J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

November, 2011

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    A Map for the Microsoft Application Development Platform

    • 6 Comments

    When you can speak the language, it’s easier to find your way around.   One of the key things I’ve learned at Microsoft is that I can find my way around the platform fast, *if* I know the language.   The language usually consists of scenarios or topics, features, and APIs.

    The toughest part is usually mapping out the features.   The beauty is that if you know the features, they tend to be a token or a handle that connects you to various documentation sets, presentations, samples, and a plethora of other resources.  The other value of knowing the feature names is they tend to be unique names, so they are more precise and they help cut to the chase when searching through vast seas of information.

    Here is an initial map of the Microsoft Application Platform from a topics, features, and API perspective.   It’s effectively a language for the Microsoft application platform.  Note that while many of the feature or API lists may be out of data, you can use the idea to build your own maps.  Once the frame is in place, it’s a lot easier to update it with current information.   In fact, this would actually be useful as a Wiki map.   It would serve as a master map of the application platform, that would make it easy to connect to relevant resources, using a common frame and vocabulary.

    The map starts off by focusing on the most common application types, and then walking each core technology building block, then drilling into topics, features, and APIs.

    Enjoy the map … and please extend.

    Application Types

    Category

    Items
    App Types
    • Cloud
    • Data
    • Desktop
    • Games
    • Phone
    • Services
    • Web

    Application Technology Patterns

    Category

    Items

    Cloud

    • ASP.NET Web Forms
    • ASP.NET MVC
    • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
    Data
    • ADO.NET
    • ADO.NET Entity Framework
    • WCF Data Services
    • LINQ
    Desktop
    • WPF
    • Win32
    • MFC
    • Silverlight

    Games

    • Win32 with C++
    • XNA
    • Silverlight
    • WPF

    Phone

    • Silverlight
    • XNA Framework
    Services
    • WCF
    • WCF Data Services
    • WCF RIA Services
    • ASP.NET
    Web
    • ASP.NET Web Forms
    • ASP.NET MVC
    • Silverlight

    ADO.NET Topics and Features Map

    Category Items
    Topics
    • ASP.NET
    • Data Binding
    • Data Models
    • Deployment
    • Disconnected Data
    • Encryption
    • Entity Sets
    • General
    • Localization
    • N-Tier
    • Remote Data
    • Security
    • Silverlight
    • SQL Azure
    • SQL Server
    • Streaming
    • XML
    Features
    • ADO.NET DataSet
    • ADO.NET DataTable
    • ADO.NET DataReader
    • ADO.NET Entity Framework
    • Customizable Code Generator
    • Database First, Code First, and Model First Support
    • Inheritance Support
    • LINQ to DataSet
    • LINQ to SQL
    • LINQ to Enttities
    • O/RM Mapping
    • OData
    • POCO Support
    • State Management
    • WCF Data Services
    APIs
    • System.data
    • Data.Common
    • Data.Common.CommandTrees
    • Data.Design
    • Data.Enttity.Design
    • Data.etntity.Design.AspNet
    • Data.Enttity.Design.PluralizationServices
    • Data.EntityClient
    • Data.Linq
    • Data.Linq.Mapping
    • Data.Linq.SqlClient
    • Data.Linq.SqlClient.Implementation
    • Data.Mapping
    • Data.Metadata.Edm
    • Data.Objects
    • Data.Objects.DataClasses
    • Data.Objects.SqlClient
    • Data.Odbc
    • Data.OleDb
    • Data.OracleClient
    • Data.Services
    • Data.Services.BuildProvider
    • Data.Services.Client
    • Data.Services.Common
    • Data.Services.Common
    • Data.Services.Design
    • Data.Services.Internal
    • Data.Services.Providers
    • Data.Sql
    • Data.SqlClient
    • Data.SqlTypes

    ASP.NET Topics and Features Map

    Category Items
    Topics
    • Auditing and Logging
    • Authentication
    • Caching
    • CSS 2
    • Data Access
    • Deployment
    • Exception Management
    • Health and Instrumentation
    • HTML 5
    • JavaScript/JSON
    • Performance
    • Security
    • Session and State Management
    • Validation
    • Visual Studio and ASP Development
    Features
    • Ajax / Jquery
    • ASP.NET MVC
    • Caching
    • Controls
    • Data Controls
    • Navigation
    • Request Processing
    • Themes and Skins

