Category Archives: Agile Management

17625: The Source of Agile

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Agile Ideas. Agile Development. Agile Software. Agile, and its variants, are the methods of modern industry and modern commerce. Yet, they are as old as industry itself. They become prominent when circumstances demand it.

Anna and Rohit read one of the founding texts of the Agile movement, The Machine That Changed the World and explain why they read it so you don’t have to.

Featuring:

  • Sarah Corbyn Woolf as Anna-the-Intern
  • Noah Masur as Rohit from IT
  • Ralph E. Flanders, in a cameo appearance
  • Mr. Skippy as himself

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17300: Technology and Organization and the Season Ahead

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What is next? As our cast rests on the How We Manage Stuff yacht in Puget Sound, it ponders the future and describes some of the story lines for the next season. As always, our goal is to teach lessons that are easy to discuss but hard to live. Hence, we will be looking at issues involving artificial intelligence, Agile software development, startup governance, and big data. We will open our new office in India, and start the discussion of the side effects of smart machines.

The podcast How We Manage Stuff is grateful for the support and generosity of the United States Navy and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. No actual nuclear submarines were harmed in the production of this episode.

Featuring:

  • Josh LaForce as Sulley, head of Policy
  • Margaux Amie as Evelyn the Business Manager
  • Zoe Anastassiou as Maddie the 8-Year-Old Entrepreneur
  • Mr. Skippy as himself

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17231: Fuzzy Sets, Probabilities, and Boyfriends

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Rohit from IT attempts to address the question raised in the last episode: “Is it better to be a 70% with a 20% probability or a 20% boyfriend with a 70% probability?” The answer to that question involves the distinction between probability and fuzzy sets. It would be an entirely academic discussion if it weren’t central to the machinery of modern marketing. Don’t want to think of yourself as a having a 70% chance of being 80% of a customer? Then you better listen.

If you want a little more context for this problem, you might want to Anna raise the issues of Fuzzy Sets in the “Knowledge Engineered Boyfriend”.

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Cast:

Rohit from IT: Noah Masur

Rohit’s Cricket Team:Themselves

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17215: Preparing a CEO for Her Board

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Ok. Maddie is a bit unusual in the world of CEOs but she still needs to be ready for the politics of her Board. They’re not going to agree with her just because she has a clever tech idea and good presentation. You have to be ready. You have to think.

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Cast:

Vinny the CTO: Geoffrey Grier

Penelope the Principal: Debbon Ayer

Maddie the Entrepreneur: Zoe Anastassiou

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17218: Cybercastles & Cyberdefense

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We think about the future in terms of the past. Star Wars, after all, takes place a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. When we think about cyberdefense, we find that we are still think in terms of the static defense of physical infrastructure. We try to defend mobile data with references to earth and stone works from the 8th century.

Our Intern, Anna, attempts to explain the basic model of cyber
defense as a metaphor of castle defense.  Her description, though completely accurate in argument, has a few errors of fact, errors which should make us rethink how we use metaphor to describe cyberspace.

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Cast:

Anna The Intern: Sarah Corbyn Woolf

Evelyn the Business Manager: Margaux Amie

Sullivan from Policy: Josh LaForce

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17210: Big Problems with Big Data

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Big Data. It gives you facts. It tells you what is really happening. It has Volume, Varity, Velocity, Veracity and, of course, Vexation of Spirit. Vexation can come with the data, no matter how much you have of it, tells you more about the structure that gathered it than the truth of any matter. When you have that, you have a problem called Simpson’s Paradox – the bane of Big Data.

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Cast:

Evelyn the Business Manager: Margaux Amie

Rohit from IT: Noah Masur

Anna The Intern: Sarah Corbyn Woolf

Chuck of Acme Products: Ron Bianchi

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17135: The Agile Board

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Agility begins at home. Or more to the point, it begins with the board. Too often, companies are organized conventionally and then the CEO tries to make the Agile by applying various tricks and procedures. As Vinny argues in today’s episode, you really need to start at the top, think of the company as a whole, and start by understanding the claims and obligations of all parties.

It is a little crazy, we do admit, to build a company for an 8-year-old Entrepreneur. But it is not crazy to ask how your CEO will grow into the leadership demands of the organization.

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Cast:

Evelyn-the-Business-Manager: Margaux Amie

Sully-from-Poliy & PR: Josh LaForce

Vinny-the-CTO: Geoffrey Grier

Penelope-the-Principal: Debbon Ayer

Maddie-the-8-year-old-Entrepreneur: Zoe Anastassiou

Delores Payne-Perkins: Margaux Amie

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17125: How do we learn to code?

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We’re actually asking the bigger question. How do we learn anything? Do we learn form experts? From Teachers? From each other? There is a lot of evidence that we learn technical skills from each other, from peers who know little more than we do. Sure, there are classes and textbooks and formal lessons. However, the computer field has given us many examples that we learn the most from people who are learning just like us.

The week we introduce Katerena Kuksenok, our in house expert on learning to code. Dr. Kuksenok is a graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle and is now employed by SAP in Berlin. Her work looks at the processes we use to teach ourselves to code.

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