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Shaping Software
[24 Dec 2009 | 2 Comments | ]
Customer Connected Engineering at patterns & practices

This post is a write up of how we do Customer-Connected Engineering on the Microsoft patterns & practices team. Our Customer-Connected Engineering process has been a key part of our success and impact in the software industry. While this write up is about how patterns & practices implements Customer Connected Engineering, you might find that you can tailor and adapt some of the principles for your scenario or context.

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Business, Leadership, Project-Management »

[15 Dec 2009 | Comments Off | ]
Customer, Problem, Competition, and Success

This is a simple frame for testing your vision, your pitch for a project, or your proposed solution. One of my mentors uses it all the time to test the thinking and to make sure the team stays on track. I’ve adopted because it’s a great way to stay focused on the basics. Don’t let the basics get in the way of great results.

Guest Posts, Lessons in Software »

[7 Dec 2009 | 13 Comments | ]
Lessons in Software from Eric Brechner

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Eric Brechner. Eric is author of the book, and blog, I.M. Wright’s “Hard Code.”  At Microsoft, Eric is Director of Development Excellence on the Engineering Excellence team.  His group is responsible for improving the people, process, and practices of software development across Microsoft.  Eric has more than 20 years of experience in the software space, including a tour of duty on the Microsoft Office team.
When I first met Eric, several years ago, he struck me as somebody with opinions and insight.  …

patterns & practices »

[30 Nov 2009 | 3 Comments | ]
Best Practices at patterns & practices

The Microsoft patterns & practices team has been around since 2000. The patterns & practices team builds prescriptive guidance for customers building applications on the Microsoft platform. The primary mission is customer success on the platform. As part of that mission, patterns & practices delivers guidance in the form of reusable libraries, in-tool experiences, patterns, and guides. To put it another way, we deliver code-based and content-based guidance.

General, User Experience »

[11 Nov 2009 | 4 Comments | ]
Drive from Quality

My recent road trip was a great reminder how quality is durable. As I passed through familiar territory, it was interesting to see how many building and places stood the test of time.

patterns & practices, Project-Management »

[24 Sep 2009 | 1 Comment | ]
Vision Scope Examples

On the Microsoft patterns & practices team, we use Vision / Scope as a key milestone. It’s where we frame the problem, identify the business opportunity, and paint a vision of the solution. It’s a forcing function to get clarity on the customer, their scenarios, and our scope for the project. We generally use a “fix time, flex scope” pattern, so this means having a candidate backlog that we prioritize with customers.