13 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 […]

1 month, 4 days ago

Stopping Accidental Technical Debt

In one of my earlier posts about technical debt, I differentiated between intentional debt (that taken on deliberately and purposefully) and accidental debt (that which just accrues over time without rhyme or reason or record). Dealing with (in the sense of evaluating, tracking, and resolving it) technical debt is obviously a consideration for someone in […]

1 month, 11 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 […]

1 month, 23 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, 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 […]

3 months, 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 […]

3 months, 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 […]

3 months, 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 […]

5 months, 19 days ago

Learning Organizations: When Wrens Take Down Wolfpacks

What does the World War II naval campaign known as the Battle of the Atlantic have to do with learning and innovation? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Early in the war, Britain found itself in a precarious position. While being an island nation provided defensive advantages, it also came with logistical challenges. Food, […]

5 months, 23 days ago

I fought the law (of unintended consequences) and the law won

Sometimes, what seemed to be a really good idea just doesn’t turn out that way in the end. In my opinion, a lack of a systems approach to problem solving makes that type of outcome much more likely. Simplistic responses to issues that fail to deal with problems holistically can backfire. Such ill-considered solutions not […]

6 months, 28 days ago

Monolithic Applications and Enterprise Gravel

It’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything about microservices, and while a lot has been said on that subject, it’s one I still monitor to see what new pops up. The opening of a blog post that I read last week caught my attention: Coined by Melvin Conway in 1968, Conway’s Law states: […]

7 months, 1 day ago

Designing Communication, Communicating Design

We work in a communications industry. We create and maintain systems to move information around in order to get things done. That information moves between people and systems in combinations and configurations too numerous to count. In spite of that, we don’t do that great a job of communicating what should be, for us, extremely […]