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Elevator Speech to the CEO - reframing the jargon

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  • Deborah Hartmann
    An exercise: (ok this may be controversial - but why not?) If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization, prompting them to approach
    Message 1 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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      An exercise: (ok this may be controversial - but why not?)

      If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization,
      prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT BUZZWORDS
      WOULD YOU AVOID? Assume this is a person NOT involved in software
      development directly, but who is in a position to changing the corporate
      culture if they could see a benefit to the bottom line.

      Words to avoid (i.e. jargon) = your suggestion of how to reframe these
      things to speak to a CEO's values. Ex:

      Avoid = Replace with
      --------------------
      Methodology = "approach"
      Agile = describe its values, don't use the buzzword
      Scrum = not necessary at this early point
      Testing = "quality"

      ???
    • Phlip
      ... Kent Beck answered the elevator speech question once: How would you run a project if each feature cost the same? Notice that s _not_ what we do. It
      Message 2 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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        Deborah Hartmann wrote:

        > If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization,
        > prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT BUZZWORDS
        > WOULD YOU AVOID? Assume this is a person NOT involved in software
        > development directly, but who is in a position to changing the corporate
        > culture if they could see a benefit to the bottom line.

        Kent Beck answered the "elevator speech" question once:

        "How would you run a project if each feature cost the same?"

        Notice that's _not_ what we do. It kicks the CEO directly to where she
        or he has to be to then be lead back to Agile topics.

        --
        Phlip
      • Ron Jeffries
        Actually, if I were to create a speech of that size, I d be thinking about what to say, not what not to say. I might eliminate a buzzword, or some other word,
        Message 3 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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          Actually, if I were to create a speech of that size, I'd be thinking about
          what to say, not what not to say. I might eliminate a buzzword, or some
          other word, in support of clarity, but it would be a positive thing, not a
          defensive thing, which is quite a bit of what I'm hearing in the question.
          (It might not be there, of course, just because I hear it.)

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          To follow the path:
          Look to the master; Follow the master; Walk with the master;
          See through the master; Become the master. -- Modern Zen Poem

          On Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 2:14:08 PM, Deborah Hartmann wrote:

          > If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization,
          > prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT BUZZWORDS
          > WOULD YOU AVOID?

          End quotation from Deborah Hartmann, on Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 2:14:08 PM
        • Dion Stewart
          This topic recently came up at an Agile Coaches Roundtable discussion here in the Twin Cities. It was suggested that when speaking to CxO types you use
          Message 4 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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            This topic recently came up at an "Agile Coaches Roundtable" discussion
            here in the Twin Cities. It was suggested that when speaking to CxO
            types you use language involving metaphors based on the theme of
            "investment".

            Fowler talks about the concept of "technical debt"
            (www.martinfowler.com/bliki/TechnicalDebt.html).

            There's also "Software by Numbers", which in addition to providing a
            way to optimize ROI on Agile projects, also may provide some language
            for communication based on the "investment" metaphor
            (www.softwarebynumbers.com).


            Dion


            On Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 01:14 PM, Deborah Hartmann wrote:

            > If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an
            > organization,
            > prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT
            > BUZZWORDS
            > WOULD YOU AVOID? Assume this is a person NOT involved in software
            > development directly, but who is in a position to changing the
            > corporate
            > culture if they could see a benefit to the bottom line.
          • Christian Edward Gruber
            One thought which is more... er... negative would be something like: How many times before, during, or after a software project, do you feel lied-to or
            Message 5 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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              One thought which is more... er... negative would be something like:
              "How many times before, during, or after a software project, do you feel
              lied-to or betrayed by your IT staff? What if I could show you a way to
              control your project risks, succeed or fail earlier, with clarity and
              honesty throughout the project? What if I could show you how you could
              have at least one piece of high-priority, business value delivered every
              month? Would you be interested in trying such an approach?" In other
              words, go for their pain-points, then offer them some aspirine.

              Just a thought. No idea if it'll work, but I had the opportunity to
              deliver this kind of speech on a plane last week on my way back from CSM
              training, and this senior marketing execitive gave me her e-mail. I
              think if feelings are hard between business and tech, this kind of
              approach can sell.

              regards,
              Christian Gruber

              --
              -------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Christian E. Gruber President, Israfil Consulting Services Corp.
              (905) 640-1119 (office) cgruber@...
              (416) 930-6023 (cell) http://www.israfil.net


              Phlip wrote:

