Why Technical Waste Blocks your Pivot Speed

Imposed change on a global scale shifts how the world works. For example, the industrial revolution eventually replaced cottage industries with at-scale manufacturing. Similarly, the rise of the Internet shifted the meaning of expertise from what-you-know to what-you-can-find-and-apply. And now we are watching another global shift, from tolerating remote work to embracing it as a value. We are seeing the first glimmers of a new reality.  Last week we wrote about mindshifts that are necessary to prepare your technical teams […]

Transitioning to a Marathon of Change

In the United States we are a month into the quarantine, give or take a little depending on your geographic location. Dr. Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, informs us that the infection rates will not truly curb until a vaccine is created. While J&J and other companies are working to deliver a vaccine, we know this is not a quick fix. Regardless of how many safety protocols they are ignoring to speed delivery.  This is […]

Using Talent Well during Disruption

It’s safe to say that the world is in a state of disruption that organizations are navigating all at the same time. The book Zone to Win describes how to organize in times of disruption.  Moore’s premise is that during stable times every company plays in three of the four zones. However, when disruption happens, a fourth zone comes into play … the transformation zone. Companies die when they transition poorly from stability to disruption. In terms of the book, […]

Technical Excellence: Now Required

Our world is in a state of emergency. Today’s uncertainty and ambiguity means we can’t assume everybody can be back in the office shortly. And truthfully, this is an opportunity. In the office, informal technical communications covered for many weaknesses. Technical skills that were good enough in the office won’t work well in remote work, where informal communication is limited. Excellent technical skills, however, allow developers to communicate informally through the code. Beneficial? Yes, but not strictly necessary. At least […]

Customers aren’t buying, they are deciding what to cut: Focus your dev teams well

As consumer confidence has plummeted, wooing new customers with exciting new features is less likely. However, engendering loyalty among your customers as they look through their subscriptions and decide what to cut seems a very wise plan. Not only do your customers not really care about snazzy new features, but it’s the kind of work that does not flourish within the remote environment. Well done feature development requires communication across many different roles that is good, frequent, and fast. You […]

Don’t Lose Productivity when Transitioning to Remote Development

Are you prepared to lose 120 hours a week for each development team? As a manager, I would assume that sending development teams home for remote work, as we must right now, would still achieve productivity. After all, so many developers work remotely very easily and they seem to do well in quiet alone spaces. Of all the quarantine disruptions, this one seems minor, right? Mmmmmm…not so minor. Developers Need to Share Tacit Knowledge Technical development frequently requires tacit knowledge […]

DevOps Series: How a Cosmetic Bug Can Kill a Product Launch

You are responsible product manager. You carefully hone your multiple ideas. You split test (A-B test) to refine and pick the best ones to invest. You build out the winner. You make your big release … and it flopped. What happened!? You put in all the effort to make sure this won’t happen, and yet it did. Getting the right data. What you didn’t know was that several of your tests had a small cosmetic bug on one treatment. A […]

DevOps Series: Unclogging the Pipelines

Releases had been delayed, slow, and buggy. You fought that for awhile and then adopted the magic of DevOps, which promised automated pipelines to get fast feedback. This also was supposed to give the developers the ability to easily fix production problems when they happened. After all of that, you find yourself rushing to make quick fixes while the system keeps telling you that it’s still broken. This churn wastes development time, promises 2am work on live-site issues, and inures […]

Giving your developers 50% more productivity

You schedule sprints that do nothing but clean up the previous sprint. You are told that features you feel are critical to the product “simply can’t happen”. You watch feature after feature ship late and then get long bug reports.  However, you have not been idle. You’ve contracted process and technical consultants. They gave you answers and you got the green light to implement them. Things did improve, but your bottom line issue of buggy and late deliveries continue to […]

Technical Debt vs Technical Waste

Executive Summary In trying to improve productivity and reduce waste there are 3 important concepts. These often get confused, which makes it difficult to align and fix the problem. The key concepts are: Technical Debt — a way your system has not yet incorporated new information. Technical Waste — technical friction that does one of 3 things: puts existing business at risk, or causes delays and increases costs to respond to new information when it appears (aka, manage technical debt), […]