Book: Measure What Matters

•January 3, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Following the success at Intel , OKR’s are becoming increasing common in the wider software industry.  The bible has to be John Doerr book, Measure What Matters.  Notes from a read of the book over the vacation period:

  • Page 54 -Key results should be succinct, specific and measurable
  • Page 120 – OKR scoring based on a simple RAG status – 0.7-1 Green, 0.4-0.6 Amber, 0.0-0.3 Red.   Averaging the percentage completion rates for its associated key results.  Marry with subjective judgement.
  • Page 175 – OKRs and CFRs.  Annual performance reviews are costly, exhausting and mostly futile.
  • Page 186 – Recognition implementation ideas – all hands includes shout outs, “Achievement of the month”, share recognition stories, tie to company goals and strategy
  • Page 191 – Adobe “Check-ins”
  • Page 246 – Khan Lab School
  • Page 257 – Committed vs Aspirational OKRs
  • Page 262 – Post mortem on failing to achieve 1.0 on a committed OKR
  • Page 267 – Typical OKR Cycle
  • Page 270 – Manager-led coaching – what part of the job most excites you, what (if any) aspect of your role would you like to change

The Winning Formula

•October 11, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Just finished David Coulthard book, The Winning Formula.  Many of us have heard for year that sport has a lot to teach business.  David’s book falls into this category of learning 🙂  Here are a few examples:

  • Page 66, totally commit, indispensable
  • Page 102, get the best from a group of people
  • Page 104, team strategy
  • Page 117, “A common problem I see with high-level business people is a failure to respect everyone in their business – not just other executives or managers but right down to the receptionist worker or the cleaner”
  • Page 120, never forget the important of engaging with people
  • Page 122, Anti-pattern – spending too much time writing reports and analysing past failures
  • Page 127, culture that respects the chain of command
  • Page 153, sounds like a retrospective to me 🙂  Or maybe its an SRE post-mortem?
  • Page 168, explains the sports jacket 🙂
  • Page 197, quoting Bill Gates, “Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose”
  • Page 215, create the right atmosphere – encourage innovation and a culture of creativity

Disconnected User Experience impact Brand

•September 25, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Many companies are looking to improve the digital brand by extending their digital footprint.  Companies offering a number of services can often be seen to have a disconnected experience between geographic locations and services.  As companies look to improve their online experience, they need to keep in mind that a consistent experience irrespective of country is important to the brand image, and that the larger the different in experiences by country, the more a users is confused due to the fact that Google and other search engines allow brand follows to consume global content, and compare services.

An example of a company attempting to provide a consistent worldwide experience is Porsche.  The general web site by country is fairly consistent from a flow and navigation perspective.  Its only when you begin to drill down into certain features, that the user experience begins to appear inconsistent e.g.  Porsche Sport Driving School (UK) vs Porsche Track Experience (global site).  Porsche Experience provides the ability to setup an account and track your progress though the various driving experiences, the UK Porsche site doesn’t provide this, and lacks the depth of information on each experience.  Net out, a disconnected experience that fails to engage the user with the Porsche brand

Measuring the value of software delivery

•September 25, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Googling the web will provide a whole slew of views on measuring the value of delivery.  Numerous articles reference agile delivery, and prioritised backlogs.  Clearly the financial cost of a feature is important to the value of a feature.

Aside from the quality, cost, and velocity of delivering a feature to assess its value, you may want to consider what metric (following Amazon’s culture of metrics) will provide an indication of the value of a feature.  This maybe a simple as measuring the number of users adopting a feature, and driving the adoption as appropriate.

Metrics in clearly important in understanding value.  As is the right metrics 🙂

Book: Building Evolutionary Architectures

•May 28, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Had this book for some time, just took a while to write up my notes 🙂

  • Page 7, Fitness Functions – objective function used to summarise how close a prospective design solution is to achieving the set aims
  • Page 12, structure of teams around service boundaries.
  • Page 35, QA in Production.  I’ve used this over the last n years, to great effect 🙂
  • Page 36, Chaos Monkey, Simian Army, and Conformity Monkey.  Design with Chaos Monkey in mind to ensure architectures have resilience built in from day 1 🙂  Conformity Monkey checks services to ensure they follow architect-defined best practices.
  • Hypothesis driven UX design
  • Page 48, Domain-Driven Design.  Forget the unified class across all services concept.  Allow each service to define their own, and reconcile differences at integration points (bounded context)
  • Page 96, Use Deployment Pipelines to Automate Fitness Functions.  Cycle Time is the measure of engineering efficiency.
  • Page 98, the biggest single common impediment to building evolutionary architecture is intractable operations.
  • Page 128, Anti-pattern – Code Reuse Abuse
  • Page 131, Pitfall – Resume-Driven Development.  We’ll all seen this one
  • Page 133, Forced Decoupling
  • Page 133, Goldilocks Governance model – pick three technology stacks for standardisation: Simple, intermediate and complex.
  • Page 144, Product over project 🙂  Like this concept a lot 🙂
  • Page 154, Testing.  Obvious, but constantly needs to be re-iterated 😦

Great book.  Sensible length.  Easy to consume 🙂

Agile – The ambiguous word

•May 24, 2018 • Leave a Comment

These days everyone is “agile” – well almost 🙂  Like most things, the world isn’t that simple when it comes to agile.  We have coaches getting certified, and believing they are now fully agile, and we have multiple agile process that an organisation could consider in their agile pursuits:

Deciding which process to follow is going to be difficult.  Everyone has a view, and is an expert.  Whatever process you decide to follow, keep in mind the following:

  • Value – Delivering value in terms of priority
  • Quality – Though story acceptance
  • Metrics – Measure cycle time

Incident Management

•May 23, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Great talk on InfoQ from Netflix discussing a framework to handle incidents.

  • Don’t use Post Mortem’s as nobody has died
  • Incidents are complex, expensive, and generate unplanned work (tech and org)
  • Guardrails over control/restrictions e.g. its the busiest time of the data to do a code push, are you sure?
  • Incident Management Goals – 22 mins into the video
  • Gamification of Incident Management – 24mins
  • Framework used by Netflix Core Site Reliability Engineers Team
    • Engagement
    • Communication
    • Coordination
    • Memorialisation
  • Before incidents
    • Education – “Failing well” course, change rates, velocity of innovation
    • Best Practices
    • Drilling
  • Reprioritisation of work post an incident to avoid further incidents
  • Stop saying “Human Error”
  • Degraded is Normal
  • Constant Failure
  • Any change is a gamble
  • Measuring Success
    • Short & Less Impact
    • More Incidents
    • Better Team Engagement