MDD

Thursday, 13 April 2017

TechBrew @ 7.00pm

Hosted by Ireland's Technology Ireland group http://www.technology-ireland.ie/

Wednesday 12th April
4 Dame Lane
7.00pm - 9.00pm

Theme

“What’s more important – Product or Sales?”

Speaker 1: Colm Healy, CEO, Corrata
Speaker 2: Siobhan Maughan, Founder, IntegratedThinking
Speaker 3: John Beckett, Co-Founder and CEO, ChannelSight


Thursday, 12 January 2017

Student quotes (2016)


"Managing design and development was a course focused on communication between people with a business background and programmers, two very different groups, that have to work in collaboration."
"Even though the basis of the course was the management of the tech projects, and not the implementation itself, the readings and the discussions we were having were mostly based on frameworks of the information closely related to development process itself, and the lack of knowledge in this area was a challenge that I had to overcome. During discussions in a team with various backgrounds, even finding the common language, the right and known by everybody terms was sometimes not easy, since the areas of our expertise rarely overlapped. I was lucky enough to work in a team where the distribution of the background was relatively even, and some of our team members, while being educated as managers, had some experience in working in development teams in start-ups, and could orientate in both worlds. Presence of such people that could link all the knowledge was essential for us to understand each other better. It was also interesting to observe the team dynamics on the course of 12 weeks, since the common areas were developing and the discussion process was expanding, we found ourselves in places, where the common tools for communication were not a problem anymore, and we could speak more openly and take more risk in the ideas we bring to the table. I believe, that this experience quite closely represents the process of a real work on a real tech project, and thus I think that it’s very valuable."

(Aleksandra Krupskaia)

"we looked at articles which were as old as 1970 (Royce). Having these papers as a starting point laid the foundation for my understanding about design and development. To understand a new concept, I believe that one often has to start with where it began, which is why there is value in looking at these older articles. From these readings, I began to understand just how complex software systems are...
By looking at these articles and being able to relate them to SONM, I could see how the theory was enacted in this case example of Data General."
"When I had my first meeting with the co-founder of the start-up I was focusing on for my research project, iDly, a digital ID card company; this meeting was really eye opening, for a number of reasons. The co-founder used a lot of the terms that we had been learning in class. He discussed agile and waterfall methods, and started talking about LEAN management. He told me about how iDly planned to be a Saas company, and what exactly that mean for how they would
earn their profits. He also talked about what it is like to operate in ‘start-up land’, and how one shouldn’t be discouraged if the start-up idea you come up with is already out there, because its all about finding your competitive edge. The other co-founder from iDly discussed technical terms with me that we had covered throughout the course, and we discussed the likes of bugfixing, user- interfaces, and so on. We had been learning the theories behind all of these approaches, and this experience ‘made real’ those theories and ideas."
"For the final two weeks, instead of tables scattered around the room, the desks were arranged across the room, and we sat in lines. I believe that this stimulated a real meeting, with all of us being called to present our findings, group by group. In fact, throughout the whole module, I felt like the class was intended to stimulate a microcosm of a corporation. If you took a birds eye view of the class, one would see tables grouped together, as we were encouraged to sit at the same desks. While not obligatory, each person became accustomed to their ‘assigned’ seat. In my mind, each table could be thought of as a software team."


(Anna Gordon)

"Creativity has to be contained in a certain way. Time constraint is important, and there are phases. People usually have a time for themselves to think alone about their ideas and write or draw them down. Then they share ideas, which generates new ones. Finally, they have to narrow down their ideas, acknowledge which ones are the best and why. We experienced this process in class with the Cantilever exercise. The goal was to build the longest cantilever only using tape and spaghetti. With the team, we first started to think about how it could be done individually and then started to share our ideas. The time constraint allowed us to start building the cantilever rapidly, which was important to try our techniques. Moreover, creativity is all along the development process. Once we started building the cantilever, we learned from our mistakes and successes, and we added new ideas to make the project work. These small improvements have proved themselves to be crucial. Without even truly considering it, we were able to generate collective creativity (Hargadon & Bechky, 2006). We would not have been able to generate these ideas alone, and we could have these ideas because of the tacit processes in place. There was one leader for the project, but most importantly there was no hierarchy between members, and a lot of communication. With communication, and therefore within creativity processes, culture matters. Although we have different nationalities, we also have a lot of similarities such as age, background, language, and probably relatively similar social situations. That helped us going faster. Catmull (2008) truly emphasize the importance of the team in creativity processes, arguing that people matter most than ideas. According to him, talented people can make a bad idea work, when the opposite is often false. "

