Agile vs Lean vs Design Thinking

There’s an unforgettable scene in my favorite movie, Goodfellas, where Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro and Ray Liotta pay a late night visit to Pesci’s mom. Despite their best efforts to leave quickly she invites them to eat something. During the late-night meal, they discuss a painting in her kitchen. The painting is of a man … Continue reading Agile vs Lean vs Design Thinking

There is no such thing as a killer feature

The other night we had reason to celebrate. Something we'd been waiting on for 2 years had finally come through. We'd worked hard and it paid off. My wife suggested we go out to a steak dinner. Forgetting for a second that I don't eat beef (hey, there's always the "surf" half of "surf n … Continue reading There is no such thing as a killer feature

The biggest mistake in product discovery: missing the value

In 2010 we visited Ireland for the first time. My wife and I made Galway our first stop. This was the first time we'd been this far away from the kids so we wanted to make sure our mobile phones worked properly. Sure enough, as these things have a way of working out, we were … Continue reading The biggest mistake in product discovery: missing the value

It’s not enough to build a culture your teams can “live with”

I suffer from a chronic condition. It's nothing life-threatening and I am lucky that I have a relatively mild form of it. However, left untreated, it makes day-to-day life quite uncomfortable. I was first diagnosed when I was 22 and for close to 20 years now have been taking one form or another of daily … Continue reading It’s not enough to build a culture your teams can “live with”

I have no idea what I’m doing

The difference between successful teams and leaders and those less so boils down to humility. Specifically, it's being humble enough to admit they don't know the answer up front. That simple admission changes the dynamic of the team immediately. It levels the playing field by letting everyone else admit that they're not confident in their … Continue reading I have no idea what I’m doing

Building In-House Innovation Teams: When to Stop Innovating and Start Scaling

In parts I and II of this series I discussed the qualities that make up successful in-house innovation teams and the need for those teams and their colleagues to foster a culture of transparency if they are to succeed. In this article I want to discuss how to decide when these in-house innovation teams need … Continue reading Building In-House Innovation Teams: When to Stop Innovating and Start Scaling

Building In-House Innovation Teams: Transparency

In the first post of the series I discussed the basic building blocks of a successful in-house innovation team: small, dedicated, collocated and self-sufficient. In this post, I’m going to talk about a key philosophy for these teams: transparency. It’s not in our nature to be transparent in the business world (or in the personal … Continue reading Building In-House Innovation Teams: Transparency

Adding Game Mechanics To Agile Processes Part 2: Limiting In-Flight Cards

In the second part of this two-part series on adding game mechanics to Agile (read Part 1) processes, I want to discuss limiting the amount of cards a team has “in flight” at any given time.   By in-flight, I mean cards that are actively being worked on by developers. Limitation is defined as not … Continue reading Adding Game Mechanics To Agile Processes Part 2: Limiting In-Flight Cards

Adding Game Mechanics to Agile Processes Part 1: Card Aging

Seems like everybody wants to gamify everything these days. Far be it for me to not jump on this bandwagon as well :-). When properly harnessed, adding game mechanics to certain processes can make them more fun, engage the team performing them and increase the productivity and quality of output from that team. As we … Continue reading Adding Game Mechanics to Agile Processes Part 1: Card Aging

Why I spent my weekend talking Agile and User Experience

“What are you going to do this weekend?” “I’m going to hang out in the Financial District with a bunch of folks from various disciplines and locations to discuss the intersection of Agile and User Experience.” “All weekend? Um, that sounds like fun.” As it turns out, it was a lot more than fun. More … Continue reading Why I spent my weekend talking Agile and User Experience