A Major Breakthrough
There has recently been a major breakthrough in the fields of software and website product-development and software-project management. These fields have never had foundations, models, approaches, methodologies, or tools sophisticated enough to cope successfully with the high degree of complexity, abstraction, and informational nature of software.
Drawing on advanced informational and organizational disciplines that are ideally suited to the problems of these fields and have the horsepower to solve its problems, iPD has developed the highly innovative and effective foundations these fields truly require, along with a complete repertoire of practical methodologies and tools that its practitioners need to meet all its challenges to a high degree.
In addition to providing a wide range of services to clients in these areas, iPD is now offering a series of workshops for managers and professionals to teach these new approaches to their problems. The first workshops are introductions and overviews. Follow-on workshops will provide in-depth learning and practical skill-building for various tasks within these fields.
A New Series of Workshops
This section of the website describes half-day workshops offered by iPD’s president and vice-president, Dennis Emberling and Simon Hill (see Company Principals), who are leaders and award-winners in their fields. This introductory page lists our workshops, explains what they are like, and provides evidence of their quality.
These workshops are for executives, managers, online-product managers, eCommerce managers, website managers, software-project managers, business analysts, and UI designers (including information architects and interaction designers)—anyone involved in the planning, design, development, and management of online software or websites.
All our workshops are intended for people of all levels of experience and skill. Those fairly new to the topics of these workshops will find excellent introductions to the key areas they need to master. More experienced professionals will gain advanced ideas and methods they are unlikely to find anywhere else.
List of Workshops
- Product Development (available now)
- Project Management (available now)
- Information Architecture & UI Design (coming soon)
These are half-day workshops that provide a comprehensive overview of knowledge and skills in their topic. Participants will later be able to go on to deepen specific areas of expertise by taking follow-on workshops that focus in depth on the key elements of each topic.
Please see our Workshop Schedule for latest times and locations and how to sign up.
What These Workshops Are Like
All our workshops are strongly focused on the practical issues that arise during projects to research, invent, plan, design, develop, and manage a company’s online products and websites—whether in house or outsourced. They include many specific applications to work problems and opportunities to discuss examples from participants’ own jobs.
The cognitive materials taught are unusual, interesting, and stimulating. They are taught in a very clear and understandable way. The style is light, often humorous, and entertaining. This contributes to effective learning, as well as being more enjoyable. Nobody falls asleep.
The formats are always highly participative with plenty of Q&A and discussion. The workshops include small-group activities and practice sessions. These also help make the events lively and enjoyable. Attendance is limited to 40 participants per workshop, so that attendees can receive significant coaching during their practice periods.
Each time we present a workshop on a given subject, it covers somewhat different ground, because it is tailored to the interests and needs of the participants. We do not put the group through a forced march, rationalized by saying “we need to cover all this material.” Workshops always begin with participants specifying their problems and goals and what they want to cover, within the general domain of the workshop topic. They get to select and prioritize which material to cover and which activities and exercises they want to do. We believe it is better to learn a smaller amount of material well than push a greater volume in one ear and have it just come out the other.
The Quality of These Workshops
Although it is immodest to say so, we have to tell you that the cognitive materials in these workshops is of the highest quality in the fields of business strategy, software-product development, software-project management, and user-interface design. This quality is due to a set of new, extremely advanced cognitive-maps, methodologies, and tools that bring clarity to these fields and great effectiveness to their practitioners. After twelve years of research, development, use, and teaching, we are satisfied that these cognitive maps and their applications to websites and online products are valid and highly effective.
The cognitive materials are derived from the most advanced work in General Systems Theory, Information Theory, Cybernetics, Hierarchy Theory, Stage Theory, and Communication Theory. They represent substantial improvements over the latest and best thinking that has become popular among software professionals, such as “goal-directed”, “user-centered”, “value-centric”, and “Agile.”
This unusually sophisticated, solid foundation has enabled us to recognize the many fallacies about software development and websites that have led to bad advice to professionals and managers for many years. Therefore, the workshops clarify many topics that are widely misunderstood and debunk many myths and popular illusions.
In fact, we know of no other seminars, classes, trainings, or college courses in the topics we cover that are anywhere near as advanced or sophisticated. We believe that the materials on our website provide evidence of an advanced level of mastery of these subjects.