Every Feature Needs a Hypothesis

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In this article, I’ll use a simple, easily accessible example feature to show how a feature hypothesis should evolve and how monitoring results can impact our plan and backlog priorities.

I am going to stick with the “Password Reset” example from the previous article in this “Outcomes versus Outputs” series since resetting one’s own password can be applied to almost any website and application. Continue reading “Every Feature Needs a Hypothesis”

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Money or the Goody Bag? The Great Comrades Refund Debate

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[This article was originally published on Sport24.co.za]

At lunch time on 14 May, I was taking advantage of a gap between video calls by doing another lockdown run up and down my driveway.

As you can imagine, driveway laps are not particularly interesting and I welcome any distraction from the monotony. Therefore, every vibration on my phone results in an excited glance at the screen to see whatever notification has been delivered.

I was about 30 minutes into my regular 10km jog when the latest buzz presented the email notification, “Media Release: 2020 Comrades Marathon has been cancelled.

I didn’t even break stride. Continue reading “Money or the Goody Bag? The Great Comrades Refund Debate”

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Outcomes: The Forgotten Test Case

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Outcome versus Output

My very simple definition of the difference between output and outcome is:

  • Output is delivering volume
  • Outcome is delivering value

Theoretically, they could be the same but in practice this is seldom the case.

I can create a lot of ‘stuff’ (i.e. output) but realise very little, or even negative, value for all the time and effort spent producing said ‘stuff’. This article provides two practical examples of what normally happens (we focus only the output), why this is a terrible practice and the problems associated with ignoring the outcomes. Continue reading “Outcomes: The Forgotten Test Case”

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Kohavi’s Law & Harry Potter explain why your experience and intuition suck

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Ron Kohavi was the Technical Fellow and VP of the Analysis & Experimentation team at Microsoft. He had a team of brilliant engineers, data scientists and program managers working under him. Kohavi’s team built Microsoft’s “Experimentation Platform.”  Before the Experimentation Platform was in use, Microsoft teams were delivering well-thought out features, some small, others larger multi-month projects. Output was great – and Microsoft products like Bing, Edge, Exchange, Office, Skype, Windows, and Xbox were benefitting from the exceptional work produced.

Or were they?

Continue reading “Kohavi’s Law & Harry Potter explain why your experience and intuition suck”

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Bonkolo Marathon (Warming up for a World Cup win)

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[MARATHON #230 / Unique Marathon #131 / 2 November 2019]

Where were you when the Springboks won the Rugby World Cup for the third time?
In an ethnic hair salon in Stutterheim is my unlikely reply.
How I got there was a result of bad planning and incredibly low expectations.

With the Rugby World Cup final a couple of hours away, the support tables during the Bonkolo Marathon were in full swing. I asked these guys who was going to win. They answered correctly: ‘Bokke!’

South Africa has three marathons on the first weekend of November – Soweto, Kaapsehoop and Bonkolo. Soweto and Kaapsehoop are two of the biggest marathons in South Africa whereas Bonkolo, with just 120 runners, is definitely the acutest angle on this running triangle. Continue reading “Bonkolo Marathon (Warming up for a World Cup win)”

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Sedibeng Marathon (Getting down & dirty in the Vaal Triangle)

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[MARATHON #235 / Unique Marathon #135 / 8 December 2019]

Running a marathon in the Vaal Triangle for the views, is like watching a porno for the storyline.

As they say in the classics, “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes”. I’m not one to judge anyone for what they do in the privacy of their own home – and you shouldn’t judge those who choose to run in the Vaal Triangle (not until you’ve run a marathon in their shoes anyway)! And speaking of classics, Debbie might already have done Dallas – but Stuart still needed to strut around Sedibeng.  Continue reading “Sedibeng Marathon (Getting down & dirty in the Vaal Triangle)”

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Riana van Niekerk Marathon (Showing off in Snor City)

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[MARATHON #234 / Unique Marathon #134 / 30 November 2019]

A true test of a man’s virility can be found north of the Jukskei. Pretoria, aka Snor City, is the original Home of the Moustache. Fortunately fast facial hair growth is my superpower and, despite only putting my razor blades away halfway through Movember, I arrived at the start of the Riana van Niekerk Run & Walk For Bibles Marathon sporting a moustache of impressive elegance, grace and girth.

Continue reading “Riana van Niekerk Marathon (Showing off in Snor City)”

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The Home Ironman Experience (my first triathlon)

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[Unofficial MARATHON #1 / Triathlon #1 / 4 April 2020]

It was a dark and stormy night.

It was a dark and stormy morning too.

In fact, the whole damn week had been dark and stormy.

Still, I had no one but myself (and some bat-eating bastard in Wuhan) to blame for the predicament I now faced. On the coldest, wettest and most miserable day of the year, I was the idiot who’d be attempting a Home Ironman as his first ever triathlon. Continue reading “The Home Ironman Experience (my first triathlon)”

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Charlotte Raubenheimer – The First Home IronMom

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Foreword

When I decided to do my own Home Ironman challenge, I checked out the original, pre-Covid-19 date of Ironman South Africa and realised it would have been on Sunday 29 March. With Covid-craziness gripping South African endurance athletes, I wondered whether and real triathletes would be undertaking a Home Ironman on the first weekend of lockdown. It turned out that two did. I was fortunate enough to chat to both – this is the story of the first Home IronMom, Charlotte Raubenheimer.

Charlotte Raubenheimer: The First Home IronMom

Saturday the 28th of March was day two of the South Africa’s original 21-day lockdown period. Whilst many South Africans spent the day getting acclimatised to lockdown conditions (or figuring out where they were going to store all the food and toilet paper they’d needlessly stockpiled), for Charlotte Raubenheimer it was a day of speculation. Continue reading “Charlotte Raubenheimer – The First Home IronMom”

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Tom Barlow – The First Indoor Ironman

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Foreword

When I decided to do my own Home Ironman challenge, I checked out the original, pre-Covid-19 date of Ironman South Africa and realised it would have been on Sunday 29 March. With Covid-craziness gripping South African endurance athletes, I wondered whether any real triathletes would be undertaking a Home Ironman on the first weekend of lockdown. It turned out that two did. I was fortunate enough to chat to both – this is the story of the first indoor Ironman, Tom Barlow.

Tom Barlow’s world first

Tom is accomplished triathlete who already has eight full Ironmen under his lycra chaps. He had been training hard in the build up to 29 March and, after an excellent half Ironman in East London, was eyeing a 9h45 finish in Port Elizabeth to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Whilst on his final pre-lockdown farewell run in nature, Tom’s mind drifted to the Frenchman who’d just run a marathon on his balcony. Not wanting many months of hard training to go to waste, Tom Barlow’s world wasn’t going to stop for Covid-19 and he decided that attempting the first ever indoor Ironman was the logical way to beat the lockdown blues – and raise money for a good cause at the same time. Continue reading “Tom Barlow – The First Indoor Ironman”

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