software

Enterprise Software and Organizational Fear

I read this article today which is a very good look at some of the things that happen in IT organizations. I've worked in a couple of teams that operate this way, and it's absolutely a shock to the system.One key element for the author Ian Miell is that his experience and observations are driven by highly regulated financial institutions. Places where audits and regulatory compliance are baked in for good reason. I'm sure it's all true, and that even the horror stories in his story are gentle in comparison to some of the things he has seen.I've

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
3 min read
Why

Time Spent Making vs. Time Spent on Process

I've spent a lot of time observing teams. At first glance almost every team I see is working hard, and trying to do the right thing the best they can. Sure they may not be super effective or efficient, but it's not for lack of trying, and often not their fault. One of the key things I look for is how a team works, and more specifically how they allocate their time. If you really think about it there are really only two things teams do: Productive work, making, building, etc. Communicating, estimating, justifying, and explaining the work, and status

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
4 min read
Roadmaps

Roadmaps Continued: Rally Points

Complex software requires a lot of work to scale and stay aligned. Many companies who don't have software in their DNA think that software like many industries will go faster with more teams, more individuals working on those teams, and more people over all. Software development does not have economies of scale. Development has diseconomies of scale — Allan Kelly Communication might be the opposite of software development. It's hugely difficult and time consuming. People literally speak different languages. Rally Points are all about translating your now well understood approaches into work that can be done by small groups. Small groups

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
3 min read
business

Bezos Letter 2018

The letter to shareowners this year has a lot of really good lessons in it for teams and companies. The theme this year is about high standards. There are a couple of lessons that just about everyone could and should internalize here. High standards are contagious. Bring a new person onto a high standards team, and they’ll quickly adapt. The opposite is also true. If low standards prevail, those too will quickly spread. This is absolutely true. I've been lucky enough to work on a couple of high standards teams, and when you get dropped in it might be

  • Mark Thomas
    Mark Thomas
4 min read