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It’s ironic that two industries who are highly reliant on collaboration often have the most siloed legacy systems, processes and IT infrastructures. As one aerospace executive told me recently, the industry sees cloud computing as solution to what many call “silos of excellence” that slow down progress. Aerospace executives also speak of security concerns, especially in the area of globally-based defense support and logistics platforms.

full article here
…. mmmmmm: my spider senses are tingling ….
PierG

In life or death situations, the military needs to make sure that they can shout orders and soldiers will obey them even if the orders are suicidal. That means soldiers need to be programmed to be obedient in a way which is not really all that important for, say, a software company.

In other words, the military uses Command and Control because it’s the only way to get 18 year olds to charge through a minefield, not because they think it’s the best management method for every situation.

In particular, in software development teams where good developers can work anywhere they want, playing soldier is going to get pretty tedious and you’re not really going to keep anyone on your team.

via The Command and Control Management Method – Joel on Software.

PierG

Today I read this tweet from @JerryWeinberg

When managers don’t understand the work, they tend to reward the appearance of work (long hours, piles of paper, …)

This reminds me of the risk of setting (wrong) goals.

  • if you are (VERY) lucky, you can just achieve them. No matter how they mach with the overall goals of the company (assuming the goal of the company is clear). No matter how you do it (the more you push on incentives on these goals, the more people will ‘act’ to achieve them .. no matter the consequences);
  • when you set the goal, you alter the ‘system’ in an unpredictable way as people start behaving differently: what if the goals of different people start colliding? And this is even more visible when there are incentives related to these goals.

OK you might say that all these ‘unexpected consequences’ are because ‘they’ are not able to set goals properly: well, as my experience says that setting right goals is impossible, I think that MBOs, SLAs, KPIs tend to ruin organizations more than helping them … and give manager great excuses.

[new] What’s even worst with SLAs is that managers tend not to read contracts properly, and who read them (lawyers?) are not the ones who understand the content.

So this is a system that in theory might work but in reality it doesn’t … because we are humans and not predictable machines controlled in closed-loop.

Amen!

PierG

Extremely interesting study by Google on the usage of smartphones, tablets, PCs … or better on the usage of ‘screens’: The New Multi-screen World.

Thanks to @HagakureLive to link the presentation in his tweet.

PierG

When a SW project finish, a Project Manager is a happy, a company can send the bill and … the team moves to another project leaving the code to the lucky maintenance team.

Is the project team deeply motivated to build a product who can last for long? Is the maintenance team skilled (and willing and has the right incentive) to make the system working better and better?

Mmmm….

Here is a possible recipe:

Form long-lived teams around applications/products, or sets of features.  A team works from a prioritised backlog of work that contains a mix of larger initiatives, minor enhancements, or BAU-style bug fixes and maintenance.  Second-level support should be handled by people in the product team.  Everyone in the team should work with common process and a clear understanding of technical design and business vision.

via Projects are evil and must be destroyed | Evan Bottcher.

What do you think?
PierG

The title of this posts is probably meaningless to you (but if you know what it is, just let me know using the comments 🙂 ) but reminds me of a good time.

Yes sometimes good times come, not many usually, but they come.

I think our culture is too focused on learning through mistakes, looking at problems or failures. There is a lot of hype around the fail early paradigm. I’m not against it and I think we must start getting more from our success stories and moments.

So (1) celebrate! Yes Sir, when you do something good, you are successfully do celebrate. It’s not a sin. It’s good for our self, for our self estime, for our colleagues, for our family too. Smile. Be happy!

(2) learn. What went well? What can you do differently? But above all what was the key success factor of this success? Our brain stick to these emotions and you don’t need to be beaten to learn. Forget it. Learn from success!

(3) after a successfully project or task or … use this positive power, this power moment, to study something new. Maximize this learning moment studying something new: add a new arrow to your weapons.

PierG

I’m at a conference (#CHItaly2011) on Human Machine Interaction.
I’m (almost) the only one live twitting. Donald Norman in one of the speakers!
I’ve 10 new followers on Twitter in 2 hours and … I’ve lost around 20 of them.
It seems that the more I tweet the more I loose Twitter followers: is this the Twitter paradox?
PierG

We are strange animals: part for ‘nature’ part for culture we learn through an action-reaction mechanism.

It’s all about feedback, it’s all about consequences: we do something, something happens due to what we do (or don’t do), we see these consequences and decide what to do.

Do you want to mess up a team, or your son, or a person you have a relationship with? Start not giving feedback or better giving random one: the consequence are certain … #fail

PierG

p.s. Please note that sometimes not giving feedback deliberately is a feedback itself (remember: you cannot not communicate)

Today I have to quote another interesting post by Seth Godin called “Why wasn’t I informed?”.

The basic concept around it is that:

The rules are now clear: no one is going to inform you, but it’s easier than ever to inform yourself.

 

Communication was traditionally made of 4 parts: the content, the sender, the media, the receiver.

Internet has disrupted this paradigm. Information in the digital age is all around us: no matter how we try to channel it, to transmit it, to organize it, to classify it … even in small company is so huge, so fast, so perishable that also the receiver has to play an active role.

Is this efficient? I don’t know but it’s like training: you can wait and complain of what no one is doing for you, or you can look around at the enormous set of possibilities the internet has given us and get it!

PierG

 

Last week I was at the Social Business Forum 2011. One of the best talk was by Philipp Schäfer of IDEO and it is about how IDEA has designed an internal Social Collaboration tool.

Here is the presentation.

View more presentations from SocialBizForum

PierG

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