My journey into Product-Thinking
Write-up on a recent project
My take on inertia in Business pursuits
UnfadingPursuit, A blog about my journey towards being the best I can be. My personal potential fulfillment journal. You will find my take on software venture delivery, my take on controversial topics, and just general stories about the journey...no the unfading pursuit for greatness.
PotentialRealization, A blog about how horrible our systems of making sure that each of us are fulfilling our potential. We have greatness in us, and if we are able to find the right environment magic happens.
Old UnfadingPursuit, Here is an old version of the UnfadingPursuit. I've since moved over to Medium, but my earlier writings are hosted here.
Outside of work?, http://jsfiddle.net/alr3/p3342mqk/2/, Personality, Might be worth having as it's own page, Naruto Shippudden, Poker, Reading, Rework, Entire Harry Potter Series, Linchpin, The Lean Startup, The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster, Pragmatic Programmer, Getting Real, The Divergent Series, Purple Cow, Poke The Box, Anything You Want, Start With Why, Fatherhood...not the sideline fatherhood, IndyHackers board, Indy.rb Co-Organizer / Presenter
2 parts business, 2 parts tech, 1 part design, 3 parts servant leadership... with experience with the full product (and team) lifecycle
This could be visualized with team on one side, and customers on the other??
People and their art., inspire people to achieve their potential and deliver their art, empower and remove blockers for people trying to do their art, build tools that have an impact on those out there delivering their art
I want to help turn potential into real, usable, kinetic, shipped art
When your art is taking a digital solution to market, I have two philosophies..., Business = Impact + Sustainability, A successful project follows the rule of "The Hex" (an even more collaborative take on the agile manifesto), and brings all of the "Experience-Masters" to the table from the beginning
The Hex, http://jsfiddle.net/22qdju47/2/, What is the Hex? After years of seeing project succeed and fail, The Hex is the AR3 take on what is necessary to build a great venture. A team of complimentarily focuses/skill sets that I like to refer to as the X-People. X for the different Experiences they will add to the success mix. Business experience = The folks that capture the essence of the problem that is being solved User Experience = Those that focus on the flow of the application from the users eyes. Visual Experience = True designers, artists, those with an eye to bring form to the function Application Experience = Engineers that write the business logic to make the app run Infrastructure Experience = Engineers that handle the servers and systems administration and security that house the app Quality Experience = Range of automated test engineers to Project Managers that ensure that quality is not just in the result, but in every step of the lifecycle
Can speak the language of..., Impact or the "Makers", Fluent in the language of a large range technologists, from designers, to developers to infrastructure gurus, Sustainability or "the business", Marketing, Inbound, Social Media, SEO, Brand continuity, Finance, EBITDA, P&L's, Business development, Competitive analysis, Customer Acquisition Costs, Customer Lifetime Value, Technical Product Management blends the two worlds, and therefore must be able to speak the language of both
Technology leader focused on the people (team and customers), with a proven track record of delivering world-class solutions on-time and under budget, that has experience at the executive product strategy level. Ultimately, it is AR3's focus on the people that is the differentiator from his counter-parts. Your next question, may be How?...
...in a word...People, specifically team, Been lucky enough to build, lead, and be a member of incredible teams throughout my career, Leadership, Leaders Serve, Motivating and Inspiring the team to do things they never done before, by giving an emotional labor required for the level of greatness we expect from each other
Agile, Hyper focus on working software as opposed to documentation (illusions of agreement), Iterative, fast and continuous improvement, Building a culture of trust, frequency and automated tools make the failure blast radius small enough that team members don't feel like they have to be perfect...therefore they give more of themselves/their creativity/emotional labor
Creating a "Posture of We" between the technical and business areas, In many organizations the relationship between business and technology, specifically software is strained. I attribute this to a "toss the work over the wall" mentality, and have had great success in building a culture where everyone on the team will say "We delivered X", therefore creating a culture of collaboration instead of blame.
These have been hard, but fun lessons to learn over the many project, teams, and years of continually learning and adapting...
