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hiding by Lance Neilson, on Flickr – Some Rights Reserved

Procrastination is evil .. almost always. When you think it’s probably the time in which procrastination is ok, double check: you are not that smart, you are probably cheating yourself ;) (fear?)

And there is an area in which procrastination is even more evil: when you deal with people so procrastination and people management (can be your direct, your son, a friend …).

Procrastinate a negative feedback? You enforce a wrong behavior.

Procrastinate a positive feedback? You have chances that a good behavior is changed in search of a (potentially) bad one.

PierG

Once Kent Beck wrote:

So if there is value in making good decisions, there is even more value in taking daily those decisions that improve our learning experience.

PierG

Let’s face it, working in an Agile fashion is hard. It requires paying attention to what you’re doing and the results of that. It requires thinking and making choices. It requires honoring the thoughts and feelings of those around you. None of this is easy stuff.

via George Dinwiddie’s blog » Post-Agile?.

What’s your thought?

PierG

By By R/DV/RS, Some Rights Reserved

Every time I hear of a big IT projects, with a big RFP, with a big upfront multi-months/years analysis … I think of what happened to my friend Gianmarco some years ago.

He bought a house. The house was already partially built when he bought it (quite common in Italy). As soon as he bought it, he had some choices to make like: where do you want the light switch in the kitchen?
Yes because in the contract the constructor left some flexibility in the form of multiple choices on some things:  in this way he can manage some of the changes the owner will need.
Now the problem is that Gianmarco wanted the light switch in a position and of a type that was not part of the options so … he had to pay an extra something (Change Request) and he did it ’cause it was his house, his dream.
As soon as he had time, so many things to do!!!, he went to the furniture maker who designed a great solution but … unfortunately they discovered the new position of the light switch was not good at all. Unfortunately the work to move the switch was already done and so some more money where need for another Change Request.
So two choices: have a ‘not such great solution’ or .. pay another something.
As it was his new house, Gianmarco decided to pay again.
That was a great period for Gianmarco as, few months before moving to the new house, his wife discovered to be pregnant! Great news!
The baby was born few weeks after they moved to the new house and quickly they discovered that this unexpected ‘event’ was not compatible with the brand new kitchen: there was no big table or proper position where to ‘sit’ him and have him under the watchful eye of his parents. So??? Another Change Request :)
Now, going back to my IT projects I have a question: why do we, as IT people, learn from the wrong examples?
PierG

Last week I had the chance to listen to a good training class on innovation.
The teacher talked a lot about his experience with several well known companies, talked about his best projects and then did his class.
Pretty interesting.
At the end I listened to a comment from someone in the audience:

‘wow, have you see how many good companies he worked for? And what a project! I’ve not understood very much of the lesson but he seems really good and he surely gave us a lot of good techniques’

What does this mean? That the content you are delivering is very importance but the credibility you have goes beyond the content. And it seems you can create credibility not only with facts but also through (hypothetical) third parties experiences. And if you have some content to deliver, it’s better you are credible if you want to be listened to. Especially if the content is good. And if the content is not good, you can try pushing more on the credibility, it might work anyway :(

Our brain is so tricky sometimes …
PierG

When i was young i used to help my youngest brother to study math. He was around 6.

PierG: “ok bro, we have read this exercise: explain me what you have understood”

Brother :”oh yes .. yes … I have to use the ‘+‘ “

PierG: “may be but please, explain me what you have understood and what you think about what should be done”

Brother: “oh no no no … I have to use the ‘-‘ “

PierG: “I don’t care now about the operation, why don’t you tell me what you have read, what you are thinking on how to solve this exercise”

Brother: “ok ok ok I’ve understodd … I have to use the ‘x‘ “

So procedures are extremely important but when you study math you can learn which formula (procedure) to apply when, or you can understand math: while there is value in procedures, I value ‘understanding the principles’ more.

PierG

As I wrote in my post Insulate Yourself  I want to explain a little bit more some of the items in the Invent More post, quoting Seth Godin.

Today we talk about feedback. Yes feedback.

Someone once told me

“communication is what the listener does”

meaning that when you communicate, it’s not THEM that are not able to understand you. Sorry: it’s you that are not able to communicate properly in that context with that person. Or at least the only thing that you can do to have a better communication is changing how YOU communicate and not the brain of the receiver :)

The same concept can be applied to what you do, your task, your activity.

The two senteces that I’ve selceted from Seth’s post are:

Ship & Fail often

Today we talk about feedback. Yes feedback .. the only stuff that’s able to tell you if  what you do, think, act is … what you do, think, act. Because I’ve to tell you that the real reality is what others (+ you) see on your behaviors, is what they do with what you ship, is what they get.

Shipping and looking at the result (usually failures) is the only way you can get feedback. This is useful with yourself because you can see and feel progress (so stimulating feedback for you). This is useful for your ‘job’ because you can learn from what you have done (feedback = learning).

The “often” is also very important: failing often means you ship often. Ship often  means that you ship continuously a small set of stuff.  Small set = possibility to continuously check your path … as you do with the steering wheel while driving: continuous small correction (failures) to get a great final result :) And small set = small possibility of making big mistakes.

I’d love to get your feedback about this topic!

PierG

p.s. This is true for your personal day-by-day activities … we are not (only) talking about software or work :)

Today I had the chance to follow a short workshop by Larry Leifer, one of the fathers of Stanford Design Thinking methodology.

Here are some hints I wrote:

. “tangible communication: you have to touch and see what we are talking about”
. “prototypes are not to show how good we are but to learn”
. “Managers: let! Let others be creative, let you to be creative, let things happen”
. “I prefer to talk about bodystorming and not brainstorming”
. “when hunting, perceivers go with the flow”
. “design is about the questions we ask: creative language + as many questions as possible”
. “the single frame of attention last 7 seconds: we keep attention repeatedly running through this 7 seconds”
. “a coach helps the team to ask questions and share!”
. “3 friends in a team of 3 is not a good team”

And last but not least: “innovation is like hunting. Would you go hunting lions alone?”

Happy hunting!

PierG

Kent Beck has just done an interesting experiment: writing a recommendation letter … for himself.

As he writes “I used the above as an exercise to help try to understand the connection between what I would like to do and what others might see as valuable”.

I think it’s a good exercise for everyone and if you want to know how Ken would love to be “recommended”, read his My Ideal Job Description post.

PierG

Today I have to quote another interesting post by Seth Godin called “Why wasn’t I informed?”.

The basic concept around it is that:

The rules are now clear: no one is going to inform you, but it’s easier than ever to inform yourself.

 

Communication was traditionally made of 4 parts: the content, the sender, the media, the receiver.

Internet has disrupted this paradigm. Information in the digital age is all around us: no matter how we try to channel it, to transmit it, to organize it, to classify it … even in small company is so huge, so fast, so perishable that also the receiver has to play an active role.

Is this efficient? I don’t know but it’s like training: you can wait and complain of what no one is doing for you, or you can look around at the enormous set of possibilities the internet has given us and get it!

PierG

 

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