Tagged: obama

Jugaad – India’s Agile style

I’ve been reading about India’s concept of Jugaad, possibly poised to enter our buzzword vocabulary since it came up in the context of what Obama can learn from that country.

Where the Agile Manifesto starts with “Individuals and Interactions” the Harvard Business Review kicks off Jugaad with “Thrift not Waste”.

All too often I’ve seen Agile work because a scarcity of resources (money, time or knowledge) pushed an otherwise waterfall loving group into giving Agile a shot. The tenants of Jugaad resonate with me as a more general philosophy about how to get things accomplished then Agile’s focus on “working software”.

Agile Manifesto

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

Jugaad (quoted from HBR):

The Hindi term roughly translates as “overcoming harsh constraints by improvising an effective solution using limited resources”. We call it the art of creative improvisation.

Thrift not waste. Tackle scarcity.
Inclusion, not exclusion. diversity of communities
Bottom-up participation, not top-down command and control.
Flexible thinking and action, not linear planning.

It feels like we are talking about the same thing. Get a team together and empower them to solve the necessary problem. Nowhere is there a concept of ‘throw money at the problem’ or ‘hire more consultants’. Plan for change and change plans in order to achieve success.

I’m on a barcamp high today. We could have had a conference with a big budget, focused our marketing on the demographic of web designers/developers, planned it from an executive committee and wrote a gant chart tracking the critical path from start to finish. It would have been a big show, but it would not have been barcamp and it would not have been awesome.

Software engineers learned that top down does not work. Indian’s entrepreneurs espousing that top down does not work.

Spend a few moments today to consider if you think top down, centralized control of food production is a good idea: http://foodfreedom.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/s-510-is-hissing-in-the-grass/

Accidental Obama supporter?

I think I just became an Obama supporter. I didn’t mean to but I was pressured into it by the propaganda.

I’ve actually been on the fence until the Palin decision. (I have daughters and have a strong opinion about the difference between family values and statutory rape)

Anyway I got an email that was anti-Obama in silly ways. I could name a number of things about him that truly concern me. I’m not sold that he would make a good president. Unfortunately our election is not about if he will be a good president, it is about if he will be better or worse the McCain.

The first ‘fact’ in this message was to cast aspersions regarding the reason that he changed his name from “Barry” to Barack. I did 5 minutes of googling to learn that his formal name is Barack and he took the nickname Barry. To attack him for that got to me in a personal way because although my given name is Aaron my dad gave me a middle name of Daniel. My middle name was just in case I had to work in an anti-semetic environment. I grew up with the need to hide my identity and culture being a very real possibility.

I replied to the email with this:

His given name is Barack. Barry was a nickname in high school. As Jews we should understand the social pressure that causes someone to change their name or go my a nickname. My Hebrew name is Chaim but my dad gave me a middle name of Daniel in case I had to deal with anti-semitism.

Source: http://www.newsweek.com/id/128633 (source for the Barack info, see my dad about my name)

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