The Software Process and Measurement Cast 440 features our essay on two storytelling techniques: premortems and business obituaries. Almost all work that takes more than a few days is subject to risks that are not immediately obvious without some form of structured process to focus the team's thought process. Teams often use storytelling techniques to generate a big picture/vision to guide a project or to help people frame their thoughts. A story provides a deeper and more nuanced connection between the team and information than most lists of PowerPoint bullets or a structured requirements documents. The same storytelling skill can be used as a risk management tool. Premortums and business obituaries are structured techniques for using storytelling for risk management.
Our second column is from Jeremy Berriault. Jeremy discusses the importance of conferences for learning new ideas and for networking. Jeremy suggests that if you are have not learned new ways to test and you are testing the same way you were last year then you are falling behind. Jeremy blogs at https://jberria.wordpress.com/
Jon M Quigley brings his column, The Alpha and Omega of Product Development, to the Cast. In this installment, Jon discusses mental models and their impact on how you develop and deliver value. One of the places you can find Jon is at Value Transformation LLC.
Re-Read Saturday News
Chapter 3 of Holacracy completes Part 1 by laying out the structure needed for an organization to be able to quickly and continuously evolve how authority is distributed. An organization’s structure needs to be conducive to the processes needed to distribute authority. This chapter provides an alternative to the classic pyramid structure of organization design which is typically out of date, irrelevant and difficult to change.
Visit the Software Process and Measurement Cast blog to participate in this and previous re-reads.
A Call To Action
I need your help. I have observed that most podcasts and speakers at conferences over-represent people from Europe and North America. I would like to work on changing that exposure. I would like to develop a feature featuring alternate software development voices beginning with Africa and Southeast Asia. If this feature works we will extend it to other areas. If you can introduce me to practitioners that would be willing to share their observations (short interviews) I would be appreciative!
The next Software Process and Measurement Cast will feature our interview with John Le Drew. John and I discussed the concept of safety at work and how safety, or the lack of it, affects software teams. John is the host of the Agile Path Podcast I recommend you check out his podcast but make sure you are back here for our interview next week!
Shameless Ad for my book!
Mastering Software Project Management: Best Practices, Tools and Techniques co-authored by Murali Chematuri and myself and published by J. Ross Publishing. We have received unsolicited reviews like the following: “This book will prove that software projects should not be a tedious process, for you or your team.” Support SPaMCAST by buying the book here. Available in English and Chinese.