Deconstructing my unofficial career goals
Posted by Stan Taylor on June 06, 2008
Some of my unofficial career goals up to this point included: 1.) never being in a position where I had to use PowerPoint on a regular basis, and 2.) spending as little time as possible with sales, marketing and advertising people. In the past, I've associated both those activities with pointless waste of time.
Well, since I assumed my new role as QA Architect here at Borland, I've violated both those goals. However, the good news is that I don't feel either one has been a waste of time.
As for PowerPoint, I'm in the role of designing and implementing processes throughout the company, and PowerPoint is one of the tools in the box for that roll-out. Granted, some of the people who attend my presentations may still have my previous association, but I try to make my presentations as short, painless and useful as possible.
And sales and marketing folks. This morning, I spent over two hours in a meeting with representatives from sales, marketing and advertising. That meeting was also not a waste of time for me. Those folks are trying to figure out how to get the word out on how we've improved our own software development process (using agile) and changed our own tools to support those changes. I've been a big part of that process improvement, so the sales, marketing and advertising people were actually listening to me and others from R&D this morning.
When we do themes where there are stories for different roles as you describe, sometimes we use a property to "hide" the new functionality until it's all done. We do show it to the customers as we go and get their feedback.
After almost 5 years of Scrum, our customers are used to the process. If we release the "must have" features and they have to work around some things until the rest of the theme is done, they're ok with that. I think this is all a process of education and collaboration.