    View more …

    • Accessibility conforming HTML output
    • ASP.NET AJAX
    • ASP.NET Dynamic Data
    • ASP.NET Model View Controller (MVC)
    • ASP.NET Web Parts (Real time user-modifiable content)
    • Caching / Extensible Output Caching
    • Code Access Security
    • Control Templates, Themes, and Skins
    • Browser Capability Providers
    • Browser Definitions Customization (ASP.NET Browser Registration Tool)
    • Customizable HTTP Handlers and HTTP Modules
    • Data Access Controls
    • Data Validation Controls
    • Data Visualization Charting
    • Deployment and Packaging Tools
    • Designer and Controls Extensibility
    • Extensible Configuration Scheme and Configuration API
    • Extensible Hosting / Web Application Life-Cycle Management
    • Forms Authentication Provider
    • Framework Targeting
    • Health / Performance Monitoring
    • Language-Integrated Query (LINQ) Support
    • Master Pages
    • Membership and Roles User Management Security
    • Merge and Manage Assemblies (ASP.NET Merge Tool)
    • Microsoft Management Console (MMC)
    • Mobile Device Support
    • Page and Controls Framework
    • Precompiled Web Applications (ASP.NET Compilation Tool)
    • Preloading for Web Applications
    • Process Identity and Impersonation
    • Protected Configuration (Configuration Encryption)
    • Regular Expression API
      Routing
    • Session State API
      Routing
    • Session State API
    • Session State Compression
    • Standard Toolbox Controls
    • State Management (Distributed State Facilities)
    • XML Web Services Support API
    APIs
    • Application Services
    • Runtime.Caching
    • ClientServices
    • Configuration
    • DynamicData
    • Handlers
    • Management
    • Profile
    • Query
    • RegularExpressions
    • Routing
    • Script
    • Security
    • Services
    • SessionState
    • UI
    • Util
    • Web

    Silverlight Topics and Features Map

    Category Items
    Topics
    • Controls
    • Data Access
    • Deployment
    • Graphics
    • Layout, Input and Printing Security
    • Networking and Communication
    • Performance
    • Types, Properties, Methods, and Events
    • XAML
    Features
    • Animations
    • Data Binding
    • Data Validation
    • Deep Zoom
    • Events and Delegates
    • Graphics and 3-D
    • HTML Bridge
    • Layout
    • Styles and Templates
    • Text and Rich Text
    • User Controls
    • Video and Audio
    • WCF RIA Services
    • XAML

    View More …

    • .NET Framework Security Enforcement
    • 2D Vector Animation / Graphics
    • Accessibility
    • Accessibility - System Colors
    • AJAX Support
    • Binary XML
    • Bitmap API
    • Bitmap Caching
    • Canvas Layout Support
    • Component Caching (Share resources across apps)
    • Cross-Domain Network Access
    • Cross-Browser Support for Firefox, IE, Safari
    • Cross-Domain Network Access for Trusted Applications
    • Cross-Platform Support for Windows and Mac (and Linux through the Moonlight Project)
    • Custom Window Chrome
    • Data Binding
    • Deep Zoom Technology
    • Direct Access to TCP Sockets
    • DockPanel, WrapPanel, Viewbox
    • Duplex Communications ("push" from Server to Silverlight client)
    • Easy Access to Server-Side Data Via Web Services
    • Element to Element Binding
    • Enhanced Control Skinning
    • Enhanced Keyboard Input Support
    • File Save Dialog
    • File Upload Support (via WebClient API)
    • Full Keyboard in Out-Of-Browser for Trusted Applications
    • Full Suite of Controls (TextBox, RadioButton, Silder, Calendar, DatePicker, DataGrid, ListBox, TabControl, and Others)
    • GPU Hardward Acceleration (for Video and Bitmaps)
    • Group Policy Object Support
    • High Quality Resizing
    • HTML DOM Integration
    • HTTP Networking
    • IDispatch COM Interop
    • Interoperability with SOAP and REST Services,
    • Including Support for XML, JSON, RSS, and ATOM Data Formats
    • Isolated Storage
    • JavaScript Support
    • Layout Controls Including StackPanel and Grid
    • LINQ (including LINQ to XML, LINQ to JSON, and LINQ to Entities)
    • Local Connection
    • Local Fonts
    • Localization
    • Managed Control Framework
    • Managed Exception Handling
    • Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF)
    • Managed HTML Bridge
    • Media - 720 High Definition (HD) Video0
    • Media - Audio / Video Support (VC-1, WMV, WMA, MP3)
    • Media - Basic SSPL Support
    • Media - DRM Powered by PlayReady
    • Media - H.264 Video and AAC Audio Support
    • Media - Image Support (JPG, PNG)
    • Media - MediaStreamSource for Managed Code Media File Parser and Protocol Extensibility
    • Media - Windows Media Audio 10 Professional Support
    • Media Markers
    • Microphone
    • Multicase Networking
    • Multi-Threading
    • Network Status (Offline)
    • Notification Toast
    • Official Support for Google Chrome
    • Offline DRM
    • Out of Browser
    • Out of Browser Windows Settings (Position, Size, etc.)
    • Output Protection for Audio / Video
    • Perspective 3D
    • Pixel Shader Effects
    • Printing
    • Raw A/V Support
    • Remote Debugging (PC and Mac)
    • Rich Core Framework (e.g. Generics, collections)
    • Right to-Left / BiDi Text
    • Scene Caches (to Bitmap)
    • Support for IronPython, IronRuby, ManagedJScript, and other Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) Based Languages
    • Support for Visual Basic.NET, C#, F#; Common Language (CLR) Based Languages
    • Templating Model
    • Text Animation
    • Theming at Runtime
    • Trusting Applications (Extended Sandbox)
    • Type Safety Verification
    • Visual State Manager
    • WCF Data Services
    • WCF RIA Services
    • Web Browser Control and Web Browser Brush
    • Webcam
    • Windows Media Server Support
    • WPF Compatibility
    • XAML Parser
    • XML Reader/Writer
    APIs
    • ActualHeight
    • ActualWidth
    • AllowHtmlPopupWindow
    • AutoUpgrade
    • Background
    • EnableAutoZoom
    • EnableCacheVisualization
    • EnableFramerateCounter
    • EnableGPUAcceleration
    • EnableHtmlAccess
    • EnableNavigation
    • EnableRedrawRegions
    • FullScreen
    • GetSystemGlyphTypefaces
    • InitParams
    • IsLoaded
    • MaxFrameRate
    • MinRuntimeVersion
    • OnError
    • OnFullScreenChanged
    • OnLoad
    • OnResize
    • OnSourceDownloadComplete
    • OnSourceDownloadProgressChanged
    • OnZoom
    • Source
    • SplashScreenSource
    • Windowless

