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Intelligent Systems

Intelligent Systems

  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Keeping It Agile

    Posted By J.T. Kimbell
    Program Manager

    Recently I was lured into appearing in a video and asked to talk about the use of Agile in Windows Embedded.  While I’m not an industry expert like Phil Cave is, I have got to see the changes in our organization firsthand as we make that move toward Agile and Scrum.  Since the team decided that I had a voice for radio (and presumably not a face for radio), you can view my thoughts below.  We really do hope that these engineering changes within Windows Embedded will bear fruit over the coming months and years for our customers as we’re better able to react to the changing needs of the market for Intelligent Systems.  Do you like these videos?  Want to see more?  Have Agile questions?  Let me know.  Thanks!

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Embedded Agility - Define Small Customer Experiences

    Posted By Phillip Cave
    Software Development Engineer

    [UPDATE from J.T. (7/30/12) - Phil has now become a blogger on the site and I've moved this post to his page]

    Last month Phil Cave provided us with an overview of Agile software development in Windows Embedded and set the table for some great follow-up posts. In this post Phil dives deeper into defining small customer based experiences. In my opinion, he did so masterfully and I hope you find it as insightful as I did.

    The introduction to this series on “Embedded Agility” summarized the transition and ongoing transformation of Windows Embedded to a delivery model based in Lean thinking. That first post outlined 3 basic tenets:

    1. Define small customer based experiences (user stories)
    2. Make all these experiences visible within the execution process in which they are delivered
    3. Manage the work in process of those experiences

    This blog post begins a deeper dive into the topic of defining small experiences. This first principle has a profound implication on flipping our approach from technology layers to business value slices of functionality. Instead of creating a very large batch of user stories and treating them as if they are exactly the same, defining these customer experiences requires communicating in terms of the business and customer to define value as they would experience it; and then delivering those slices of business functionality incrementally.

    Our business partners and customers focus on the experience of the device they are using. Yes, they expect a certain acceptable performance of the device as part of that experience and that performance is in relation to the experience of using features. The road to business agility begins with understanding what is of value and what is not. This includes the software features we deliver as well as the system in which we deliver those software features. Our customers understand this and communicate this way.

    We deliver experiences. We deliver capabilities to fulfill experiences. Windows Embedded creates and delivers software that does both. The Auto team directly creates user experiences when delivering the Sync product to Ford. The Cassini and Compact teams create platforms upon which others may develop experiences. The creation of those platforms provides experiences (or ability to create experiences) to our partners who use the platforms.

    Examine the picture below to see a visual representation of the experiences and capabilities of which I write. The Agile world of execution labels these experiences as “user stories”. The systems model on the left represents building out our software in one large batch of experiences. The systems model on the right represents building out our software by incrementally delivering smaller batches of experiences.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Embedded Agility – A Transformation Story

    Posted By Phillip Cave
    Software Development Engineer

    [UPDATE from J.T. (7/30/12) - Phil has now become a blogger on the site and I've moved this post to his page]

    In this post, we hear from Principal Program Manager Phillip Cave, who has spent years practicing Agile and acting as a consultant for those trying to transition to Agile. When Phil’s not moving folks toward Scrum, Kanban, or other Lean methodologies, he enjoys sharing stories at conferences such as Agile West. Phil has consulted at Microsoft and many other organizations large and small for the past 8 years. He has a passion for helping others see the pragmatic application of Lean thinking and recognizes that successful transformations are carried out by teams that see the opportunity and embrace change. When not following his passion to help teams, Phil enjoys the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a variety of activity from rowing crew to hiking the back country.

    This is just the first of a series of blog posts on Agile. For each of the headings below, Phil will spend some more time in the future fleshing them out and giving us more detail.

    Company transformations take time and energy. People are asked to move from one location to another intellectually. Moving is not always easy for some. Some love to move, to explore, to try new things, the author of this blog entry falls into that camp; others not so much and still more others are ambivalent.

    This is the (short) story of the transformation taking place in the Windows Embedded group within Microsoft. The journey began as all journeys do; someone spoke up about not being satisfied with the status quo in the delivery of product solutions. Our ability to respond to the changing market place and the changing landscape in technology towards devices makes us think of how we deliver business value quickly. People with experience in the transformation heard that voice and thus the transformation was born. A consultant with experience was hired and combined with the internal team members the transformation took root.

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  • Windows Embedded Blog

    Intelligent Systems? They are all around you.

    Posted By Chris Caile
    Group Marketing Manager

    Welcome to the “new” Windows Embedded Intelligent Systems blog!

    As a quick introduction, I’m Chris Caile, Group Marketing Manager on the Windows Embedded Outbound Marketing team. Our team is responsible for our marketing campaigns to tell customers about our solutions around intelligent systems and within our focus industries including retail, health, and industrial automation.

    I’ve been with Embedded for a little under a year and I’m impressed by all the ways smart, connected devices impact our lives. This blog will explore those devices and also showcase companies using devices as part of a broader solution to improve their performance and ultimately our experiences.

    As a visitor to the Windows Embedded blog hopefully you know by now that our division is all about the shift from smart devices to Intelligent Systems.  There are many formal definitions of an intelligent system but the simplest is smart devices that capture data and relay it to a server where the data is turned into valuable insight for the business.  Devices collect data, transmit to a server or database, and then analytic software turns out patterns, trends, and insights to help that system improve.  This process is repeated over and over every day by billions of smart devices.

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