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Another Test of ‘is Microsoft listening?’

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[ Business]

Rod Boothby, a manager with Ernst & Young, has an awesome post about what he wants from a Web Office, among other things.

He wants us to make a decent internal enterprise blogging platform. Why? When it’s already done. It’s called Blogtronix. I got another demo the other night and it’s much better than anything I’ve seen to date. Oh, he already pointed that out in his post.

Wants me to send his paper on the next wave in productivity tools to Ray Ozzie. Oh, that way of convincing teams is SO yesterday! : )

I’ll just lay it out here. I bet Ray gets it within a few hours of my post. Seriously. Ray gets this new world better than almost anyone.

Regarding moving quickly (a point he brings up) I’ve been talking with teams about this a lot. And I’m noticing a lot of teams that are using the new “Scrum” methodology.

Here’s what is going on. Old-style apps, like Excel, are developed using the “Waterfall” style methodology. You know, spec it out, develop it after that, then test it and fix stuff, then beta test it, then ship it. 18 month ship cycles (or four to six years for OS’s).

Scrum says “do all that all together in eight week cycles.”

The question is, can you move a massive team like the ones that develop Office and Windows to a scrum model where you ship every few months and get feedback on the new stuff that’s added, and then turn around and ship again.

Can customers deal with such a model? I don’t think so. Why? Deployment. Scrum is great for a model where deploying is just pushing new bits out to a small set of machines. Ala a Web site. But it’s not good for when you need people to download bits, and install them.

But, it’s fun to watch how the new agile models are getting played with and adopted inside the teams that build Visual Studio, for instance.

It’s interesting times to be a software developer, that’s for sure.

By the way, I’m in. I want better productivity tools. I can’t deal with the flow of RSS feeds and email and phone calls and decisions and info and tasks and all that.

I’m finding I’m having to adopt to the new flow in my life and find ways to deal. I know others are dealing with the same thing (that’s why David Allen’s book is a best seller five years after he wrote it).

What do you think of Rod’s ideas?

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Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as PodTech.net’s Vice President of Media Development.

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Another Test of ‘is Microsoft listening?’
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