I delivered a talk on January 22, 2018 to the DC Scrum User Group entitled “Decoding Culture: Beyond the Fluff and Back to Business”. There are a lot of references and resources included in the presentation. I listed them all here.
I’ve been thinking a lot over the last several months about how my team and I work. This is somewhat about the actual work we do, but more about how we do it. My thinking was prompted by several factors. First, we felt like we were always maxed out on capacity. The metaphorical CPU was always pegged at 100%. As a consequence, we had long cycle times and lots of context switching. Second, much of the time we felt like we were struggling against the system to get work done. It felt harder than it should have been, was draining our energy, and hurting morale. Finally, we didn’t feel like we were collaborating as a team as much as we would like. We were operating in our own silos.
We needed a change.
If you hadn’t already figured it out, we live in an increasingly complex world. More people. More moving parts. More interactions. More uncertainty. Some organizations, like Toyota, Alcoa, and the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Propulsion Program, have learned how to manage that complexity in ways that have helped them separate themselves from the pack. In The High-Velocity Edge, Dr. Steven Spear decodes the magic and gives us insights into how these “high-velocity” organizations have become who they are. Continue reading
Becoming a better leader has become a lifelong journey and passion for me. Regardless of what my official role description or title says, I’ve realized being a leader is what my real job is. Leadership is an awesome privilege and responsibility so I want to be the best leader I can. I’ve also realized I’m far from perfect as a leader (just ask my team). But I’m a better leader now than I was last year and hopefully I’ll be a better leader next year than I am now. For me, getting better starts with getting clear on what I’m all about. And getting clear starts with writing stuff down, so here you are.
I love spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and numbers. Tracking quantifiable metrics gives me comfort and a sense of control (those two feelings go together for me). Metrics help me understand what’s going on and give me insights to take action. In that respect, I’ve often felt I would fit right in at Etsy. In my experience, I’ve also discovered that clearly identifying who is accountable for something and establishing the metrics you’ll use to evaluate success for that something are powerful clarifying tools in actually achieving the outcomes you want. The “how” and “when” usually fall into place after establishing the “who” and the “what”.
I’ve also discovered some pitfalls with metrics. I’ve recently challenged my thinking about metrics and their value. Here are some of my insights.
I’ve been on a kick recently about how DevOps, security, audit, and compliance all fit together. Spoiler alert: they all do fit together. In fact, we’re better off individually and collectively when we bring security, audit, and compliance into the DevOps tent and treat them like we would any other function that has valuable expertise to contribute to help our organizations win. We’d all benefit from what we can learn from each other.
I delivered a talk on September 13, 2017 to the local section of the Automated Software Quality organization on how to bring audit, security, and compliance into the DevOps movement. I provided a lot of resources at the end of the talk. Here they are with a description of each.