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Agile Nirvana

by Shama Bole, Sr. Agile Consultant 

Growing up, I remember being told the story of a village boy in India who, at a very tender age, wrote a famous treatise summarising his meaning-of-life philosophy and conclusions, and in the wake of that, sought samadhi (death via unending meditation) in a nearby cave that he requested be sealed thereafter. (He has been revered as a saint since the 13th century.) Apparently, life held no more questions, surprises, puzzles worth the pondering. Read more +

Designing Customer Experience

picture of limo with focus on tireby Doug Ugarte, Supply Chain Consultant

Designing and managing customer experience is a lot like chauffeuring your customer safely to their destination, when suddenly you have a flat tire… on the highway… at night… and have only a crescent wrench and flashlight to replace it. Did we mention that during this process, your customer should be relaxing in the backseat, blissfully unaware of the mission-critical upgrade you are performing under a constrained schedule? If you’re involved in designing or supporting customer experience, you’ve probably contributed to the Herculean efforts that go into producing delighted customers. Read more +

Lean Business Analysis 

Startup Stock PhotosBy Heather Smith, Business Solutions Consultant

As companies try to do more with less, Lean is still growing in popularity. The Japanese manufacturing philosophy from Toyota emphasizes cutting waste and boosting efficiency. Other industries often struggle to adapt Lean to their processes. This is because Lean was developed as a system to eliminate waste in automotive manufacturing in the 1960’s. Today, Lean is evolving into a management approach to improve operational effectiveness (Kovacheva, 2010). However, because Lean methods were developed in the manufacturing industry they often need to be adjusted to fit other processes—like business analysis. Put simply, “Lean business analysis is about doing the right thing at the right time and removing things that don’t add value” (Saboe, 2016).  Read more +

February 2017 Beyond Agile

Aki Beyond AGile Feb 2017

Plaster Group was a proud sponsor of yesterday’s BeyondAgile event. This month’s meetup was at Getty Images and was presented by the gregarious Marius Grigoriu, Development Manager at Nordstrom. Grigoriu covered the very timely topic of “the trouble with DevOps and what to do about it.” This talked explored the dynamics of DevOps through several lenses, from strategic and financial, all the way to the engineering experience. The presentation c losed with an exciting demo of a proposed solution in a live, product environment.

Join BeyondAgile on Meetup here to keep current on upcoming events! 

Ambient Computing and the Internet of Things

internet-of-things-pixabayby Sal Faizi, senior consultant

Ambient computing is becoming increasingly important as it allows organizations to stay competitive in innovative ways. Gartner predicts that “by 2020, the installed base of IoT devices will exceed 26 billion units worldwide.” Ambient computing uses an ecosystem of Internet-connected “Things” or IoT. The Things are sensors, machines, smart devices etc. that signal a change and act as triggers.

Such an ecosystem presents revolutionary opportunities in many areas of our daily lives. We will discuss examples from the medical industry and the care of the elderly as well as another example of how supply chain operations can be transformed (see Process Orchestration below). First, let’s consider an example of elderly care. Read more +

Fourth Annual Rise Up Luncheon

14991858_1133393133411235_3972250226000046309_nPlaster Group was once again honored to sponsor and attend the fourth annual Rise Up Luncheon for ROOTS Young Adult Shelter. It has been wonderful watching this event grow over the past four years and receive updates on the powerful impact that ROOTS has within our community. At its incorporation in 2000, ROOTS became he first overnight shelter in the city specifically designed to meet the needs of homeless young adults. Since then, it has continued to  increase the breadth of shelter and services it provides to Seattle’s homeless youth.  Read more +

The Problem With Tableau Is It Always Gets Locked Down

blue-door-lock-haalkab-pixabay-2by Colin Carson (Senior Consultant)

While discussing past engagements with one of my coworkers, Tableau came up. I related a story where I overheard somebody asking helpdesk for a Tableau license because her trial key expired. The helpdesk guy was apologetic and explained he couldn’t help because Tableau was “managed by a different team”. When the user asked if there was something she could use that same day, the guy said, “You can try Power BI; anybody can use that.” The frustrated user said she wanted to use Tableau. She was groaning as I walked out of hearing range.

My coworker laughed. She knew exactly what I was talking about. “The problem with Tableau is it always gets locked down,” she said. She meant that only certain people are allowed or encouraged to use Tableau, more akin to a dictatorship than a democracy. Read more +

Upcoming Seattle Agile Events

Check out these two upcoming Seattle Agile Events

plane propeller bw - mark asthoff - unsplashSeptember 1st – BeyondAgile at the Museum of Flight 5-9pm

Plaster Group is sponsoring the event: “Networks of High-Performing Teams Using Known, Stable Interfaces of Human Interaction. Dr. Low from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital, as well as several other speakers, will be presenting. Read more about BeyondAgile’s event and RSVP here.

Schedule:

  • 5:00 Free admission to the Museum of Flight
  • 5:30 South View Lounge Opens
  • 6:30 Food and Social Time
  • 7:00 Main Program
  • 8:25 Retrospective
  • 9:00 Museum of Flight closes

 

Cocktail - Patrick schlopfin - unsplashSeptember 8th – Agile Mixer at Triple Door 4-6pm

The Agile Mixer is a Seattle-based gathering created to provide an informal setting for networking and information sharing between existing or aspiring Agilists. Whether your passion is Scrum, Kanban, Lean, or XP – come share your experiences and benefit from hearing about the experiences of others. We will trade war stories and revel in tales of success. We had a such a great time last month that we will be returning to the Musicquarium Lounge at the Triple door. Join our open group on LinkedIn here – we hope to see you there!