              >Deborah Hartmann wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              >>If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization,
              >>prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT BUZZWORDS
              >>WOULD YOU AVOID? Assume this is a person NOT involved in software
              >>development directly, but who is in a position to changing the corporate
              >>culture if they could see a benefit to the bottom line.
              >>
              >>
              >
              >Kent Beck answered the "elevator speech" question once:
              >
              >"How would you run a project if each feature cost the same?"
              >
              >Notice that's _not_ what we do. It kicks the CEO directly to where she
              >or he has to be to then be lead back to Agile topics.
              >
              >
            • todd
              We are proposing to use the Scrum approach for developing our software in the future. Scrum is based on the idea of team sports by using small highly efficient
              Message 6 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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                We are proposing to use the Scrum approach for developing our software
                in the future.
                Scrum is based on the idea of team sports by using small highly
                efficient teams that
                work closely together. Scrum has been shown to double productivity, increase
                on-time deliveries to 90%, reduce defects by 90%, and increase customer
                satisfaction to 90%. Scrum is a light weight process that thrives on
                human communication
                which means we can use the tools we already have so Scrum will cost next
                to nothing
                to adopt. We have a more detailed transition plan we'll email you
                showing we can
                be up and running on our first Scrum trial project 2 weeks from when we
                get a go.
                Everything is ready to start next week if that sounds ok with you?

                Deborah Hartmann wrote:

                > An exercise: (ok this may be controversial - but why not?)
                >
                > If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization,
                > prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT
                > BUZZWORDS
                > WOULD YOU AVOID? Assume this is a person NOT involved in software
                > development directly, but who is in a position to changing the corporate
                > culture if they could see a benefit to the bottom line.
                >
                > Words to avoid (i.e. jargon) = your suggestion of how to reframe these
                > things to speak to a CEO's values. Ex:
                >
                > Avoid = Replace with
                > --------------------
                > Methodology = "approach"
                > Agile = describe its values, don't use the buzzword
                > Scrum = not necessary at this early point
                > Testing = "quality"
                >
                > ???
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
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              • Dion Stewart
                The correct link is www.softwarebynumbers.org Dion
                Message 7 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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                  The correct link is www.softwarebynumbers.org

                  Dion


                  On Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 01:53 PM, Dion Stewart wrote:

                  > There's also "Software by Numbers", which in addition to providing a
                  > way to optimize ROI on Agile projects, also may provide some language
                  > for communication based on the "investment" metaphor
                  > (www.softwarebynumbers.com).
                • aacockburn
                  ... organization, ... WHAT BUZZWORDS ... I d avoid all buzzwords except Business Value ... as in (whatever preamble) early deliver of business value. and
                  Message 8 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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                    --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries
                    <ronjeffries@X...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 2:14:08 PM, Deborah Hartmann
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > > If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an
                    organization,
                    > > prompting them to approach software development in a new way,
                    WHAT BUZZWORDS
                    > > WOULD YOU AVOID?

                    I'd avoid all buzzwords except Business Value ... as in
                    "(whatever preamble) early deliver of business value."

                    and then take the conversation from there.
                  • Mike Dwyer
                    Things not to say AGILE SCRUM SPRINT My experience (on going) is that the entrenched mindset of Waterfall find comfort in dealing with fact that the devil they
                    Message 9 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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                      Things not to say
                      AGILE
                      SCRUM
                      SPRINT

                      My experience (on going) is that the entrenched mindset of Waterfall find
                      comfort in dealing with fact that the devil they know will fail them in
                      predictable defensible, and acceptable ways, rather to advocate one that
                      would leave them defenseless.

                      XP is gaining some traction but only in tech centric circles.

                      People stuff (empowerment, self discipline, accountability) is ok.

                      Things that make everyone uneasy is when a Scrum Agile Approach keeps on
                      delivering when the traditional system fails - and both are drawing from the
                      same resources and the same user / client.

                      Things to say are better, faster, smarter, shorter turnaround, happy
                      customer / user, Improved mgt visibility into the process, ROI, and resource
                      utilization along with the people stuff and the fact that people like to
                      work in it.

                      Then tell to what they think you are pitching and avoid using Agile Scrum XP
                      DSDD IIT or what ever in your response.

                      This help?

                      Michael F. Dwyer

                      Mike.Dwyer1@...



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Deborah Hartmann [mailto:deborah@...]
                      Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 2:14 PM
                      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Elevator Speech to the CEO - reframing the
                      jargon


                      An exercise: (ok this may be controversial - but why not?)

                      If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization,
                      prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT BUZZWORDS
                      WOULD YOU AVOID? Assume this is a person NOT involved in software
                      development directly, but who is in a position to changing the corporate
                      culture if they could see a benefit to the bottom line.

                      Words to avoid (i.e. jargon) = your suggestion of how to reframe these
                      things to speak to a CEO's values. Ex:

                      Avoid = Replace with
                      --------------------
                      Methodology = "approach"
                      Agile = describe its values, don't use the buzzword
                      Scrum = not necessary at this early point
                      Testing = "quality"

                      ???








                      To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                      To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                      scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
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                    • Mike Dwyer
                      Do you have that buzzing in your ears often Mr Jeffries or just when your e goes silent? 8^) (Ron, I couldn t resist - I know I have one coming and I m
                      Message 10 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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                        Do you have that buzzing in your ears often Mr Jeffries or just when your
                        'e' goes silent?
                        8^)
                        (Ron, I couldn't resist - I know I have one coming and I'm looking forward
                        to it.)

                        Michael F. Dwyer

                        Mike.Dwyer1@...



