Boxers fighting in the ring

Listen to Mike Tyson and Avoid These 5 Project Planning Pitfalls:
The best-laid plans go so easily awry

As Mike Tyson so eloquently stated, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” Iron Mike’s subtext is that, when faced with obstacles, even the best-laid plans go to hell.  Zigging and zagging become easier when a team is unencumbered by grandiose long-term plans. Here are some ideas about how to keep project plans achievable and maintain your sanity in the process. 1. Know thy business If you… Read More »Listen to Mike Tyson and Avoid These 5 Project Planning Pitfalls:
The best-laid plans go so easily awry

A flight of craft beer

The Commonality of Craft Brewing and Software Development:
The benefits of small-batch brewing and small-batch coding

Imagine a small craft brewery that produces award-winning India Pale Ales (IPAs) and stouts. The brewery is acquired by a national brand determined to make the beer available countrywide.  Somehow, whatever gave the beer its uniqueness in small batches cannot be replicated on a large scale, and it doesn’t taste as good as before. It may be a matter of micromanaging small-batch brewing along the way. For example, the brewmaster… Read More »The Commonality of Craft Brewing and Software Development:
The benefits of small-batch brewing and small-batch coding

Two surfers in the water

Burger Shack and the Beach Bum Burger Moguls:
A case study in how growth stresses an organization

Suppose two beach-bum friends start up a burger stand at the beach. They share a vision of high-quality burgers at a fair price. They also want a lifestyle that enables them to surf every morning and make enough money to afford their rent.  They set up a grill in a little hut with a window where they serve lunch to customers. When the friends begin, they offer hamburgers, cheeseburgers, lettuce,… Read More »Burger Shack and the Beach Bum Burger Moguls:
A case study in how growth stresses an organization

A muddy rugby scrum

Agile’s Dirtiest Secret:
Working before getting answers causes chaos

Ask almost any technical team nowadays, and they’ll claim they’re using some flavor of Agile practices instead of the debunked Waterfall method.  Teams using Scrum may engage in story point poker-playing, a method of estimating the level of effort of stories. Or they may relinquish their chairs for daily standup meetings. The corniness of Scrum aside, there’s no arguing that the Agile Manifesto is rock solid.  Still, the technical landscape… Read More »Agile’s Dirtiest Secret:
Working before getting answers causes chaos

Leonardo da Vinci’s Performance Review:
Choosing the right employee for a job

Sometimes only one employee is qualified for a job. Sometimes speed is more important than expertise. Savvy managers routinely gain enough understanding of new projects to target the work to the workers’ strengths.  Even in creative fields, managers determine which worker is best for a job based on their speed and skill. Take a profession as inherently immeasurable as art. Art benefactors are middle managers who know the go-to person… Read More »Leonardo da Vinci’s Performance Review:
Choosing the right employee for a job

Fleeced at the Grocery Store:
Price gouging under the cloak of inflation

Greedy manufacturers and grocers are ripping off their customers using the cloaks of inflation, the pandemic, and the Ukraine war. Undoubtedly, supply chain disruptions caused by the aforementioned calamities necessitate some price increases at the supermarket. But make no mistake, we’re not all in this together. Friendly neighborhood grocers and consumer package goods manufacturers cannot resist the perfect storm of opportunities to price gouge their customers. According to Representative Katie… Read More »Fleeced at the Grocery Store:
Price gouging under the cloak of inflation

Back to the Office? Hell No, We Won’t Go:
Winners and losers of the no-office future

It’s almost like the workers of the world have unionized. Pre-pandemic, employers could demand physical presence in an office because many other companies made the same demands. It took a global pandemic to change the calculus of in-person work. Now that workers have a taste of freedom, returning to offices is a hard sell, especially since many employees have experienced remote work success. For many smart companies, remote work is… Read More »Back to the Office? Hell No, We Won’t Go:
Winners and losers of the no-office future

The Battle of Grocery Shopping Tech:
Innovations in supermarket smart carts

Never have grocery prices been so high. The sting of inflation makes parting with hard-earned cash even more painful after a sub-standard shopping experience. This article focuses on the high and low points of three in-store technology solutions intended to remove friction from grocery shopping. While these technologies do nothing to curb out-of-control prices, they do minimize or eliminate some of the things shoppers hate most — like waiting in long checkout… Read More »The Battle of Grocery Shopping Tech:
Innovations in supermarket smart carts

Pete Rose and Software Rearchitecture:
Yup, the two are related

Children of the ’70s may remember Pete Rose, aka Charlie Hustle, as a superb, hard-charging Cincinnati Reds baseball player with a Popeye physique. Millennials may remember Rose as the Reds’ manager banned from baseball forever for betting on games. A spectacular, Rudy Giuliani-like fall from grace. What does Pete Rose have to do with software rearchitecture? Plenty. The most fraught words a CEO will hear from a CTO are, “We need… Read More »Pete Rose and Software Rearchitecture:
Yup, the two are related

Deconstructing a Poor Product Management Decision

Peapod Digital Labs, the eCommerce engine for Giant Foods, recently released a doozy of an ill-conceived multi-order feature. As a consumer, I shake my head at Giant’s carelessness. As a technical professional, I understand why and how bad releases occur but I’m unsympathetic. Peapod Digital is a highly competent shop with processes in place to prevent such disasters. The multi-order feature enables customers to keep multiple grocery carts open. A… Read More »Deconstructing a Poor Product Management Decision