Happy 2010 everybody! I hope your holidays were grand.
I'd like to kick things off this year with a few reflections on the foundational principles & preferences that undergird the things you'll read here. I spent some time last month waving danger flags & pointing out some bad ideas & practices. Now I'm going to focus on the things I think are good ideas.
My favorite way to do work is with a small team of talented people, focused on developing and providing an innovative solution to an important problem. They should have a small budget, a short schedule, and a tight relationship with the customer.
Let me be clear - I used the phrase "my favorite" very deliberately. I LIKE this approach. Strictly as a matter of taste and style, I find this approach attractive and exciting. It has an emotional resonance with me, apart from any objectively demonstrated value.
I also think this approach works, particularly for the kinds of problems / challenges / situations I encounter. I've found it to be an effective way to write software, to design systems, and to run a program management team.
Does it work for manufacturing, medicine, education or the law? Maybe. I'm tempted to suggest it does. I know the craftsman approach is good for making cheese, bread and beer. Could it apply to other enterprises? I don't know. I've never worked in those fields, so any answer I can give would not only be purely theoretical, it would also be based on precious little actual data. And while I love a good theory, I have enough engineering training in me to believe that data & experience matters.
Over the next few days, we'll take a closer look at different aspects of this approach.