The race between tech companies aiming to tell you what to do with your free time will heat up tonight with the midnight launch of version 3.0 of location-based social network Foursquare. According to the company, its long awaited recommendations feature will be included.
It’s one thing for Amazon or Netflix to recommend movies or other products you might like (that’s a huge business), it’s another thing for an automated system to tell you where you should go when you walk out the door of your house, what real-world venues you should patronize. That’s something a whole lot of companies are going to try to tackle, including Google and Facebook.
I have discussed previously on this blog about how well the Scientific Method adapts to Agile approaches. These ideas also took me to an unfinished effort to draft an Agile Research Manifesto. However, by talking to several people with similar ideas, I realized that these attempts were largely interpreted as an intellectual exercise with little practical application. It is clearly my fault for not having explained that all of this in reality comes from many practical experiences. Some of these experiences go back to my PhD years when managing the CLAM framework, as well as many undergrad student projects. As a matter of fact, during those days I published a practical guide for students on how to do their final project the “agile way” (I still keep the webpage, in catalan, for historical reasons).
In any case, in this post I wanted to address the practical side of agile research management by giving you a flavor of how I try to manage projects.