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Showing posts from May, 2014

Safety - the perquisite for Leadership

Many coaches suggest that teamwork starts with trust.  Simon Sinek would have us believe that there is a perquisite for trust: followers feel safe.

That feeling of safety builds trust, and that trust sets the environment for teamwork.
Do your team members feel safe?  If the project succeeds or fails do they still have a job on your team?  Answer no to that one simple question and you have your answer to why collaboration and teamwork is a challenge in your organization.
Work toward changing that and you are demonstrating leadership.
Did your software development organization follow the lead of many Agile companies and create a large open space floor plan with rows of cheep tables and expensive chairs?  Did this environment create the collaboration that it was intended to?  I've been in several companies recently that believe they have an Agile environment - this is far from the truth.  Let's look at what they really have and what they desired (or assume would arrive magically…

Book: How to Create a Mind

I've been reading the futurist Ray Kurzweil's latest book (book's web site).

I find his theories fascinating.  He has quite a record for predicting the future (see ch. 10  The Law of Accelerating Returns - How my predictions are fairing at KurzweilAI.net).

Kurzweil's model of the neocortex described in detail in this book, The Pattern Recognition Theory of Mind, may be sufficient to build a Artificial Intelligence.  This computer mind system may be capable of demonstrating the emergent property of intelligence.  And then by extension the emergent property of consciousness.

The sections on hidden Markov models, hierarchical architecture, and evolutionary genetic algorithms are worth reading if your into software design.  If you wonder why Apple released Siri before it was perfect, this book will give you the reason.  Kurzweil and company are the innovators of speech recognition.

Apple Had No Choice But To Release Siri As An Imperfect Product by Seth Fiegerman (2012)

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One sentence does not make a User Story

I'm working with a large client that has adopted the classic user story format for the backlog.

"As a user, I want some feature  so that I receive this benefit."
Yet, I'm sure that it is not delivering the desired shared understanding that throwing out the classic business requirements document and adopting the scrum/XP user story practice is designed to deliver.

So if your groups user stories have become just a piece of boiler plate language to satisfy some agile coach's requirement - maybe you should reflect upon the desired reason for user stories rather than requirements documentation so many years ago.  User stories do work.  But you have to tell a story.  Few authors are good enough to tell a story in one sentence.
@davidakoontz@dayleyagile Card, Conversation, Confirmation. Card contents irrelevant. http://t.co/IIUdJJmxA1
— Ron Jeffries (@RonJeffries) May 15, 2014
Here Ron is pointing to one of the XP practices that were very successful in replacing the big …