Aug 152014

Richard BransonGive Me The Basics – Not Just For Entrepreneurs

Sir Richard Branson the founder and the face of Virgin Group in his book Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School discusses his views on business, being an entrepreneur and how they can help you succeed. No matter if you are entrepreneur or work for established business. Each chapter provides a detailed essay focusing on a single business view or strategy.

What Do You Like – One Eye On The Front line ?

If you know anything about Sir Branson some of the content will not surprise you. One element that I really like is the reminder that the front line staff in any business are ones that help you offer a genuine great customer experience and that they need the support of the entire organisation behind them.

Give Me The Low-down On One Concept From The Book – Its Fun, Fun and More Fun.

One concept that is a core throughout the book is whatever you do make sure you have fun. The Virgin Group have built that element into their brand: “Our culture arose from our constant engagement with our customers and each other. This led us to build a company devoted to customer service and staff engagement; to providing great value and maintaining a sense of fun in everything we do.”

Richard Branson At Ted Talks With Photo Of Richard & Pamela Anderson 'Messing Around'Give Me One Quote From The Book – The Royal We.

“If employees aren’t associating themselves with their company by using ‘we’, it is a sign that people up and down the chain of command aren’t communicating.”


What Do You Rate The Book?

4 out of 5 stars

The good thing about this book is no matter if you are an aspiring entrepreneur or not it provides some useful reminders on core values such as customer service and “Be the disruptor, not the disrupted”. You will not be a surprised by some of the content but what the book does well is condense the key points into an easy to read book.


Item Provided For Review However Opinions Are My Own

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Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School Book Cover Like A Virgin: Secrets They Won't Teach You at Business School

Aug 132014

diagram showing the flow of Feature - Function - BenfefitsSales Techniques That Can Help Test Software & Implement Large Projects.

I am a great believer of making sure we use context driven testing techniques as we need to make software that is fit for a purpose. The other month I was discussing with the technical director at Impero about a sales process called Feature, function and benefit (FFB).

This sales framework can also be useful when testing software as it can be used when you get new or  major updates to an area of the software. If you go through this framework it can help you define the context of the software and work out the problem it  is trying  to solve for your customers.

What Is The High Level Feature?

When we get new software or a major update to an area of Impero we try to make sure we take a moment to write the different sections of the software the changes effects. We write down the high level change such as “we have implemented a mass editor to allow customers to change policy items on mass.”

What Are The Functions?

The next thing is for us to look at what are the basic functions of the new software or module are and work out any differences between this version of the software and earlier versions.

What Is The Benefit Or What Problem Does It Solve?

We then ask what is the benefit to the customer of this feature for example does it solve a problem that a customer will be facing. If we can’t find the answer then at that point we then probe into more detail to see if we are missing anything in our thinking or does the feature need more work.

It Is Not Just Software Testing.

As you can see this framework provides a basic high level overview of new features or big changes to an existing piece of software to help focus the mind on the context of the software we are testing.

However you can apply this method to any large-scale implementation project. You can follow through the same process If you are thinking of implementing a new system within your establishment such as cashless catering, a new network or a seamless sign-in system such as YouID.

Jul 202014

Picture of women suffering a headache.Give Me The Basics? - Customer Development Is All About Testing That Hypotheses.

Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez is one of the latest releases from the O’Reilly Lean book series with each release focusing on a different element of the Lean Startup Model. The earlier books have included titles such as Lean Analytics and UX for Lean Startups, and this books focuses on how you can integrate customer development into the product life-cycle. The idea of customer development as described by the Lean Startup model is that a startup business concept is just a series of untested hypotheses, and that the Customer Development process is way of testing and validating each of those hypotheses to discover the correct model.

What Do You Like?  – Providing A Complete Guide.

No matter if you work for are a startup company or established organisation this book can help as it also has chapters devoted to enterprise size companies.  The book has case studies throughout and includes practical advice. To help reinforce the knowledge the author has included takeaways with the key points from the chapter. The book impressed me as it provides a complete guide to the process from the start of a customer development project right through to the end.

Give Me The Low-down On One Concept From The Book? – It’s All Problem Solving.

I am a true believer of the context driven testing model and the fact that “The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, the product doesn’t work.” A similar concept runs throughout the book about finding the true problems the customer is facing and how customer development can help you find that.

Give Me One Quote From The Book? - It’s A Hypothesis Baby…

“Everything you do in customer development is centered around testing hypotheses.”

What Do You Rate The Book? – Five Stars Not Matter What Your Role

5 Out Of 5 Star Logo

If you job is part of the software development process this book can help release products that “Solve the customers problem.”  However this book  is very useful for testers and anyone involved in running the beta programmes with customers. Even if you are not thinking of conducting a formal customer development programme with the techniques described in the book it can help you gain more knowledge on the customers and the true issues they are facing.

Item Has Been Provided For Free For Review However Opinions Are My Own See Here For Details

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Lean Customer Development: Building Products Your Customers Will Buy Book Cover Lean Customer Development: Building Products Your Customers Will Buy