May 202012
 
The Design of Everyday Things

Last weekend I took my daughter and one of her friends to meet up with some other friends in her class to see The Avengers movie. On the way into the theater, I snapped the picture on the right. I’m not a great photographer, and I shot the picture with her iPhone (since I’d left mine at home… different story). It may not be obvious from the picture what is happening/has happened. Christie is pushing on the push plate of the glass door. She is actually leaning on it with [read more…]

Feb 082012
 
Padding estimates and promises

A few days ago, we uncovered an opportunity that depended a lot on timing. If we could get it going in five days, we could exploit it… if it took longer than that, the timing was going to impact some other strategic concerns. I asked a developer for an estimate of the effort, and he said it would take ten days to complete. About my own estimates I have always been sensitive to suggest my own estimates to other developers. My estimates nearly always scared others, but I had a [read more…]

Sep 182011
 
Great clarity of thought and more than a little courage...

Why is it so hard at times to move a team toward a shared vision? Having a shared vision is supposed to make coordinating actions easier. It is also one way we avoid becoming victims of circumstance, “drifting in the marketplace”. Producing shared vision, meanwhile, requires effective communication – and the larger the group, the more simple and direct the communication must be, or people won’t “get it”. The challenge of simple and direct communication is that it requires great clarity of thought and more than a little courage. – [read more…]