Rediscovering the Obvious

…stumbling in the footsteps of greatness

Archive for March, 2010

Back in the day – The Inkubook board

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Based on a question posed on kanbandev by Jeff Anderson, I’m sharing these four slides to share again one way of representing parallel work streams that have to merge. They were originally presented at Lean & Kanban 2009 in Miami.

First, planning, prioritization, and initial comp work was done by the BA group on the left side. This was handled at the requirement level. Our requirements were roughly similar to an MMF and could vary greatly in scope (maybe 25-1 variation?).

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Next, development was handled in the main central area, with broken out tasks moving through the top portion of each swim lane. Since our WIP limit tended to be 2, we made a complete swimlane for each requirement.

The very top chunk was for high priority bugs (different SLA, as we’d call it now) that the development team would choose before any other work on the board. Developers also handled bugs in the right hand zone if any were found during the test execution process.

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The QA team would write track preparing their test plans and scripts in the middle section below the development work (after planning the work along with the developers). When all test scripts were written and all code was ready, the entire requirement would move over into a designated SQA environment. We had three different environments that could be used for verification and/or experimentation. The horizontal swimlanes in SQA would track what was happening in each one at a given time so we knew where to look for reproductions. If bugs were found, they’d go in the tiny swimlane under each environment allowing them to be worked, submitted for retest, and marked as done. When all bugs were fixed (or deferred) and the product manager liked what he saw, we moved it over to “ready to deploy”. We often would deploy immediately, but occasionally batched things together and deployed to support a specific marketing campaign.

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Finally, we had another type of creative work that was independent of the development team. This consisted of our awesome graphics guys crafting new themes, backgrounds, borders, and anything else that would give the user more options to play with. He did his work here, and when he had a good set to release (usually tied to a marketing campaign), they’d go straight into either a SQA environment or directly to “ready to deploy”.

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Just as a bonus, here’s a picture of what it looked like at the time (sorry for the poor lighting, it’s the best I had).

Green – standalone – Requirement
Yellow – standalone – Task (broken down items used to implement a requirement)
Orange – adorner – External impediment
Purple – adorner – Team member token – identified who was working on something
Blue – standalone or adorner – Bug. Adorner if in/pre SQA, alone if in high priority lane or reinjected into system.

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Hopes this helps!

Written by erwilleke

March 20th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Finding Creative Commons images on Flickr

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I’ve greatly streamlined the process of finding images licensed in the Creative Commons for my presentations. I’d like to share the tools I use to the community. Enjoy!

Please remember that anything you find in the Commons either should or must be attributed to the original creator. I prefer to attribute everything, regardless of the actual license selection.  Also note that my selection below assumes you require things that allow commercial use; the setting change is obvious if you don’t need commercial use. I prefer to err on the side of safety because I never know when speaking at a conference may carry a stipend or when I may use a deck created for the community in one of my paid courses.

Creative Commons Searching on Flickr

This is the hard way, but paves the way to an easier path.

Go to Flickr, click Search with nothing selected.

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On the empty results screen, click Advanced Search

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Fill out your options. I generally prefer to include only photos (no videos) but include Photos, screenshots, and illustrations/art in my results. Regardless, the important bits are the CC options at the bottom. I rarely (if ever) modify the content once I use it, but I do desire the ability to use it commercially.

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Now, click search. For reasons to become apparent, I recommend searching for the word TEST in all caps for your first search. You’ll get results something like the following. Importantly, it tells you what rules you’ve applied.

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Setting up a Search Provider

Doing this repeatedly, however, is a huge pain. I’m an IE user (for better or worse), so I’m providing IE’s approach. People using FF or Chrome are smart enough to figure out their own version of these rules image (Attribution: dotbenjamin via Flickr)

 

In Internet explorer, click the dropdown next to the search box and select “Manage Search Providers”

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At the bottom of this page, select “Find more search providers….”

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At the very bottom of the new page, choose “Create your own Search Provider”.

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Remember when I had you search for TEST? Take the resulting URL from that search and paste it into the URL field, and then title the Name field something like “Creative Commons non-commercial images on Flickr”.

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Click Install Search Provider, and you’ll now see that option in your search drop down. This makes for VERY easy repeatable searching as part of other workflows, like building presentations.

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Hope this helps!

Written by erwilleke

March 10th, 2010 at 9:55 am

Posted in Uncategorized