8 days ago

When One System Fails Another

Ten days ago, when I wrote the post “Uber and the Cost of a Culture of Corruption”, I said that assuming there will be negative consequences (both legal and financial) from the incidents in the news, then it is in Uber’s best interests to fix the problem that led to them in the first place. […]

13 days ago

A Tale of Two Tweets

Serendipity is a wonderful (and sometimes entertaining) thing. Monday afternoon, two tweets wound up one after the other in my timeline, one interesting and one “interesting” (I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which is which): and My favorite definition for the word “innovation” comes from Scott Berkun: If you must […]

18 days ago

Uber and the Cost of a Culture of Corruption

Even before I hit the “Publish” button on Monday’s post, “Regulating Software Development”, I had already started composing this post in my head. In that post I had used the words “corrupt culture” in passing. I needed to expand on that, because I believe that’s what lies at the heart of Uber’s cascading collection of […]

22 days ago

Regulating Software Development

  Another weekend, another too good to pass up Twitter conversation during my “unplugged” time. This weekend, Grady Booch hooked me by retweeting Mike Potts tweet: Mike’s tweet was a reply to Grady’s comment on the latest news out of Uber: It’s an understandable question. It’s a reasonable question. It’s one that came up back […]

27 days ago

Fear of Failure, Fear and Failure

Some things seem so logically inconsistent that you just have to check them out. Such was the title of a post on LinkedIn that I saw the other day: “Innovation In Fear-Based Cultures? Or, why hire lions to be dogs?”. In it, Michael Graber noted that “…top-down organizations have the most trouble innovating.”: In particular, […]

1 month, 1 day ago

Emergence: Babies and Bathwater, Plans and Planning

  “Emergent” is a word that I run into from time to time. When I do run into it, I’m reminded of an exchange from the movie Gallipoli: Archy Hamilton: I’ll see you when I see you. Frank Dunne: Yeah. Not if I see you first. The reason for my ambivalent relationship with the word […]

1 month, 6 days ago

Go-to People Considered Harmful

Okay, so the title’s a little derivative, but it’s both accurate and it fits in with the “organizations as systems” theme of recent posts. Just as dependency management is important for software systems, it’s likewise just as critical for social systems. Failures anywhere along the chain of execution can potentially bring the whole system to […]

1 month, 13 days ago

Systems of Social Systems and the Software Systems They Create

I’ve mentioned before that the idea of looking at organizations as systems is one that I’ve been focusing on for quite a while now. From a top-down perspective, this makes sense – an organization is a system that works better when it’s component parts (both machine and human) intentionally work together. It also works from […]

1 month, 15 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 430

It’s time for another appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 430, features Tom’s essay on product owners, Steve Tendon with more on TameFlow (in this episode, constraints), and a Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Leadership Anti-Patterns – The Thinker” (the third in a series […]

1 month, 27 days ago

Organizations as Systems and Innovation

Over the last year or so, the concept of looking at organizations as systems has been a major theme for me. Enterprises, organizations and their ecosystems (context) are social systems composed of a fractal set of social and software systems. As such, enterprises have an architecture. Another long-term theme for this site has been my […]

2 months, 12 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 426

One of the benefits of being a regular on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast is getting to take part in the year-end round table (episode 426). Jeremy Berriault, Steve Tendon, Jon M. Quigley and I joined Tom for a discussion of: Whether software quality would be a focus of IT in 2017 […]

3 months, 8 days ago

Managing Fast and Slow

People have a complicated relationship with the concept of cause and effect. In spite of the old saying about the insanity of doing the same old thing looking for a different result, we hope against hope that this time it will work. Sometimes we inject unnecessary complexity into what should be very simple tasks, other […]