(Apolline Balland)

"For me the best learnings were related to creativity and designs, all the team work and the knowledge of new interesting concepts. Two things I always wanted to do in life and I got to do in this module was: writing a blog and working on creating an app design prototype. I hope I will continue to do that and get better by time."

(Asmita Keshav Desai)

"Unlike many business and management principles, where one universal solution is often presented in the form of a framework, model, or concept, (often given under pareto optimal conditions) software development has no silver bullet. No model is necessarily better than the other, and none are inheritently the best solution. It is vastly more situational and contextual models or versions of these models tailored to the needs of the system. It requires understanding of the environment and system which it is in, something often overlooked in business theories."
"...using “yes and” statements instead of “no, but” which allow teams to build on each others ideas to form new ideas."
"By understanding that the frameworks and principles that are taught in this module also have implications for potential managers of software oriented businesses, I feel I am more prepared to work in a software driven environment. Having worked at a small software just before beginning this module, I notice the added value of understanding work processes commonly used by developers and designers. I often noticed developers becoming mildly frustrated when I (and other people from the sales/business team) asked them spontaneously to introduce new features in upcoming versions. Although these suggestions were grounded on substantial market and customer research, it did not align with the cyclical iterative development process. As new more powerful hardware and software technologies arise over the years, there is also a change in approaches"

(Axel Mathysen Gerst)

"Onboarding a company took far longer than expected: the first we were in contact with bumped into another team of students before we got a chance to “seal the deal”; the second entrepreneur turned out to be a frequent flyer who only occasionally held contact with one-liners from various time zones; the third went on vacation, never to be seen or heard of again. Looking closer to home, we got to work with UCD IT on UCD Mobile. Producing the clip was an entertaining opportunity to dust off decade-old video editing skills, and got us to mingle with users for interviews and product demos. Talking to UCD IT staffers was a refreshing change in perspective: It helped us to not only critique the product, but also comprehend how it came to be and why it took this form. Getting to see things from the engineers’ side of the table was also a good chance to broaden one’s view and unveil requirements, policies, goals and challenges that had been concealed before."

(Bernhard Voelkl)

"I feel I gained most from many of the practical tasks we completed throughout the module. One, which I transferred into the term paper, is using paper prototypes and mockups on websites such as Balsamiq to visualise and create a preliminarily design. When we were asked to do this in class and were each asked to sketch a design for a text-free search page. It was interesting to see how many different ideas there were and how no two people had the same idea. We then used the balsamiq.com design tool to create a mockup. It was useful to be able to visualise what we had just designed in a more refined manner."

(Cameron Kenny)

"The cantilever task was a very simple exercise, it seemed quite insignificant at the time. However, in hindsight using the exercise as a representation of a system enabled me to link the process to various aspects of software development. The exercise also allowed me to conceptualise the initial stages of software development. Like the construction of the cantilever, there are many different approaches which can be taken to develop software however, only a well thought out and clever structure with careful planning will enable it to be the best. It wasn’t until later in the module it became clear that other themes tied into this exercise as well. The process was often something I reflected on to make sense of a concept I was struggling to grasp."
"The research project was a really enjoyable experience and I believe the lessons I have learned will be among the most valuable I will learn on this course. It allowed us to really put everything we had learned in theory into practice. The first task involved stepping out into the real world to find a start-up company. I was quite apprehensive about this requirement at first and didn’t really see the need for becoming involved with an actual “live” company. In hindsight, working with a real, live organisation allowed us to understand the importance of all of the processes we had learned about in our module. The start-up company we engaged with was in the final stages of its first roll-out. As we were the first test users of the App, we saw first-hand, the importance of beta testing and consumer feedback. By becoming involved in the day to day operations of the company, it was interesting to see how disorganised various people could be at times. The alpha product was pushed back several times, within the small time-fame during which we worked with them. I developed a respect for the exercise of the daily stand up meeting and wondered whether its implementation would have allowed them to set more realistic goals."

