Musings

Taking on your new VP role

May 17, 2020

Recently I was on a call chatting with a group of senior leaders and the topic of work life balance came up. More explicitly, how “now he seemed to have so much less time at the weekends”. Asking a few questions of the gentleman who brought this up identified that he had been newly promoted to a VP role.

Which got me thinking about the challenges as you move between roles in larger organizations. Expectations change as you move from an IC to manager to director to VP or above.

So I thought I’d jot down a few thoughts on the matter.

Balance

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Do I need a platform team?

Apr 27, 2020

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Most transformations do not deliver upon their intended results. Many of these transformations use sound agile methodologies, yet they fail to deliver on the expected results. DevOps came along and refocused the effort, but still, we run into difficulty with transformations stalling or even failing.

Current thinking puts the development (aka. delivery) team front and center in the transformation to rapidly enable the delivery of value to customers. For a team, they need to be able to have all the right skills and capabilities at the disposal so they can own their delivery processes. In complex environments with multiple architectural principles at play, this can be difficult to achieve. To cope with this, we create another team, the platform team, to enable the delivery team.

The question is, do I need a platform team?

Platform Team

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Knowing where you are on your digital transformation journey

Apr 19, 2020

How many of you have been through something labelled as a digital transformation in the past 5 years? Many hands go up, and several people groan. It seems like we are in a constant state of transformation, which is true. Change is the new normal and transformation is the grandiose title given to the work we build around it. 

Yet many transformation efforts stall or even fail. We encounter many reasons for this, including market pressure, hierarchy and blame culture. Even gut instinct being the primary way to make decisions comes into play! Core to most digital transformation efforts is aligning technology to business goals, which often creates problems with delivering the desired change due to their different goals.

When technology departments drive the transformation, they often need help explaining the value. Ensuring stability to reduce rework through innovative techniques and tools may not resonate. Still, we do require change through transformation for our businesses to thrive. Without change, we struggle to keep up with the market and build the adaptive organizations we need. Executing a transformation is a journey, not a destination. Below I discuss three typical stages organizations find themselves in on that journey, how to identify them and what to do next. I call them Getting Started, Underway, and Where to go next.

Shift

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Securing the value chain

Apr 6, 2020

This week I am going to focus on how we build a strategy to secure our software delivery processes.

Whether we are working from home or our offices, the challenge of ensuring the secure delivery of business value to our customers is a difficult one.

On the one hand, we need to enable our teams to deliver value quickly so they can learn from customers. On the other, we want to stop the unwanted exposure of customer data through securing delivery. These two goals are at odds but, as with the adoption of DevOps practices over the past decade, integration is possible.

Let us take a look at some of the common failure patterns and how to approach creating a strategy to remediate.

Matrix

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This is the time. Every crisis is an opportunity.

Mar 31, 2020

We rarely find the time to invest in personal development when we are heads down in our work and lives. Often it only occurs when a situation where something outside of our control frees up time. Even then, it takes an effort to invest in our personal development. However, it is you. You who always wanted to improve but never found time or resources to do it. It is you who has this opportunity to invest in your future today!

With the economy having slowed to a point where many organizations either have to fire staff or find them not fully occupied, this is the perfect moment to invest in that improvement there never was time for previously. Perhaps this is the time for your teams to be engaged in a program x-raying your delivery process, identifying initiatives that will set you apart from the competition and enabling you to come out of this crisis ahead.

Opportunity

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