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Human-centered design meets Agile Development February 28, 2010

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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During the last days and weeks I thaught a lot about project management, agile development, organizing teams, including “other” departments like user interface, teams which delivers you components etc.. The following presentation gives an introduction to a splitted approach.
Human-centered design meets Agile Development
View more presentations from Maria Giudice.
After some years of experience in software development and project management I’m totally sure, that the best way in developing software is a mixture between different approaches. I’m open to discuss this in more detail 😉

Agile User Experience Projects (Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox) November 29, 2009

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Summary:
Agile projects aren’t yet fully user-driven, but new research shows that developers are actually more bullish on key user experience issues than UX people themselves.

Last year, we conducted a study of best practices in integrating usability methods with Agile development projects.

Usually, it’s not worth studying the same problem again just a year later since user behavior doesn’t change much. But this particular project didn’t concern user behaviors, but rather the best way to run Agile projects to ensure usability.

Because this is still a new field, we decided to supplement last year’s research with a new round of more detailed studies focused on additional organizations that have had more time to discover better ways to manage Agile user experience (UX).

UX: The Gatekeeper Role

The two main recommendations for ensuring good usability in Agile projects remain the same as in our original research:

  • Separate design and development, and have the user interface team progress one step ahead of the implementation team. That way, when it comes time to build something, it’s already been designed and tested. (And yes, you can do both in a week or two by using paper prototypes and discount user testing.)
  • Maintain a coherent vision of the user interface architecture. Create the initial vision during a “sprint zero” period — before any implementation has started — and maintain it through annual (or semi-annual) design vision sprints. You can’t just design individual features; they have to fit together into a coherent whole — a whole that must be designed as well. Bottom-up user interface design equals a confused total user experience (the Linux syndrome).

In both rounds of research, these two ideas proved useful across many of the different companies we studied. One modification became clear in the second round, prompted by the PayPal case study: it’s important to designate a gatekeeper to track requirements and communications between the UX team and the other project teams to keep everybody on track (even though those tracks are parallel).

(more…)

silicon valley product group September 16, 2009

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For those of us who are deeply rooted in software product creation and management here is a source of very good blog articles from many important areas like best practises, product innovation, portfolio strategy, startups etc. Check out what’s available in the blog /newsletter at http://www.svpg.com/article-index/

Future-proofing your company’s vision August 20, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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Great article about “defining a company vision”. Why I think so much about it currently 😉 Read the article from Sean OMalley on Future-proofing your company’s vision | VentureBeat.

You’ve heard time and time again that vision matters. But ‘vision’ is a loaded word. Everyone thinks they know what it means, but everyone’s definition varies slightly.vision

In fact, I rarely use the word but instead ask the question: ‘What do you hope the future will hold for your company and customers?’ What’s so remarkable about this question is that it asks an entrepreneur to take a perspective on what the world will look like several years down the road. It also drives every decision thereafter.

Most startups have a hard time defining a vision because they’ve seen visions from larger companies that seem so abstract. For example, here is a vision statement from a Fortune 500 company that I’ll leave unnamed, “Powered by Innovation, Guided by Integrity, We Help Our Customers Achieve Their Most Challenging Goals.” Generic visions like this don’t inspire or drive action and inevitably get tucked away in an employee’s desk.

Successful visions bring a unique perspective and are delivered with enough clarity and conviction to ensure they stick.

Without clarity of vision, your company is on a journey with the destination unknown. I experienced the effect of unclear visions when I worked for Yahoo! in early 2000.

(more…)

Lessons Learned & Retrospektive August 13, 2009

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retrospektive_webFor every projectmanager it should be obvious to make at least at the end of his project/sprint/iteration a lessons learned/retrospective session.

But how to make it effective? Stefan Hagen gave in his projectmanagement-blog (Projektmanagement Blog (only German)) a great hint to the following resource (Wiki): AGILE RETROSPECTIVE RESOURCE WIKI.

The page contains different methods (retrospective plans) to make it effective. Good stuff to think about!

via Lessons Learned & Retrospektive « PROJEKTMANAGEMENT BLOG.

Slideshare: How Netflix Fosters A Culture Of Success August 10, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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Take your time and look at this slideset. Great ideas! I would like it in my company, which I currently work!

What makes a company successful with their employees, partners, and customers? Culture is perhaps the biggest driver. I spent time reading these slides (you should invest 10 minutes) to understand what makes Netflix so unique. Out of these drivers, which ones does your company actually live?

It was interesting that working harder isn’t valued as much as working smarter. I once worked at a company where they would hire 3 mediocre people to accomplish the job of 2 people and pay those three less than the average as they were easily replaceable (it didn’t work out for them). A top salary was the most important, as the employees could then apply it towards whatever benefits they preferred.

Here’s a link to their Google Finance chart, their stock continues to rise during the recession. Love to hear your reactions

via Slideshare: How Netflix Fosters A Culture Of Success « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.

How to Be an Effective CEO July 4, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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Who ever want to be a CEO, the following article could help you to be effective 😉

via How to Be an Effective CEO – ReadWriteStart.

First-time entrepreneurs are usually also first-time CEOs. When you look at your first business card that says CEO, don’t forget that it is not necessarily telling the truth. You earn the title of CEO through your actions and your results. You still have your training wheels on.

Fortunately, there is probably more advice available on how to be an effective CEO than on almost any other subject. This chapter gives you a quick guide, but do invest the time to read the classics, particularly:

  • “The Effective Executive,” by Peter Drucker,
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen Covey.

These are timeless classics. Their authors do not attempt to create any modern theory or expound on any particular business or market trend. The books work because they are based on observation. The authors observed effective people to find out what they did right. (more…)

Simplify your Projects! XMind – Alternative to MindManager June 28, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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An alternative to Freemind is XMind:

XMind, combined with online sharing service, provides a revolutionary way to enable both team brainstorming and personal mind mapping. With this major upgrade, we bring Web 2.0 concepts on community sharing into a popular desktop application. New Gantt view allows project managers to easily track project tasks and schedules. You’ll find many more useful and time-saving functions in XMind product family.

What is Evernote? June 23, 2009

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities.
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Capture what you like, find it when you want

Stop forgetting things. Capture everything now so you will be able to find it all later.

Things to capture:

  • Tasks and to-dos
  • Notes and research
  • Web pages
  • Whiteboards
  • Business cards
  • Scribbles
  • Snapshots
  • Wine labels
  • Even Twitter messages

And then find them all any time across all the computers and devices you use.

via What is Evernote? | Evernote Corporation.

Scrumdays in Munich May 31, 2009

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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The first Scrumdays take place in Munich. There are several interesting presentations available on the following page:

via: Scrumdays in Munich

There are keynotes from Ken Schwaber. He has bring out Scrum as new project management method.