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…]

Dec 282011
 
IT - coming on tour in a city near you

For the better part of twenty years, I observed business processes with an eye toward defining, streamlining and sometimes automating them. Now that I am no longer on the consulting side of the table, I get to share greater ownership of our business processes with the other members of our management team. At the same time, I notice a stark difference between engaging clients from the outside in a process improvement effort and being part of a team that has to work politically together to make those improvements happen. I also [read more…]