Spaaze – Virtual Sticky Note Board

Fun Friday Miscellaneous Tool ***PART 3***- [We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

More fun. Check out [Spaaze.com] if you’d like another quick and dirty virtual sticky note wallboard.

But buyers beware: This tool has a ton more features… but has a LIMIT on how many items you can post… then you have to PAY. (BOO).

The other two from today are:

Both are FREE and LITE.

Corkboard.me – Virtual Sticky Notes

Fun Friday Miscellaneous Tool **PART 2**- [We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

OMG! Thanks to Tim Coulter… we have another Cork board virtual sticky notes alternative: [Corkboard.me]

I’m actually shocked at how similar Corkboard.me and Listhings.com are. Who knew?

Take them both for a spin. Choose your weapon.

Listhings – Virtual Sticky Notes Board

Fun Friday Miscellaneous Tool – [We review Agile tools. Have you seen our Agile tools list?]

Listhings.com is a fun site similar to that of an Evernote but with virtual stickynotes. I’m wondering if this would be valuable for a small team to plan work with… virtually. Though I’m still a huge fan of physical wallboards being the best.

Try it out for free. After October 10, 2011 you’ll have to sign up to mess around on it.

Power to the People

[Guest Post: Craig Strong, MBCS CSM has been involved with software production for over 12 years and is currently contracting as a ScrumMaster for Sky. Having been a developer Craig has experienced first hand the effects and problems when being managed by various project management techniques and frameworks. On a daily basis Craig is responsible for managing,coaching and improving cross functional teams using Agile. Follow him on Twitter @craigstrong and blogs at www.c6s.co.uk]

With Agile becoming so popular a lot of companies are jumping in to adopt it. With any new great idea, often people hear the benefits and want it without fully investigating the requirements to achieve the desired goal.

The Way It Used to Be

Those moving from a traditional project structure are used to assigning project managers who ultimately are responsible for a products success. Such roles take on a long list of responsibilities which are filtered to them via stakeholders, customers, product managers via individuals or committees and so on. The project manager then proceeds to create a long list of features to satisfy their demands, then gets the stakeholders and/or customers to sign their name in blood in absolution for everything they want and specifically ask for. Prior to this of course, the project manager may have estimated the length of the project and broke it down into a lovely gantt chart which may as well be etched in stone.

In the above scenario, where does the power actually sit? The production teams who develop the product are told exactly what to do and how long it should take them, the stakeholders have stated and signed off their demands and then may sit back, also the customer has predicted the future and signed this in absolution until it’s completion, and the project manager administers the flow of the work from beginning to end and is answerable to the deadline.  So what happens if change is required and who identifies it? With often little involvement by the customers and stakeholders during the project, is it easy to make change?

Give me my power back!

Change is the one major factor that needs to be recognised early and implemented as soon as possible. It’s change that builds opportunities or destroys competition. Although this may sound obvious enough, why then are so many traditional structures built around rigid organisation or project structures?

Change = Empowerment Continue reading “Power to the People”

The Art of Possibility

Benjamin Zander is someone whom I greatly admire, adore, and respect. In almost all of my workshops and client work I leverage not only his writing but pieces of his inspirational speaking as well. I utilize his book The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life a lot in my coaching.

A natural and gifted leader, he is more than a coach (and world famous conductor). He is a man who is helping people unlock the ‘possibility‘ inside of themselves.

Please, watch the above video of how Ben Zander transforms before your very eyes a musical piece many of us have heard before. He brings it alive through a 15 year old boy Nicolai, who (to my ignorant ears) did quite well on his first pass of the piece. But… as you see how Ben coaches the 15 year old, you will see a transformation take place… the music comes alive.

This is what it means to be a coach, a change agent in enterprises, teams, and individuals. A true Agile coach is one who sees the potential, makes visible the possible, and guides those to achieve them.

I promise, watching this 30 minute clip will be the best lunch break you’ve had in a good while.

Software Developers are Extroverted – Developer Stereotype Busted!

According to a new study of Cuban software developers finds that more developers are ESTJ than anything else… which means… developers are social, or more social than the stereotype!

The aim of this study was to establish the personality profile of Cuban software engineers according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Analysis of the study shows that the most prominent personality type is a combination of extroversion, sensing, thinking and judging.

Human factors in software engineering have different dimensions. Studies have been conducted from different perspectives. These perspectives could be the study of human factors in different phases of the software life cycle, or the effect of teamwork on software development, or how a personality profile can suit a particular task or about some other miscellaneous issues.

Although 20 years ago software developers (systems analysts and programmers) had the lowest need for social interaction on the job, at present, human resource professionals responsible for hiring software engineers state that in addition to knowledge in applied computing and business, it is also very important that software professionals have the capacity to learn, ability to work in teams, oral and written communications skills and an orientation toward health and well-being. In short, adaptability, communication and stress management are seen as key skills for software engineers nowadays. Yet, such skills are not developed through logic and algebraic reasoning alone; they involve soft areas of intuition, feelings and senses.

In this study, the most prominent personality type was a combination of extroversion, sensing, thinking and judging. For example, ESTJs are known as being practical and realistic individuals; they lead people and make things happen and, thus, are more likely to rise to management positions. At present, planning, management and analysis are more dominant tasks than programming, and client-developer interaction is also required. Even selected software development methodologies tend to be agile, which means that programmers must be communicative and receptive. It is, therefore, possible that future studies will show extroverts more widely distributed than introverts in the software industry.

Wow. I wonder if there are cultural implications here… take a peek at the full study below: Continue reading “Software Developers are Extroverted – Developer Stereotype Busted!”