Agile Humor – Multiple Choice

Choose the most correct answer:

1. User Experience:
(a) is a distinct professional discipline focusing on how a product’s use is perceived and experienced by the people using it.
(b) finishes a sentence that begins “If I were a user I would want…”
(c) is that nice department of people on the third floor that we let decide whether the “Submit” button should be red or blue.
(d) means my experience. I’m a user too. You know, a really experienced one.

2. Code Complete:
(a) means all feature code for a sprint is written and documented, and ready for testing.
(b) is a cruel tease – it’s never, ever, EVER effin’ done.
(c) a prerequisite to all of us getting wasted at Dave and Busters.
(d) is the time when you discover what the words “welcome changing requirements, even late in development” mean to you.

3. Sprints:
(a) are a short time period, usually 2 to 4 weeks, during which portions of code deliverables are written, tested, and possibly pushed to production.
(b) run like mini marathons.
(c) are ten pounds of coding stuffed into a five pound bag.
(d) are given clever names to distract you from the fact you haven’t had a day off in two and a half weeks.

Answers: Aw, come on now…

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A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – Who Owns Analysis?

I got certified in Marketing Data Governance a couple of weeks ago – and on the first day of certification class, I heard something that made me choke on my coffee.

Our instructor told us that the question we should be asking is NOT who owns the data – it’s who owns the means of analysis. Because they who own the means of analysis ultimately get to control the story.

That makes sense, and explains why I’ve been fought over. As a data professional, I mean. I’ve spent most of my analytical career in Marketing – but Finance, Information Technology, and Operations have all at one time or another discussed bringing my Analytics practice under their managerial control at various stages of my career.

Sometimes Marketing analysis points up shortcomings in other departments – maybe even running counter to a department’s carefully crafted party line. Maybe Sales isn’t converting leads so well. Maybe IT’s app isn’t thrilling customers. Maybe Finance’s allocation of budget dollars to acquisition at the expense of retention isn’t such a great strategy.

That inevitably makes some political waves. Politics shouldn’t enter into Analytics – except it almost always does. If we can’t steer clear of it, we can at least be aware of it and craft our data presentation and messaging to acknowledge it. This will help minimize the “shoot the messenger” dynamic – or the spawning of competing analytical operations controlled by (and not coincidentally, producing analysis flattering to) the departments they measure.

Analysis has power. Which means control of it is a big deal, a big responsibility, and a big political advantage.

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A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – Big Data Envy

Marketers are becoming as insecure about big data as they already are about mobile. It’s like the middle school dating scene – you think everybody else is doing it but you.

Don’t buy into the hysteria. Relax. Big data is real, alright. And, its potential really is quite vast. But its buzzword-du-jour status right now causes marketers unnecessary angst. Nobody wants to be perceived as anything less than cutting edge, and it’s a status thing to say you’re “doing big data.”

Before you hire the Hadoop gurus, ask yourself if your operation is ready to use big data. Are you already wringing enough insight out of your existing customer databases and retention data to move the attrition needle down a few ticks? Are you mining data out of your existing digital analytics tool sufficiently to inform decisions about content?

If the answer is no, then queuing up big data could be like buying your kid a new Escalade when he’s still learning to drive the 2003 Honda Civic.

As I said, big data has great potential – yet data won’t become insight until you ask questions and use it to get the answers. Let’s make sure that paradigm is working on the regular data before rushing to harness big data.

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Agile Humor – Agile Billboard Top 10 – 11/28/12

1. Rihanna – Diamonds (the Vizio Flow Remix)

2. Maroon 5 – One More Night (Until Freakin’ Code Complete Is Done)

3. Ke$ha – Die Young (Yes, Scope Creep Kills)

4. Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven (Server Credentialing Blues)

5. fun. – Some Nights (Red Bull, Get Me Through)

6. Ne-Yo – Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself or Until I Find a Girlfriend Who Plays Minecraft)

7. PSY – Gangnam Style (There’s Something Hotter Than Agile?)

8. The Lumineers – Ho Hey (Don’t You Come At Me With More Changing Requirements, Bro…)

9. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together (Pair Programming Fail)

10. Flo Rida – I Cry (Abandoned Code Remix)

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Agile Humor – Halloween Costumes

Put on a rumpled plaid hoodie and old jeans. Smear some pizza down the front of the hoodie. Dab your face with ivory-toned makeup to reproduce the pallor of a four-day-coding-marathon and go as a developer.