(Caroline Kavanagh)

"Thinking and talking about innovation for companies, I’ve always thought that it regards something new and different from the previous release. However, after in class we analysed Apple company’s history, I changed my view because most of Apple’s products have the same design. So then where is the innovation? My personal answer for this question is in the marketing presentation of the products, in combining together previous products into only one, creating a new platform for songs. The innovation is not only in the design outside of a product but it is also in its software and the idea of ‘thinking out of the box’."
"In the beginning I didn’t understand how it could be useful reading academic papers written in the late 1990s and then finish with modern papers. However, only at the very end of the module I grasped the whole concept of looking back to the history because only understanding the past we can accept and explain the modern software methodologies, as it was explained in the very first lecture and academic paper."

(Cecilia Mina Rattini)

"I would have never considered software design to be a creative process prior to completing this course. I falsely assumed that software design was restricted exclusively to hyper intelligent introverts that would shun at the mere suggestion of a creative solution to an inherently complex problem. The topics covered in this course helped me to understand that this is certainly not the case. I have since learned that software design is an intrinsically creative process."
"The Battleship exercise completed in class served as an excellent metaphor for the planning process of software design. It offered a fantastic insight into the value of following a prepared plan like that of a waterfall model against the value of iterative planning like that of an agile model. It also provided an important lesson regarding the value of involving feedback in the planning process."

(Daniel Casari)

"I have always taken good products and systems for granted. Not giving any thought as to how they were created until recently. In my most recent role as an account handler at an advertising agency I got an opportunity to work on many systems, good and bad. I found that I was becoming just as interested in the technology systems as I was in the creative output. I enjoyed searching for new software which could make my role more efficient and add value to the creative process."
"Greenberg (2008) highlighted that usability evaluation can hinder the creative process if deployed too early. He also notes that design can be subjective. Greenberg’s thoughts made me consider times when I may have been too critical of creative ideas early in the design process. His views helped to remind me that creativity can be a sensitive matter which needs patience."

(David Martin)

"In an industry full of processes, frameworks, systems, models it is important to always remember ourselves that software development is a Human activity and only sufficient checkpoints should be put in place. With such variability and complexity is important to keep in mind that good processes are subject to the human factor in order to success. In other words, the software development processes are as good as the interconnection between the technology complexity awareness, resources behaviours and management openness. Firstly, in my current role as Technology manager of high complex Engineering Design software, it requires deep level of understanding of the technology and awareness of Business activities such as process engineering, electrical and Instrument engineering and automation and, as application also control, the Quality management work- flows for system validation. Despite all issues encountered over the two years of transitioning knowledge to a new development team, as time went by, the importance of the team and the positive impact of understanding the behavioural factor on software productivity of the team is the key."
"This module not only explored traditional learning, but it was also about ‘doing’ and then learning from that. It sought to enable me to both experience and present my findings. This learning helped me to assimilate different concepts and included experiential work in class and in the wild, group work, role-play, simulation games, stand-up meetings, and, most particularly, my engagement with the experiences and content the module offers."

