People Don’t Understand DevOps

What is DevOps?  What is it that is so difficult for people to grasp?

First of all, I think we all need to understand that DevOps isn’t a single thing.  It is a variety of things, that when run in concert, create the DevOps experience.  If you miss out on one of those you will probably still call yourself DevOps but you’re not quite fully realized.  If you are missing out on more than one?  Then you are farther away then you think. Continue reading “People Don’t Understand DevOps”

Safe Enough To Try
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Tightrope walking is a dangerous thing.  So is changing an existing process or doing something new at work.  People are scared.  Too scared to even try.  But it doesn’t have to be.  People need to be able to experiment safely. Innovation is inherently dangerous and without people willing to try it will never happen.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, said in an interview that the bar for trying things is this:

Is it safe enough to try?  It doesn’t matter if other employees think it’s a bad idea.  I can take that input.  But is it safe enough to try?

Continue reading “Safe Enough To Try”

Bandages for Applications

At what point does a “data fix” do more harm than good?  For that matter, what is the tipping point between doing a data fix and fixing the application?  A data fix is merely a bandage for an application.  It treats a symptom, not the problem.

There are many debates about this very topic but let’s get things settled at the beginning:  one data fix is too many.  Yes, that seems rather draconian, but if you need to go into the database and manipulate the data to achieve the correct business results then there is a failure somewhere in the process.  Perhaps it was in gathering the requirements.  Perhaps it was in not providing the correct testing.  Or perhaps it was an unforeseen circumstance.  (The users got access to the applications.  It could happen.)

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Project Management Evolution – An Oxymoron

Writing a good headline is key to getting someone to read your article.  For instance, “Project management: A surefire way to kill your software product” is an excellent title.  He even starts off with a good sentence:

For many years, I have observed that the quality of software produced by organizations is a decreasing function of their emphasis on project management over business value creation-that is, their obsession with predictability and efficiency over learning and adapting.

Or in “Don Speak”, the more obsessed you are with following the plan, the more likely the product is going to suck.  (Yeah, I really talk like that.)  I encourage you to read the article.
Continue reading “Project Management Evolution – An Oxymoron”

Privacy By Default

Sometimes we need to think long-term.  Unfortunately, in the government, long-term normally means “next fiscal year” or maybe even “next quarter”.  But that’s not long-term enough.  Let’s take a look at an example of where thinking long term, even in terms of the government long term, will have an impact on what we do right now.
Continue reading “Privacy By Default”

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I’ve mentioned this before and I will mention it again.  People need space to work and to think.  But the amount of space they need is directly attributed to the society in which they grew up.  For instance, in areas where there is a higher population density, there is a requirement for less space.  Think about London where people are stacked on top of each other like sardines in a can.  To a Londoner, the amount of space needed to effectively do their job is smaller than someone in Alberta would need.  Alberta has lots of space.  More than enough space, even in their major cities.  I look North from my office and, once I get past the downtown area, nothing seems to be that much taller than the trees.  The city of Edmonton even complains that the density of the city isn’t high enough and that they want more people living in a smaller space. Continue reading “Sardines”

Agile Framework

See if this tickles your fancy:

Lean-agile portfolios differ from traditional IT portfolios in several ways. They allow an agile enterprise to balance supply, demand, and cost in an effort to optimize IT output.

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“Want” Not “Force”

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Tom Cochran, not to be confused with Tom Cochrane the singer, wrote an article on May 10th, that talked about “Digital Transformation for Public Sector: Galvanize to Revolutionize“.  Tom currently works for Acquia which “provides the leading cloud platform for building, delivering, and optimizing digital experiences“, but he used to be the Deputy Coordinator for Platforms (Deputy Assistant Secretary) for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Information Program.  He also used to be the Director of Digital Platforms for the Executive Office of the President under Obama.  So he’s got some experience working with the government. Continue reading ““Want” Not “Force””

Begin With The User

Ingo Jospeh

Delivering on Digital by Willam Eggers. I’m going through the book right now so expect me to mention the book a lot over the next few week.

This latest note is based on a single line in the book:

Rethinking and reimagining service delivery should always begin with the user rather than the existing program.

Continue reading “Begin With The User”

Parroting Solutions

Karen Arnold

I read an interesting quote the other day that really struck a chord with me. Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, has a “law” named after him. Joy’s law says:

No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else. – Bill Joy

Continue reading “Parroting Solutions”