Who killed the digital nomad?


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In the late nineties, a paradigm shift facilitated by enhanced technology was said to liberate individual workers. Powerful laptops, ubiquitous high-speed wireless connections, modern work-patterns and the war for talent all seemed to create a new modern work-force. The rise of the digital nomad was imminent. Yet, a few years later, the digital nomad is dead. This is especially apparent in the software industry, the very industry that helped create the digital nomad. Who actually killed the digital nomad? This entertaining and thought provocative talk will provide you with the answer.

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Who killed the digital nomad?

  1. 1. Who Killed the Digital Nomad? Kjetil Moløkken-Østvold – Conceptos Consulting XP2010, 2.-3. June, Trondheim
  2. 2. The rise of the digital nomad <ul><li>A trend much hyped in the nineties </li></ul><ul><li>A new modern work-force was facilitated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Powerful laptops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ubiquitous high-speed wireless connections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modern work-patterns and the war for talent </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mike Elgan (2009): “Is digital nomad living going mainstream?” www.computerworld.com </li></ul>
  3. 3. Is digital nomad living going mainstream?
  4. 4. Not in the Norwegian IT-sector <ul><li>Most places, people have to show up for work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a designated work-area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In a designated timeslot </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. This is unnecessary and counter-productive
  6. 6. Horrible open space solutions <ul><li>People are stuffed like sardines </li></ul><ul><li>Hot, humid and low quality air </li></ul><ul><li>Noisy, with phones ringing and people talking </li></ul><ul><li>The cubicle life ridiculed in Dilbert is luxurious by comparison! </li></ul>
  7. 7. Employers are command-and-control <ul><li>Core time is mandated </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Immature view of telecommuting </li></ul>
  8. 8. Traffic = waste! <ul><li>Moving persons around twice a day is a waste of fuel and time </li></ul><ul><li>The Norwegian infrastructure is crumbling (try bus #37) </li></ul><ul><li>The situation is getting worse, and we are on a trajectory to Tokyo conditions </li></ul>
  9. 9. The irony <ul><li>An industry developing communication systems and collaboration platforms </li></ul><ul><li>So reluctant to take their own medicine and practice what they preach </li></ul>
  10. 10. Who actually killed the digital nomad?
  11. 11. The culprits: Old fashioned managers <ul><li>Some can only “control” those they can see </li></ul><ul><li>No knowledge of communication solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Hours of work more important than outcome </li></ul>
  12. 12. The culprits: Immature collaboration technologies <ul><li>Virual Reality, Second Life etc. has been oversold </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration software has been less than user-friendly </li></ul><ul><li>Quality conference systems have been expensive </li></ul>
  13. 13. The culprits: The “daily stand-up” fanatics <ul><li>” ScrumMasters” justifying their existence with pointless routines </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding triggers fundamentalist reflexes </li></ul><ul><li>Please see: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Daglige stand-up møter er destruktive” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://tcs.java.no/tcs/?id=55A02830-1508-4690-8321-B7CAA32C9337 </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Opportunities for digital nomads <ul><li>Acceptance: even medical surgery is now performed remotely via Telemedicine </li></ul><ul><li>A new breed of managers, emphasizing trust and performance </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving and cost-efficient tools like Tandberg, Skype and collaboration platforms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(see my talk tomorrow on “Distributed requirement handling.”) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. The benefits <ul><li>Personal freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Better quality results </li></ul><ul><li>Cost-reductions </li></ul>
  16. 16. What I am not advocating <ul><li>Bossnapping </li></ul><ul><li>Blowing up your corporate HQ </li></ul><ul><li>Utter despair </li></ul>
  17. 17. Key message: deliver customer value in a cost efficient manner <ul><li>The unimportant stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Time and location of work </li></ul><ul><li>Artifacts like yellow notes and whiteboards </li></ul><ul><li>” Daily stand-ups” and the likes </li></ul><ul><li>The important stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent deliveries </li></ul><ul><li>Daily communication with customers and users </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous improvement (act on your retrospectives!) </li></ul>
  18. 18. Thank you! <ul><li>Contact information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Presentation: http://www.conceptos.no/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No questions allowed here, but remember Kenny Rogers: “…so if you don't mind my sayin', I can see you're out of aces. For a taste of your whiskey I'll give you some advice. “” </li></ul>