(Diogo Sá)

"Planning was big part of the module. A Product Owner I once worked with could often be heard complaining about the lack of adequate research time before coding began. He could often be seen shaking his head saying “A goal without a plan is just a wish” and “we are wishing this product into life.” What he meant by this was the business alone should not be dictating what was built without gathering the necessary user requirements. The importance of clear planning with adequate user and design research cannot be stressed enough in the context of the SDLC. Research is critical to facilitate a smooth SDLC, and mitigate delays in development. The IDEO cards exercises are a great tool for defining user requirements early in the process. Testing early and often is critical for ensuring your team develops the right feature that will provide both user and business value. My preferred methods of early testing are sketch prototyping, user interviews and usability testing. I experimented with sketch prototyping for a new mobile sharing feature I was working on and shared my sketches and findings with the class. I find the best way to paper prototype is with Sharpie markers and luminous yellow highlighters to indicate buttons. Using this low-fidelity method has the added bene t of appearing experimental to users being tested. As a result both designers and testers don’t feel they are validating something finalised and so are honest with their feedback. Designers bene t from not having invested a long time designing high fidelity computer generated designs and get fast relevant feedback without feeling too precious about their designs."
"I learned as much from the group work as I did from my own reading and research. I particularly enjoyed watching the individual video research assignment presentations. I learned a lot about the subjective nature of research through each persons individual style. It was a great way to see a lot of research performed in a short space of time. I think companies would benefit hugely from having multiple teams performing parallel usability testing to ensure the chance for bias is diluted and a rich variety of feedback is ascertained."
"I thought that the class exercises and learning through doing method was excellent. It had the two fold effect of encouraging teamwork, a key function of any team, creative thinking and problem solving."

(Eric Greene)

"Our first assignment was an introduction into the array of research methods, and we were encouraged to use as many of the different types of ‘learn’, ‘look’, ‘try’, ‘ask’ categories to present at our weekly stand ups. I began to understand the art of capturing design insights or thought processes in a variety of different ways- publishing notes on a blog, running a time lapse video for observation purposes, capturing the role play of a customer exchange. These were hands on methods for me to engage with. In the last week of the semester I attended a seminar for UE design of medical software. The design engineer touched on many topics that we had covered during class, from using the IDEO method cards, to the importance of developing accurate personas, to incorporating the ecosystem of a situation into the design phase. These being essential considerations for the design of a software medical device. A few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have understood the seminar at all, and now I can say I have tried and tested a handful of the leading research methods they referred to."
"I feel I have discovered a new skill of expressing ideas – that an iterative ‘rough is ok’ approach works well at the design phase. A skill I will bring with me to the working world to improve my communication of design."
"My overall view of the course is that it exceeded my original expectations, primarily due to its hands on and real world application of course content. From a very low knowledge base, and struggling with even simple research tasks such as creating and uploading a time lapse video, I finished by completing a small-scale real-time project with an Irish e-health start-up to define some key problem areas in usability and functionality of their new product. Not only did I learn the fundamentals on this course, but I have already successfully applied the knowledge practically in the wild. In the last week of term, at an Irish e-health workshop on “Software as a Medical Device” in the Digital Hub, the CEO of the company I worked with, made reference to my work in his talk at the conference, and the resulting recommendations of my usability study had already been added to his sprint backlog. I am really pleased with the outcome of my learnings within this module, and found it a most interesting way of learning."

(Fifi Monahan)

"A balance needs to be found when it comes to methodologies being applied in organizations. They can often be too mechanistic and act as a symbol of control thus instead are counter-productive."

(Gemma Hogan)

"Most of the activities in this module were done in groups which helped me learn from others. It was actually quite interesting to see how others look at a problem and the way they approach to solve it. I may not have always come up with the right solution for an assigned problem. But, working in a group has definitely had an impact on my approach to solve problems. Furthermore, the research work in this module was initially quite a daunting task, but working in a pair made it easy and the tutor guided us constantly throughout our research work."
(Iffaz Ahmad Sheikh)

