A sum of vested interests

In one of the large enterprise sales deals I was involved with, I ended up participating in dozens of calls over many months with the organization buying our software. Now, a long battery of pre-sales calls is not unexpected in these large deals, but in this case the process became quite long and nightmarish. We … Read more

Execution Seductions

The following are the two most seductive distractions that get in my way when executing an idea. Seduction #1: Another idea This new idea could be related to what I am doing right now, or a totally different animal. It could be an idea for a new video game, a book, or a better stopwatch. … Read more

Coding a garden

I used to believe in a ‘hard’ view of software development. I insisted that the developers we hired were ‘engineers’ and I used a lot of mechanical metaphors. To me, it was pretty much a binary affair. Building software was like building a car or a rocket; many hard, cold parts that fit together optimally, … Read more

Book: The Mom Test

The gist of it At 126 pages, on which I highlighted 27 passages, I definitively found this book densely packed with good stuff. I will re-read and refer to it again in the future for sure. My TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) assessment: Worth reading end-to-end. No skimming. The premise We are subject to tremendous … Read more

Quick and Dirty

I am a realist, but regardless of accepting that many times we make compromises, I stay vigilant when I accept those quick-and-dirty solutions. Because this proposition always delivers two things: Quick + Dirt Quick is delivered and then forgotten over time. Dirt is also delivered and stays there forever, until you clean it—and this cleaning … Read more

2 Second Delays

There is a time vampire hiding in your browser. It looks like this: Lately, this one has been annoying me. Instead of relying on gut feeling, I ran a little experiment. I navigated through various well-known websites and web applications — stopwatch at hand. While I navigated, I recorded the time I saw the wait … Read more

Vicious Iterations – Part 2

In a previous post I wrote about the problem with teams that iterate without a real vision. Without a carefully premeditated direction iterations assure that everybody is busy — but they create a dangerous sense of confidence because we feel fast and nimble. A fly is fast and nimble too. The problem with problem solvers. … Read more

Vicious Iterations

‘Never confuse movement with action.’ Ernest Hemingway Most of us would agree that developing using iterations is essentially safe because fast, consecutive iterations lead naturally to a self-correcting system. But there is danger oversimplifying what iterations can do. For an iterative process to self-correct it must start in the vicinity of the desired outcome or … Read more

Agile Devolved

I am safe; I am wearing my safety belt! Teenage driver We are fast; we are doing Agile! Management team “The word ‘Agile’ has been subverted to the point where it is effectively meaningless, and what passes for an agile community seems to be largely an arena for consultants and vendors to hawk services and … Read more

People Problems

No matter how it looks at first, it’s always a people problem. The Secrets of Consulting – Gerald Weinberg (1985) Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Agile Manifesto (2001) Corollary If essentially you are not fixing a people problem, then you are not really solving a problem.