24 November 2012

What is the most frustrating thing about using Microsoft Word? - Quora

Just a quick note to let you know two things...

First, yes, I am still alive.

Second, take a quick minute to read through this for a good set of chuckles and for those of us who create software to remind ourselves that the price of failure is to be ridiculed by the world.


Microsoft Word: What is the most frustrating thing about using Microsoft Word? - Quora

23 November 2012

Reverse the Portfolio board: Start with what we learned.

I have been putting a view of a portfolio of programs in front of an executive team. My agenda has been to increase the discussion about the value and lessons learned from projects.

There is an underlying assumption (by me) that we can ‘do better’ by reflecting on the lessons that are available in completed projects rather than quickly moving on to the next thing.

Part of the information I present is in the following format. This mock up roughly resembles the spatial aspect of the content as well. Each time I look at a print out of the info on my desk I get a feeling that it is backwards. (As you cans see it’s the reverse order of a typical agile board.)
What can we learn from our past?
The reason it looks like this instead of a normal team board is because of the following two points;

  • It reflects the passage of time. The now vertical column separates the past and future. 
  • The thing I think is most important is what we are learning from our past performance – so that is up front 

Co-incidentally I discovered a colleague Kim Ballestrin has written up an interesting blog post on doing the same thing in a personal kanban context. Check out her experiment and insights here. It's quite an interesting post that reinforces my view that this is the right way to go.

8 November 2012

Agile BA training course - 10 December | Melbourne

Ed Wong, a friend and colleague of mine is running a 2 day course on how business analysts can be the best that they can be on agile teams.  It's on in just a few weeks and is highly worthwhile.

The case for doing this or a similar course is simple; this agile thing is mainstream now, and you need to be able to work and show your value to agile teams. Fast-track your understanding and build some skills while you are at it.

Below is an excerpt from the course description.

This two day course will help you to understand how Business Analysts fit into the world of agile development. We will cover the principles underpinning agile development, and how as a business analyst you can be involved in agile projects in the following areas:
  • establishing project vision and needs 
  • understanding your users 
  • User stories and Product Backlogs 
  • Planning and Estimation 
  • quality and project governance 
  • solving BA challenges 
  • continuous improvement 
Practical activities are used throughout the course; you will envision a product, and progress through different approaches to build a shared understanding of that product vision. You will be able to take these techniques and apply them to your role in an agile project.