...companies/positions/projects has AR3 worked on, and in what capacity?, __Source__, Companies, Griffin Analytical Technologies, pan, Software Architects, Conseco, Cardinal Health, UnitedHealthCare, UnitedHealthCare, ProTrans, Fusion Alliance, ChaCha, ExactTarget, DeveloperTown, Baldwin Aviation, FigVine, Town of Fishers, Kiwanis, Circle K, Key Club, Internal Projects, Versus, PongTracker, OurHealth, Entrepreneurship, iiiDGSolutions, New Us Movement, Roles, Jr. Software Engineering Consultant, Software Engineering Consultant, Sr. Software Engineering Consultant, Technical Team Lead, Software Systems Architect, Product Manager, Project Manager, Venture Technologist
...has AR3 focused on/gained experience in over the year, http://jsfiddle.net/alr3/6u2wpLL0/4/, http://jsfiddle.net/alr3/ju0rqjpv/, Team Leadership, Organizational design, Process Leadership, Agile, Scrum master, Product Management, Executive/Strategic
Associations, IndyHackers, Indy.rb
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on?, The most interesting project is a tough question, because I’ve had the good fortune to work on many different projects, teams, and ventures over the years. However, the portal rewrite project that I was tasked with at OurHealth was the most complete test. By that I mean, this project tested nearly every aspect of my experience up to this point. The goal was to build a team, define a process, design a product, instill an agile mindset in a traditionally heavily-waterfall-influenced industry/company, and do all of this with a deadline that could not be moved or missed without significant business impact (and the deadline was 7 months). We were able to accomplish an incredible amount of productivity, and ultimately went live with the first real client 7 days earlier than anticipated. The project was/is a portal and custom enterprise practice management system that supports all of the non-health-record operations. This includes, but is not limited to; the most sophisticated/customizable employer-based wellness incentive platform on the market, a back office work queueing system that integrates all of the operational “ToDo”’s into a role-aware and separated queue, all with an industry-best patient user experience. I played the role of product manager (I wrote and prioritized 90% of the stories), project manager (installed an agile methodology using stories, points and epics all managed using PivotalTracker), software team lead, and co-architect. Though the technical feat was incredible, the thing I am most proud of is the people; the internal team (how amazing they were in giving more than we could have asked of them to complete this task), how much praise the end-users/patient had for what we delivered, and how the platform was received by the internal OurHealth operations crew.
What’s your most despised agile anti-pattern?, I have been an agile evangelist for many years. In that time I’ve had to stand on a soap box and preach the ways of “true agile” more than a few times in my career. Which leads me to my top despised anti-pattern, in that the process itself must remain static and is not subject to any scrutiny or is so rigid that it misses on the opportunity for greater success. For me, true agile measures and learns from everything, including the tools and process itself. That last one is a bit amorphous, so a few others are; not having retrospectives, dictating velocity instead of measuring it, and ultimately really doing waterfall and calling it agile. Retrospectives are key…can’t learn if you don’t look at what worked, and what didn’t work. Not to mention it creates a strong team culture. To me, velocity is descriptive, not prescriptive. At the executive level, you have to forecast and resource plan; but trying to do that with overly precise velocity mandates just makes it so that the velocity is no longer measuring the effort/complexity, but team members are just trying to hit their numbers in any way possible, whether that is modifying the estimates or leaving certain crucial tasks out, like automated testing. Finally, given the buzz-wordiness of the agile ecosystem, many teams still do all of the requirements gathering up front, and use a gantt chart-style view of how a project will be completed, and during the ‘build’ phase, the tech team is micro-managed by having 2-4 week check-ins (that are not about working software, but instead making sure that ‘velocity’ is remaining at a high level), that are inappropriately called sprints. Stepping down from the soapbox now :-)
What are your favorite tools right now? Why?, My favorite tools are: PivotalTracker, Flowdock, BaseCamp, and SublimeText. PivotalTracker in it’s opinionated nature fits really well with how I like to run projects. It lends itself to getting to work, and not having to have a week long training on how work flows through the system. The only thing I wish was a little better is reporting (though I’ve toyed around with their API, and think many of my wants could be solved using this), and what environment a story is in (CI, QA, Staging, Production, etc). Love this tool. Flowdock, though seemingly being beat up a bit by the popularity surge of Slack, is still my favorite communication tool for a team. Ultimately, an interruption based environment is toxic to productivity, and Flowdock is perfect at pinging someone, and not necessarily needing a response at that moment. It also encourages a culture of transparency. BaseCamp is great when you have a lot of business folks involved, because in my experience, they seem to be intimidated by PivotalTracker. The simplicity of the todo’s and the calendar are extremely valuable. (Love the company and what they are about as well…ReWork is my all-time favorite book across all genres). Finally, SublimeText is an incredible tool to write code, modify csv’s, and just generally write with.