Articles written for technical leaders in order to address quality issues, legacy code, and continuous delivery.

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), […]

Do you have the right data for tackling technical waste?

Our background and experiences inform our instincts … and your instincts tell you that productivity is low because technical waste is in the way. How can teams possibly be effective working through the maze of quality issues they face? You have instituted process changes to help them reduce WIP. You have established the roles recommended to make communication clearer and faster. You have embraced the recommendations you’ve heard at conferences or from consultants. You and other leaders have made the […]

Naming as a Process (Article 1)

We all know naming is a pain in the ass and you can’t trust the names in your code. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many people try to come up with a great name all at once. This is hard and rarely works well. The problem is that naming is design. Here are the things you are typically trying to do all at once while naming: Deciding the things the code should do Deciding which things go […]

Why Leading Your Way Out of Technical Waste Hasn’t Worked

Is technical waste really a threat? Sure it costs a lot of money, but that is small compared to the revenue from a successful software product. You attained business success by maximizing the odds of revenue. You could afford some technical debt along the way. But now that debt has become waste. Technical waste is not just costing money. It is costing options. Want to take the product to the cloud? You can’t in less than 2 years. Subscription business? […]