Demos have been around ever since the first person who invented the wheel sold it to the first other person. The art and science of orchestrating a demo is its own industry today (late night TV ads anyone?)
Customer demos are also commonplace in IT. In my stint so far, I have delivered more than five hundred demos to both small (<4) and large teams of stakeholders. While there are many things that are specific to each team and the context, I see that a general checklist can be followed to make demos more effective.
Even before diving into any…
I am not the great developer mentioned in the title. I have had the good fortune though, to have worked with many great developers throughout my life. This is a little story about what I learnt was a great developer’s secret to delivering excellent quality, consistently.
In one of my very recent projects, I was working as an offshore product analyst with four different teams with two to three developers in each team. I was a product consultant for three of the teams and the proxy product owner for the fourth one which was also the core product team…
I am not the great analyst that I am going to talk about. Sure, I aspire to be one and I am hopefully somewhere on the way. But I do have had the fortune to have worked with GREAT analysts.
But who is an analyst?
I would like to move away from the proverbial IT definition that revolves around requirements.
I would say that an analyst is someone who can make difficult things… easier, clearer and more structured.
Sure, there is just so much more. But for this conversation, let’s just focus on that ability- making difficult things easier. Maybe…
ThoughtWorks and ThoughtWorkers Against Covid-19
Let me first hope and pray that you, dear reader, are doing well. These are troubled times and hope is one of the tools we have in the fight.
Apart from hope, it is also resources and personnel which many of us have voluntarily deployed to help combat the virus and its impact. In this vein, many corporates are taking deep jabs at Covid-19. Some are donating materials while some are focussing on employees’ benefits. It is also not uncommon to see the employees creating various drives and initiatives to make things a little better.
This should be a bit obvious by now, especially if you have followed any of the other stuff I have written. Information that is written down gives us a false sense of assurance that we have successfully “captured” the requirements. Everyone sits at ease and kicks back, waiting for development to begin. But sometimes and in fact, oftentimes, it leads to mayhem before it leads to any productive development.
In order to demonstrate this nugget of advice that we have seen espoused in countless Agile practice books (for instance- https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/books/user-stories-applied) …
Often as business analysts or product managers or project managers, we are thrown into projects when things are already running. Or even new projects can need us to understand the client’s existing system. And I am quite sure that you are no stranger to the kind of documentation or the lack of it, that we sometimes grapple with.
How does one then “learn” the system?
Even before that, let me state what I exactly mean by “learning” an IT system.
After “learning” the system you should be able to go from knowing NOTHING about the system to be able to…
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I don’t think I can say that I have been bred and brought up in the waterfall style of things. Hence I will probably not appreciate what the waterfall vs Agile difference feels like. But, I have seen a LOT of what I like to call bAgile. bAgile is a hurried portmanteau of bad and Agile. Some have christened it as frAgile or even wAgile. …
“A thing of beautiful design is a joy forever”
The greatest designs that I have seen are so simply beautiful and elegant and more important than all, useful. It just brings joy to everyone!
This little epiphany comes from a small incident today.
My mother-in-law and I visited a local temple today. Before entering the temple, we bought some incense sticks and offerings for the deities. Now, I was prudent enough to carry a pair of scissors to this temple. There was no real security check or anything (but maybe there should be?), so I was able to do that…
Product analyst. Agile enthusiast. ThoughtWorker. Wrote a book. Behind 9 products gone live!