Producer and Project Manager — yes, and, Scrum Master!

April 7, 2014

There’s an old post out in the wild on someone’s untended blog that compares Producers and their mindset to Project Managers and their perceived mindset:

I decided for fun to add in a comparison to Scrum Master, below. And, to make matters worse to be completely in fashion, I translated from the “versus” to the improv-influenced “and,” as in “yes, and.” Don’t shudder; make suggestions below.

Here’s Jon:

I’m always fascinated by the subtle differences between a Producer and a Project Manager. To help distinguish the two, I’ve put together a quick cheat sheet:

Producer: Wanted to be a filmmaker but gave up on that idea after working in film for 6 months getting coffee for a bunch of thankless bastards at 4am, on a lobster boat, getting paid nothing.
Project Manager: Wanted to be a Project Manager after college.

Scrum Master: Woke up from the delusion of thinking they could or should tell everyone else what to do and figured out it is way more fun to help them do it.

Producer: Makes a project schedule when the project starts. Never looks at it again.
Project Manager: Updates the project schedule every day.

Scrum Master: Helps the team understand what their goal post is (the next “down”).

Producer: Spends the whole day walking and talking.
Project Manager: Sits in the office perfecting that Gantt chart.

Scrum Master: Helps cut through obstacles the team is facing.

Producer: Secretly enjoys cracking open Photoshop when the designers aren’t looking.
Project Manager: Does not have Photoshop installed.

Scrum Master: Doesn’t have to keep secrets from the team. If the team needs help, will crack open Photoshop and they love that that happens.

Producer: Knows enough code to be dangerous. But seriously, is lost without Dreamweaver.
Project Manager: Does not code. Or design.

Scrum Master: Most likely was a coder, is a coder, or will be a coder.

Producer: Swears every other word.
Project Manager: Uses words like ‘Mmmhhmm’ and ‘Nnnkaaay?’.

Scrum Master: Giggles with team a lot.

Producer: Goes to SXSW to booze it up with former co-workers.
Project Manager: Studies for the PMI exam.

Scrum Master: Goes to SXSW to participate in an accelerator for a product that the team came up with during off-hours.

Producer: Cozies up to team members to get them to do what they’re supposed to do.
Project Manager: Tells people what they need to do. Calls them to tell them they sent them an email. Pisses them off.

Scrum Master: The team actually wants to do what they’re supposed to do–so just needs to find out what’s in the way of individual team member’s work and help remove any blocks from getting the work done.

Producer: 2 days before the project is due, all hell breaks loose. No sleep for 48 hours. Spends the night making edits in the HTML and writing copy they forgot about.
Project Manager: Completes another credit toward the PMP certification.

Scrum Master: Has prioritized the work so everyone is super-happy throughout the project as they have seen work early on and improvements throughout.

Producer: Comes in at 10:00 AM. Pissed off cause they drank too much last night.
Project Manager: Schedules an 8:30 AM daily meeting.

Scrum Master: At stand-up every day and is fined by the team if late.

Producer: Mac
Project Manager: PC

Scrum Master: Post-it Notes and Sharpies

#sxsw #BSterling Closing Remarks

March 11, 2014

Live, unfiltered notes. May have some of my own thoughts. I somehow ended up front row center next to a data viz writer named Hunter Whitney, who works on health care UX. Unexpectedly great chat about the conference–and of course about Big Data with my brother, an AT&T organizational psychologist.

Live Notes – mostly unedited.
People who were virtually here
Assange and Snowden and letter from Kansas congressman complaining about SXSW– what was he doing that was so important that he couldn’t come to SouthBy? In Congress?!

People who weren’t but ought to be here
Electronic politicians From Europe, Mayoral candidate in Paris, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet–right wing, but here looks leftish.
– her significance
– waging a good social media campaign, technically savvy…us, in the future
Gianroberto Casaleggio and his M5s was able in Italy to unite angry factions. Best electronic organizer, very honest. Is a Bruce Sterling Dopolganger. Has every Web 2.0 book– everyone who has been at SouthBy.
– Right and Left immediately formed a coalition to through them out — calling them the populist clowns.
Watch people who are getting some traction doing what we dream.

People Who Ought to be here from Texas
* Barrett Brown, Aaron Swartz of today.
Is in prison for threatening police. Wrote friendly articles about hackers.

Vast nebulous pack of beltway spooks.
* Cody Wilson. Right wing anarcho student radical. Distributes handgun plans, all plastic except for 10 penny nail, 3D printed. Bit coins can pay for guns in Austin.
* Ross Ulbricht. Major BitCoin narcotics crime lord that drank the koto laid from BitCoin fountain. Anybody can buy anything from anywhere. Silk Road founder. He’s very SouthBy. Disruption. He’s our Mr. Hyde, our dark side of the force. Prosecutor was interesting.
* Texas Cryptologic in San Antonio and their tailored access project. Who are these guys?
* Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (British) – misinformation experts, make fake victims, sit there just messing with us. JTRIG. Not going to end well because of bad karma, doing the wrong thing. Hackers and spooks.

