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...
Ever since John Allspaw’s “10+ Deploys a Day” and Patrick Debois coining of the term “DevOps” in 2008, DevOps has been transforming businesses in terms of software development and deployment. The DevOps culture has enabled teams from the software development and IT operations to collaborate and develop more reliable products, as well as respond to customer needs, to achieve business goals.
The increasing number of businesses utilizing DevOps platforms to enhance business operations has fuelled demand for advanced IT transformations. In fact, according to PR Newswire, the global DevOps market is projected to be valued at over $23 billion by 2027, with the U.S and Canada as major contributors.
The last decade has seen a lot of companies accelerating their digital transformations to improve software delivery. To keep up with the demands of a rapidly evolving business and technology landscape post-pandemic, the DevOps community continues to improve its practices to i...
“Whenever there is a product for a customer, there is a value stream.
-John Shook and Mark Rother, Learning to See”
Creating more value for customers is a core business strategy. With more technologies being developed, companies have been optimizing their software delivery to get the best value out of their products or services. Instead of focusing on individual functions, companies are now developing an interest in the end-to-end value chain. Software development is no longer just the business of IT departments. Company leaders and management are taking an active role in making sure that the software delivery process is driving value to the business. In a way, every organization has become a software company.
Unfortunately, even after investing considerable time and resources on IT transformations, companies still experience misalignment in business vision, strategies, and goals. While they may have implemented new ways of working, such as Agile and DevOps, there is often a disconnect bet...
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus was onto something when he said many years ago that
“Change is the only constant”
A saying as true today as it was for Heraclitus in Ancient Greece.
Today, businesses are impacted by change. Competitors introduce new capabilities or services, customers' loyalty shifts from brands towards value propositions, and new and exciting players disrupt the market altogether.
Introducing organizational change is a tricky business, especially when it involves new technology. Even seemingly innocuous changes to technology can have a far-reaching impact on your organization, disrupting the ways you work. Your initial vision of a smooth implementation, rapid adoption, and a high return on investment is easy to say, not so easy to achieve. For example, it is widely discussed that 70% of transformations fail.
Governance is something of a dirty word. It often generates a visceral reaction in people, conjuring up images of red tape, bureaucracy and time-consuming audits. These are seen as roadblocks to progress, innovation and adoption of new ways of working. This is especially true when we are looking to accelerate the rate of change or delivery speed, such as commonly occurs when adopting DevOps or Agile practices.
Below, I will discuss why we have governance, how it gets applied and some immediate approaches you can look at to help change your ways of working.
Let’s start with the purpose of governance. Governance practices intend to manage risk. I sometimes hear that “this doesn’t apply to me. I’m in a small start-up,” but all organizations, whatever their size, need to manage risk. In one form or another, we are all subjected to governance. In larger organizations, we have added complexity to deal with in creating and managing risk. It is also true that heavily regulated industries ...
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.