    WCF Topics and Scenarios Map

    Category Items
    Topics
    • Auditing and Logging
    • Authentication
    • Authorization
    • Cryptography
    • Data Binding
    • Deployment
    • Exception Management
    • Globalization / Localization
    • Impersonation and Delegation
    • Input Validation
    • Message Security
    • Performance and Scalability
    • Proxy
    • Sensitive Data
    • Session Management
    • Silverlight
    • Transactions
    • Transport Security
    • Unit Testing
    Features
    • AJAX Integration and JSON Support
      Clients
    • Data Transfer and Serialization
    • Endpoints – Addresses
    • Endpoints – Bindings
    • Endpoints – Contracts
    • Hosting
    • Interoperability and Integration
    • Metadata
    • Partial Trust
    • Peer-to-Peer Networking
    • Queues and Reliable Sessions
    • Security
    • Sessions, Instancing, and Concurrency
    • Transactions
    • Transports
    • WCF Data Services
    • WCF REST Programming Model
    • WCF RIA Services
    • WCF Syndication
    APIs
    • System.ServiceModel
    • System.ServiceModel.Channels
    • System.ServiceModel.Description

    Windows Azure Topics and Features Map

    Category Items
    Topics
    • Application Management
    • Architecture and Design
    • Authentication
    • Authorization
    • Caching
    • Data Access and Storage
    • Deployment
    • Logging and Instrumentation
    • Migration
    • Security
    • Session Management
    • Validation
    Features
    • Access Control
    • Caching
    • CDN
    • Certificate Management
    • Diagnostics Managed Library
    • Endpoints for Roles
    • Persistent Local Resource Storage
    • Service Bus
    • Service Hosting Runtime Managed Library
    • Service Model UI
    • SQL Azure
    • Storage Client Managed Library
    • Variable-Size Virtual Machines (VMs)
    • Virtual Network
    • Windows Azure Storage
    APIs
    • WindowsAzure
    • Access Control
    • Caching
    • Diagnostics
    • ServiceBus
    • ServiceRuntime
    • StorageClient

    Windows Client Topics and Features Map

    Category Items
    Topics
    • COM
    • Deployment
    • Diagnostics
    • Files
    • Graphics
    • Multimedia
    • Networking
    • Performance
    • Security
    • Shell
    • System Services
    • User Interface Scenarios
    Features
    • Animation
    • Graphics and 3D
    • Libraries
    • Location API
    • Ribbon
    • Sensor
    • Taskbar
    • Touch

