I’m starting the new year with a short summary of what was the best on this blog in the past year.
I wrote two extended series of posts on two different topics. Each topic deserved more than 300 to 1,000 words that would fit into one typical blog post. So I wrote several posts, varying in depth, focus and appropriateness for different audiences.
- The first series was about my knowledge-centric approach to visualizing processes in creative, intellectual fields of work. Look not for process steps and hand-offs of work, but for various ways people collaborate to create knowledge.
- Understanding Your Process as Collaborative Knowledge Discovery is the first and key post in the series. It explains what the Knowledge Discovery Process is about and how it improves on many existing approaches.
- This post serves as a “table of contents” for the entire Knowledge Discovery Process series. The remaining posts in the series are more practical, but are also deeper and make more difficult reading. You might want to read them if you are a practitioner or consultant who needs to know deeper how to apply these concepts practically and what the thinking is behind this practice.
- The second series was about Lead Time. I tried to cover several new insights in to probability distributions of delivery times in intellectual work and how we could use them practically.
- Inside a Lead Time Distribution is the key post in the series. It goes over the key points on a typical distribution curve and shows how we can practically use them. It is interesting that the ways we use the data differ significantly from the left to the right side of the curve. So I chose to paint those various points using rainbow colours so the rich picture they reveal doesn’t look like a boring bar chart.
- Two practical (and technical) posts remained popular during the year. How to Match to Weibull Distribution in Excel (using only spreadsheet software) first appeared in 2013. Last year, I updated the formulas in the attached spreadsheet to automate a few operations and make it even easier to use. Also last year, I added a twin post to it, How to Match to Weibull Distribution Without Excel. You can still do math (the old way), but if you are willing to give up some precision, the technology becomes very simple – you can visually match several known patterns.
- The remaining posts in the series should come up if you search the site for “lead time.”
The knowledge-discovery process stuff is fairly complete and stable at this time. The lead time, probabilistic approach and forecasting topics will likely see new developments in 2015. If you’d like to learn more how to apply this knowledge and practical experience in your company, please feel free to connect with me by email or Skype so that we can discuss it.
Besides the two post series, my popular post from the past, The Elusive 20% Time, was turned into a contribution to the new book More Agile Testing by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. (The contribution was in the area of organizational practices helping achieve greater software quality.) I posted the condensed, cleaned-up, copyedited version of this article on this blog under the title The Still Elusive 20% Time. (There is a pending comment on it at the time I’m writing this, which deserves a reply and probably a new blog post – stay tuned.)
Of all other posts, the best one in terms of 2014 page views turned out to be this one, written in 2013: Scrum, Kanban and Unplanned Work. It contains one of my trademark phrases, switching from Scrum to Kanban, missing the most of both. It also rebuts some of the Kanban misconceptions, which I continued to hear from practitioners and their under-informed coaches throughout the year.
A quick review on my posts shows some of them are due for an update and some seem like old baggage and have lost their relevance. I will fix this in 2015 if time allows.