12 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 467

It’s time for another appearance on Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast. This week’s episode, number 467, features Tom’s excellent essay on value (value is one of those simple-seeming, but complex concepts). Jeremy Berriault‘s QA corner covers testing in difficult circumstances. I bat cleanup with a Form Follows Function segment discussing my post […]

3 months, 17 days ago

Writing Code In Fly-over Country

As our clients know, I’ve been writing a lot about strategies for recruiting and retaining developers, and building shop cultures where they can thrive. In the U.S. we’re currently in a sellers market when it comes to development talent. According to the BLS, firms will need to find almost half a million developers between 2014 […]

3 months, 17 days ago

For Digital, discover, streamline and render agile the enterprise before addressing cultural issues (i)

continuing from
Culture, a barrier to Digital
 
McKinsey concludes: “Leaders hoping to strike the right balance have two critical priorities… One is to embed a mind-set of risk taking and innovation through all ranks of the enterprise. The …

4 months, 6 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. […]

5 months, 21 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). […]

7 months, 9 days ago

Disruptive Decency

Well, this turned out to be very much a different post than what I’d first thought. Last Thursday, CIO published an article titled “Your Pebble smartwatch will live on when Pebble’s servers shut down” that had good news for owners of the Pebble smartwatch: But now that Pebble has been acquired by Fitbit and is […]

7 months, 15 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 […]

8 months 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. […]

8 months, 10 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 […]

8 months, 19 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, […]

11 months, 15 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 […]