    View More …

    • Active Directory Rights Management Services
    • Biometric Service API
    • COM
    • Core Windows
    • Distributed File System Replication
    • Enhanced Storage
    • Enhanced Taskbar
    • Event Tracing for Windows (ETW)
    • Extended Linquistic Services
    • File Server Resource Manager
    • Hardware Counter Profiling
    • Hyper-V
    • Internet Explorer
    • Location API
    • Mobile Broadband
    • Native Wifi
    • Network Share Management
    • Packaging
    • Parental Controls
    • Peer Distribution
    • Performance Counters
    • Power Management
    • Scenic Animation
    • Sensor API
    • Transaction Management
    • Virtual Disk Service
    • Virtual Hard Disk
    • Volume Shadow Copy Service
    • Windows Connect Now
    • Windows Error Reporting
    • Windows Event Log
    • Windows Gadget Platform
    • Windows Installer
    • Windows Scenic Ribbon
    • Windows Touch
    • Windows Troubleshooting Platform
    • Windows Web Services
    • XPS Documents

    Windows Phone Topics and Features Map

    Category Items
    Topics
    • Controls
    • Data Access
    • Deployment
    • Device Management
    • Location
    • Media and Media Player
    • Model View, ViewModel
    • Page, Frame, and Navigation
    • Security
    • Tombstoning
    Features
    • Application Bar
    • Camera Extensibility
    • Gamer Services
    • Graphics and Animation
    • Location APIs
    • Pause / Resume
    • Push Notifications
    • Sensors
    • Touch and Gestures
    • XNA

    View More …

    • App Bar
    • Background Image
    • Bing Map Control
    • Camera Extensibility
    • FM Tuner
    • Gamer Services
    • Geolocation
    • Interop Services
    • Isolated Storage
    • Launchers and Choosers
    • ListView
    • Lite Player
    • Live Tokens
    • LiveID
    • Multi-Touch
    • Media Hub
    • Network State
    • Page / Frame / Navigation
    • Pause / Resume
    • Push Notifications
    • Reactive LINQ
    • Ringtone Registry
    • Sensors
    • Vibrate Device
    • Web Browser Control
    • WM Legacy API Support
    • XNA Dynamic Audio and Microphone
    • XNA Media
    APIs
    • WindowsMobile
    • Configuration
    • Forms
    • PocketOutlook
    • Status
    • Telephony

    Development Languages

    Category Items
    Visual Studio Languages
    • Visual Basic
    • Visual C#
    • Visual C++
    • Visual F#
    • JScript

    Additional Resources

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    5 Questions for Capability and Capacity of High-Performing Teams

    • 2 Comments

    These are five questions I find help understand where a team is at in terms of their ability to achieve their goals effectively:

    1. We have capability do we have capacity?
    2. We have capacity do we have capability?
    3. We have capacity and capability, do we have throughput?
    4. We have capability, capacity and throughput, do we have effectiveness? (against goals and desired outcomes)
    5. We have capacity, capability, and throughput, do we have efficiency? (Now we know what to do, can we do it well.)

    #3 is especially interesting.   It forces you to analyze and evaluate, demand, throughput, and supply.  It raises issues around “push” vs. “pull” strategies.  It raises issues around team structure and design.  It raises issues around how you split or combine the work, to go along with how you split or combine the team.   It also is a great place to use TOC (Theory of Constraints) analysis to find your worst bottleneck and push the bottleneck around (it’s always somewhere, and if you know where your bottleneck is, you can decide if it’s the best place to be or what to do about it.)  This is also a great chance to explore different methodologies, strategies and systems for execution.  For example, if you want to be more responsive to demand and “pull” things through your execution engine, then Lean practices are a great place to look.

    #4 and #5 are about moving up the stack, once you have the basics in place and can run some water through your pipe.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Now Available: 30 Days of Getting Results Free eBook

    • 2 Comments

    image30 Days of Getting Results is a collection of little lessons you can use to improve your personal productivity and personal effectiveness.   It’s an off-line version of the 30 Days of Getting Results Boot Camp.     If you’ve already gone through the 30 Days of Getting Results, then this is a great way to refresh what you learned at your finger tips.  If you haven’t gone through it already, the 30 Days of Getting Results will help you build a strong foundation for personal excellence.  You start off by building a rhythm for results for your day and for your week.  You then map out the most important things in your work and life.  You then learn how to prioritize with skill and spend more time in your strengths.  From that foundation, you grow your ability to think, feel, and act your best.    You then learn how to add more power hours to your week, as well as creative hours.   This empowers you to achieve more in less time, as well as amplify your chance to flow more value to yourself and others, both in terms of getting results, and unleashing your creative ideas.

    To get the system on your side, and to learn how to achieve better, faster, simpler results, download the 30 Days of Getting Results.  It’s free.   It’s 130 pages.  Share it with friends and family and help them make the most of what they’ve got.

