What is “Usability”?

What is Usability?  Usability is the ease of use and “learnability” of a human-made object such as a book, tool, or software. Usability isn’t just a concept, it is also a process that includes scientifically derived methods for measuring usability, such as needs analyses and testing of product ideas on end users. When it comes […]

Scrum for Chickens? But what about the Cows?

The other day I sat in on a product sprint demo that was comprised of product leaders, stakeholders, and some other interested parties who were in neither camp.  They weren’t the pigs who are committed to getting the project done and they weren’t the chickens who are the stakeholders. Vic Fees’s post “Scrum for Chickens” helps […]

Knowing Your Customer’s Needs = Successful Product Development

Providing software products that meet your customer’s needs usually results in happy customers and good earnings.  If the product is an an easy-to-use app that helps your customer make money, then you’ll do well especially if the app is backed up by top-notch customer support. But how do you get to this software nirvana where […]

Onshore vs. Off – What’s the Right Balance?

I’ve worked with offshore teams for over 6 years both as a contractor (with an offshore team) and as a VP in my current post heading up Product Development for Dominion Dealer Solutions. When you are a contractor, managing offshore talent requires no real balance because you are the manager supervising your offshore programmers.  Your […]

Herding Cats: How to pull together diverse development teams into one team, and not go crazy.

Getting a bunch of programmers from different companies and corporate cultures to work together is worse than trying to herd cats; it takes a psychologist’s light touch, a politician’s creative tongue, and less knowledge about programming than you might think.  Most of the work is human rather than technical. Over a year ago, I was […]