Game

Any activity can be turned into a game, if it meets the right criteria.  Wise words from Dan Cook:      “If an activity can be learned…      If the player’s performance can be measured…      If the player can be rewarded or punished in a timely fashion…      Then any activity that meets these criteria…

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Sinofsky on How To Analyze the Competition

Sometimes the best way to do something well, is to know what to avoid.  In Ex-Windows Boss Steve Sinofsky: Here’s Why I Use An iPhone, Nicholas Carlson shares some tips from Steve Sinofsky on analyzing the competition: Don’t use the product in a lightweight manner Don’t think like yourself Don’t bet competitors act similarly (or…

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The Key to Agility: Breaking Things Down

If you find you can’t keep up with the world around you, then break things down.  Breaking things down is the key to finishing faster. Breaking things down is also the key to agility. One of the toughest project management lessons I had to learn was breaking things down into more modular chunks.   When I…

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Wearable Computing

I was watching a video on Google Glass with Robert Scoble, and I couldn’t help but wonder about all the possibilities that technology can bring to the table. Wearable computing bridges the gap between the real world and the things we see in Sci-Fi movies. Of course, when we overlay information on our world, the…

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Nobody Wants to Invest

A colleague sketched a visual of a recurring theme he runs into, where “nobody wants to invest” in the time, to take a step back, to leap frog forward.  The visual looked like this:     I’ve seen this pattern, too.  There are lots of reasons.  Many of them come down to change is hard,…

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ALM Categories at a Glance

I’m reviewing some ALM (Application Life-Cycle Management) work for a colleague, so I thought it would help to rehydrate a map of the ALM space.  I’m a fan of having simple maps to find my way around.  By map, I simply mean topics and categories, and ideally sub-categories to help see the lay of the…

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Layered Architecture Solution Guidance for 2012

Serena Yeoh, former Microsoft, has ported  her Layered Architecture Solution Guidance to Visual Studio 2012.  Her Layered Architecture Solution Guidance is a collection of project templates and tools for developing Layered Applications. Serena has a passion for helping others use technology, and building maintainable applications. Here is the link to the Layered Architecture Solution Guidance…

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Agile Life-Cycle Frame

As a program manager, it’s tough to shape a process with the team, if the team can’t “see” it.  When you have a mental model you can share with the team, things move a lot faster.   The problem with life cycles and end-to-end processes, is that people don’t usually know what the end-to-end actually looks…

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