Say that you had a recurring problem with your car. Every time you stalled, the radio was playing. While there might be other contributing factors, such as running the air conditioning, or recharging your phone through the car, you’d be inclined to think that the radio is a major contributing factor. The capacity of the car’s electrical system might be the ultimate culprit, but you’d also be suspicious that the radio is drawing far too much power, all by itself. In 100% of the application lifecycle management (ALM) assessments that I’ve done for clients, requirements are one of the major contributing factors to ALM problems. (If you want to know the assumptions that go into Read more
Posts Tagged 'Innovation'
This Monday, on the first day of the Cutter Summit 2015, it was my great privilege to moderate a session about serious games as tools of disruptive innovation. By changing the normal rules of interaction, we can have more productive interactions during the innovation process, including the all-important collaboration with the customer. Serious games also help in the education process, driving home lessons in a way that words alone often cannot. They also provide an opportunity to “try before you buy,” simulating new innovation strategies, such as adopting Agile or managing your portfolio differently. During the session, we played three games, one representing each of these potential benefits that serious games offer. (There are others.) Read more
Software development is not really a single discipline. What comes under the overall field is a combination of disciplines that address a range of problems: Maintaining and evolving fielded code Adding significant new features to an existing application or platform Building an entirely new application or platform These differ in the amount of innovation required and the amount of information available for delivering a quality system. Teams working on type 1 problems generally are not required to invent anything and they have detailed information on the code change required and available technology. Teams addressing type 2 efforts may need to be innovative in building out and integrating the capability. Also, they usually have incomplete information Read more
In research and in economic innovation, great insight and great value are frequently created by individuals with stocks of knowledge in two or more domains and by teams of people where the individuals might be experts in one domain but have the facility to grasp enough of another domain to connect the dots. In universities across the globe, more and more research is being done by multidisciplinary teams. While deep expertise in one domain is needed to perform well on these teams, facility with — if not some significant expertise in — another domain is also needed. Tomorrow’s problems and the innovation needed to solve them are likely to require multiple disciplines. One person with Read more
Crowd sourcing, through various social media sites as well as commercial sites such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, has become a common form of collectively gathering knowledge. Though forms of professional collaboration, commonly known as concurrent engineering or concurrent collaboration, have been around for years, an emerging trend for both public- and private-sector businesses deviates from that concept in that knowledge is shared across corporate and business unit barriers and into an individual’s personal/professional network and beyond. Blogs and even message boards have been a basis for some of this activity; however more global efforts for specific problem solving approaches are taking place with amazing results. Consider Foldit. Foldit is a website developed to attract individuals Read more
Quite a few clients report that agile is anti-innovation. The developers have a vested interest in developing whatever they can produce within the allowable time. They are rewarded for maintaining the velocity of the project, not for their innovative solutions. Note that innovation, as we use the term here, means fresh thinking. We do not mean that innovation is the same as invention — it’s not. Innovation is thinking differently about the business problem with the intention of finding more beneficial things for the business to do. User stories that are not based on real business stories will struggle to be innovative. The user story describes what happens at the interface and is mostly what Read more
Generations of music lovers have mourned the early death of Mozart, imagining the magnificent contributions he would have made had he lived into old age. Similarly, people today around the world, while celebrating the remarkable life of Steve Jobs, are simultaneously sorrowful as they contemplate the many ways he might have continued to delight us had his life not been curtailed. His ability to innovate and break new ground in so many diverse areas – from computing to animation, marketing to music – makes his loss all the more profound. Steve’s Stanford graduation address is being replayed repeatedly today, full of life lessons for us all. But it’s also intriguing in the context of the Read more