We're now a couple of weeks into the survey and the count's at 83 responses. A big thanks to all of you for taking part and a special thanks to the 25 that have offered to chat with us over the coming months. It's the stories we uncover in these interviews that we're most interested in. As they take shape we'll have a meaningful and focused way of interpreting the stats we're seeing.
To give you some initial insight into the survey... one of the tactics we'll be employing is to identify a set of dimensions. Yin and Yang classifications that might affect how you use the tools. Govt versus Private. Product versus Non Product. Co-located versus remote. If you're interested in reading up further on dimensions or the other techniques we're using then do a few searches on "jobs to be done" or #JTBD on twitter.
One of the dimensions we think holds promise came to us from a respondent's answer to our request for feedback. The answer read "Survey is a little bias to big end of town...". Marc and I never intended this in the survey but looking back I can see how it could be interpreted this way. And so this comment got us thinking. Did we bias it this way and if so why? I concluded that for myself at least I probably am a little big end bias and that the big end bias comes from the fact that my interest in how we use agile tools is rooted in environments that don't neatly fit the classic agile mold. Environments that you'll typically find in large organizations where the forces are - for wrong or for right - a little more complicated.
Smaller organizations (and especially those with a clear product) fit the classic agile model well. I managed this type of environment in my time with a geophysics company and although we never used an agile tool I suspect if we had it would have worked pretty well. My reasoning is that the card wall we used worked pretty well and when I think about it that's what most (all?) agile tools do. Digitize the card wall experience.
But in more constrained environments the classic model of agile is often morphed to some degree and it's in these morphed environments that the tools start to fail. I'd like to know why and I'm hoping that in exploring this dimension we'll find some clues.
The big company/small company dimension (or perhaps better termed the classic/constrained agile dimension) is not the only dimension we're considering but right now it's the one I'm most interested in.
BTW in case the you're wondering... these public posts won't be a substitute for the respondent only report. We'll be walking that fine line of giving you a feel for what we're up to without spilling any details of our conclusions.