Apr 152012
 

Friday afternoon, my team and I hit on what we thought was a serious data issue that might have had a big impact on our sales team. The data coming into one end of a business process didn’t seem to be coming out the other as we expected. It turned out that we were mistaken about what we were looking at – it actually took us a few hours to figure out why the data seemed so anomalous. We had mis-diagnosed the situation, and without sober practices for working through [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…]