Tuesday, October 30, 2012

[Warning: Shameless Self-Promotion Alert] 2013 Great Demo! Public Workshops

For 2013, we have scheduled three Great Demo! Public Workshops, as follows:

-          March 6-7

-          May 22-23

-          October 9-10

These are all 1.5-Day Workshops, with the first day focusing largely on core Great Demo! material, and the morning of the second day addressing more advanced topics and techniques.

Public Workshops take place in San Jose, California, in conjunction with the folks at SKMurphy.  This is an excellent opportunity for individuals, small groups or for teams that have new hires.

We’ve found that these events are most productive when there are two or more participants from each organization (singletons are also fine). This helps to mimic real-life interactions as much as possible, both when preparing demos and delivering them in the role-play sessions.

Contact me for more information or to reserve seats (PCohan@SecondDerivative.com).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

iPad – Excellent Tool for Doing Discovery

Not surprisingly, many people are finding that iPads (and other tablets) are wonderful tools for doing face-to-face Discovery.  In addition to tradition note-taking, iPads can enable a more collaborative, “side-by-side” environment for:

-          Diagramming workflows

-          Ad Hoc white-boarding – excellent for doing vision expansion, designing Illustrations and related

-          Doing quick arithmetic (great for calculating Deltas)

-          Taking, showing, and sharing photos…

And, unlike traditional white-boards, it is much easier to electronically capture what was created.  Any other ideas or experiences that you’d care to share?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

B-Key and Freeze – On Projector Remotes

In addition to the “B-Key” in PowerPoint, a recent Great Demo! Workshop participant noted that many LCD projectors have remote controls that include a B-Key (Black) function and a Freeze function.  Freeze is particularly nice as it simply continues to display your last screen, enabling you to do things on your laptop independently – find a file, launch software, navigate around a problem, etc.  Nice!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Screen Resolution Matters

What happens to your screen when you connect to an LCD projector – are you often surprised by the sudden loss of resolution?  I see this time after time – particularly when vendors connect their laptops to customers’ older projectors with lower resolutions.  The result includes surprised looks and a quick struggle to re-align or otherwise try to manage the screen resolution differences, often without a satisfactory solution.

Here are a couple of suggestions, particularly if screen resolution dramatically impacts the look of your software:

1.  Bring your own projector, when possible.  This may sound expensive, but consider the loss of a single piece of business resulting from a demo done where poor resolution impacted the results…

2.  If you can’t have your own projector (when visiting a customer or when operating over the web), coordinate with your key contact to organize a projector with sufficient resolution – and test it ahead of time.

3.  If you can’t do 1 or 2 above, then at least find out the resolution of the customer’s projector sufficiently before the demo to make changes to your preparation…

Interestingly, to give a sense of the importance of screen real estate and resolution, one Great Demo! Workshop participant noted that in a recent POC the impact of monitor size (and corresponding resolution) was striking:  Those with 17 inch screens loved the software; those with 13 inch very much did not!