"As I am from a business background, developing and designing software was something which was completely new to me, even if project management is a crucial aspect of it. For instance, I knew about typical product lifecycles like the BCG matrix but I did never hear of software development lifecycles. My expectation when I heard software development was that you spot problems of your users or your customers just tell you what software problems to solve. However, there is much more behind it as I learned during the module... What started for me as a chaotic try and error approach turned out to be way more structured and well-thought out."
"Participating in the NDRC and Bank of Ireland FinTech accelerator where you help complex FinTech start-ups to develop and improve their business idea I could use the method of creating a persona and user story for a complex robo-advisory start-up which also differentiates between customers who pay for the product and users who use it for free. The method not only made me understand the product/software itself in a better way, it also helped my whole group to use that for customer segmentation which is vital when looking for a target audience. I think that when defining users or customers those methods are a good way to show who our main target group is, what their problems are and what would solve their problems in order to maximise the user experience."
"As I want to work in consulting where group work is a vital part of offering the client the best solution for his problem, this module helped me to expand my skills on creative problem solving and to enhance my view on collective work and how different ideas converge to an overall plan which is the most beneficial for the user."

(Jerome Mueller)

"I felt that this was a very practical module in relation to the other modules I studied this semester. I enjoyed partaking in the experiments and the thinking processes needed while studying the module and the key thought I will take-away with me is that there isn’t always a formula to follow when it comes to design. There are various elements you need to consider namely, the customer, the product and the dynamics of the environment you find yourself working in"

(John Green)

"Before this module I did not fully appreciate how integral people are in making a system. This was first illustrated by Buxton’s (2007) avalanche case, the safety equipment was of no value without knowing how to use it. The integral role of the user in software development is another example of people determining the value of a system. Even in my own design research project, we identified change management as being a critical problem."

(Kieran Mc Loughlin)

"Nuances of design and development are not limited to the just software industry. Systems are there everywhere around us. It could be a railway station, traffic signal, orchestra, bookstore, bus stop, check out centres in the mall or shopping centre. They are designed in a certain way. Office room built in a certain way which would help in collaborating teams more effectively to foster the development of the project is also the part of design. To learn more about design, we should start observing our surroundings. The very interesting and yet simplistic idea of capturing the surrounding areas as videos and look for details was one of the best and first experiments I have done for the class. It helped me to understand the system more thoroughly."
(Kiran Eregowda)

"Every idea is worth trying because the current belief may change and early evaluation may only work in the next stages."
"Economics of Information technology helps me understand some part of different pricing concepts: first, second, the third degree of price discrimination, bundling, etc. Now I know why the companies apply a particular model by positioning their product and studying their customer behaviours."
"I was also stunned by the IDEO innovation methods. Watching how they improve a regular trolley gave me several ideas for software I have developed so far. If I have a company, I will also allow my staff to have decoration in their workplace which can foster their creative think and provide innovative products. They have used basic actions of human-like look, try, ask or learn to gain different perspectives about one simple object and then turn it into an advanced one."
(Lan Doan)

"In my previous work, I was staffed on a major transformation project, involving over 150 banking processes. Documenting every process and the corresponding requirements in minute detail was key to provide a solid decision base for middle management to decide on the funding allocation."
"...design teams often tried to negotiate with stakeholders to reduce conflicts and limit requirements. In one of the projects I was staffed on I experienced similar situations, since our project had major dependencies to a divisional transformation project. We struggled with having the requirements properly prioritized because often times they conflicted with the requirements from other business units. Additionally, the project was not sufficiently staffed with the required resources. The shortage of software architects was a major concern because they were the ones that understood the software and were able to quickly identify the design flaws in the concept."
"In our team it was absolutely normal and expected to ask for help. However, when we were dependent on support from other organizational units, often times it became time-consuming to get the permission to involve others in the problem-solving process."
(Michael Hofstetter)

