Introducing xodiac XPRS on xprs.xodiac.ca, a solution designed to address project delays, cost overruns, and quality concerns
It’s one of those words that come back over and over again in context of modern delivery approaches and organizational structures. The word seems common enough to mean approximately the same in people’s minds, however I have found that it is often confused for something else. According to Merriamm-Webster, autonomy is the quality or state of being self-governing. This distinguishes it from the term empowerment, which is the state of being empowered to do something. In other words, autonomy is an internal property - it comes from within -, while empowerment comes from someone’s approval.
Autonomous teams make their own decisions, they do it based on their objectives and all the relevant information they have available about the world around them. Empowered teams also are told to do exactly that. However, the scope of their decision making power - sometimes explicit, more often implicit - limits their autonomy significantly and can even shrink should a decision be made that does not align...
The past couple of weeks my children had to prepare and present short speeches at school. I encouraged them to practice and provided them some, what I considered to be, constructive feedback. However well meaning and positively framed, it didn’t go over too well. Watching my children learn to cope with constructive criticism reminded me about how we struggle so much with this in other settings.
It also got me thinking about one of the tools I’ve used quite effectively in both individual and team coaching. Sometimes known as the Disney Method but called by the course I learned it at, Tri-Position planning, the tool presents a useful way to help develop a vision and a plan to get there.
When it comes down to defining DevOps, the industry itself is guilty of muddying the waters, grabbing every opportunity to turn the newest hot term into a lucrative service offering, regardless of how that term is understood. This has lead to as many definitions as there are opinions with DevOps being described among other things as automation practices, a CI/CD pipeline, a philosophy related to maintaining IT infrastructure and even a job title. However, when Patrick Debois back in 2009 embarked on a mission to bring the Agile mindset to the world of IT operations by choosing Ghent, Belgium as the location to organize the first DevOpsDays conference, my understanding of his intent was:
decrease time to value supported by solid partnerships and automation practice tos.
Beyond providing advice in order to help teams thrive, we need to help teams move along in their journey. The better we can do this the more impact we can truly have.
When the rubber hits the road, how do we execute?
With the end of the year rapidly approaching, many reflect on what happened in 2018. Continuously reminded by the holiday wishes and the jolly spirit omnipresent in every downtown street and building, I naturally dig into my memory banks even more so than I otherwise do. 2018 was a big year for us, lit up by little bubbles of light promising a bright future.
Many teams claim to follow agile and lean practices, yet are still challenged to deliver valuable software on a regular basis. Often, agile practices increase the transparency and visibility of the delivery process and, in turn, the intrinsic quality of the produced results. This creates the perception of an agile delivery model from within the system but rarely is the outside perception aligned with that view.
In a world of on-demand capacity and rapid delivery of small incremental pieces of value into production, heavily regulated organizations often struggle to align the need for organizational governance with their transformation. One way to approach this is to start with highly opinionated pipelines where the controls are baked in.