    Download

    Key Challenges Addressed

    • How to achieve work‐life balance
    • How to focus and direct your attention with skill
    • How to motivate yourself with skill and find your drive
    • How to use a simple system to achieve meaningful results
    • How to manage your time
    • How to spend more time on the things that really matter to you
    • How to play to your strengths and spend less time in weaknesses
    • How to change a habit and make it stick
    • How to make the most of your your moments, days, weeks, months, and years
    • How to be the author of your life and write your story forward

    Contents at a Glance

    • Day 1 – Take a Tour of Getting Results the Agile Way
    • Day 2 – Monday Vision – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Week
    • Day 3 – Daily Outcomes – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Day
    • Day 4 – Let Things Slough Off
    • Day 5 – Hot Spots – Map Out What’s Important
    • Day 6 – Friday Reflection – Identify Three Things Going Well and Three Things to Improve
    • Day 7 – Setup Boundaries and Buffers
    • Day 8 – Dump Your Brain to Free Your Mind
    • Day 9 – Prioritize Your Day with MUST, SHOULD, and COULD
    • Day 10 – Feel Strong All Week Long
    • Day 11 – Reduce Friction and Create Glide Paths for Your Day
    • Day 12 – Productivity Personas – Are You are a Starter or a Finisher?
    • Day 13 – Triage Your Action Items with Skill
    • Day 14 – Carve Out Time for What’s Important
    • Day 15 – Achieve a Peaceful Calm State of Mind
    • Day 16 – Use Metaphors to Find Your Motivation
    • Day 17 – Add Power Hours to Your Week
    • Day 18 – Add Creative Hours to Your Week
    • Day 19 — Who are You Doing it For?
    • Day 20 — Ask Better Questions, Get Better Results
    • Day 21 – Carry the Good Forward, Let the Rest Go
    • Day 22 – Design Your Day with Skill
    • Day 23 — Design Your Week with Skill
    • Day 24 – Bounce Back with Skill
    • Day 25 – Fix Time. Flex Scope
    • Day 26 – Solve Problems with Skill
    • Day 27 – Do Something Great
    • Day 28 – Find Your One Thing
    • Day 29 – Find Your Arena for Your Best Results
    • Day 30 – Take Agile Results to the Next Level
  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Pattern Templates

    • 0 Comments

    According to Christopher Alexander, "Each pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice."

    I think the value of patterns is two key things:
    1. Concise solution descriptions
    2. A common vocabulary

    I also think the best way to think about patterns is that they are a simple way to share strategies and principles.  By naming them, you give them a simple handle.

    Recently, a colleague asked me for a simple pattern template, and I didn’t have anything to just point to, so I did a quick roundup of some examples.

    Pattern Templates
    Here are example pattern schemas and pattern templates from a few key sources:

    Source

    Template
    C2.com
    • Name
    • Context
    • Problem
    • Forces
    • Solution
    • Resulting Context
    • Known Uses
    • Example
    • Related Patterns
    Enterprise Solution Patterns
    • Context
    • Problem
    • Forces
    • Solution
    • Example
    • Resulting Context
    • Benefits
    • Liabilities
    • Related Patterns
    Patterns for Enterprise Solution Architecture
    • Name
    • Intent
    • Sketch
    • Motivating Problem
    • How It Works
    • When to Use It
    • Further Reading
    Prescriptive Guidance
    • Title
    • Context
    • Problem
    • Forces
    • Solution
    • Considerations
    • Additional Resources
    • Related Items
    Real-Time Design Patterns
    • Abstract
    • Problem
    • Pattern Structure
    • Collaboration Roles
    • Consequences
    • Implementation Strategies
    • Related Patterns
    • Sample Model
    Web Services security Patterns
    • Context
    • Problem
    • Forces
    • Solution
    • Resulting Context
    • Extensions
    Windows Azure Design Patterns
    • Problem
    • Solution
    • Analysis
    • Example
    • Related Patterns

    Sample Patterns

    Source

    Sample
    C2.com Component Bus
    Enterprise Solution Patterns Three-layered Services Application
    Web Services security Patterns Trusted Subsystem Pattern
    Windows Azure Design Patterns

    Hosted Service

    Pattlets
    Pattlets were used in Enterprise Solution Patterns to briefly summarize a pattern, without fully documenting it.  Here are a few samples:

    Item

    Description
    Abstract Factory Provides an interface for creating families of dependent objects without specifying their concrete classes.
    Application Controller Is a centralized point for handing screen navigation and the flow of an application.
    Facade Provides a unified interface to a set of interfaces in a subsystem. Facade defines a higher-level interface that makes the subsystem easier to use.

    A page of pattlets is available on MSDN.

