Showing posts from May, 2010

Agile is a Great Answer to an Important Question Never Asked

Sometimes I think agile software development is a really good answer to a question that has never been asked. There are plenty of good reasons for bottom-up agile initiatives in companies. If implemented correctly, agile is great for software developers. If software development is a company bottleneck, a bottom up agile initiative can be great for the company too. You may feel there is a "but" coming, and there is: But in the long run, agile initiatives are unlikely to succeed unless managers at all levels buy into it. That is unlikely to happen with a bottom-up initiative, because agile methods are practical implementations of a management paradigm that is very different from what most companies have. Bottom up agile initiatives have to fight the system. In most cases the system will win. Agile has a much better chance of succeeding when going agile is the response to a management initiative. Top-down initiatives make agile a natural part of a new system. It is still

Winners Never Quit

My son, Tim, is four years old. We sometimes play a little game where we try to spot cars of certain colors: blue, red and yellow. (Trains and buses also count, and there is a special rule about large green cranes.) Tim is very observant, and pretty fast. When he rides on my shoulders he is a difficult opponent to beat. He is not above twisting my head the wrong way or putting his hands over my eyes. A budding master strategist, I am sure. (It is not quite as dangerous as it sounds. We play when walking on sidewalks. Where we live these are well separated from the road. Nevertheless, I am trying to teach him less dangerous stratagems.) Recently I managed to get the upper hand, 6-3. "Ha," I told him,"I'm leading for the first time. This time I'll win." Tim was unruffled. "No daddy," he said, "You are leading for the last time." A few moments later we got within view of a parking lot and he trounced me thoroughly. The morale of t

The Process - Wish I was this funny (YouTube video)

This video illustrates how design processes go awry. It is pretty funny. I have seen real life projects like this, for example a project with three different product design groups, working with three different methods. What really boggles my mind is that in some organizations this is considered "the way we do things here", and no one finds it the least bit strange. The YouTube page is here . I got the link from a blog post by Bob Sutton.

Dan Pink on Human Motivation (Videocast)

This is a great video. Worth watching for anyone who is a boss, or has a boss. Here is a link to the original page on YouTube . Thanks to Julian Harris and Bob Marshall  on Twitter for tweeting about this.