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Software Development

Agile Points: Handy for Healthcare Software Development or Thanksgiving Dinner

If you are new to agile development, you’re probably swimming in a sea of unfamiliar terms: user story, spike, sprint, stand up, points.  In this series, we’re going to tackle one of agile’s trickiest concepts: What exactly is an agile “point,” and how does it relate to time and budget? Points measure the complexity and effort required to complete a unit of work.  Pathfinder uses points because we find they are both
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The Research-Product Gap

What I will talk about at DRC is the ‘research-product’ gap. I just gave a talk at the Stanford D School about some of these issues. I discussed the research-product gap. This didn’t concern them. I said that if they were not interested in how their work got into a product, they were wasting their time. “And they said, ‘We’re just doing the research, we’re not responsible for the product.’ And
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Going Native Isn’t Always the Right Move in Mobile

Blog by Todd Wyder In my work helping companies practice lean innovation, I talk to a lot of folks who are launching mobile products and they chose to build a native app instead of a mobile web app.  For those readers who aren’t sure what that means, a native app is one that you  download from an app store, whereas a mobile web app is a web application built using responsive design that you pin to your homescreen.   
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Lean Startup Circle, An Article in Reuters

By Lou Carlozo Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:38pm EDT (Reuters) – Bernhard Kappe, the chief executive officer of Chicago’s Pathfinder Software, steps up to a dry erase board and draws a crude graph, its slope curves upward. Then he plots a point in the middle to show where the city’s web entrepreneurs stand in terms of growth and progress. “These things take 20 years to get to maturity, and theyR
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Lean + UX + Agile

Lean + UX + Agile. Lean Startup, User Experience Design and Agile Development are all approaches to improve your odds of creating successful products. Are they mutually exclusive, or can you assemble them together to make a lean, mean product machine? In November Pathfinder’s Bernhard Kappe, Amy Willis and Reid MacTavish gave a sold out talk at the Chicago Product Management Association to share their lessons l
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Agile in FDA Regulated Medical Software – Partnering

This may be generic advice, but it might not be a familiar concept for those in IT working within a large organization doing validated software: Once you adopt the practices described in my previous blogs about regulated software, you will find that you aren’t working alone anymore. The tight feedback cycles allow you to regularly check-in with the business and involve them in building the software. Once this h
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It’s not about software

In a recent article, John Gruber masterfully compared Google’s and Apple’s software strategy. He insightfully concluded that Apple solved the software distribution problem through their app store therefore doesn’t have to rely on browser based software. As a result of that, they can have all the benefits of native apps. Read the article, I was impressed by its sobriety. He does have a grave misconce
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Comparing video conferencing platforms

Recently I have been tasked with researching options for video conferencing platforms that one can integrate with a software product. I will share it how I see it and I would love to hear what you have to say. High expectations We used to sit down at our desk, plug in or adjust the external web camera, turn Skype on and start chatting on our hard-line cable or DSL connection. Dropped frames and pixelation came with i
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Agile and the FDA: Faster, Better Development for Medical Devices

We presented our approach to implementing agile in an FDA regulated environment to a joint meeting of the Chicago Agile Project Management Group and Health 2.0 Group last week. This is based on our experience developing software for medical devices, and focuses on how to get the benefits of agile development while conforming to FDA regulations.
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Turnover…..JIT docs

You started a new job recently. Your organization has a some “legacy” apps, plus they’re working on a new batch using some cutting-edge technology. You’re assigned to a cool team with some hot-shot developers and ready do get down to work. Suddenly, on day two, your manager walks by to let you know that the lead (and only developer) on one of the apps has resigned and will be leaving next week. Your manager asks you
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