Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Apple Face ID FUD or How To Tell When Someone is Clueless

The Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) that has surrounded Apple’s Face ID in the iPhone X since their announcement on Sept 12, is very familiar. It occurred to me that it is yet another way to tell when someone is truly clueless about technology product strategy. So let’s explore this year’s circus come to town…. Shall we….

In the history of the technology business, there are many moments, like these, that have changed things in significant ways. Some big, and some small.

Apple seems to have more of those moments than most. A lot of competitors have an acute case of innovation envy. Not to mention the jealousy of all the press Apple gets when someone from Apple so much as whispers within earshot. Then there’s all the unnamed sources and supply chain leaks that keep the Apple speculation at a fevered pitch most of the year. And since it’s that fall time of year, we all know what that means !!! The launch of new iPhones and the annual crazy race to see who can be the most clueless about Apple product strategy.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How to scale Scrum

Complex software requires the efforts of more than just 1 Scrum team. So in this article I discuss:
  • How to scale Scrum to large programs and portfolio.
  • How to avoid common mistakes in Scrum.

Originally Published by Scrum Alliance:

I am proud that the Scrum Alliance editorial team reviewed, approved and published this article on their web site, originally released in December 2015.  I am re-publishing a few articles previously published on the Scrum Alliance site, here on my blog because I will soon begin publishing more articles on Scrum expanding on the ideas in these articles and covering new ones.

Scaling Scrum UP

Got a big product with big programs and big problems ? Then you need to scale your Agile Scrum implementation to many teams and locations. The school of thought and knowledge to turn to, to scale Agile is the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).

SAFe provides a large framework for scaling the Scrum process and Agile principles to a much much larger environment. All the way up to the largest enterprise. And in the last few years there have been noticeably more leading companies, in and out of Silicon Valley, not only fully embracing Scrum, but adopting SAFe to scale their Agile implementation throughout their enterprises.

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) web site contains a break down of the framework covering team, program and portfolio levels. The SAFe framework is presented on the web site as a diagram called the Big Picture (pictured below).

Scaled Agile Framework Diagram
Scaled Agile Framework Diagram

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Adopt Scrum for Competitive Advantage

Everything is moving faster and faster. And agility is needed now more than ever. In this article I’ll dive in to:

  • Why Scrum is required these days ?
  • Studies that demonstrate project success rates over a decade.
  • Why is Scrum a huge competitive advantage ?

Originally Published by Scrum Alliance:

I am proud that the Scrum Alliance editorial team reviewed, approved and published this article on their web site, originally released in October 2015.  I am re-publishing a few articles previously published on the Scrum Alliance site, here on my blog because I will soon begin publishing more articles on Scrum expanding on the ideas in these articles and covering new ones.

Why Scrum is required these days ?

Scrum Framework Diagram
Scrum Framework Diagram
The software markets move FAST !!! Especially mobile, online services and cloud software. Even the conventional desktop software market that existed for years has changed dramatically due to online app stores. So you need to move fast too. And that means fully embracing Agile principles and implementing the Scrum framework.

And go pure Scrum. Don’t do it half way, or some bazaar hybrid of old school waterfall and Scrum. Going truly Agile has some enormous benefits and beats waterfall, hybrids and chaotic ad hoc methods hands down.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Will Apple announce new hardware at WWDC 17 ? Surprise :-)

What new hardware ?

Rumors abound of new Apple hardware announcements tomorrow at WWDC 17 - here's Friday's MacRumors article.  For some reason, this year the rumors seem especially out there.  But they just do not align with Apple's strategy to date.

Now when I say nope to new hardware at WWDC, I mean new products or new major models of existing products.  Not hardware refreshes like bumped up Mac specs, enhanced Macs, or additional sizes of MacBooks.

Here is what I mean by new hardware:
It does seem pretty likely that they will be refreshing Macs, and maybe adding some new models in there too.  I think Apple is going to start accelerating it's Mac refresh cycles, because of all the bad press about out of date Macs, especially the very stall Mac Pro.  And the more open Apple we've been seeing.

WWDC is a good place to announce updated Mac hardware, and that does fit the pattern of Apple's business strategy.  And of course, lots of cool new OS stuff.  😃

Because it's not Apple's strategy:

Doing major hardware announcements at WWDC does not fit with Apple's business strategy to date.

Apple has the most successful business strategy of any company in the known universe, in the history of.... well, forever.  So they don't mess around much with what works great.  WWDC has almost always been about software, not hardware.  Specifically new OS versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS & watchOS.  It is simply not a hardware event.

Check this out.  Here's Apple news from the months of WWDC in the last several years, and the few times that hardware has made an appearance:
  • 2016 June - event keynote on June 13
  • 2015 June - event keynote on June 8
  • 2014 June - event keynote on June 2
  • 2013 June - event keynote on June 10
    • Refreshed MacBook Air & sneak peek of new MacPro
  • 2012 June - event keynote on June 11
    • Refreshed MacBook Air and Pro, and New MacBook Pro with Retina
  • 2011 June - event keynote on June 6
  • 2010 June - event keynote on June 7
    • New Mac mini
  • Also see MacRumors WWDC Roundup page, the Past WWDCs section at the bottom also lists past WWDC announcements.
The most Apple has ever done with hardware in all those years, is refresh and enhance Mac hardware.

There's More:

On June 1 Apple announced via a press release that the Swift Playgrounds 1.5 update, with some pretty cool stuff in it, will be available on Monday, June 5.  Same day as the start of WWDC.  That would have made for some wicked cool demos.  But it looks like they cut it, and did a press release instead.  Which indicates, as John Gruber of Daring Fireball also pointed out, that Apple's WWDC agenda tomorrow must be over loaded with stuff, and they didn't have room to cover Swift Playgrounds.  Remember, Apple announced Swift Playgrounds at WWDC 14, so it's a WWDC thang.  Yet it might have been cut anyway.

Now one might argue that Apple might cut it because they needed more time to talk about hardware.  I don't think so, because they always have so so much new stuff in OSes, that they can't cover all of it.

And there's more...

They would blow a gigantic marketing opportunity:

Apple always holds the big hardware announcements as separate events.  Cause it generates insanely huge amounts of press.  And Apple is well known for their marketing genius.  Separate hardware events even gets them in to the mainstream press, like in to nightly network news programs, cable news, print/online news, etc.

Some examples of hardware events:
  • iPhone events & releases every fall since 2011 - June/July 2007 - 2010
  • iPad events almost every year since 2010
  • Apple Watch events:

Surprises can happen:

Apple might have a surprise for us.  They could always make a major shift this WWDC.  It just doesn't seem likely.