Unusual Subroutines

The blog and musings of Christopher Allen-Poole

Proposed Metrics

One of the biggest problems that projects have is in feedback. Everyone in the project has a duty to tell others, and especially the team lead and the PM, if there are any concerns, but most of the time people don't. There are a few reasons for this, but in general people don't like being the one to give bad news. I'd like to find a way to go about avoiding that problem. 

I came up with a basic survey and I'd like it included in my future projects. The goal would be to have it filled out by everyone on the project at the start of a new sprint. This would mean that the PM would be able to get a pulse easily. I think it would also allow people to hint that there might be bad news without having to be the one to come out and say it. 

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Without Staff, There Are No Standards

Something which I was recently discussing with a colleague was her problem with her company's recent top-down initiatives. There was a series of major pushes in her company which she didn't feel were justified. Things had worked decently in the past but these changes seemed like a bad attempt at fixing something which was not broken.

The problem here wasn't actually the reforms. The reforms were probably well justified (I didn't really have visibility into whether or not they actually were). The problem was the approach.

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Farley Files

I just finished Double Star, and one thing which really impressed me about the novel was the idea of a Farley File. A Farley File is named after one of FDR's advisors who kept a basic set of notes on everyone that he met. When it was time to meet with them again, he could then read up and remember things like the dog's name, or the daughter's birthday, etc.

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CMS problem

There is a project I've worked on of late. It's a new CMS and I have to say that there is a rather significant and fatal flaw in its design – it requires all developers to work in the same data set.

Now this is by no means the only time I've seen something like this. I would be lying if I didn't admit that this has pretty standard fair for the industry, but then so was Subversion, and we all know how terribly that turned out. I will say that this is the most egregious example (as the underlying data architecture does not support even a cursory form of export) and the last time I encountered it I was also able to mitigate it by creating a truncated version of the data locally.

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