Lead by Collaboration

28 08 2009

Lately, I’m hearing more and more that teams are stuck in the waterfall way of doing things when it comes to software development. Why, I say, why?

We Can Do Better

Today’s technology makes it possible to work closer with our customers so that we deliver exactly what they need instead of something that we think they are asking for. In the old model, we had to draw up a set of requirements that included every feature that could be conceived. With the technology available during that time waterfall Model made sense because we were mostly disconected from our customers with very slow Internet speeds when we were connected. The model of the Internet also was not yet one of collaboration, but more of a information display model. There were a number of computer limitations like the floppy disc with low storage capacity, database technology was in its infancy, and email was brand new. We can’t imagine the internet with such limitations today, but it had to start somewhere.

No More Limits

The most limiting factor was the fact that the network infrastructure was slow, sporadic, and costly. The fact that a business can acquire reliable high speed internet connectivity all the time is one of the biggest potential productivity boosters for business. It is especially important to the small business owner because it levels the playing field. I say that it is a potential productivity booster because a business has to recognize the power of what it has in its hand. If the methods aren’t updated to take advantage of the latest technology, then the business can no longer compete. Technology is changing at a rapid rate, but old mindsets are a little harder to change and so we make little progress compared to what we could accomplish. I work continuously with highly skilled engineers implementing the most technologically advanced systems in the world. We make the things that move the world forward by quantum leaps and yet try to hold on to large requirement docs in favor of smaller requirements with tight feedback loops. The large documents fits in a clunky disconnected computer world, but the smaller documents with frequent adjustments and constant feedback fits in todays world of thin light connected computers. We no longer need documentation that is 100 pages long upfront, but we need to start with say 10 pages and add to that over time as the project progresses. We can collaborate with customers real time using internet collaboration tools creating documentation on the fly for the next phase or feature of the project. The key to delivering exactly what the customer wants is feedback early and often.

I do think a project needs a high level view of each feature or phase from the point of conception through product delivery, but detailing every aspect is not necessary. Better to detail in windows of 2 to 3 quarters out and leaving anything past that at a high level.

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Twitter: What’s The Point? – Part 1

19 08 2009

This is a series for the twitter alien or newbie who either has yet to embark upon a twitter user account or is just getting started. This is not a how-to guide for the most part, because frankly, most of my real world friends can’t get past the “what’s the point” question when it comes to twitter. It’s the question I had to answer for myself before jumping in too and it’s the question still wrangling around in some of your minds as your twitter account remains dormant waiting for you, hence the title.

Got Something To Say?

Have you ever wanted to tell the world something but felt like nobody wanted to listen? You ever had the answer but no audience to hear you out? Ever been frustrated with the pundits that always seem to have the mic, but never telling the whole story?  If you’ve ever experienced these feelings then there is a way for you to set things right, to tell it like it is. Set the whole world straight 140 characters at a time. Sure, you are forced to make it short and sweet, but in today’s world that’s how we like it anyway.

You’ve Got The Power

Remember that words contain power and guess what, tweets are what…yep, you guessed it, WORDS. So, when you tweet, you’ve got the power.

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Twitter is your platform to the world, your own soapbox where you can be heard as oft as you like, with no boundaries of time or space. Become a national or international voice, or a local voice if that’s all you want. Say something from your computer or smartphone and immediately impact and influence a life in India or other parts of the world.  Many, many tweeple converse and communicate on twitter every second of the day  and you can find and connect with people of like mind with a little effort.

Twitter is just like the real world in that to get more out of it, you must first contribute more to it.  On that  note, the more you tweet, the more tweets come back to you. So, take control and enlighten the world on how it really is. Use Twitter as your platform, soapbox, microphone, etc. It is useful, influential, entertaining, empowering, and waiting for you. You can always find me at http://twitter.com/dfresh411. Where are you?

tweety

RETWEET THIS

RETWEET THIS





Seize Your Moment: Realize Your Dream

2 07 2009

And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed.Genesis 37:6 KJV

Read Genesis Chapters 37, 39 – 41

1. What a Dream. Joseph had to be shocked and devastated by the devious plot of his brothers to sell him into slavery.  As shocked and devastated as he must have been, after arriving at Potiphar’s, his new master in Egypt, he managed to get about the business of making the best of of his situation.  Joseph successfully rose to the top of every situation, no matter the predicament.  Whether he was a son, a slave, a prisoner, or a citizen, he always persevered to a position of favor and authority.  While in prison, Joseph’s time had come to realize his dream and he seized his moment in Gen 40:14 where he interprets the dream of the baker and the cup bearer.  Having used his gift, he was later summoned by a troubled Pharoah to interpret his dreams and soon found himself second in charge of all of Egypt where eventually his brothers and his father would be subject to him as in his dream.

Questions: (1) What are some of the character traits that Joseph portrayed throughout the scripture? (2) Through each very difficult circumstance, Joseph remained faithful to God.  How did he do it?

2. Practical Life Lessons.  As we look into the life of Joseph, we see that life is not always easy and that there will be seasons of fruitfulness and seasons of barrenness.   God shows us through Joseph, that we can  be ready for whatever comes our way.

Questions: (1) In Genesis 47 during the years of plenty, Joseph put away 20% of all the produce of the land;  Is this amount still relevant today?





Effective Communication – Improving the Probability of Success

28 04 2009

What did you just say?

Only fifty-five percent of communication is spoken.  The rest of it is body language, tone, and other  non-verbal queues.  An effective communicator will take time to read and understand the whole  message and not just the words. 
It is difficult for folks to hide how they feel.  Sighs, eye rolling, head turning, finger pointing, frowns, all can be signs of frustration. Laughter, smiles,  and wide eyes point to someone who is fulfilled and happy.
 
The word “Hello”, for instance, can be used to be polite or it can be relayed with sarcasm, as to say get a clue, in which case, it would not be received well.  The delivery of the words is as important as the words we choose to say.   We should deliver the message, good or bad, in as constructive a manner as possible to give our ideas the best chance for success.