Category Archives: Overheard

Five Processes

Read about this in a discussion on LinkedIn’s Agile CMMI group.

Nils Malotaux describes Five Processes that businesses use: the official one, the one we think we use, the one we idealize, the one that would be best for us, and the one that someone or something else (vendor, software …) imposes on us.

As coaches, we think we’re bringing the target process, but we might actually be bringing a perceived process . . . and everyone is subject to the process that is imposed by management, or vendor or other circumstances.

I don’t need to run on at length about it, read Nil’s entry. What do you think? Add a comment (here or there).

If You Give a ____

Overheard in a recent meeting – the AP has a guide for online style.

That’s not at all surprising, but I thought I would google the comparison between AP style and the Chicago Manual. I stumbled upon http://www.apvschicago.com . Here is a great tagline:

A guide comparing Associated Press style and Chicago style for editors, writers, teachers, students, word nerds, and anyone else who gives a dollar sign, ampersand, exclamation point, and pound sign about style.

If you didn’t chuckle as I did, be sure you read through the last twelve or so words again.

What Kind of Tennis is That?

In conversation with a client–out of respect I won’t reveal who, unless they come forward to say it’s okay–this subject came up:

The game of tennis was being used to metaphorically describe coaching. “The coach tells you to turn your side to the net, to grip the racket this way, to follow through.”

The response was “That’s fine for your area. But my area needs to know how to hit the ball when there are twelve balls coming at once.”

What this emphasizes is the importance of crafting an operating framework for your business that isn’t simply a moshing together of best practices for developers. If the framework is to be effective, meaningful and useful–heck even usable, which is different and more fundamental than being useful–it must adapt (scaling sideways) to all areas of your enterprise. It must be light enough to work for all areas, and that means that it should be weighted towards principles and go into process only as deeply as is necessary.