How to print Scrum user stories on sticky notes

October 10, 2010

Sticky notes are convenient in use. But my user stories are often done with Word/other software for a clear readable print. So here I want to show how you can print user stories on sticky notes.

First you need to buy sticky notes with the size of 200 * 149 mm. This is A5 landscape. Now you can write your user story with MS Word or Open Office, but limited to the upper half of a A4 page.

Now you have to prepare the sticky note for the print (see right pic) : Read the rest of this entry »

The main SCRUM tool for Your success: get a physical task board

January 26, 2010

team on the glass task board

Originally uploaded by Stephan’s Place.

As mentioned before, we were doing Scrum just a while, but we used a software as main basic tool for the project management. Still we had many questions about Scrum, some occurring problems and insufficient results. When I was asking some of those questions my Scrum trainer, Boris Gloger, his answer was often short: “Get your self a physical task board.” Or: “That won’t happen with a task board”

So after the training, we started to look for a physical task board right away. As already told, we finally used a segmented glass wall as our new task board.

Read the rest of this entry »

Consuming news change

April 11, 2008

Daily News

Originally uploaded by swanksalot.

I was inspired by Mathew Ingram’s post “If the news is important, it will find me”. Let that line sick in for a while:

“If the news is important, it will find me”

It signals a slight change in news consuming. The traditional way was that you have (at least one) a trusted source like times magazine, CNN, or “Der Spiegel” and “Tagesschau” in Germany which you read/see from start to end to get the information, which is important to you. Those “trusted sources” did the filtering for you, they decided what’s important and what not.
Today, some keen folks are part in social networks where they get kind of alerts like: Read the rest of this entry »

Online Workspaces for the Masses

March 10, 2008

I’ve managed to get a Beta account of Office Live Workspace. That offers free upload of files to a workspace. The GUI is well done so far, but the upload has a strong limitation: no folder structures are supported. This might be the application I’ve so long waiting for, but that limitation shows me once again the big loss when Mindquarry was closed down. Synchronize your team files including the full directory structure with one click is a feature I’m still missing so much. That was the best solution ever.

Flickr in Windows Life?

February 1, 2008

So Microsoft finally akquires Yahoo. That means my flickr account (which is now a Yahoo aaccount) becomes finally a Microsoft account. When they rise the fees, I’m leaving the service. Time to think about backups.

Improving Collaboration Effectiveness

September 20, 2007

In his article ROI Demystified: Collaboration Tools, Nick Fera references the study “Competitive advantage from better interactions” which was published in The McKinsey Quarterly January 2007.

In that study McKinsey classifies labor into

  • tacit work (i.e. complex interactions)
  • transactional work (i.e. routine interactions)
  • transformational work (i.e. extraction or conversation of raw materials)

Tacit work is, what others usually call knowledge work. The study shows, that in developed countries tacit work accounts for close to 50% of the overall work. This straight and simple definition of especially non-tacit labor clearly shows, that standardization and automation won’t work to raise the productivity of knowledge workers. Such work is characterized in contrast to routine work, because the bread-and-butter of knowledge workers is about dealing with exceptions and new challenges as well as variations. They can raise their productivity by getting rid of information overload and by raising the effectiveness of what they do.

While using our own collaborative software, I experience some of these improvements in effectiveness I’d never want to miss again: Read the rest of this entry »

Information Overload: We have met the enemy and he is us

August 15, 2007

I have read the case study: “Information Overload: We have met the enemy and he is us” from Jonathan B Spira and David Goldes, two analysts of The study is very interesting, since it targets the ongoing change of the workspace around us. According to the study, 40% of knowledge workers are already working from non traditional (non-Dilbertian-) working places such as home offices, customer locations, hotels, airport lounges and so on.

Originally uploaded by dltq.

That kind of “nomad” working style is increasing across all sizes of enterprises. For example I know a small design team which is quite successful, never than less it left it’s presentable studio halls to work further from home. They use Skype as their main communication tool and that way they always stay connected. An other example: A former colleague of mine joined a consulting group one year ago, since then he never saw the official office again, working from customer locations or from home. Years ago, when I visited IBM in Stuttgart they showed to me their empty office rooms, claiming that their employees mostly work from customer locations or home offices. Perhaps the IT and the design industries are pioneers regards the nomad way of work, but it is the way of work which will infect all industries soon. Read the rest of this entry »