Do It Right then Do the Right Thing

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Presentation to Agile on the Beach conference 2013 challenging the usual management axiom

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Do It Right then Do the Right Thing

  1. 1. allan kelly Twitter: @allankellynet http://www.allankelly.net Do it Right Then Do the Right thing Agile on the Beach September 2013
  2. 2. Allan Kelly • Business Analysis and Leadership, Pullan & Archer 2013 • 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know, Henney, 2010 • Context Encapsulation in Pattern Languages of Program Design, vol#5, 2006  Consulting on software development & strategy  Training for Agile Author – Changing Software Development: Learning to be Agile (2008, Wiley) – Business Patterns for Software Developers (2012, Wiley - ISBN: 978-1119999249) – Xanpan: Reflections on agile (work in progress) https://leanpub.com/xanpan
  3. 3. Management commandment Do the Right Thing Then Do it Right I am here to challenge
  4. 4. I am not saying Knowingly do the Wrong Thing I am saying You only know the Right Thing by doing
  5. 5. Exhibit A - The Alignment Trap Less Effective More Effective Highly aligned Less aligned ‘Alignment trap’ 11% companies +13% IT spending -14% 3 year sales growth ‘Maintenance zone’ 74% companies Avg IT spending -2% 3 year sales growth ‘IT Enabled growth’ 7% companies -6% IT spending +35% 3 year sales growth ‘Well-oiled IT’ 8% companies -15% IT spending +11% 3 year sales growth Source:Shpilberg,Berez,Puryear,Shah: MITSloanReview,Fall2007 1 2 Doingtherightthings Doing things right
  6. 6. Doing the right thing… • Costs – Money: £consultants, $analysts, €managers – Time: Analysis, research, meetings, discussions • Assumptions – There is a right answer – And it is knowable – No value in wrong answer – That wrong & right are definable
  7. 7. Exhibit B – Lean Start-Up • Knowing is difficult • Get into the market to find out • See what people will $pay for – Not just what that €say • Doing need not be expensive
  8. 8. Exhibit C – Changing course • Stating the Right course makes it harder to change course "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”John Kenneth Galbraith
  9. 9. Exhibit D – Changing (Me!) • Its about Learning • To Learn we must do • How can you increase the pace of learning? Learning Change
  10. 10. Exhibit E – He who learns fasters “We understand that the only competitive advantage the company of the future will have is its managers’ ability to learn faster than then their competitors.” Arie de Geus, The Living Company 1988
  11. 11. How do you learn fast? • Do • How do you do? • Iterate – Iterate faster – Iterate more • Learn • Learn to iterate faster, improve your aim
  12. 12. Ready, Fire, Fire, Fire, Aim, Fire, …
  13. 13. Choose your weapon M16 from Dragunova via WikiCommons, Creative Commons License L115A3 from Defence on WikiCommon Open Government License
  14. 14. Or is your choice more like…. M16 from Dragunova via WikiCommons, Creative Commons License Berdan Sharps rifle via WikiCommons, Public Domain image
  15. 15. Which are you? Your delivery (supply) side? Your business (demand) side? (Ever heard about the M16 delivery team coupled with a 19th century requirements process?)
  16. 16. Choose your weapon Snipers Rifle • Known target • Clear shot • Time to prepare • Limited variables Machine Gun • Many targets • Confused environment • Time short – Action required • Many variables • Frequently miss
  17. 17. Choose your approach Sniper development • Market is slow moving • Market it known • Competitors are slow • Capital is scarce • Development is expensive • Risk of collateral damage, e.g. brand, individuals Machine development • Market is fast • Market is changing • Competitors are fast • Capital is cheap • Development is cheap (and fast) • Multiple failures, try again
  18. 18. Do tools dictate approach? “It takes a long time to reload and aim” Therefore “take time to make sure every shot counts”
  19. 19. Or your competitors?
  20. 20. Asymmetric warfare You Your competitor Result Stalemate Toast! Toast! (Slow) ? ?
  21. 21. Iteration • Get good at iterating • Get good at iterating fast • Get good at learning from results – Test results with customer – Test output in the market – And Evaluate Close the loop – evaluate what you do & feedback
  22. 22. Evaluation Too often missing
  23. 23. Let a thousand flowers bloom… Get good at selecting those to keep - Cull the rest
  24. 24. Iterate! • Try something – See what happens – Learn, adjust, change – Go around again • If you can’t iterate – You can’t learn Doing Iteration Right is a pre-requisit for Doing the Right Thing
  25. 25. Brakes are good • Get good at…. – Knowing when to stop – Stopping • Technical has TDD, ATDD, BDD to stop • Corporate brakes – Portfolio management – Venture Capital funding model – Use a Dragon’s Den
  26. 26. You can’t see the future… • You can’t know what will work • Stop wasting time and money guessing • Get good at probing – experimenting • Conduct a lot of experiments • Learn from experiments • Stop those which “don’t work” • Promote those which do
  27. 27. Iterate at all levels Regularly Evaluate -> Set/change direction Frequently Collect next -> Decide next Most frequently Developer -> Release • Build capability to iterate – and USE IT • Use data gained from iteration • Iterate your way to to The Right Thing
  28. 28. Allan’s commandments #1 Do it Right, Do it Fast; Learn & Iterate #2 Fail fast, Fail Cheap; Evaluate, Learn #3 Invest in brakes; Stop & Turn
  29. 29. Take-away 1. Fast iterations allow for learning – Learn to iterate fast – Then iterate in the market – Learn to evaluate & feedback 2. Fail fast, fail cheap, learn 3. Invest in brakes allan kelly Software Strategy Ltd. www.allankelly.net allan@allankelly.net Twitter: @allankellynet

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