Juggling.

This week, it seems that somehow there are never enough hours in the day, I am constantly getting interrupted and I seem to have regressed to the attention span of a goldfish… *sigh*

While I normally really enjoy writing the blog, this week, I just can’t seem to get my thoughts together and concentrate long enough to form a decent idea to write about. Perhaps there are just too many things going on. In my scrum team, we are finalizing not just one but several solution proposals, and that for ever changing requirements, I am trying to finish up some documentation on the discovery phase, assist some users with production issues and help out another colleague about this other thing … plus did I mention I also have to get ready and organised for a two week stint of business travel?

Anyway, long story short, while I am trying to juggle all the bits and pieces on my plate there doesn’t seem to be enough time to write something truly meaningful. So, since I am a big believer in not wasting people’s time, I shall follow that rule and not keep you any longer.

Instead, I’ll practice my juggling…

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Showcase Discovery.

This week my team and I are once again faced with the question: How do I showcase work done in a discovery phase? Since our team is running on a sprint cycle like the other development focused lanes on our project, we are also expected to showcase our work every 2 weeks. In our organisation, and I presume elsewhere, showcases are not only use to actually showcase the new functionality and code developed, but also to keep track of the teams’ progress, highlight risks, challenges and get feedback on future development work if needed.

Of course, we can easily give updates on our progress, highlight risks and challenges, that part is simple, no matter what you do. Where I struggle is to find a good way to actually showcase the work my team  and I have done. Demoing work completed is all fun and games when you are showing fancy new software, but it seems a bit dull when what we have a produced is a required mapping document, written a bunch of user stories, maybe drawn up some flow charts and logged our work on questions, answers and follow ups on a spreadsheet. All of this work is necessary, important and very relevant to ensure we are discovering and documenting the best possible solution, but it doesn’t make for a very entertaining showcase…

And then, there is the other, far more important aspect, that the showcases are supposed to be a forum to gather feedback, float opinions and ultimately leave with suggestions on how to make our solution even better. This part is especially important to my team, since we are working in a “pre-user engagement” environment, where our only feedback comes from internal sources, most of whom are the people attending our showcases.

So, the question is, how can we condense all the complicated discovery work we have done into a bite-sized, easy to understand solution overview that will allow us to get the feedback we need to get to the best possible solution for our product and our users? At this point, I’m afraid I don’t yet have the answer, but I’ll keep trying different things until I find one that works…

Any suggestions or ideas?

And so it began…

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld