In listening to all the political sausage manufactured by both parties, we have all grown tired of the same old party lines. Racial differences, party differences, class warfare and religious differences are dangerous and divisive techniques that are at odds with our organizing principle of e plurbis unum. I have pondered this debate from both sides. Where can we find common ground and a shared objective? The “us vs them” perspective is fundamental to human nature and to political debate. Here is my half-baked idea for channeling this natural divisiveness into something more constructive.
I think the mood of the electorate in 2016 is best summed up by a phenomenon we affectionately call the C-student’s revenge. This is a snarky way of describing government incompetence. The supply of A-students and B-students largely moves to the more attractive demand in private industry where creativity and meritocracy are valued. The supply of C-students largely fills the demand of government roles where power resides.
It was so encouraging to see last night’s results. The big losers in the NH primary: the DNC and the RNC and the big political donors/lobbyists. The big winner last night: We the people.
After a few months of election season and the first Republican debate, I think we are in for some fascinating months of political theater. Here are a few of my observations: Read the rest of this entry »
About 40 years ago, I worked at an engineering firm called TRW. I was just transferred to a new project known as Project 2454 and assigned to help build the user interface to some laser control system. The very first document that I was given was a half-inch thick specification that described what the system was supposed to do. I studied it for a few hours before I looked at the cover to see who the authors were. This specification was written and signed on the front by three guys: Ray Delong, Maximilian Whang and Demar Balls.
Lean adoption can be planned with four loosely coupled adoption paths: Steer, Develop, Deploy and Operate. In the figure, the gray left hand column represents a stark description of the typical status quo. These are the predominant root causes of inefficiency and ineffectiveness in most organizations. The middle column represents the primary transformation in each adoption path with a differentiating theme of lean adoption: Read the rest of this entry »
Most software teams and organizations waste 40% or more of their resources. I can’t prove this assertion, but most of us know it to be true in our current situations. Just ask your team. In larger enterprises and in organizations with compliance requirements, the ratio of productive activities to waste is even more pronounced. Waste comes in several forms: unnecessary overhead, unnecessary rework, unnecessary features, and building the wrong thing.
Political correctness is a sport, so let’s just fight fire with fire.
No sports team would name their team after something with a negative connotation. (The UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs might be an exception). Perhaps the best way to reconcile such nonsense as the Washington Redskins flap is to deal with it through humor. Read the rest of this entry »
We are always looking for simple ways to apply good principles (patterns of advice) with meaningful practices (specific actions). This is the crux of delivering consulting advice in most situations. What is the difference between principles and practices? Here is one illuminating example. Read the rest of this entry »
We have seen a lot of whitewash about what the DevOps buzzword means. Some of it was our own and after a year or two of hype cycle messaging, it is time to refactor. Consequently, we at IBM undertook an effort to create a more meaningful vision.