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The Blur Box presentation overview

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What is the Blur Box and why should you care?
The Blur Box is a conceptual model that attempts to describe the complexities of an iterative process. The model was created at a time when terms like eXtreme Programming and Agile Development were not everyday terms in IT. The model was actually created by an iterative, object-oriented development team as a way to plead with managers at Purdue University to back off requests for scheduling plans and documentation of "the plan." Thus the model is a little bit "us vs them" in its attempt to explain what an iterative process looks like and why traditional management approaches don't apply. But it introduces several key concepts that helped our team form an approach.

The model is dated in some ways. Agile Development has become more widespread and some of its concepts have moved beyond what is presented here. The model is also half-baked: the concept was very new when I developed this model. I never put the capper on it which would make it a best selling book and allow me to retire to the Caribbean. But as a starting point for discussing Agile Development with people who don't get Agile Development, the Blur Box may be of some use.

To support my TriZPUG presentation, I've included two papers which introduce and explore the model. Both are relatively brief (8 pages or so) mixtures of extremely dry prose and the occasional clever remark. The first paper titled "The Blur Box: A Visual Model for Understanding Iterative Development" (2001) is an introduction to the model. This was presented at the Project management Institute International Symposium 2001, held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville and again at the Mile Hi PMI Seminar in Denver and at the IT@P roundtable at Purdue. The second paper, "The Blur Box Explored: Solutions for Integrating Adaptive Processes" (2002) explores the model further and attempts to provide general strategies for making the model work for teams unused to Agile Development. I presented this as an invited speaker to the Project Management Institute International Symposium 2002 in San Antonio. I then promptly disappeared from the face of the speaking circut because I grew a family and a conscience.

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