Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tools & Communications

I had a recent discussion with one of my fellow IT & Telecom SIG board members on a budget item. There was a mis-understanding between us which stemmed from the use of an electronic poll in one of the tools we use to run the SIG. We were using a tool instead of having a conversation, which lead to mis-communications.

I've been working with a couple new clients and the tool topic has come up. My advice is always to get practices down before trying to use any tools to support your practice. One of my clients is using note cards on a white board to manage their stories, and it's working for them. They have a dedicated room for the project, most people are on sight most days, so the technique is working. Inspect and adapt can also mean continue to do things that are working well, don't change just because you can.

As for the SIG, I'm going to change the process for approval of budget items to include a conversation and not just an electronic vote. This will give people the chance to ask questions, clarify assumptions, and make a better decision. It's like user stories - a reminder to have a conversation and not a detailed requirement. Without the conversation, you're going to run into problems.

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