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.
Agility begins at the beginning. It’s never just the technology. It’s the people. In particular, it’s the organization. How you structure an organization so that it is discipline, agile, lean? Vinny, the HWMS CTO, explores the ideas of Agility and organizational governance in a new series that begins with this episode. He is helping Maddie rebuild Embisivle Friend, which will now have to be called Watcher Dogs. You start an Agile company the same way you start any other company. You incorporate. You get a board. And then what do you do? Vinny starts the process.
What do we expect to learn about innovation from a government? Why did we take the podcast to Washington? And why did we take an office next to the Capitol Power Plant, other than the obvious benefits that the rents are cheaper than the tonier stuff and yet we are still near the center of the action? All of this will be discussed in our binge episode, which combines three shorter pieces:
The podcast moves to our Washington offices in order to explore technology policy and how the Federal government can possibly be considered agile & innovative. Evelyn packs the office. Rohit adjusts the systems, Anna but Maddie is told that she has to stay home and go to school. All of this while we start to explore the basic principles of how a democratic government deals with technology and how it might be an agent of innovation while not being particularly innovative itself.
In this episode, we start exploring the ideas of Vannevar Bush, who articulated the basic principles that the U. S. Government follows when it deals with the scientific community. They are not perfect. They may not always work. But they have been fairly successful for the past 70 years.
A letter to the editor. A change of staff. A new idea. A pitch to the CEO when the CTO would do. And a moment of chaos. The new series of How We Manage Stuff begins by asking how we handle changes in the technological environment.
Note on Scrum Sessions & Letter to the Editor:
HWMS actually did receive an inquiry about the length of Scrum sessions. The answer came from a paper presented at the 2012 Agile conference by Shiohama et al. There is not a large literature on this question, which is perhaps why it came to our attention. For those of you who do not know Scrum methods, they are a variation of Lean production or Agile development. One of its features is that it divides the task into short term goals. The entire development team will work towards these goals in an intense activity that is often called a sprint. Usually, the term “scrum” refers to the morning meeting or “standup” that occurs during the sprint.
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.
Is there an Agile Governance? We think of Agile development as occurring on the project or operations level. Yet projects take place in a bigger context, one that is shaped by boards and financing and strategies. In this episode, the How We Manage Stuff talks about how the “ravings of filthy rich ego-maniacs” shape his work and ultimately the work of a company as well.
This episode introduces Tom Woteki as Gerald the Board Chair.
Background: Context Maps
A Context Map lets you begin converging on the top eight themes or dimensions of a particular topic or opportunity space. By knowing these dimensions, you can ask the right questions that prompt a more informed search for promising innovation opportunities.
What happens when you are developing big technology? Perhaps you are helping to build a global radio network. How do requirements emerge? How do you respond? This week’s guest helps us to understand these issues. It is Tiffany Norwood, who was part of the Worldspace team, the startup that became the company now known as XM-Sirius.
The founding of XM radio has been the subject of a well-known series of Case Studies by faculty that the Harvard Business School.