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The IT Shop

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[25 Nov 2010 | No Comment | ]
Embracing Failure as a Likely Outcome – Sherpas of Mt. Everest

Is your software project steep and rocky? Can you predict the weather in your office? How many bodies lay on the side of your project trail?
The best sherpas on Mt. Everest expect failure and death as the most likely outcome. They assume that any grey cloud in the sky may develop into a dangerous fog bank, cold front, or blizzard. Recent powder on angled slopes above could pose an avalanche risk. Too quick a pace could dehydrate the team. Too slow a pace and nightfall may come before they reach …

Featured, The IT Shop »

[15 Oct 2010 | No Comment | ]
class ITShopHumanInterfaces

class ITShopHumanInterfaces
/// by Dan Hermes

public object resource;
public object need;
public object product;

public interface ICustomer

The IT Shop »

[29 Jul 2010 | No Comment | ]
The IT Shop Playbook

Every prepared team has a playbook.  What does that mean in an IT Shop?  Poorly run shops have only job descriptions and deadlines.  Everyone is left to fend for themselves.  Instead of feeling like they’re on the same team, this can leave the players at odds with each other.  For example, if the analyst is only focused on their job, a developer who tells them that a spec item they wrote is not technically feasible  may be met with an argument instead of a conversation which may lead to a …

The IT Shop »

[21 Jun 2010 | No Comment | ]
The IT Shop Arsenal: Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

Why are tools so often an afterthought in the software shop? An expense?  A training burden?

Because no one bothers to do the math.

Track your teams activities for a week and in most cases you’ll find wasted hours, unneeded stress and frustration, and a range of festering problems that could be remedied by the use of a good tool.  Excel and Word are good pocket knives but your shop deserves more effective tools.

The IT Shop »

[20 Jun 2010 | No Comment | ]
How to Score in Softwareball?

The way to win at softwareball is to produce a high quality deliverable which meets the business objectives without exhausting resources of time, money, and the trust and patience of the people involved.  Points are scored by the meeting of specific objectives of business functionality, schedule, and budget but it is the sum of successes across the broad range of possible wins which constitute a victory.  

Architecture, Featured Clients, The IT Shop »

[24 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
Burst Media:  Evolution of an IT Shop

Among the inventors of the commercial Internet as we know it, Burst Media has assembled some of the most insightful and productive tools for the management and sale of online advertising. Burst creates formidable advertising assets out of the “long tail” of internet destinations by assembling Publishing Networks, constellations of similarly-themed web sites, which advertisers and ad agencies may tap in their targeted campaigns.
With customers eager for the Web 2.0 experience, Burst Media enlisted Lexicon Systems to facilitate an evolution of their product suites to .NET. Management planned to upgrade …

Architecture, Leadership, The IT Shop »

[23 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
IT Career Killer: The Social Ceiling

Focus on your job and you’ll get better at it?  True.  It may even lead to pay raises and promotions.  But sooner or later you will hit the social ceiling.   In spite of your long hours.  In spite of your top-notch work.  Here in this technical field where many of us fled to avoid people and human interaction which is messy and unpredictable compared to the reasonable, civil interaction that takes place between human and machine:
The social ceiling is our most dangerous career obstacle.

Leadership, The IT Shop »

[23 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
Death March Redux: Viva Las Vegas!

“Blow on that project plan, mamma. Baby needs a new pair of shoes! ”
How many times have we been locked in a conference room and told “We missed the last three dates, now what’s the REAL date gonna be?” The whole team gathered together to come up with another date. This next date is the NEW DATE. It’s got to be better than the OLD DATE, the date we missed. This NEW DATE is gonna be the ONE! It’s gotta be the one.
What does this sound like? The lottery, perhaps? …

The IT Shop »

[4 May 2010 | No Comment | ]
Amazon Book Picks

Some of my favorite IT books…

Featured, Leadership, Multimedia, The IT Shop »

[13 Apr 2010 | No Comment | ]
Agile Boston: Innovation as a Discipline

At Agile Boston’s “Give Thanks for Scrum” at Microsoft in Waltham, Massachusetts, I gave a multimedia performance and a brief talk on innovation. My approach comes from the Harvard Review’s booklet on Managing Creativity and Innovation which I use to organize and evaluate new ideas for business applications.