Writing Secret 2: Increase Writing Speed When You Separate Writing From Editing

Too many nonfiction writers still listen to advice from their long-ago English teachers. That advice was, “Edit as you go.” Editing as you go slows your writing and allows you to get stuck. Instead, wait until you’re done writing down before you edit. That’s because our brains work differently when we write down vs. when …

Writing Secret 1: Use the Growth Mindset to Write in 15-Minute Chunks

Recently, several people have congratulated me on my “natural” writing. I thank them and try not to giggle. Why? Because I am not a “natural” writer. I have written and published enough that I found my writer’s voice. Instead of talent, I have persistence. I use that persistence in small, timeboxed chunks. That’s part of the …

With Agile Approaches, No Need to “Meet” or “Enforce” Deadlines

Several of my clients struggle with their deadlines. One of them, Brad, quoted Douglas Adams to me and frowned: “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” He thought agile approaches would work to “meet” and “enforce” deadlines. I asked him these questions: Do you think people don’t want …

Low Tech Way to Visualize Your Percentile Confidence for Forecasts

Michael Mahlberg taught me something cool last week. We’re writing an article together. Part of the article is about forecasts. I was ranting and raving about how to help people see their confidence levels. He pointed me to this slideshare: Lightweight Kanban Metrics (in German).  (Don’t worry about the language.) Go to slides 24, 25, …

Capitalizing Software During an Agile Transformation

A client wants to know how best to calculate their software capitalization. They had a “standard” approach when they used waterfall. They no longer have all waterfall projects. They’ve started to use agile approaches. And, the projects don’t all look the same. Being somewhere in the middle means they’re having trouble reasoning about capitalization. Why …

Create Feedback Loops (Agile Approaches) for Hardware Products

In Costs of an Agile Approach for Hardware Products, I suggested that an iteration-based approach for hardware was too expensive. I focused on the actual development costs. Let me talk a little about the team and alternatives here. What Does a Hardware Team Look Like? Agile software teams are cross-functional and interdependent. The team is …

Costs of an Agile Approach for Hardware Products

I had a conversation with a hardware engineer whose organization got the mandate, “Go agile or bust!” They’re attempting to manage their technical and schedule risk with two-week iterations. And, they’re trying to show finished product, not simulations. And, even though they work independently, they’re supposed to have a standup every day. None of that makes …