Growth vs Scale

I came across this trivial explanation of the difference between growth and scale. I am still wrapping up my head around how the market forces apply to the world of enterprise software and internal IT. We tend to use similar terminology — product, customer, value, etc. Sometimes we also adopt popular frameworks pioneered in the consumer world, OKRs, Scrum, or Spotify-like matrix organization.

But when there is no free market, what it really means to grow?

We approach most of new opportunities as growth opportunities, e.g., staffing a new team, assuming the team develops a new product generating revenue covering…


Excel

This is a fascinating story of Excel, starting with the early days and connecting the dots with the present no-code and low-code era of unbundled tools inspired by Excel. These new tools are used for programming, and Excel is still the most popular programming language on earth. It’s funny how most people don’t even realize this fact.

If there is a core product design lesson to learn from Excel, it’s that combining usability with flexibility is both incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding.

The new space of low-code no-code tools is attracting a ton of investment dollars, but it’s still viewed…


Pick Predictably Irrational on GoodReads.

This was an entertaining read from the behavioral economic domain, and I was able to draw a few interesting parallels with the world of enterprise software and service management domain.

Why everything is relative

Several fascinating experiments lead Dan to conclusions applicable to marketing and sales. How we choose subscription options is predictably irrational, but it got me thinking. Can this be applied universally to the participatory product design and become one of the traps of much popular Design Sprints and designing complex system as high-fidelity screen-prototypes?

If we freely diverge in the design process without in-depth knowledge about the constraints, we might design…


About OKRs

It will be nice if we can measure all the world. Until that happens, we are left with attempts to measure satisfaction, user experience, love… which might be possible but opens room for a myriad of different interpretations.

AI will replace humans

I am still waiting for a moment when AI will replace designers and developers…assuming it can understand what humans want when they don’t know it themselves. Aside from general ethical concerns, it is still so easy to fool the algorithm.

Agile

There was this famous IBM ad about engineers building the plane mid-flight and drawing parallels with the modern software…


Define Manager

In the current trend of flat, agile, and Spotify-like organizations, it is no longer clear what is the role of a manager. Too often, manager is used as a bad word or legacy. We all are leaders, but leadership can mean different things to different people.

People leave bad managers…

…or maybe not? Maybe people leave because of the “muck in the middle” and the way how they interact with other functions and corners of the organization they have little influence on.

No-Code Destiny

Some people tend to believe that all their problems can be solved with an app or website. In reality, most…


No One Understands You and What to Do About It

This year, I decided to focus on structured communication as part of my ongoing Professional Development journey and continuous learning. One of my communication aspects I wanted to learn more about is how I come across. I felt that sometimes I made a crystal clear point or I am direct with people, only to realize that it might not be perceived the same way.

This book starts with highlighting a summary of communication biases and stereotypes. It’s always helpful to remind ourselves about it because we cannot do much more about it. Awareness is a key method to uncover unconscious…


A good tip for your 10-mins learning time is this entertaining video praising the life and legacy of Paul Fitt.

From attempting to land a bomber plane with no wheels down to sprawl of software bugs labeled as “user error,” heuristic methods are the excellent and empirical method to design user interfaces. On the surface, we call it a human error, but it is a design error. Fitt defined this radical new concept that implies the design of an object can cause human error. …


Shipping Software on time

This might turn the Agile community from red to purple, but I somehow relate to the message. The devil is in the detail, but nobody ever complained about an OS upgrade or a new iPhone shipped on time.
I see more risks in other approaches propagated without taking into account full systems thinking. I am still unsure how we might expect that Spotify-level discrete and independent Scrum teams who are iterating on their own independent set of OKRs would ever converge to a singular coherent complex release as complex as Operating System or Excel.

Source: Steven Sinofsky https://twitter.com/stevesi/status/1366989350601334787?s=20


Design process within enterprise platforms and frameworks

We see a growing population of designers joining the enterprise domain. This exciting trend contributes to a more human digital experience of professional software and removes some decades-old stereotypes about enterprise software being the most suffering user experience one can have with the technology.

I decided to wrap up my observations to guide aspiring and practicing designers and product managers in the enterprise environment. I focus on areas that make enterprise software different from consumer products, startups, digital agencies, and web design engagements. I structured my thoughts into three chapters.

1. Enterprise Design Discovery

2. Lateral innovation

3. Low-code application design


Lateral Thinking With Withered Technology

This article is part of a three-chapter Enterprise Design guidelines .
Start reading here.

Disruptive Innovation via Old Technology [1]

Nintendo has a product-development philosophy called “Lateral Thinking with Withered Technology.” It led to the Game Boy, the 20th century’s most successful game console. Basically, you can innovate with old and cheap technologies instead of obsessing over the cutting edge. [2]

Lateral innovation is a principle that Designers might found counterintuitive or blocking creativity and innovation. In enterprise systems, it is often the other way around — the best inventions happen from lateral innovation and smart integrations to the level the technology fading away to the…

Peter Zalman

I am crafting great ideas into working products and striving for balance between Design, Product and Engineering #UX. Views are my own.

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