"Discussing readings within groups and then presenting our ideas to the whole class was a great learning for me. It was like participating in the academic debate, where I had to weigh up the evidence and arguments of others and figure out my own. We were encouraged to critique the readings as without criticism, you have no distance from the text by which you give life to yourself as a thinker. After listening to various perspectives, I was forced to think critically which made me realise that being open minded and looking at a situation from various perspectives can be a great tool for learning and innovating."
"The best part of this module was teaching with the help of activities. Five years down the line, I may not be able to recall the readings or I what was told during the design and development during the lecture. But, I will surely be able to recall is the learnings which were imparted using Battleship Game, LEGO, Cantilever and Planning Poker kind of exercises. Each activity taught me the importance of approaching group project differently. I learned the importance of gathering and defining requirement with all the patience and open mindedness, importance of dividing work with team mates and structuring the team, outlining strategy, flexibility of making any changes if required in the strategy and the effect of pleasure on team’s productivity and effectiveness of a project."
(Mohini Sharma)

"...all of it fostered my skills of imagination, argumentation, reading, writing, critique, presentation, independent learning and project management. I am confident that all of these will prove to be of great help going forward."
(Nishtha Saini)

"The skills of critical thinking, interpreting and analysing theoretical industrial cases and the knowledge of management skills is what Management Design and Development has instilled in me and these, hopefully, will also help me in the future when I take on the role of a manager."
(Niyati Raina)

"It began from day one. We were posed a simple question – ‘what is a system?’ It was interesting to see just how many different definitions there were among the class for a word we use so often. After some discussion, we came to agree on the core of what a system really was. We were then presented with the Avalanche case that asked the question – after the ‘who’, what saved Saul? Intense discussion followed as everyone expressed what they believed it was that saved Saul. Given the way the question was asked, I assumed there was going to be a simple answer. I waited and waited but it never came. It was just a discussion and we were supposed to take our own learning from it. I went home and wracked my brain – ‘what the hell saved Saul?’ I eventually came to accept that it was a combination of all the answers thrown out in class; a mix of technology, human effort, and a system in place that was followed properly. This kind of learning became the template for almost every class. It was very much an open floor, where groups shared ideas and opinions that were open for agreement or disagreement. Everybody went home having taken different learnings from the class. This was one part of the class that I had not anticipated. The amount of group discussion was new to me but immediately I knew I liked it."
"For whatever reason, I had never really thought of software development as an inherently creative process, or imagined a software developer ‘sweeping it under the rug’. I had kind of imagined there was simply an answer book to everything, and didn’t realise that the success of software development depended so much on group dynamics, culture and a variety of other contextual factors. The group cantilever exercise that followed was a lot of fun, although I did go home slightly confused as to just why we were building cantilevers with spaghetti. After some thought, I realised it was illustrating the importance of group dynamics, requirements gathering and role assignment in development."
"Now, I’ve developed an eye for design that I never had before. Every time I look at a product in a shop I find myself analysing its shapes, sizes, and colours. Same goes for houses on the streets. I can’t open an app without asking ‘why did they put that there, or why didn’t they do that this way’."
(Paul Mannion)

"I still need to develop my business language skills. It can be said, that with teamwork, course materials and course exercises, these skills have been improved, and some module outcomes can serve as an illustration. For example, since I'm not quite familiar with business and technological subjects, it appears useful and exciting to learn more about with different approaches and theories in software design and delivery, the ways a digital product is created and managed, principles and concepts of how software organisations and teams exist or compare methods and tools for designing and developing such a product by yourself."
"For me, this communicational aspect was not hard or highly challenging, but rather interactive and sometimes surprising, especially when it comes to some particular exercises."
"I would like notice that, even though I find myself struggling with some aspects of educational system that is new for me and with my lack of business background, I can confidently say that this course, along with the overall programme, is created to help students to develop, step by step, the skills necessary to succeed in the real working environment."
(Raisa Pokrovskaya)

"The most striking part of the module is the sequential pattern that was followed through the module which had the articles from the 1960s to latest articles, which speaks volumes about how technology has evolved over the course of time and the challenges techies and managers had to face during different periods of time. Reading about these articles on a weekly basis and updating my personal blogs about these readings, has not only helped me comprehend the rapidly changing software evolution, but also enhance my documentation skills, which is a very vital skill to possess for any software role in the current Agile Software Development Lifecycle, especially for consultants and analysts as documenting the meticulous client requirements needs a lot of expertise to say the least. I have been updating my point of views and key takeaways about the weekly articles on a regular basis and through this I have managed to unlock the hidden writer in me."
(Rakesh Sudhakar)

