One week ago

Organizations as Systems – Kurosawa, Clausewitz, and Chess

In order to respond appropriately to the context we find ourselves in, it’s helpful that we be able to correctly define that context. It’s something humans aren’t always good at. Not too long ago, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War was all the rage as among executives. While the book contains some excellent lessons that […]

12 days ago

Management, Simple and Wrong – Semantics, Systems, and Self-Correction

Simple responses to complex situations are both seductive and dangerous. The difficulty in juggling lots of variables tempts us to employ abstraction so as to avoid being overwhelmed. Abraham Maslow’s observation, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”, applies. […]

16 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 450

It’s time for another appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 450, features Tom’s excellent essay on roadmaps and a Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Holistic Architecture – Keeping the Gears Turning”. Our conversation in this episode continues with the organizations as system concept, this […]

1 month, 12 days ago

Holistic Architecture – Keeping the Gears Turning

In last week’s post, “Trash or Treasure – What’s Your Legacy?”, I talked about how to define “legacy systems”. Essentially, as the divergence grows between the needs of social systems and the fitness for purpose of the software systems that enable them, the more likely that those software systems can considered “legacy”. The post attracted […]

1 month, 14 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 446

It’s time for another appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 446, features Tom’s essay on questions, a powerful tool for coaches and facilitators. A Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Go-to People Considered Harmful” comes next and Kim Pries rounds out the podcast with a […]

1 month, 17 days ago

Trash or Treasure – What’s Your Legacy?

The topic of legacy systems is something of a contentious one. In most cases, a legacy is understood to be a good thing. What makes a system “legacy”? Is it a technical or business decision? A little over a year ago, Greger Wikstrand took a stab at clarifying the term with his post “Legacy systems, […]

1 month, 27 days ago

Innovation, Intention, Planning and Execution

  Convergence is an interesting thing. Greger Wiktrand and I have been trading posts back and forth on the subject of innovation for almost eighteen months now (forty posts in total). I’ve also been writing a lot on the concept of organizations as systems, (twenty-two posts over the last year, with some overlap with innovation). […]

2 months, 11 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 442

A new month brings a new appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 442, features Tom’s excellent essay on capability teams (highly recommended!), followed by a Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Systems of Social Systems and the Software Systems They Create”. Kim Pries bats cleanup […]

3 months, 9 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 438

Once again, I’m making an appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 438, features Tom’s essay on using sizing for software testing, Kim Pries with a Software Sensei column (canned solutions), and a Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Organizations as Systems and Innovation”. In this […]

3 months, 21 days ago

You can’t always get what you want…

You can’t always get what you want But if you try sometimes well you just might find You get what you need When it comes to systems, you can’t always get what you want, but you do get what you design (intentionally or not), whether it’s what you need or not. In other words, the […]

3 months, 26 days ago

Microservices, Monoliths, and Modularity

  There are very valid reasons for considering a microservice architecture (MSA) when building/evolving an application. In my opinion, however, forcing modularity isn’t one of those very valid reasons. Just the other day, I saw tweet from Simon Brown saying this same thing: I still like his comment from two years back: “I’ll keep saying […]

4 months, 6 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. […]