I know people who know people. By which I mean, I have friends who work for the security services in secret departments such as GCHQ and MI6. They are all fantastically discrete and never admit to their real job, somehow managing to hold their tongues and describe themselves as “Civil Servants” or, when pressed, “Supervisors” or “Project Managers.” They are serious, Guardian reading types who are fervent believers in the public sector but are irritated that webmail is now routinely encrypted as it makes intercepting it more difficult.
One of the developing themes on a current client assignment is connected to the excessive busyness of the IT team and the detrimental impact this is having on their performance and critically their perceived performance in the eyes of their customers in Sales and Marketing.
I was interested to see this recent presentation by Brian Wernham (below), in which he makes a number of good points, not least of which the need to have a balanced portfolio inncluding Agile and non-Agile projects.
Chris Rock, the US comedian, did a brilliant interview recently. In it, he was asked about President Obama, which generated the following exchange.
What has Obama done wrong?
When Obama first got elected, he should have let it all just drop.
Let what drop?
Over the last few years I have banged heads with both clients and colleagues over what minimal viable product means. I have a pretty clear idea in my head what it is, but unfortunately that’s not always what other people think. This has lead me to start a number of discussions which inevitably leave me feeling disappointed with the results. My problem is the issue is bigger than just MVP.
I have one simple question I ask if I want to find out if a team is producing a good quality product – would you deploy to production on Friday?
Many companies refuse to allow software to be deployed on Friday as few staff are on hand over the weekend if the deployed software fails to work leaving the service unavailable for 48 or more hours.
One of the biggest challenges I have on any Agile project is to try and build senior management confidence in both what we are building and how we are doing it. Nothing special there I hear you say. What doesn’t make it any easier is some of the more colourful terms used in Agile that I have to sell!