… And moved back to InfoSupport again

After two years and three months I’m happy to announce that I’m back at InfoSupport again.

In those two years I did some interesting work at Getronics on their Getronics Delivery Process (a RUP based Software Factory), worked on several project for the Dutch Taxservice, participated in several CMMI appraisals and was given the opportunity to take a close look at Getronics Indian development partner Mindtree. My one week visit to their office at Bangalore was a real eye-opener for me and was the beginning of several close personal relationships.

When I left InfoSupport some two years ago, the option to return was explicitly kept open and I’m glad to be back as a member of the Infosupport Professional Development Center.

My first two weeks are interesting from the start. I participated as a scribe in a SCAMPI-C CMMI level 3 Assesment supporting the Lead Appraiser Simon Porro from SPI Partners. Next job is working together with Ivar Jacobson International on process improvement using EssUp.

I wil pick up blogging and jumping to conclusions right now at http://blogs.infosupport.com/harryn/default.aspx

Hope to see you all back there.

Harry Nieboer

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Send your own ElfYourself eCards

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Busy, busy, busy

Last months I was too busy to keep up blogging, but better times are coming!

I have spent lots of time getting things organized for my mother. After a long wait we found a good place for her in a home for elderly right here at Nijmegen (Netherlands) at 10  minutes biking from my place.

So last months we did her removal to Nijmegen, emptied my mothers house, sold lots of furniture and other things on internet and finally, this week,  sold the house.

For my company, Getronics, I also participated in a trip to our offshoring partner Mindtree in India. That made another busy week with long, interesting days. I must say that I’m really excited about the things I saw at Mindtree. I’ll blog on that soon.

Tomorrow night I’ll deliver a presentation on our Indian trip (Getronics organizes an Indian Night with food and presentations). I’m having 40 sheets, 30 minutes, expect 20 questions and have 10 long answers. Not exactly the 10-20-30 rule on presenting from Guy Kawasaki.

After that, I’m going to take it easy for a couple of evenings, read some articles and books (especially Karl Wieger’s More about Software Requirements) and pick up blogging again.

See you all soon


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How to present for reaching agreement (and let RUP help you)

Guy Kawasaki (from my post last year on top ten lies of engineers) has a 10/20/30  rule for any PowerPoint presentation aiming to reach agreement.

It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

An example are presentations used to convince venture specialists to invest in your product. According to Guy, the ten slides should be:

  1. Problem
  2. Your solution
  3. Business model
  4. Underlying magic/technology
  5. Marketing and sales
  6. Competition
  7. Team
  8. Projections and milestones
  9. Status and timeline
  10. Summary and call to action

As you can see, another use for the RUP problem statement (1. Problem) and product-position statement (2. Your Solution).

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How to be a bad/good productmanager (and let RUP help you)

How To Be A Good Product Manager is a blog written by Jeff Lash that provides regular tips on good product management practices. While it focuses more on managing technical and online products, most of the concepts are appropriate for broader product management purposes.

I especially like the format of the posts, which follow the format:

If you want to be a bad productmanager, <follow some things you should not do>

If you want to be a good productmanager, keep reading ->

I was attracted to this site by the post stating Track customer requests appropriately and gave some RUP-related advice there: use your problem statement and product-position statement as tools for deciding which customer requests to include in your next release.

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Continuously mowing better at Toyota

Toyota turned into a lawn mower 

In a fine article on “The Toyota way”, Howard Artrip, a Toyota manager in the assembly area examplifies his habit of constant improvement:

“When I’m mowing the grass, I’m thinking about the best way to do it. I’m trying different turns to see if I can do it faster.”

This constant drive to do things better and smarter is what distinguishes the best workers at the best companies.

Constant improvement is what happens when being on level 5 of CMMI.  Reaching level 5 means you must pass levels 2, 3 and 4. For all of these levels CMMI sets specific goals, and that seems to differ from the Toyota way.

As John Shook (“a widely regarded consultant on how to use Toyota’s ideas at other companies”) states in the article, “… Managers keep trying to make their management objectives. They’re moving forward, they’re improving, and they’re looking for a plateau. As long as you’re looking for that plateau,it seems like a constant struggle. It’s difficult. If you’re looking for a plateau, you’re going to be frustrated. There is no ‘solution.'”

“Once you realize that it’s the process itself–that you’re not seeking a plateau–you can relax. Doing the task and doing the task better become one and the same thing,” Shook says. “This is what it means to come to work.”

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Hugging a Lion …

Lion Hug


A nice video of a great big Lion hugging a woman .

Julia Torres, who runs the Villa Lorena animal shelter in Cali, fed and nursed Jupiter the African lion back to health years ago after it was found abused and emaciated in a traveling circus.

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