    Key Links

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    3 Keys to Agile Results

    • 0 Comments

    Agile Results is the name of the system I talk about in Getting Results the Agile Way.   It’s a simple time management system for meaningful results.  The focus is on meaningful results, not doing more things.  There are three keys to the Agile Results system:

    1. The Rule of Three
    2. Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection
    3. Hot Spots

    The Rule of 3
    The Rule of 3 helps you avoid getting overwhelmed.  It’s also a guideline that helps you prioritize and scope. Rather than bite off more than you can chew, you bite off three meaningful things. You can use The Rule of 3 at different levels by picking three wins for the day, three wins for the week, three wins for the month, and three wins for the year. This helps you see the forest for the trees since your three wins for the year are at a higher level than your three wins for the month, and your three wins for the week are at a higher level than your three wins for the day.  You can easily zoom in and out to help balance your perspective on what’s important, for the short term and the longer term.

    Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection
    Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection is a weekly results pattern.  This is a simple “time-based” pattern. Each week is a fresh start. On Mondays, you think about three wins you would like for the week.  Each day you identify three wins you would like for the day. On Fridays, you reflect on lessons learned; you ask yourself, “What three things are going well, and what three things need improvement?”  This weekly results pattern helps you build momentum.

    Hot Spots
    Hot Spots are a way to heat map your life.  They help you map out your results by identifying “what’s hot?.” Hot Spots become both your levers and your lens to help you identify and focus on what’s important in your life. They can represent areas of pain or opportunity. You can use Hot Spots as your main dashboard.  You can organize your Hot Spots by work, personal, and the “big picture” of your life. At a glance, you should be able to quickly see the balls you are juggling and what’s on your plate. To find your Hot Spots, simply make a list of the key things that need your time and energy. Then for each of these key things, create—a simple list, a “tickler list” that answers the question, “What do you want to accomplish?” Once you know the wins you want to achieve in your Hot Spots, you have the ultimate map for your meaningful results.

    You can use Agile Results for work or home or anywhere you need to improve your results in life. Agile Results is compatible with, and can enhance the results of, any productivity system or time management you already use.  That’s because the foundation of the Agile Results platform is a core set of principles, patterns, and practices for getting results.

    The simplest way to get started with Agile Results is to read Getting Started with Agile Results, and take the 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Simplified Site and Knowledge Base for Getting Results the Agile Way

    • 0 Comments

    OK, after testing multiple iterations against 7 competing designs, I’ve updated the Getting Results.com site and the Getting Results Knowledge Base.  It should now be a lot easier and friction-free to learn about the Agile Results Time Management System.

    Here are key changes:

    1. Simplified the Side Bar – a few vital choices, less words, less confusion, simpler paths.
    2. Created simpler, visual impact up front – less complex, less overwhelm, yet more focus … more like a newspaper with headlines, with easy ways to read more.
    3. Put the focus on The Book and The Knowledge Base.
    4. Balanced the visuals up front – the book and Dr. K – to keeps the eyes happy.
    5. Stuck all the floating text into the boxes and frames for focus.
    6. Balanced some more text, with less text, and less links.
    7. Brought the idea to life how the Knowledge Base “supports” the book, as well as “extends” it (it’s on the bottom as  a platform vs. off to the side.)
    8. Made the knowledge Base more of a glide-path into the book.  I focused on timeless hot topics such as goals, motivation, and time management (Previously I focused on the How Tos, Checklists, etc.)
    9. Made a few key ideas pop more, such as the idea that Agile Results is the system inside the book, and that you can use The Rule of Three to shape your life.
    10. Hacked away at the unessential Bruce Lee style.  It’s tough not to want to expose more than the tip of the ice-berg.  There is depth on the site.  After all, you can read the entire Getting Results the Agile Way book for free, and the Knowledge Base has prescriptive step-by-step How Tos, such as How To Set SMART Goals and Achieve Them, and in-depth Guidelines, such as Focus Guidelines, and Motivation Guidelines.   These are aren’t your ordinary tips and tricks -- the Focus Guidelines are so powerful that some folks with ADD tell me they are actually using them to get off their meds and learn new coping mechanisms.

    Hopefully you find the site a lot easier to use and to find your way around.   I’ll continue to simplify, test, tune, and refine … after all, that’s the agile way Winking smile

    Many thanks to Alik Levin, Paul Enfield, Steve Andrews, Tobin Titus, and Will Kennedy for inspiration and ideas on how to take Agile Results and Getting Results the Agile Way to the next level.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Monthly Planning with Agile Results

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    Trying to plan for a month can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have an approach.  I’m going to share with you a very simple way to plan your month.  It’s simple, but powerful.  You can use Agile Results as a way to simplify your monthly planning.  Agile Results is the system I talk about in my book, Getting Results the Agile Way.

    image

    3 Steps to Plan Your Month

    To plan the month using Agile Results, simply do three things:

    1. Pick a theme for the month.
    2. Identify three wins you want by the end of the month.
    3. Write them down.

    Monthly Theme
    The monthly theme will give you focus.  You can use it as a mantra.  For example, let’s say the focus for this month, is simplicity.  (I happen to like that one because I used simplicity as a focus for one of my projects at work, with great success.)   For the entire month, you will have this one theme to keep going back to.  It will remind you of what’s important.  It’s like a mini-mission for the month.