"In my eyes, one of the ways the interrelationships between the course content was most prominently explained was through the economic factors as detailed by Varian. The reason I found economics to be such an overlying connector of subject material, was due to the extent economic factors can influence product planning. The consideration of price discrimination, network effects, lock-in and switching costs can combine to significantly change the strategy and deployment of a product. While demand is still driven by usage and perceived utility value in the market, supply is grounded in the ability to produce and maintain the digital artefacts, such as with server infrastructure facilitating the roll-out of software updates."
"Early on, the extent of design’s influence became increasingly clear for the type of issues the assignment content was addressing. By being asked to update an existing system, implies the need to identify current issues, opportunities to enhance (whether UI, UX, or database handling), and redesign existing assets to develop an overall improvement for all stakeholders involved, but specifically end users. I sincerely think that there should be more projects of this nature in other modules, similar to a management consultancy sense where one has the opportunity to liaise with a real company and make a physical, meaningful change for them."
(Shaiyan Shaikh)

"The whole module was divided into sections: discussions about the topics emerged through the readings, dynamic exercises, class activities and research. I enjoyed the style and the open learning environment of the course: I always felt free to express my ideas and opinions and to participate to the discussion. I believe that this kind of interaction fostered spirit of teamwork and cooperation, and gave me the chance to learn not only from teaching but also from my peers, in a practical and direct way. In this regard, practical exercises such as Cantilever, Lego and Bridge Estimations helped me to learn different approaches to planning and building stuff from scratch and make it operational. In particular, the Cantilever exercise showed me how hard was the actual realisation of the structure with respect to what I and my group had planned, and made me aware of the number and extent of the problems that, as an example, a Project Manager should take into consideration before starting a project, and should deal with during and after the implementation phase. These exercises also taught me that failing into addressing even a small issue could hinder the whole work, and that team dynamics, different competencies, constraints and other issues should be taken into consideration, too."
"First of all, I should admit that this course helped me to discover a different approach to research: during my undergraduate studies, I was convinced that with a coherent and solid study path and a given research structure, I would have always accomplished the best results. However, the kind of research proposed in this course forced me not to follow a predetermined scheme, but to “go into the wild” and try to develop my own methodology, considering the IDEO cards as an input but with total freedom in how to arrange my work in terms of time and tasks."
(Simone Ravalli)

"As this is the first international lecture I was astonished by the way of teaching, the class and activities in the class. Among all the module of semester one in which I have knowledge and most of the syllabus is very relevant to my previous work, I worked as a software developer, but by the end I came to know that there is lot more to learn about design and development which a normal developer might not know. I not only learned about all the different software life cycles models and their use in the organisations but also learnt to pick one model among all the models which suits most to the current organisation. Till I attend this module I know how different software life cycle models works and now I came to know that not all models are effective at all the time and each model has its own importance."
(Suresh Alla)

"I felt that this module was very practical as the in-class activities and readings during the course allowed be to apply this knowledge into my final term paper. Furthermore, my views on certain topics changed as a result of learning from this module. My opinions on Apple and their ‘image’ of being leading innovators changed considerably, as well as what I initially thought ‘design’ was. The main takeaway from this module is that design isn’t just a technical one-dimension aspect but more intricate as user requirements vary."
(Temiloluwa Ogunyemi)

"The first class as I still remember was an eye opener where Allen talked about; How Systems work, what is Design, Why Project Management is important, Before I came to the class I went through the Managing Design and Development blog just to see the schedule of the class and landed upon the Avalanche case. My initial thoughts were how does this help in this course because it’s like a story which tells me nothing. I had made up my mind that this would be more off an icebreaker rather than anything to do with the course. But as they say, preconceived notions are meant to be broken the same thing happened to me. As soon as the class started discussing the case it came to me that the case was presenting how important designs in this world. The article actual emphasized the importance of Design, tools, practices which can lead to averting any emergency as in the case it leads to saving somebody’s life. After the first class I had realised that I had to break barriers of my existing thought process and start thinking outside the box which I believe is the most fundamental learning I gained from the entire course."
"Also as Allen says don’t receive any information without questioning it, is a mantra I will be taking forward in life."
(Vamshi Kher)

