This category contains 38 posts

An example of the errors of “best practice”

Some time ago I wrote about the error of slavishly following “best practice” without asking why. And I was reminded of this again the other day when a friend forwarded me a blog post by Eyal Guthmann in the Dropbox tech team. The post explains that the team used to try to share as much … Continue reading

What does it mean to be a mature organisation?

I’ve said before that the word “maturity” raises my hackles, and in particular when people talk about their organisation needing to be “mature”. This is not the only word that has this effect on me. I’ve written before about “culture” and the phrase “best practice”. As with “best practice” (and sometimes with “culture”) there is … Continue reading

Balancing strategic guesswork with tactical evidence

I’ve always seen strategic decision-making as consisting of a large element of guesswork. It’s educated guesswork, but it’s very much taking a punt on what we want to achieve based on our assessments of how certain situations will evolve and where we want to be positioned at the end of that. And we can never … Continue reading

Feedback happens, whether we respond or not

The other day I was listening to BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed, which on this occasion focused on “Platform capitalism”. This is the world of Uber, AirBnB, and TaskRabbit, in which the company in question acts as a broker between those able to offer a service and those seeking it. Being Thinking Allowed it focused … Continue reading

Innovation from standardisation

My colleague Nic Price pointed me to a page on the BBC GEL site, which talks about the value of standardisation and consistency. GEL is the BBC’s “global experience language” and described as “the BBC’s shared design framework which enables us to create consistent and delightful user experiences across all of our Digital Services.” The … Continue reading

Escaping a black and white world view

Events in the news, future possibilities, and situations close to home are often presented in black and white terms. But more often than not reality is much more variable. And if we mistakenly accept a black and white view of the world then it becomes much more difficult to respond effectively—because we just don’t see … Continue reading

Acquisitions: When the player becomes the pawn

When a company with a good product gets acquired it can upset the decision-making of potential customers. This issue arose a little while ago when Ansible was bought by Red Hat, and concern was expressed by a friend as we discussed introducing it in his large organisation. Ansible is a product that automates the process … Continue reading

A few thoughts on DOT EVERYONE

Last week Martha Lane-Fox gave the Dimbleby Lecture, and proposed DOT EVERYONE, “a new national institution to lead an ambitious charge – to make us the most digital nation on the planet.” I’ve signed the petition on, and I’d encourage you to do the same. I didn’t rush to sign, but a couple of … Continue reading

Move from sales-driven to value-creating

I caught up with the insightful Iain McKenna the other day and he was talking, among other things, about identifying value. Readers of this blog will know this is a subject close to my heart [1], [2], [3]. Working in a development team it’s important to identify business value so that you can make the … Continue reading

Three behaviours of a digital organisation

I work with a lot of organisations that want to “be digital”. But being clear about what that means is a challenge. Coming from an Agile background it’s hard for me to see being digital as not having parallels with Agile development techniques—but being digital is definitely not centred on software development. It’s useful to … Continue reading