Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
by Malcolm Gladwell
Summary: An anecdotal and scientific investigation into whether initial impressions are helpful or hindering. Packed with examples, it includes tips on when to recognize which situation is which.
Intended Audience: Anyone who has every had a gut feeling that they should read this book
Continue reading Book: Blink
I think I was pretty lucky with my choices for sessions this year at Agile 2011 as I was able to take a number of things of interest from almost every one of them. I’ve summarized talks by Christopher Avery and Stephen Denning in other notes, as well as some additional books for my reading list. This posting includes the remainder of my notes from the conference.
Continue reading Agile 2011: The Rest of My Notes
One of the things that I love about attending Agile 2011 is the rapid-fire exposure to new ideas. In particular, I usually get enough book ideas to fill up my reading list for a good part of the next year. This year, I am certain I will not get to all of these.
Here are the books that I made note of this year.
Continue reading Agile 2011: My Reading List
Two sessions that I was really looking forward to at Agile 2011 were Making the Entire Organization Agile and Creating Customer Delight by Stephen Denning. My first exposure to his work was through his 2010 book The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century. In it, he discusses how some companies are changing their structure and purpose to follow agile and Scrum principles in order to create customer delight and success. Coming from an agile environment, this made a lot of sense to me and it was very interesting to see how this scaled outside of engineering and into the entire enterprise.
Continue reading Agile 2011: Stephen Denning on Creating Customer Delight
I think the most rewarding session I went to at Agile 2011 was Coaching Success: Getting People to Take Responsibility & Demonstrate Ownership by Christopher Avery. There were a number of reasons to attend this session, including a recommendation from a friend based on a session at Agile 2009 and the applicability of the topic as our team becomes more focused on assisting our growing customer base. I didn’t enter with a notion of what to expect or exaction what I wanted and this likely put me in the right frame of mind for his introduction to The Responsibility Process.
Continue reading Agile 2011: Christopher Avery on The Responsibility Process
Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell
Summary: An investigation into the conditions that lead to successful individuals and why traditional assumptions about intelligence, personality, and effort are only a part of the picture.
Intended Audience: Widely accessible book for those curious about why some are successful and some are not
Continue reading Book: Outliers
Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup
by David Cohen and Brad Feld
Summary: A compendium of short discussions on what you will encounter in an early-stage startup and advice that can help you to handle these situations.
Intended Audience: Anyone involved in startups that is looking for guidance or new ideas
Continue reading Book: Do More Faster
At the end of the last release in December, we had our first FedEx Day with good results. One of the main pieces of feedback received was “Now what?”. Some of the things that people had worked on were very solid product ideas but needed more time to complete and integrate into the product.
Continue reading Xpresspost Days
For our 4.0 release, we experimented with shortening our iteration length and got some mixed interim results. At the retrospective to discuss our what we wanted to do with these observations for the next release, we talked about the positives, negatives, and related ideas about our ideal iteration length. The results were actually somewhat surprising.
Continue reading Becoming Iterationless
Sometimes in a startup environment, the pressure to constantly deliver new features to support existing customers and potential leads can fill your entire working day and then some. However, when the team is fully utilized and committed to feature development, the lack of time can introduce some significant challenges that can only be addressed by slowing down and introducing some slack.
Continue reading The Importance of Slack