It’s My Data

Dayne Topkin

If LastPass is correct, I have accounts with over 470 different organizations.  Each one of these organizations has some amount of personal data on me such as name, address, phone number and perhaps other information depending upon the site.

What expectations are there around the privacy of that data?  More importantly, who owns that data?  Who controls the data?

The answer should be simple – you own/control the data – but reality is sometimes a very different beast. Continue reading “It’s My Data”

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Alexander Andrews

Sometimes technology is scary.

At Google’s IO conference last week they made a number of announcements, but one, in particular, sent chills up and down my spine.  Listen to these clips first:

Duplex scheduling a hair salon appointment:
Duplex calling a restaurant:

The woman making the hair appointment and the man making a reservation are both machines.  AI masquerading as people. Continue reading “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility”

Hiring the Best

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
When you’re looking for people, whether they are contractors or staff, you need to go through some sort of interview process to see if they fit.  I’m not talking about whether or not they fit inside the uniform (position) that you have for them, but whether or not they fit in both the team and the organization as a whole.  You want to hire the best, but the best person that fits.

And that, my friend, is more difficult than it might seem. Continue reading “Hiring the Best”

Burned Out …

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Are you “burned out”?

Everyone has their own definition of being burned out.  I wrote a blog a number of years ago (Am I burned out?) that talked about it.  I’ve taken a number of recent quizzes (unscientific) as to whether or not I am burned out:

  • I scored 67 out of 75. “You are at very severe risk of burnout – do something about this urgently”)
  • The Fried Quiz at  I scored 27 “You’re Fried”
  •  Moderate Stress, mild anxiety, but severe depression.
  • Psychology Today.  I scored a 78 out of 100.

It looks like I’m either burning out, or have burned out but just don’t realize it.
Continue reading “Burned Out …”

Death By A Thousand Cuts

Benjamin Faust

I was watching a movie on YouTube the other day and a scene really stuck in my mind.  I won’t go into details but the phrase “death by a thousand cuts” seemed to sum up what was happening.  While the details were not important, the idea that the person did not die as a result of the first cut, or the second, but was left to slowly exsanguinate seemed to resonate with me.

In my mind “death by a thousand cuts” seems to sum up the state of IT in many organizations.  It’s not one thing that is causing problems, it is a multitude of smaller issues that, when combined together, cause the IT organization to struggle Continue reading “Death By A Thousand Cuts”

Cult of Words

Patrick Tomasso

There is a phenomena that has really taken off in the past decade and, to be quite honest, it is quite annoying.  Words, specific words, words that describes trends, words that imply a certain attitude or function, words that match what the organization is striving for, those words are being abused.

I was talking to someone recently who had been told that every business case they wrote needed to include the words “transform” and “innovation”.  Why?  Because the organization is trying to “transform” and become more “innovative”.  They have raised specific words to a cult-like status. Continue reading “Cult of Words”

Tsunami of Change

Peter Chamberlain

People talk about the rate of change increasing, but there is something that they fail to understand.  You see, it’s not the rate of change that is causing issues with many organizations.  It is not the fact that 50% of the technologies that a student learns in their first year of University are no longer applicable by the time they graduate.

None of these things are the true organization killer.  None of these things have the potential to complete decimate an organization, private or public.  It is not the change that is important, it is how fast your organization can assimilate that change. Continue reading “Tsunami of Change”

Cancel That Meeting

Fear plays an interesting role in how we develop applications.  Fear of being blamed for project failure (when most projects actually fail) drives people to push the responsibility for decisions as high up in the chain as possible.  After all, if your boss made the decision you can’t be blamed if something goes wrong, correct?

Many organizations handle this by creating Working Groups and Steering Committees, all in the hope that if someone else says “yes” then it is their neck on the line if the world falls apart. DevOps, however, says something different.  DevOps pushes peoples buttons and gets them into an uncomfortable position.  In essence:

There are no Working Groups / Steering Committees in DevOps. Continue reading “Cancel That Meeting”

Transformation Failure

Gabriel Matula

According to McKinsey only 26% of organizational transformations are successful.  Think of it this way:  if your organization goes through four transformations, one of them will be a success.  (I hope it’s not the first one!)  OK, I’m kind of stretching the truth.  It was 26% of respondents who stated that the transformations were very or completely successful.  Most are not.

But some companies are successful.  Some organizations can beat the odds and McKinsey has a blueprint.  And while there are 24 different tasks that you can do, each one of which improves the odds, there are really three things that can significantly improve the odds of success. Continue reading “Transformation Failure”

Doing What’s Important

Yeshi Kangrang

We’ve talked about “Do Less … Then Obsess“, and it makes sense that people stop doing the fifty, sixty, seventy things that they are trying to juggle at the same time and trim that down to a much more reasonable number.

But is there something else you can do to help manage the deluge of work that always seems to come your way?  How do you “work smarter”?  It may not be a matter of doing what you are doing faster or more efficiently, it may be a matter of changing what work you are doing.

Continue reading “Doing What’s Important”