In this diagram from scrum.org the differnet scales show where agile development typically works best....
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
- When did you start relying on Uber (or some other more ethical ride hailing App) to get you home after a late night in the office?
- When did you start using the term "to Google" rather than just "to search online?"
- When did you start discussing that new Netflix series, as opposed to the regularly scheduled broadcast TV show you used to watch?
- When did you start ordering your household goods on Amazon?
- When did you start playing YouTube videos, rather than play music from your CD collection?
Monday, September 25, 2017
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
But I’m going to stick my next out (once again) on a subject I’m passionate about… Technical Architecture and how it clashes with agile delivery.
Or more succinctly put: Agile Architecture Doesn’t Work
There, I’ve said it now and I’ve been wanting to say it for a while. It has been on my mind as I’ve heard the opposite mentioned in podcasts, or read about it in blogs and books.
I guess I was trying to get this off my chest when I wrote my recent blog post “Digital Transformations starts and ends with Digital Architecture”. As in my mind, the science (or is it art?) of crafting a robust yet flexible technical architecture that supports digital business aims is the one thing you can’t build as you go.
Creating the technical architecture for your new venture takes planning. You also really only need one Technical Architect, the person who owns the architecture and has the responsibility for its solution design and ensures re-use of common components. Not a bunch of developers who all want to create a part of the architecture they are responsible for.
It’s like wandering around on a gap year between school and university (or school and work, or university and work). You may be able to make up your journey as you go, with just you or a travelling companion making the decisions… but the roads and the map are pretty much fixed.
So... although some agile practitioners talk about how agile approaches can help architecture deliver quicker or better. I firmly believe that it is architecture that facilitates faster and more robust agile delivery.
Monday, August 28, 2017
However, when you ask these organisations what they are doing to change their internal systems and technical architecture design to facilitate this change, many either go quiet or simply utter something such as “it’s not about technology, it’s mainly about people”… Which I have worked out to actually mean “that technology stuff isn’t as interesting as building something nice & glossy I can show to the board”.
But let’s flip this around for a minute…
Digitally enabling your business usually means taking control of the data in your organisation and enabling it via online technologies. Yes, it does therefore mean the creation of some sort of new database or cloud-based big data lake that can then have modern web services integrated to it, so that some or all of this can be presented within a browser interface.
Implementing customer self-service channels, typically boils down to pretty much the same thing. Web services and functionality are (securely - obviously) exposed to external customers via web and mobile App channels, so that contact centres or telesales operations can be scaled back or redeployed to different tasks. This also usually comes with a more onerous set of performance & availability criteria, so that a (near) 24/7 service can be offered to customers. However, presenting these services to real users also means that the systems behind-the-scenes need to be able to scale and adapt to changing user demands. Just plugging a rich user interface into a legacy system and hoping for the best is not digital architecture, it is digital anarchy.
Putting the customer at the centre of a business is an easy thing to say and a much harder objective to implement. Most organisations have been created to make money and therefore have lines-of-business designed to perpetuate this purpose. Consequently, technology systems are developed to support these structures and maintain the status-quo, rather than re-orientate things to make sense to the customer or help facilitate their engagement. It might be the ideal, but very few companies actually have end-to-end integrated systems that enable a single customer to be consistently tracked throughout their entire lifecycle. In short, creating technology to enable a customer to be in the middle of a business isn't always as easy as the sales PDF brochure states, especially if you don’t have a decent vision of how these systems need to work together.
So what can a decent technical architecture do for your company’s digital transformation?
It can provide a stable backbone that can support your technical & process change objectives. It can facilitate agile incremental delivery based upon re-usable components. It can help your business grow by supporting integration of other online services, API’s and data sources.
If you’re planning any of this, can you afford to NOT have the right digital architecture?
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Google has announced it is making renewed effort to help news publishers drive more subscriptions.
Initially these new changes will involve The New York Times and the Financial Times, but apparently the search giant is talking to dozens of other outlets
Full article on Bloomberg here.