Occam’s Razor

Occam's RazorWell it has been some time and quite honestly I dismissed a number of drafts. Hence I’m happy to have something that I think is worthwhile talking about.

On the weekend I was reading about the definition of Paradigm. I found the following example intriguing. Look at the image below. What do you see?

Paradigm

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Planning – Doing – Done

agile PMAgile Project Management is one of the buzz words for the past few years. It’s based on the success in agile (software) development and lean management in general. But, does it actually work?

Agile is usually used as a synonym for scrum. You have 5 or so team members in a room or around a whiteboard and discuss / agree on the next deliverable. The standard is 2 or 3 weeks for such a sprint and the effort involved is measured in story points. Assuming you know the amount of story points in the project you can measure how fast you go and depending on the success rate (eg completing the stories in a sprint) the project manager can easily tell if the project is on time. ideally the reports tell the PM much more. He can see which area the shortfall is and mitigate the problem with a targeted approach. During a sprint the team gets together regularly for a short standup and inform each other on progress or hold ups. This allows early intervention. At the end of a sprint the team gets together including the customer and show the deliverable. This also allows early detection if the customer is satisfied and the team delivered on expectations.

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The Liability of Complex Communication

Guide4ClearYesterday I found a study published by the University of St. Gallen “Complex to Clear – Managing Clarity in Corporate Communication“.

The authors Martin J Eppler and Nicole Bischof argue convincingly a business case for clarity in all types of corporate communications. They address reports, emails, and even Twitter. That fascinating study can be downloaded from the University’s website and there’s also a presentation on Slideshare.

I was so fascinated by the clarity of the report – it follows to a great extent the recommended principles very closely – that I decided to blog about it straight away. It took me just half an hour to read through the 67 pages.

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Data’ism

data'ismA new word turned up in my weekly read of random pages. David Brooks wrote in the NY Times about “The Philosophy of Data“. Instead of the buzz word “Big Data” he used “Data’ism”.

“We now have the ability to gather huge amounts of data. This ability seems to carry with it certain cultural assumptions — that everything that can be measured should be measured; that data is a transparent and reliable lens that allows us to filter out emotionalism and ideology; that data will help us do remarkable things — like foretell the future.” Continue reading

Thank you 2012 !

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog. And this is the perfect time to say Thank You!

ThankYou

It was a very enjoyable time for me writing those musing most of the time. I got into a habit early in 2012 writing a post every week. This went fine until we went onto a holiday break in late August. Some stop start happened from there. Surprisingly that initiated my most successful month: November 2012.

My average monthly readership tripled from 300 to 913! Thank you so much 🙂

From there I kept a bit of a watch and even more exciting I met a few people who were reading and enjoying it. That was simply great!

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The User Experience

user exterience layersA few weeks back I met with a colleague in our Service department. She showed me a research she was working on. Whoa!, I thought, that’s exciting!

Effectively she was mapping individual touch points a customer has along the interaction journey with our company. Each touch point had 2 components, importance and satisfaction (or delivery) and was measured on a scale from [-5, +5]. Dividing the journey into logical components like “information gathering”, “consultation”, “requirements and needs”, “finding the right vendor”, ” finding the right solution”, “establishing a relationship”, “designing a system”, and so on allows to have different owners and clear subject matter experts.

That’s good to define the touch points from a service or solution provider. But to get the real user experience you need to see it wearing the customer shoes.

 

Marc Fonteijn provides a great example:

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