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March 23, 2009

Role of the "Proxy Customer" (Agile for: Business Analyst)

We all know that ideally you want a customer present at all times and involved in the project. That this yields the best results in the shortest time on any given project. But that there are times when the customer is unwilling or unable to be available.

Reason for a Proxy Customer:

The Proxy Customer can help fill a gap in projects where the Customer is not always available when stories are being done in an iteration. Then the Customers are happy to meet weekly or bi-weekly, but aren't willing or able to be available through out the work day as new stories arise; Or when the customers wants to be able to just send in terse info and have it dealt with without learning any new tools are processes. In a way you can look at the Proxy Customer and being a way of scaling out the Product Owner role.

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October 16, 2008

Time Tracking has arrived with Web 2.0

Before starting my career at the Carlson School of Management, I was an Applications Development Manager at Dorsey and Whitney, a massive Minnesota based law firm. Like all law firms billable time on clients matters was everyones top administrative concern. We provided the attorneys with an application from Sage Software called Carpe Diem. It spoiled me on Time Tracking. Every other product I have seen seemed to be clunky and cumbersome after using it. You could easily call it "One-Click Time Tracking", a user would simply switch a few option boxes from one client to another, or one task, activity, project to another and the timer would reset and the time spent on the previous client and task would be logged in the billing system. It was beautiful. It even track email, phone, and idle.

Then today (2008-10-16) when my boss asked me about options for time tracking for an internal customer at the Carlson School I, being the Resource Investigator from Belbin Team Roles Theory, jumped on the Internet and started looking. And Oh My!, seems like the internet resurgence of the Web2.0 era has sprung up a host of solutions that work very similiarly to my dreamy Carpe Diem.

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