Technical Support Cheat Sheet – Cartoon

A friend of mine sent me this cartoon that outlines the steps necessary to solve most technical problem. The great thing about this cartoon is that helps people learn the steps necessary to solve problems instead of providing an answer.

Technical Support Cheat Sheet

Technical Support Cheat Sheet

Read  more at Reboot! Rethinking and Restarting Software Development

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Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 11:20  Comments (2)  
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Who moved my comfortable IT job (who moved my cheese)?

One of the best books on change is Who Moved My Cheese?  The book chronicles what happens to those that anticipate and welcome change and those that refuse to change.   The software industry is changing rapidly and I am sure that many are wondering who moved my cheese?  Who moved my comfortable IT job.   It is no longer about the technology it is about the business and customer.

The first wave of data processing is coming to an end which was internal development and B2B.  The second wave. B2C,  is underway and we are just at the start of this wave .  Business to consumer covers self service software applications deployed to the actual customer.

It use to be interviews with internal customers would suffice the requirements process.  Today, knowledge of the actual customer and the business is critical to the success of the requirements process and the success of a software application.  The big change is trying to understand the business and customer as much or more than the technology.

Read more at Reboot! Rethinking and Restarting Software Development.

Published in: on August 18, 2009 at 09:53  Comments (1)  

Gather and communicating requirements using video

One of the best techniques I have seen for gathering and communicating requirements is video.  The customer is video taped discussing and actually working.    The team gathering requirements politely probes and the customer is asked open ended questions.  The problem gathering requirements is the customer often does not know what they want.  What they can tell you is how they currently do their jobs.

The reason why most IT organizations do not use video is because they do not have the skill set to video tape and to edit. It is as simple as that.

Read more at Reboot! Rethinking and Restarting Software Development.

Published in: on August 14, 2009 at 12:18  Leave a Comment  
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The Heart of The Matter

I am asked all the time, how can I sell a metrics program in my organization.  The key word here is sell.  Any good salesperson will tell you the key to sales is benefits.

1. There is limited time management has to focus their attention.

  • Management knows when to stay the course or change direction for projects.
  • Control charts can be built with calculated upper and lower control limits.
  • When any indicator is goes beyond a control limit corrective action can be taken.
  • If the project indicators are within control limits, then management can focus on other projects needing their attention.

2. Clients will experience higher levels of satisfaction because communication improves.

  • This will allow clients to have a better sense a project is on time.
  • Clients will be notified of slippage in schedules sooner than later.  They will be able to notify those they have made commitments to.
  • IT staff will be the recipient of better planning and project coordination.
  • Management will make commitments based upon past historical performance not on best guessing.
  • This prevents IT staff from trying to achieve and meet unreasonable deadlines.

3. Metrics allows IT staff members to become empowered.

  • The likelihood of a lot of overtime at the end of a project decreases, so IT staff will not be required to work a lot of overtime.
  • If an IT staff member (or team) is not performing up to standards, then corrective action can be taken
  • Training
  • Reassignment

Is software an art form?

If software was truly an art form, then the same adjectives used to describe art would be used to describe software.   I often software developers ask, “What three words best describe your software applications.”    Seldom do I hear words like, beautiful, elegant, sophisticated or graceful.   On the other hand,  I have had many  say, “Alt, Control, Delete.”

Published in: on August 5, 2009 at 06:56  Comments (1)  
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