Create a Page to All Be On

Everyone would surely agree it is important to be on the same page while working together in any context. It seems obvious to claim value in coherence. But how do you get on the same page? You create a page to all be on!

Capture What the Last Person Told You

My favorite way to generate page we can all be on is to interview anybody involved with a collaborative work effort and capture their verbatim understanding of expectations and process using the Organic Capture Method. The result is a page we are all supposedly on.

Be Wrong Until You Aren’t

Once you have a page to all be on comes the…

I have been in too many discussions about the trouble of handing development teams “finished designs”. Development teams are the first to meet the reality of technical translation limitations and run into all the problems that were always there all along. But this post isn’t an inquiry into the problems or solutions, it’s about coming up with a cool name for this interesting methodology!

frAgile (fairly Agile) Methodology

Here is a depiction of the classic Waterfall methodology. Each step is a dedicated phase that must be completed prior to the next:

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Interestingly in our scenario, the designs are actually pretty great as far as…

It is not uncommon to hear a phrase like this in software development:

Our team does Scrum, but

Supposedly, some teams are not able to execute Scrum with all its parts. So they compromise by doing Scrum, but the Scrum Master runs the Daily Scrum or something more extreme.

If we look at the Scrum Guide, at the bottom. The End Note says this:

Scrum is free and offered in this Guide. The Scrum framework, as outlined herein, is immutable. While implementing only parts of Scrum is possible, the result is not Scrum. …

I have been in a few discussions about the “real” meaning of introversion and extraversion recently. Often when I hear a word used in argument or present in a profound statement, I like to look it up!

Introversion (n): the quality of being shy and reticent

This definition does not surprise me. Let’s keep scrolling…

Introversion (psychology): the tendency to be concerned with one’s own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.

Here we go, that’s what I want. The initial definition comes off to me as common behavior implied by introversion whereas the second seems to better directly…

A colleague recently took some much needed time off after a long stretch of intense development work. Something he said resonated, “I took so much time off, I actually wanted to get back to work”. This is not to say either of us dislike our job, but it can definitely be hard, draining work.

This sentiment reminded me of a concept from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, namely Gumption:

Gumption is the psychic gasoline that keeps the whole thing going. If you haven’t got it, there’s no way the motorcycle can possibly be fixed. But if you have…

I set a theme for myself of Excellence for 2021. When making choices during my day, I am surprised how often an internal pressure to choose Excellence comes up.

I am reminded of RedHat’s “The Open Organization”. Rather than relying entirely on a cascading hierarchy of authority to fulfill business objectives, everyone serves the Mission Statement in their daily work. Their mission statement is:

> To be the catalyst in communities of customers, contributors, and partners creating better technology the open source way

Mission Statements, like Values, act as a transcendent absolute authority no one is above which helps to…

One of my colleagues, Daniel Lemay, recently wrote about his plan to make 2021 a Year of Creation. This post and discussion about it has inspired me to pick a theme for myself.

I recently finished reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. There were a number of big insights (SPOILER!) like the nature of Gumption or the duality of Classical and Romantic thinking. However, the theme of Quality throughout the book comes to a climax near the end of the book when the protagonist’s developing conception of Quality is finally understood to be synonymous with “Dharma” and “Virtue”!

Why is it so hard to write?

When I sit down to write something for publication even internally at work where the audience is small, there is something in me trying to perfect the output as it is written. That is me in editor-mode causing friction for me in creator-mode. However, I have found that one can overcome this friction in at least a couple ways.

Technique 1: Lock the Editor Away

Type and type and type anything that comes to mind. I like to use bullets per sentence or thought-fragment to make it easier to manipulate later. When you are done, you can just consolidate all the bullets into a paragraph. …

So you just had a team meeting and one of your team mates said something or behaved in a way you considered inappropriate. You are in a team setting so it matters that future interactions be free from this inappropriateness. But it wasn’t THAT bad… kinda feels too small to even address let alone bring it up with them formally or escalate to their manager.

If it mattered enough to give you pause, to put you on the fence about saying something to them, it is worth bringing up. But how can you avoid coming off nit-picky or causing defensiveness?

Put down your drink.

Next time you go to pick it up automatically to take another sip, notice as you pick it up, sip, and put it back down.

Next time you notice the automatic action happen, freeze at the point you notice, notice it feels, and put it back down.

How soon can you notice? How early in the process can you freeze and terminate the automatic action? Before I thought to write this, I first caught it after a sip, then just before my next sip, then when I first started to pick it up.

Joe Still

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