    Three Wins for the Month
    The three wins you identify will help you set a target for the month, in a way that’s goal oriented.   As soon as you start to think about what you can achieve in a month, you will start to ask better questions.  You’ll start asking questions about what’s important.  You’ll start asking questions about what’s next.  You’ll also start asking questions about, what’s possible.

    Meaningful Months
    Meaningful months are made up of your weekly wins and your daily dos.   The Rule of Three is your friend and will help you focus, as well as zoom in and zoom out.  For example, you can use The Rule of Three to identify three wins for the day, three wins for the week, and three wins for the month.   This helps you avoid getting overwhelmed, and we tend to be pretty good at remembering three things.  Three is also a good way to focus your time and energy.

    The best part is that each month is a chance to turn the page and start fresh.  You are the author of your life and you are always writing your story forward.  Use each month as a way to add great chapters to your life.  When things don’t go as planned, carry the lessons forward, and use each day, each week, and each month, as  a fresh start on your path of meaningful results.

    My Related Posts

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Meaningful Work

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    Meaningful outcomes are the backbone of meaningful work. Meaningful outcomes help guide and shape your meaningful work.

    If you have a vision for the end in mind, then you have something to work towards. To figure out meaningful outcomes, you ask yourself what you want to accomplish.   Another simple way to do this is to ask yourself, “What will the wins be?”

    One of the challenges is when it feels like your work has no meaning. Keep in mind that you are the ultimate filter for everything that happens in your life. You assign the meaning to your work. Make the work meaningful. One way to create meaning is to master your craft. Do so by focusing on continuous learning and improvement. Teaching your craft and being a mentor for others is another way to both amplify your learning and your impact.

    Work on stuff that’s valued, and remember that value is in the eye of the beholder. This makes work more meaningful. You should be aware whether it’s valued by you, by your employer, or by your customer. It’s fine if it’s valuable to you but nobody else, but be aware of it, and make it a mindful choice. You may be in the wrong line of work or working on the wrong thing.


    This is a tip from my book, Getting Results the Agile Way (now on a Kindle), a time management system for achievers.  You can test drive the system by taking the 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results, a free time management training course.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Carve Out Time for What’s Important

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    This is one of the rules that has served me well, as a Program Manager at Microsoft:  Carve out time for what’s important.

    You don’t have time, you make time. If you don’t make time for what’s important, it doesn’t happen. This is where The Rule of Three helps. Are you spending the right amount of time today on those three results you want to accomplish? The default pattern is to try and fit them in with all your existing routines. A more powerful approach is to make time for your three results today and optimize around that. This might mean disrupting other habits and routines you have, but this is a good thing. The more you get in the habit of making time for what’s important, the more you’ll get great results. If you’re not getting the results you want, you can start asking better questions. For example, are you investing enough time? Are you investing the right energy? Are you using the right approach? Or, maybe a different thing happens. Maybe you start accomplishing your results but don’t like what you get. You can step back and ask whether you’re choosing the right outcomes for The Rule of Three.

    Here are some things to think about when you’re carving out your time:

    • How much time minimum should you spend today for each of your three outcomes?
    • How much time maximum should you spend today for each of your three outcomes?
    • Are you spending too much energy in below the line activities? (This is where you’re just treading water and making it through each day, but not actually getting ahead.)
    • Are you spending enough time in above the line activities? (This is where you feel you’re on top of your day and investing your time where you get the most impact.)
    • Are you investing time in the most important Hot Spots in your life: mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships, fun?

    This is a tip from my book, Getting Results the Agile Way (now on a Kindle), a time management system for achievers.  You can test drive the system by taking the 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results, a free time management training course.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results: Free Time Management Training for Achievers

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    Getting Results the Agile Way is a time management system for achievers.  It combines some of the best practices for thinking, feeling, and taking action into one simple system to help you make the most of what you’ve got, and master your time management skills.  It draws from software development, project management, positive psychology, and sports psychology.

    Free Time Management Training
    As an introduction to the system, I created a free 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results.   It's called a boot camp because it's hard-core.  It's a 30 day, self-paced time management training course.  If you want to take your time management skills to the next level, then take the 30 Day Boot Camp for Getting Results.   Keep in mind that because it’s self-paced, you could do all 30 lessons in a day, if you choose to.  This may be one of the best time management training courses you ever take, and the price is tough to beat.

