• Agile and Lean

    A buddy of mine from college, Brady Beckham, recently got in touch with me to ask me about agile. He focuses on lean manufacturing, trying to identify and eliminate or reduce waste in the manufacturing process. Through this, he had stumbled across agile and got enough of a sense of it to realize that there was probably some overlap. He gave me a call and asked if we could get together and share knowledge. Naturally, I jumped on that opportunity.

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  • Design Sprint

    Our team engaged in a Design Sprint recently. A Design Sprint is a weeklong series of activities that takes a group of people from an initial idea or problem to a prototyped solution (or solutions) that have been tested by users. It’s one of the more fun things that I get to participate in as a facilitator.

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  • A Lean Penny Game for Cross Functional Teams

    In his seminal work on the Theory of Constraints, The Goal, Eli Goldratt outlines a matchstick game to illustrate how variability in flow impacts a team’s ability to deliver. I decided to run a modified version of this game to show how cross functional teams can reduce that variability and deliver more consistently.

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  • The Battle for the Net

    Over the next weekish, a number of websites will be engaged in a campaign to lobby the Senate to block the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. As a supporter of an open internet, I have decided to participate in this campaign.Many of the arguments around net neutrality on both sides of the discussion tend to focus on business objectives. But I think that there’s a more important argument: Revoking net neutrality threatens our First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

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  • New Site! (again)

    I’ve once again, rebuilt my website. I’m really excited about this rebuild. This time around, I’m using Jekyll, a static site generator. This gives me a few advantages over my old Craft site.

    On top of using Jekyll, I’ve implemented a number of other improvements and new features.

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  • The First of Many Two-Day Training Sessions

    Over the past several months, I’ve been building up my training skillset with several of my coworkers at Shelter Insurance. This past week one of those coworkers and I put on Shelter’s first in-house two-day Agile training session. It was super fun!

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  • Semantic Overload and Agile

    One thing that drives me crazy about the agile world is the incredible prevalence of semantically overloaded terminology. Simply put, semantic overload is a word that has different meanings in different contexts. The problem with this is that it can create confusion. For example, if I tell you that I’m going to run to the store, you don’t actually know if I’m going to drive or jog. You might assume one or the other. You might make some inferences based on context or past history. But you don’t know.

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  • Learning from Failure with the Five Whys

    An important idea that we take away from Agile software development is examining our failures and learning from them. We take a hard look at what caused us to fail and fix the problem. One of the ways we do that is through a technique called “Five Whys.”

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  • SMART Goals to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Successful

    We’re pretty bad at New Year’s resolutions. According to some research, 92% of them fail. SMART goals are a great way to set better goals for ourselves when we’re setting our New Year’s resolutions. They save us from the common trap of poorly defined goals, which gives a better chance of beating the odds.

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  • Doing Agile vs. Being Agile

    When we talk about agile, we tend to talk about it in the context of “doing.” There’s also the concept of “being agile” and the two ways of framing agility lead to different thinking about agility, what it means, and how to achieve it.

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  • How Big Is a Story Point?

    The team that I work with has long struggled with a question around story points: How do they scale?

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  • I made some art... Or did I?

    The subjective nature of art often leaves us questioning whether or not something is art. Is it art if someone is just slinging paint against a canvas? What if it could have been done by a toddler? What if it was done by a toddler? Nowadays, with computers, a new kind of question is arising: How much human intervention is required to make art?

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  • New Site!

    If you’ve been paying attention to my site, you’ve probably noticed that it looks a little different than it used to. It’s not just the look of the site though, it’s a whole new website, inside and out. I’ve completely rebuilt the site from the ground up in Craft. Craft offers a lot of development opportunities that were prohibitively time consuming in my old CMS, Wordpress. I’ve already done a few things that I’d been putting off in Wordpress and plan on doing quite a few more.

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  • New York Trip – Book I

    Brooke and I went to New York a few weeks back. Her employer sent her to Nielsen Norman’s Usability Week. These are some of our adventures.

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  • It’s all about moderation.

    One of my most oft-visited sites on the internets is [Bicycles Stack Exchange](http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/). I was recently elected to be a moderator for the site.

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