Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Rubric Rant

I'm a calm guy, really. Normal blood pressure, definitely not Type A.

Unless someone gets me started on rubrics for courses. In that case, get a fresh drink, reserve at least an hour, and don't expect to get a word in edgewise.

To save my voice and your time, here's my rant on rubrics in easy to digest PDF form.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

EBD: the right way to sell Agile

For quite some time, I've been summarizing agile development as "early and frequent delivery of value." But it has struck me that skeptics have a good reason to be unswayed by such a claim. Of course "early and frequent delivery of value" would be nice. Ditto "easy," "seamless," "fun to use," and all those other claims every product and methodology has promised since the beginning of marketing. It's quite right to treat such promises as so much hot air. What matters is what you deliver.

So instead, let's ask a few easy questions.
What's better for making decision, more evidence or less? 
Can I assume we all agree here? Next question.
What kinds of evidence are better:
  • user surveys or user observations
  • historical data or last week's results
  • expert opinion or actual measurements
Still with me?
Which kinds of evidence can you get from:
  • requirements
  • high-level design
  • implementation
  • testing
  • deployment
Final question.
How does the above flow of evidence compare to the evidence gained from weekly user tests on working code?
And this is how you explain agile to skeptics: It's EBD -- Evidence-Based Development.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Easter Egg Hunt: An Lean Startup Coaching Story (Really)

"Hey, Bobby! Guess what? The Easter Bunny left a whole bunch of Easter eggs outside! Wanna go find them? Follow me!

"Here's your basket. Start hunting!

"Whoops! Not in the house, Bobby. You gotta get out of the building.

"WHOA! Not in the street! Back up! Here, little guy, let me point you. That's right, look in the yard.

"Honey, don't give up already. You're not finding anything, because you're just standing there, looking around. The Easter Bunny hid those eggs. You gotta move around. You gotta look behind things. You gotta pick things up.

"That's better.

"Yay! You got one!

"Whoa! Where are you going, skipper? You're not done yet. There's a lot more out there. Don't stop with just one egg. Keep looking, guy.

"Yay! Another egg! And another! You're doing great now, Bobby. Keep going!

"Um, Bobby? Bobby? Your basket is getting awful full!  Watch what you're doing. Some of the eggs you found are falling out of your basket.

"What, you gotta go to the bathroom? Oh, OK, come on in, then. But be careful! Whoa! Slow down! Don't run or you're going to tr...

"Oooooh, Bobby..."