Can you really share a vision with your team mates? How effectively can you communicate within your organization? Lo-Fi tools like post-it and boards are incredibly powerful tools to decide, explore, discuss, and so on. But many teams fail in using them effectively. Agile software development promotes face-to-face conversation and frequent human interaction, but it's not as easy as it seems to make it effective. Moreover, the time spent in meeting costs n*individualTimeSpent. If it's wasted ...it's a LOT of time wasted. Whether you're doing agile development or not, in your software development process you're supposed to take a lot of decisions, or to discuss, or simply to explore an unknown knowledge field. Too many times I've seen:
- people unable to visualize, and so to communicate effectively their ideas
- people discarding good ideas because they were unable to understand them
- endless meeting where nobody knew exactly what they were talking about
- choices deferred because of the inability to manage an "option showdown" in a reasonable time without making it a personal conflicts
- complex problems ignored for years due to the inability of individuals and organization to manege non-trivial cause-effect relationships
- problem resolution completely stalled, because the tool is chosen before knowing the problem (in this case post-its for example, are a great tool to visualize problems whose shape we don't know yet).
So, to sum up: there's a little of agile software development in this talk; a little of visual management, a little of collaboration management, a little of system thinking, and a little of pragmatic thinking and learning.
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2 men and a Whiteboard
Alberto Brandolini can model every business domain, given enough space, a paper roll and an unlimited source of colored sticky notes (with a preference for orange ones). He calls this stuff EventStorming.