Nik

Nik has written 448 posts for niksilver.com

Trust from delivery

Trust might seem like a nebulous thing, but it’s based on very concrete things. Some time ago I was lucky enough to be part of a workshop run by Laurence Wood, discussing this issue of trust with some senior executives. I’ve always been struck by Laurence’s thoughtfulness and his deep concern for people’s needs, and … Continue reading

The (probably non-) risk management process

If you want a process for managing risk, then ISO 31000, “Risk management — Guidelines” is probably not going to help you. I’ve been looking at ISO 31000, because although I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and articles by individual people about risk, I also felt it was important to understand any “official” guidance … Continue reading

Sharing and transferring risk

When suggesting how we might deal with risk in a project or an enterprise, one of the common options that’s suggested is that we “transfer” the risk. (Other options include to accept it, reduce it, or avoid it.) And a common example of what it means to transfer the risk is taking out insurance. Then … Continue reading

Making a vision meaningful

Many of us have a vision or an idea about how an organisation might improve. Perhaps we’ve read something which connects with us and triggers an idea, or perhaps we’ve learned from experiences elsewhere and we want to bring that to our current organisation. And sometimes some of us are fortunate enough to be able … Continue reading

Visualising uncertainty with R

I came across an article the other day by Martin Davies, explaining how important it is to visualise risk and uncertainty. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about visualising cause and effect. Martin emphasises the value of visualing uncertainty as a probability density curve, which I’ve also discussed before, and he uses the programming … Continue reading

Predicting an uncertain future

I was listening to the Today programme last week, and was struck by an interview between the Business presenter, Dominic O’Connell, and BP’s Chief Economist, Spencer Dale. (It’s around 24 minutes in if you want to listen for yourself.) The economist was talking about BP’s research into demand for oil. Currently we use about 100 … Continue reading

Anti-needs

In the tech industry we’re reasonably good at capturing needs. Sometimes we skip the needs (or assume them) and go straight to requirements. That’s not great, but the intention is roughly the same: an expression of what (we believe) people need. We even have people for whom this is a significant part of their job. … Continue reading

Visualising cause and effect in risk management

The other day I came across an interesting collection of visualistions around risk and uncertainty. It was produced by Nico Lategen as a demonstration, and his example was Brexit. (Clearly a favourite topic for those of us interested in uncertainty.) Initially my interest was around his scale representing sovereignty. This reflects what I’ve written about … Continue reading

Estimating value bottom up and top down

In all organisations it’s really important to be delivering the most valuable thing, and in many organisations it’s obvious what that is—and people just get on with it. But in many organisations—particularly large ones with many competing demands—it’s important to estimate the value of our work to determine what gets delivered next with the limited … Continue reading

Flat pack estimation

It’s well-established within the agile world that delivery teams—and particularly individuals—are terrible at estimation. We do estimate, still, and hopefully we get better with time, comparing forthcoming work with past examples, for instance. But it often remains a wonder to those outside the immediacy of delivery teams just how misjudged our estimations can be. “It’s … Continue reading

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