Who Else?
New Orleanian refugees from Katrina. He suspects California will come here, they are next because of water. Climate change wolf isn’t at door, it is in the living room. Might happen fast.

Casino Economy where up the ultra-wealthy can buy anything.

The future is old people in cities afraid of the sky.
What kind of life would they have? Made a prototype.

Stop Making Sense:
Standing in the warm breeze in front of the convention center, it slowly incurred to me what this talk meant. Don’t be so damn obvious, is what I think it says to me. Don’t just take Snowden and Assange at face value. Look a bit closer for interesting connections in unexpected places. Don’t resist education and health care as topics. Fact check.



#sxsw #Clinton Harnessing the Power of Tech and Data for Development .@chelseaclinton #noceilings

March 11, 2014

Raw notes mixed with my own thoughts on Chelsea Clinton’s talk on Social Good. Belatedly I realize the correct term is Development.

Anecdote that President Clinton has only ever sent two emails. And that Mom is most famous texter.

Spam was once innovative. CARE was originally created to send care packages to our soldiers…was at the time innovative and disruptive. Was a collaboration between 22 smaller organizations

[Just occurred to me the fact that she must face the very real possibility if being part of history versus the rest of us who may not get that chance].

Went through examples of companies doing good:
– Kiva
– texting for Haiti.
– Fast Company article on RIC (spelling?)

Mobile tech can disrupt and improve care.

M-pesa, mobile banking in Kenya.

Clinton is looking for a solutions hub and more transparency. Failures are not talked about in the Good world. People are more skittish about such sharing.

Aggregating data with Gates Foundation and others to aggregate and analyze how far women and girls have come.

Clinton in the Q&A portion spoke about clean water and fighting diarrhea and the kind of commitment corporations had to make to overcome the problem.

Feels policy makers vs technologists is a false dichotomy–we need both. We need to get people to feel inspired, empowered and motivated by data. Policy makers to help set the direction.

Her hero Wangari Maathai — Nobel Peace Prize winner

Feels nourished by the care her parents gave her, particularly that she was expected to have a point of view.

She felt she reminds her parents we have to include young voices when coming up with solutions, have them involved.***

Health and education [topics I have resisted] she brings together by talking about obesity and how being obese tires you out and makes it hard to focus in school.

Loves idea of reducing corruption with tech. Ideas addressing corruption can also induce transparency. The technology hasn’t been applied.

Stop Making Sense:
Interesting pre-talk conversation on Tesla with an entrepreneur from Sweden: Not the point that Tesla is a car company; it’s an energy storage company. So talk about over-valuation misses the mark.

“Disruption” as Clinton uses it, mashed up with my learning from meeting activist corporate change agent, Abhi Ingle of AT&T (briefly), inspires the thought means breaking and improving legacy systems. Mash this back against Dr. Neil DeGrassi Tyson’s “Question!” over “Believe,” to fact-check what Snowden and Assange say instead of assuming they are correct, and I start to drill into the meaning of this SouthBy for me. “Question!” is not just about fact-checking or investigating further. “Question!” is also about not accepting the assumption that the structure you have your feet planted on is so very solid. It might be you are standing on a legacy system of sand. ***See above, the value of youth in disrupting legacy systems.

Back to Tesla. It is a disruptive company because it isn’t about what it seems to be about.

March 13 to 17 for 2015 SXSW conference next year








#sxsw #intuition Let’s Get Physical: Design + Embodied Cognition .@rmichael .@ideo

March 11, 2014

Bailed on George Takei, intentionally as I just wanted to see him in person, I’m afraid. Struck by a star. These raw notes from a talk by Ideo’s Michael Hendrix.

Five Senses.

Apple product to get your brain to focus called Axio. Renamed company Melon — freshness and approachability. Founders were not in it for money, but passion.

“Old”: positive and negative connotations. Worn in. Fossils. Sequoia awe.

Used example of medical implants (such as bolts for your spine). Bolt cutters are used by doctors–connotation is uncomfortable.

Puddle on the sidewalk turned into a beautiful mouse.

Confident in our intuition: empathy quotients and emotional quotients in design.

Emotional intent as important as functional or marketing intent.

Objects becoming more human.
Digital experiences become multi-sensory.
– Oscar Mayer bacon smell alarm example.

Bad things: used for testing (and manipulation)
Marketers will try to make another quantitative validation exercise.

What gestures, sensations, experiences influence design

Stop Making Sense:



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 493 other followers