    Time Management Skills
    Here are some of the time management skills you will learn, tune, and improve as part of the time management training:

    • How to manage your time
    • How to focus and direct your attention with skill
    • How to spend more time on the things that really matter to you
    • How to be the author of your life and write your story forward
    • How to make the most of your your moments, days, weeks, months, and years
    • How to use a simple system to achieve meaningful results
    • How to achieve work-life balance
    • How to play to your strengths and spend less time in weaknesses
    • How to motivate yourself with skill and find your drive
    • How to change a habit and make it stick
    • How to improve your personal productivity and personal effectiveness

    You will learn time management tips and strategies as part of a system, each lesson can be used by itself or “better together” with other lessons.

    Time Management Training Lessons at a Glance
    Here are the 30 Lessons at a Glance that make up the time management training:

    • Day 1 – Take a Tour of Getting Results the Agile Way
    • Day 2 – Monday Vision – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Week
    • Day 3 – Daily Outcomes – Use Three Stories to Drive Your Day
    • Day 4 – Let Things Slough Off
    • Day 5 – Hot Spots – Map Out What’s Important
    • Day 6 – Friday Reflection – Identify Three Things Going Well and Three Things to Improve
    • Day 7 – Setup Boundaries and Buffers
    • Day 8 – Dump Your Brain to Free Your Mind
    • Day 9 – Prioritize Your Day with MUST, SHOULD, and COULD
    • Day 10 – Feel Strong All Week Long
    • Day 11 – Reduce Friction and Create Glide Paths for Your Day
    • Day 12 – Productivity Personas – Are You are a Starter or a Finisher?
    • Day 13 – Triage Your Action Items with Skill
    • Day 14 – Carve Out Time for What’s Important
    • Day 15 – Achieve a Peaceful Calm State of Mind
    • Day 16 – Use Metaphors to Find Your Motivation
    • Day 17 – Add Power Hours to Your Week
    • Day 18 – Add Creative Hours to Your Week
    • Day 19 — Who are You Doing it For?
    • Day 20 — Ask Better Questions, Get Better Results
    • Day 21 – Carry the Good Forward, Let the Rest Go
    • Day 22 – Design Your Day with Skill
    • Day 23 — Design Your Week with Skill
    • Day 24 – Bounce Back with Skill
    • Day 25 – Fix Time. Flex Scope
    • Day 26 – Solve Problems with Skill
    • Day 27 – Do Something Great
    • Day 28 – Find Your One Thing
    • Day 29 – Find Your Arena for Your Best Results
    • Day 30 – Take Agile Results to the Next Level

    Key Links

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Friday Links 2011-11-11

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    From the Archives
    Avoiding Do-Overs – Testing Your Key Engineering Decisions - From what I've seen, the most important problem is failure to test and explore key engineering decisions.  By key engineering decisions, I mean the decisions that have cascading engineering impact.

    Why 30 Day Improvement Sprints - I get asked this often enough that I think I should distill the keys.

    From the Web
    Time Management Tips for Taking Action - Taking action is skill. It's one of the best skills you can use in conjunction with time management. The trick is to combine your time management skills in a way that helps you take more action. Here are 10 ways to take more action and improve your time management.

    Time Management Tips on the Job – How To Be More Productive at Work - Time management is a skill you can use to be more effective at work and life. The trick is to focus on the vital few time management tips that keep improving your time management skills over time. This article shows you the key time management tips to apply to work and life that will keep improving your time management skills over time.

  • J.D. Meier's Blog

    Sticky Stuff–Information at Your Fingertips in Outlook 2010

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    This is a simple hack, but a powerful one.  I call it “Sticky Stuff.”  It puts information at your finger tips, such as To Do Lists, in a sticky way.

    Here’s what I do.  In Outlook 2010, I create a folder called “Sticky Stuff” and I add it to my “Favorites” short list:

    image

    In that folder, I create a new “Posts.”  In Outlook 2010, the way to add posts to a folder is to “New Items”, then “More Items”, then “Post in this folder.”   You can then add your To do Lists or any key reference information that you need at your finger tips.  If you constantly get a barrage of information, and you need to have quick access to your action items, or if you need to have quick access to information that you constantly look up, this little hack should help a lot.

    The beauty of this is it’s another pillar of helping me keep an empty inbox or a zero inbox.  At Microsoft, where many of us get a few hundred emails per day of stuff we have to stay on top of, that’s a very big deal.

    Note, when you need to edit a Post, you have to open the post, and click “Actions”, then “Edit Message.”

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