16165: The Binge – Don Shafer, The Cycle of Continuous Improvement, Pierre Bourque

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A binge of three episodes.  A binge for your workout.  A binge for your commute.  Or just a binge to catch up on the episodes that you missed.

This binge has three episodes from the fall.  In the first Don Shafer of the Athens group talks about deadlines and why software projects can run late.  In the second , Rohit our overly enthusiastic IT guy, explains why Walter P Shewhart, the inventor of the cycle of continuous improvement is so important.  In the last, Pierre Bourque tells us about the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge and why you should know about it, even if you don’t use it.

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Episode 16140: People, Lines and Boxes

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What happens to an organization when you introduce a new technology?

Before we answer that question, we listen to a public services announcement from Anna, the intern. She feels that she knows what we need to know, and she is going to give us that information whether we like it or not.

We think of technology as changing the position or function of workers. This is true but it also changes the status of workers as well. Status is not merely the standing of an individual in a group. It measures communication, effectiveness and charisma (a quality that Anna particularly loves.) While technology changes position and function in predictable ways, it can produce unanticipated changes on status. It can even bring an intern and her little dog into prominence.

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Background

The ideas in this episode come from the work of Frank Levy and Richard Murnane, The new division of labor : how computers are creating the next job market,  Princeton University Press, c2004; as well as the classic ideas of Peter Drucker, The new society; the anatomy of the industrial order, Harper, 1950.

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Episode 16160: Guest Daryl Belock of Thermo-Fisher Scientific

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Agile. We think of it as a way of developing software. Or managing projects. It came from the auto industry. Toyota to be exact. Yet, we are still a little surprised when we see it used to develop physical goods. In this episode, Guest Daryl Belock of Thermo-Fisher Scientific tells us how he uses Agile methods in his work.

Of course, this happens only after Anna the Intern discovers that Agile methods have nothing to do with corporations.
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Episode 16150: What We Are & What We Do

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Smart. Informed. Humorous. Every episode should make you feel a little smarter, a bit better informed and, perhaps, that you can laugh at the foibles of the world. Today, Tamara and David talk about the goals of the podcast and show how it can work for you.

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