My friends and colleagues tell me that audio books are a Big Deal. I believe them, although I still read in ebook and paper. So, I had audio books made for Predicting the Unpredictable and Agile and Lean Program Management.
Predicting doesn’t have too many images. Agile and Lean Program Management has a ton of images. I have a guideline that’s almost a rule: Show people what they can do, so they don’t have to interpret too much. This guideline/rule means I tell stories in my books and create images so you can see possibilities.
I optimize my books for visuals. That makes sense for ebook or print. For audio? Not so much.
I do have reader resources for the books on my site and on the audio page. That’s not terrific, but it’s adequate. It’s the best I know how to do, given the subject matter.
In these books, I optimized for reading, not listening. I made that choice.
We optimize for different aspects in our lives and projects. I optimize for ease of living in my life. I have assistive devices: rollators, canes, plastic things to open jars with, and more. If I need an assistive device, I get it. (Okay, there’s probably a monetary limit here, but so far, I’ve been able to afford everything.) You might make different choices because you might not need assistive devices. (I hope not!)
We trade off aspects of our projects. I’m big on the project pyramid for projects, trading off: people and their capabilities, project cost, project environment, feature set, low defects, and release date. One of those drives the project. The rest you trade off.
Our optimizations drive our actions.
If we optimize for project cost, we can create a project environment that allows us to deliver finished features, if we also manage how we discover and fix defects. I prefer an agile or an incremental approach, because when you finish features, you can release when you finish a feature.
If we optimize for project environment, such as when we start an agile approach, we will act to create a collaborative environment. It’s not that features, cost, release date, etc are not important. They are. And, the learning in creating a project environment is more valuable for now, than the rest of the project aspects.
I help people learn with my non-fiction books. I optimize for learning, and so far, with the words on a page. The words on the page have the most value, so far. I am still not sure how to optimize for both audio and print. As I write my memoir, I can optimize for the experience—which will translate to both page and audio. That is a different kind of book. (My fiction is all about the story, so I don’t have to choose there, either.)
That is the question this week: What do you optimize for?