Showing posts from July, 2009

10 Books for software developers (that are not about software development)

The best software developers I have met are a pretty diverse bunch of people, but they have some traits in common. For example, they have all been voracious readers, and they read a lot of stuff not directly related to software development. There is good reason for this: Creativity is the process of solving problems by taking different bodies of knowledge, breaking them down into components, selecting some of the components and connecting them into a new body of knowledge. The creative engine needs fuel. Good software developers, like good managers, leaders, and any good knowledge worker, continuously feeds that engine. The following books are books I have read and found useful when I was a software developer. Today, as a business strategist and advisor, I still find them useful. Please note that I have not ranked them according to usefulness, it would be like ranking the usefulness of the wheels of your car. You need a full set. Here are the books: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Gold

Fast Strategy Deployment Message Sequence Diagram

I am working on a message sequencing diagram for fast strategy deployment. Here is an initial version: There are five hierarchical levels. Assuming that one leader can lead a team of 7-8 people, this message diagram would be good for an organization with 16,000 to 32,000 people. An important assumption here is that the organization uses a Boyd style decentralized management model. This allows teams at each level to decide how to solve the problems within their spheres of control and influence before sending information upwards in the organization. Another important assumption is IOHAI (Insight, Orientation, Harmony, Agility, Initiative) training for all leaders. This does of course include working knowledge of Crawford Slip, The Logical Thinking Process, and other Strategic Navigation tools. Note that with this messaging model, information about the external environment reaches top management first. Information from inside the organization takes about five days to travel up. By the ti

Sinan Si Alhir on The Purposeful Enterprise

Sinan Si Alhir has written a very interesting blog post on The Purposeful Enterprise . The post integrates ideas from many different sources. As Si puts it: The Purposeful Enterprise integrates Communities, Collaboration, Kanban, and Tribes. When you read Si's post, which I hope you do, click on the illustrations to see the enlarged versions. They are worth studying.

The Logical Thinking Process Stencil for OmniGraffle

The Logical Thinking Process stencil for OmniGraffle described in this post can be downloaded here . I have been playing with OmniGraffle , a diagram editor for the Mac. I am usually using OpenOffice Draw to create The Logical thinking Process (TLTP) diagrams. TLTP is a method for complex problem solving. It is useful for things like creating a kick ass business strategy, solving the world's climate problems, or figuring out whether to go to a new action movie (her preference) or a new art exhibition (his preference). OpenOffice Draw is easy to work with, but using a more specialized diagram editing program has some advantages. ( Michael Nygard recommended Flying Logic's TLTP diagram editor, so I'll try it out too, once I have played a bit more with OmniGraffle.) A nice thing about OmniGraffle is that you can create your own symbol sets, called stencils. OmniGraffle has a fair set of stencils by default, but there is also a web site, Graffletopia , where people can upload

How to use Business Battle Maps with Strategic Navigation

I have begun using Scribd for whitepapers and other material. Here is the first paper published there. You can download the paper in PDF format at the Scribd site. I hope you find it useful. Business Battle Mapping