Fixing the Quick Fix

Here in the United States, our business culture tends to be action-oriented. We value the ability to think fast and act decisively. These qualities can be strengths. However, like most strengths, they can also be a weakness. Taking action when you don’t know the facts can lead to irreparable harm. Deciding too quickly before you’ve…

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Manager as Work System Designer: 14 Essential Questions

Questions matter.  The questions we ask open one avenue of inquiry, but close others.  If we want to change the way we manage, we need to change our questions.  And so, here are my slides from my talk at Agile 2010: 14 Essential Questions aimed at refocusing management attention on creating work systems that work–creating…

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Building a Requirements Foundation with Customer Interviews

© 2004-2010 Esther Derby This article originally appeared in my newsletter, insights.  You can sign up to receive my newsletter using the form on the right. “Our customer doesn’t know what he wants,” complained Sandy. “I try to get him to talk about the product and tell me what he wants, but it’s like pulling teeth.”…

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Why Ask Why (When other questions will work so much better)?

Yesterday after work, my spousal unit and I started our usual how-was-your-day ritual. He reported on a project he’s just started and a meeting with a colleague from a previous job. I told him about the article I’m editing and a conversation I had with a colleague. I repeated an interesting statement made by a…

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