"The Soul of a New Machine is a such an excellent portrait... What is timeless about the book should appeal to engineers, ICT students, IT managers, social psychologists… The book highlights the depths to which individuals under the right combination of self-drive and group reinforcement will sacrifice their time, families, and even their health in pursuit of a common goal. The question we need to answer is that ‘’Should people continue to work in the pressured environment or a place having more work-life balance?’’"
(Viet Huynh Ba)

"Being organised and well-structured will always help us solve a problem systematically and quickly. Our group’s activity was to discuss the design of the handheld device on how it could be built better and after further discussions, we came up with several ideas and suggestions that were closely related to the recognised suggestions. I was reluctant to answer questions in the first class as I wanted to sit back and observe how the whole class worked as a team. This went on for a couple of weeks as I took some time to assess my line of thoughts and my classmates’ line of thoughts. The discussions were intriguing and restored confidence in me to give out my answers as we solved problems as a group."
"It is interesting to know that the weekly sessions were designed in the form of a software lifecycle, writing this log is giving me a bird’s eye view when I try to collaborate all my thoughts in the form of a sequence."
(Vikas Nag Prasanna)

"As I have friends who work in companies which use different agile methods as their SDM, so out of huge interest, I paid some time to dig into SDM, with the aim of learning about what are these agile methodologies and what are their merits and flaws."
"Scrum is a leading Agile software development methodology with widest application in many software companies. However, it is still criticised that it does exist some problems in the processing of using it. Sprint is one of the most prominent feature of scrum which is actually based on the assumption that you can estimate how long the software development tasks will take using your previous development experience. The problem is the premise that every project uses the same techniques and tools in the same complexity. However, this is definitely not the case. Projects are unique and differently complex. Plus, techniques and tools today are always not static as they develop and evolve very quickly. So, the Sprint Plans are often not as accurate as people expect and developers sometimes find it hard to well follow it."
"Following the one of Agile's manifestoes that the team reflects on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly, the software development team has regular meeting -- daily stand-up meeting in which developers are expected to critique on their previous work and think about some improvement in the next work. Theoretically, it helps the team to do the work in a better way, but in reality, it can be thought to be distractions during the software makers' process of deep thinking about the coding stuff. For programmers, a short period of time, for example, one hour or two hours, is often not enough to solve a big problem because it takes them some time to get started. So a meeting in this case can disastrously destroy a developer's work mode by breaking up a whole morning or afternoon into two short period of time."
(Wanru Zheng)

"Creativity in business? That was somewhat new to me, and I appreciate getting the chance to discover that. I am sure I will carry the creativity and the new perspectives into my future job."
The drawing shows an overview of selected topic of the course, the personal highlights are coloured in red
"In class, we looked at the underlying idea of planning in a very vivid way. We played battleship. The game helped us to understand that upfront large plans are pointless - one has to plan just enough and adjust the plan to meet the changing reality. Keeping a big up-front plan usually results in project managers adjusting reality to the plan, not vice versa."
(Wiebke Hanne)

"I felt that this was a very practical module and enjoyed having it on a Tuesday morning as it gave more structure to the day and allowed for group meetings in the afternoon. I found that each class gave time for critical thinking mainly through the readings and group work. Even though we were all new to the Masters course I still found it tough to settle in and adapt to the course material during the first few weeks. The module gave way for us to study systems and think differently about them. How could things be done better? How can a company allow for a better culture to achieve outcomes? The IONA case greatly assisted with this."
(William Sheahan)

"The classes conducted here are different from back home, the main difference is that here we learn things on our own and this makes it a challenging task for the student, but gives a great knowledge and experience."
(Yogish Bhat)