Put on a hemp shirt and a pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans. Pick up a pair of Oakley sunglasses. Get a spray tan, grab a Vitamin Water and go as a marketer.

Put on an oxford shirt and a pair of Dockers. No food smears on the shirt, you don’t have time to eat. Knit your brow and go as a project manager.

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Agile Humor – Agile Drinking Game

Great for attending business meetings remotely – access your GoToMeeting, grab a bottle of Stoli, then down a shot every time you hear:














Just remember to cover any points YOU need to address in the meeting BEFORE your second shot of Stoli.

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Agile Humor – Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? (2)


We’ll recruit a representative chicken panel and probe their attitudes toward crossing the road.


Not my problem. I just have to convince the chicken to come to our side of the road, it’s up to customer service to keep her there.


If we had a CRM system that truly met our needs, I would have known the chicken was disssatisfied, and presented her with a save offer.


The chicken didn’t give us 30 days written notice that she was going to cross the road, so she will still have to pay for the month of October.


Too many chickens are migrating to the other side of the road. We need to create a new side of the road.


Our recommendation is to buy the other side of the road.


We can buy the other side of the road as long as we can close it and merge it with our existing side of the road operations.


Let’s get a consultant in here who’s knowledgeable about migratory chickens.


We can’t afford the liability. Effective immediately, all chickens are prohibited from crossing the road for any reason.

More Agile Humor – Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road (1)

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A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – The Myopia of Estimates

As I semi-reclined in the dentist’s chair this morning, my dentist told the hygienist a story. Seems his businessman brother-in-law suspected his employees were taking advantage of him by taking entire afternoons off when they had dentist appointments. Since the man had never needed a filling himself, he asked “How long do fillings typically take – all afternoon?” My dentist replied that it’s usually closer to 30 to 90 minutes to fill a tooth, which he said confirmed his brother-in-law’s suspicions that his employees were sandbagging.

“Hold on!”, I interjected, trying not to let my sporty paper bib, the drool escaping from my left lower jaw, or my Sylvester-Stallone-on-a-bender Novocaine drawl detract from my authority. “That’s how long it is for you. We patients usually choose our dentists close to our homes, not work. For an afternoon appointment, we have to drive to where you are (45 minutes to an hour in my case), do the “let’s have you fill out this form again and take a picture of your insurance card” ritual with the ladies in your office, then sit in the waiting room if you’re running late, then sit with you for 30 to 90 minutes of filling(s), then spend more time with the office staff to settle up the co-pay and schedule the next appointment(s), then drive back to office. We’ll be slurring in Novocainian dialect until dinner time, so we can’t call anybody – and the office closes in 20 minutes. Still think taking the afternoon off is unreasonable?”

So keep this story in mind when your Dev team is giving you an estimate of completion. It’s not just the coding time that goes into it.

“Yeah, I didn’t consider that.”, my dentist admitted. Hope he calls his brother-in-law back.

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Agile Humor – Agile or Not Agile – the RNC Convention Edition

CLINT EASTWOOD – Agile. A stand-up meeting is full of empty chairs.

MARCO RUBIO – Not agile. True agilists are never rude, and Governor Rubio failed to acknowledge the imaginary President sitting on stage in his intro.

ANN ROMNEY – Agile. She apparently welcomes changing requirements, even late in her marriage.

SARAH PALIN – Agile. Developers never get invited to important meetings either.

CHRIS CHRISTIE – Not Agile. Agile has only one “I”.

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A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – Iterative Lying


Monday: “50 user stories is the stretch goal.”

Wednesday: “50 user stories is the goal.”

Friday: “50 user stories is Phase One.”


Monday: “I’m sure we’ll be comfortable with whatever design you decide on.”

Wednesday: “Hey, I never claimed to be a design expert, but…”

Friday: “Of course, I’m not suggesting you design it all over again from scratch.


Monday: “We should have plenty of time to complete these 50 user stories.”

Wednesday: “Finishing the last 20 user stories isn’t impossible. It’s aggressive.”

Friday: “Yeah, honey, I should be finished coding these user stories and back home by the time your mother arrives.”


Monday: “We’ll go back and add those features back in at the next sprint.”

Wednesday: “We talked about adding back those features, yes, but I never promised it.”

Friday: “Features? What features?”


Monday: “I won’t bother you while you’re coding.”

Wednesday: “This will just take a second and I’ll be out of your hair.”

Friday: “I promise, there’s just one last thing and I’ll stop bothering you.”


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