Snogblog Informal Musings on Formal Things

30Apr/100

FFK10 Recap

Two weeks after my rather epic journey home from Germany (thanks Iceland...), and I am finally sitting down and writing my recap. FFK was an exceptionally good event, and I am massively impressed with the FlashForum community in Germany. Cologne (Köln) is a fantastic town, and I recommend it highly. I want to thank Marc Thiele and Sascha Wolter for having me come down for the week. And most importantly, thank you to everyone who came to my session. It's always great to have a full room. :)

My session, titled "Work:Flow" was a variant of the talk I had originally planned on giving. I ended up focusing a bit more on the interpersonal aspects of an organization and how they can aid or inhibit work. To those expecting a more detailed rundown of popular methodologies, I apologize.

Download slides (PDF)

I also promised a reading list, so here ya go!

Apprenticeship Patterns by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye

Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun

Design Thinking by Tim Brown (IDEO)

IDEO HCD (Human Centered Design) Toolkit

NASA Systems Engineering Handbook

IDEO Method Cards

Getting Real by 37Signals

Rework by 37Signals

Managing Humans by Michael Lopp

The Art of Agile Development by James Shore

That should be more than enough to keep you busy through the summer. If you have a book that I missed that you think fits well here, please post in the comments!

29Mar/102

NASA Systems Engineering Handbook

Yes, I will concede it's not the first title that comes to mind when you start putting together that Easter reading list, but I stumbled across it yesterday and flipped through it to see what it had to offer. For the most part, I doubt I will ever work on a project of such scale that spans years, if not decades, and depends upon such meticulous planning.

However, there was one section that jumped out at me, and I felt would be of value to anyone dealing with technical projects. Buried among the 20-odd appendices, lies this little gem: "Appendix C: How to Write a Good Requirement". In this appendix, you are taught what a requirement is, how it should be worded, all of the elements to think about when crafting a requirement. The best part, is that it is in checklist form, and is only two pages long. This makes it VERY easy to integrate into any existing workflow without feeling like you are making a massive overhaul in your process.

Check out the appendix here: Appendix C: How to Write a Good Requirement

And the whole book can be found here: NASA Systems Engineering Handbook

I'm sure there are other bits of value in there, but if you read it for nothing else, read it for Appendix C!