Monday, February 21, 2011

I am not a tool

Or am I?

This year's theme: TOOLS.

I've been in several meetings where IT people have asked what tool we use for usability, or Agile, or design. I am surprised that people assume that having a tool gives you the ability to implement these practices effectively.

  • For Agile, we don't use Rally: we use spreadsheets (SharePoint lists, to be precise).
  • For Design, we use everything from Dreamweaver to Notepad to paper and digital cameras. 
  • For Usability, we use everything from Morae to paper. Yup, paper.

Get it? It's not the tool. It's the process, skills, and oversight of both. In other words:

  • Having Project doesn't make you a skilled project manager.
  • Having Word doesn't make you a best-selling author.
  • Having a toolbox doesn't mean you can build a home that would meet code.

Learn what it's about first. You are the tool.

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