                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
                        Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2004 2:53 PM
                        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Elevator Speech to the CEO - reframing the
                        jargon


                        Actually, if I were to create a speech of that size, I'd be thinking about
                        what to say, not what not to say. I might eliminate a buzzword, or some
                        other word, in support of clarity, but it would be a positive thing, not a
                        defensive thing, which is quite a bit of what I'm hearing in the question.
                        (It might not be there, of course, just because I hear it.)

                        Ron Jeffries
                        www.XProgramming.com
                        To follow the path:
                        Look to the master; Follow the master; Walk with the master;
                        See through the master; Become the master. -- Modern Zen Poem

                        On Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 2:14:08 PM, Deborah Hartmann wrote:

                        > If you were to make a 30-60 second speech to the CxO of an organization,
                        > prompting them to approach software development in a new way, WHAT
                        BUZZWORDS
                        > WOULD YOU AVOID?

                        End quotation from Deborah Hartmann, on Saturday, November 27, 2004, at
                        2:14:08 PM





                        To Post a message, send it to: scrumdevelopment@...
                        To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                        scrumdevelopment-unsubscribe@...
                        Yahoo! Groups Links
                      • Ron Jeffries
                        Your time will come ... :) Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com Prediction is very difficult, especially if it s about the future. -- Niels Bohr ... End quotation
                        Message 11 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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                          Your time will come ... :)

                          Ron Jeffries
                          www.XProgramming.com
                          Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future. -- Niels Bohr

                          On Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 6:35:34 PM, Mike Dwyer wrote:

                          > (Ron, I couldn't resist - I know I have one coming and I'm looking forward
                          > to it.)

                          End quotation from Mike Dwyer, on Saturday, November 27, 2004, at 6:35:34 PM
                        • Daniel Gackle
                          One term I avoid when talking with business people is refactoring . Though this concept wouldn t likely appear in an elevator speech, it does come up pretty
                          Message 12 of 13 , Nov 27, 2004
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                            One term I avoid when talking with business people is "refactoring". Though
                            this concept wouldn't likely appear in an elevator speech, it does come up
                            pretty quickly if one is asked /how/ "frequent delivery of business value"
                            is achieved, or simply what the differences are between agile and non-agile
                            methods.

                            The definition of "refactoring" (improving design without changing behavior)
                            is like fingernails on a chalkboard to a business person. It sounds like the
                            very thing they /don't/ want to pay for: programmers making their code more
                            elegant instead of adding features. Talk about not adding value!

                            Thankfully, Ward Cunningham's concept of "technical debt" or design debt is
                            as brilliantly successful a way to explain the value of this practice as
                            "refactoring" is disastrous.

                            Daniel
                          • xenomino
                            I suggest that if you want to reframe your elevator speech to your CEO, try to look at what is most important to him/her: tracking and productivity. As an
                            Message 13 of 13 , Nov 30, 2004
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                              I suggest that if you want to reframe your elevator speech to your
                              CEO, try to look at what is most important to him/her: tracking and
                              productivity. As an example, in my organization, when I report to my
                              superior on the status of my project I use EVM and show how my
                              project's current performace stands against my estimate scope,
                              schedule and budget.

                              Lets take that all apart then, why do I set estimates, track them and
                              report them? Because the CEO wants to make sure that they're getting
                              the most amount of productivity out of the work as possible. By
                              setting time based goals, they can measure this. However, a high
                              degree of PRODUCTIVITY is the real goal, not numbers.

                              What does SCRUM give you? It is a framework that demands highly
                              productive work from group members, and makes it very easy to see
                              when problems arise. It doesn't guarantee high productivity, but it
                              has been proven to deliver it.

                              In the larger picture, ensuring high productivity and the fast
                              identification of problems is the real benefit of most Agile
                              methods.

                              Anyhow, that's my elevator speech. Works pretty good when I follow
                              it up with saying: "If you use a product like Scrum Works you can
                              then quickly see exactly how we are progressing over the entire
                              timeline at any given point, thus freeing the manager to work with
                              thier group to further ensure productivity".

                              Mike Van, PMP


                              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Daniel Gackle <gackle@s...>
                              wrote:
                              > One term I avoid when talking with business people
                              is "refactoring". Though
                              > this concept wouldn't likely appear in an elevator speech, it does
                              come up
                              > pretty quickly if one is asked /how/ "frequent delivery of business
                              value"
                              > is achieved, or simply what the differences are between agile and
                              non-agile
                              > methods.
                              >
                              > The definition of "refactoring" (improving design without changing
                              behavior)
                              > is like fingernails on a chalkboard to a business person. It sounds
                              like the
                              > very thing they /don't/ want to pay for: programmers making their
                              code more
                              > elegant instead of adding features. Talk about not adding value!
                              >
                              > Thankfully, Ward Cunningham's concept of "technical debt" or design
                              debt is
                              > as brilliantly successful a way to explain the value of this
                              practice as
                              > "refactoring" is disastrous.
                              >
                              > Daniel
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