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‘Randomness’ and customer service

[I wrote this in August 2014 and posted it to Methodology, Shared Wisdom, Strategy, Tips. It takes about 4 minutes to read.]

The art of the random is the art of beleaguering business analysts, without a shadow of a doubt. I can analyse something to within an inch of its life, build the most exquisite operational process, and still fail. Why? Because the more randomness a system allows, the more difficult a process is to define (or, at least, control).

Candy Crush (along with a lot of the games we produce at King) introduces a lot of random behaviour to the process, because that’s the game’s secret sauce (or is that ‘secret candy’?). I want to share some of the challenges folk in a similar situation face because of this, and how we can [try to] overcome them.

So, what kind of randomness are we talking about?

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Fruit and Nut: FIGHT!

[I wrote this in February 2014 and posted it to Health, Observations, Shared Wisdom, Testing, Tips. It takes about 0 minutes Less than a minute to read.]

WE DONE MORE SCIENCE! This week, it was the battle of the fruit and nut bars. We compared Hotel Chocolat, Cadbury Picnic, and Cadbury Fruit and Nut for the highest chocolate levels.

I’m sure my comrades will agree, this was a difficult one. The final podium was:

  • GOLD: Hotel Chocolat
  • SILVER: Cadbury Fruit and Nut
  • BRONZE: Cadbury Picnic

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Which has more chocolate: a KitKat Chunky or a normal four finger KitKat?

[I wrote this in January 2014 and posted it to Health, Observations, Shared Wisdom, Testing, Tips. It takes about 0 minutes Less than a minute to read.]

The debate raged about the best KitKat chocolate source, and so we decided to find out. Someone tried to ruin it by trying to ascertain the answer using arithmetic and logic, but we ignored that and, in the name of science, hacked them up and did a taste test.

The KitKat Chunky was the tasty winner.

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Exporting Trello Data to Excel

[I wrote this in January 2014 and posted it to Excel, Metrics, Project Management, Tips, Tools. It takes about 0 minutes Less than a minute to read.]

Yet another great Chrome plugin, folks! Roll up! Roll up!

By default, the basic version of Trello exports data to JSON. I don’t now about you, but that isn’t too handy for me as I use Excel/Numbers/Libre Office so along comes the Export for Trello Chrome plugin.

Install and activate the plugin, and now when you click on the ‘share, print, and export’ link in Trello you’ll see an option to export it to Excel.

Job’s a good’un.

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Kanban style WIP limits on Trello boards

[I wrote this in January 2014 and posted it to Kanban, Methodology, Tips, Tools. It takes about 1 minute to read.]

We’re using Trello for a project at the moment, and also plan to employ kanban style work in progress (WIP) limits to our various stages. There isn’t a way to do that natively in the application, though.

Enter the Kanban WIP for Trello Chrome browser plugin. Once installed it’s really easy to use.

  1. Enable the plugin
  2. In the header of each column enter the WIP limit at the end of the title in square braces (eg. Dev [4])
  3. The column now changes to yellow/amber when the WIP limit is reached, or red when it is exceeded

I like that the plugin doesn’t force the limits (ie. we have the flexibility to exceed a limit if we have a reason to do so), but does make it very clear visually what’s going on.

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