I’m always looking for good diagrams of a “developer platform,” an “internal platform,” whatever you want to call that stuff you run on-top of kubernetes. Here’s a good one from Forrester, from a webinar I did with them earlier this year:
Jordi asked about the usefulness of competitive intelligence (at software/cloud vendors) in the Software Defined Slack. Here’s what I added to the thread:
I think competitive intelligence is least useful for product management. Innovation, talking to customers, and finding out sells and doesn’t sell from your salesforce is more interesting. Competitive intelligence is good for sales people, marketers, and prepping for conversations with “influencers” (press, analyst, and loud people on THE SOCIALIZ).
- Sales people need “battle cards” to handle common objections; marketing people need to know how competitors position themselves to (also) talk about how their stuff is better
- Marketers (yeah, yeah – “not every marketing person [like, most of them]”) don’t get enough information about customers, the products (they’re usually not technical enough to find out on their own, nor have enough time to “study”), and the overall market, so competitive intel help there
- When you’re talking with influencers, they’re always going to ask you about competitors. When I was an analyst, I always found this annoying and sort of useless. You usually only get three answers: (1) “I have a lot friends who work there”/“I talk with them frequently” (I don’t know what means, but people say it), (2) “You know, I don’t pay a lot of attention to competitors, we’re too busy paying attention to customers” (well, see my write-up here), or, (3) “Yeah, we’re pretty good” (people are trained [or should be!] to never say something bad about competitors, mostly. So, they’re way of saying “our competitors suck and we are awesome,” is to just talk about the second). You’ll never hear a detailed SWOT-style assessment about competitors from a vendor – it gets them nothing.
(There’s also competitive intelligence as simply “market intelligence,” is, of course, good for investors and corporate strategy people. But, that’s not really in the spirit of the above.)
The issue that I find is that competitive intelligence is that it’s overwhelming, especially for a large portfolio. For example, despite having excellent competitive intelligence reports – weekly! – for VMware Tanzu stuff, there’s just so much of it that it would take me all week to read it :) I wish I could read them all, like my old analyst days, but my job – and life! – is different now.
Originally from my newsletter.
Find more cute babies and nerd-talk in the Tanzu Talk playlist.
I like that I’ve been slotted into the “get that guy to do a write-up of a survey” position at work. It’s fun to look at these surveys, especially when I can add in things that aren’t in the published results, like multi-year data. Anyhow, here’s my write-up of our forth kubernetes survey. Things are going well for it.
The notes go directly from here.
I’ve proposed an open spaces for DevOpsDays Amsterdam, 2021. The idea is:
The DevOps community pushes for people to change how they think and operate. When it comes to working better, we have proven tools, techniques, and even big picture ways of thinking like CALMS. You’re more than likely eager to try these new things, get better, change. However, many more people seem less than eager to change – your co-workers, managers, and the countless “others” in your organization. In the discussions I have with change agents and executives in large organizations, this reluctance to change is one of the top three concerning topics. I invite you to this discussion to talk about why people are reluctant to change, how you’ve worked helped people change, or, perhaps given up, and, hopefully, to share stories about your own experience overcoming reluctance. Our goal will be to move beyond being frustrated with “frozen” minds and middles, and get a sense for what to do about it…if anything. To start the discussion, I’ll start with a few stories and methods for getting people to change that I’ve encountered in the past few years.Me!
In preparing for it, I typed in these notes:
Reluctance to change is one of the top concerns with executives and managers I talk with.
- Frozen middle, frozen minds – often means “I don’t like what they’re (not) doing” – is that kind?
- I want to talk about why people are reluctant to change; why you are; stories of success and failure in changing people’s minds, desires, and behavior/action.
- Examples to start with:
- Constant Planning, or, Analysis paralysis – they want to change, but think too much and don’t act. Fix: external problem/urgency, like (sadly) COVID, competition, dying/plateaued cash cow (not a very good motivator).
- Fear of change – demonstrate that it works.
- Seems like more work, or, won’t make their lives better, so why change? Show them that it make their lives better – automating things frees you up from tedium; automating for auditors saves them over-time; the new way can be more secure.
- Changing job/responsibilities/identity. The DBA likes being the DBA, the network admin likes that – prove to them that it’s better.
- Fear that they can’t change/learn the new thing – Coté doesn’t get around to learning Dutch, same fear. Related: embarrassment, e.g., Coté doesn’t buy from the butcher down the street cause he don’t speak Dutch (but, butcher doesn’t care – OF COURSE!) Fix: hard one, show success from peers.
- General fix for all of this: build up success stories of their peers doing it.
- Change motivations:
- like money;
- flow – removing friction (better quality of life and work-life);
- raising individual profile with OSS work/fame;
- closer to end-user to see value they provide.
- Change structure. “Culture follows structure” – Larman’s Law – points out a common pattern/behavior. Once you know the behavior, you can start thinking about how to change/improve it.
- “the organizational system (groups, teams, roles and responsibilities, hierarchies, career paths, policies, measurement and reward mechanisms, etc)”
You can also see me discuss these in one of my Tanzu Talk streams.
Since last time.
But, of course, a story that credits an invading force for a chocolate-confection-turned-regional-gem is not nearly as stirring as one that frames the chocolatiers as ingenious victors, who persevered in their trade in spite of the odds against them. And the motivation to reshape gianduia’s narrative only grew with time.
Two articles of mine published: one on modernization and tech debt for Tech Radar Pro UK and another for AG Connect Netherlands on how managers can help transform their organization (translated to Dutch).
The plunge of Grafton Street gushed with a growling steel and rubber torrent, vehicle flow swollen by a rain of lunchtime drinkers, weekend shopping trips and booming penis publicizers, threatening to overspill its banks. An anaconda laminate of molten tyre that snaked across the pavement just ahead of Mick bore testament that such a breach had happened only recently, most probably during the Friday night just gone. White-water driving by some Netto Fabulous crash-dummy who bled Burberry, shooting the traffic island rapids in his hotwired kayak, home to Jimmy’s End across the river in the west, head full of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and horse tranquilliser, pinprick pupils, squinting in the spindrift of oncoming headlights.
From JERUSALEM: 2018 Edition by Alan Moore – big book, hard to read casually.
Lee Atwater’s unfinished memoir – kind of a monster.
Photographing the butcher on the corner of the street instead of someone dressed in traditional clothes solely for the purpose of pleasing tourists. Looking for real people and daily life instead of famous landmarks. That’s what going to make your photography interesting and stand out from the crowds.
More than a quarter of all Starbucks orders in the U.S. are now paid for with a smartphone – here in Europe, I pay almost all the time with my phone. It’s fantastic.
MonitorControl – in MacOS, an app that allows you to modify the brightness, contrast, and volume for external monitors. Simple and effective.
If anyone still thought that our consumption behaviour would change permanently in the post-corona era, here’s a sneak peek. Soon again people will be going to Bali and New York three times a year, looking forward to it.
“Calibri has been the default font for all things Microsoft since 2007, when it stepped in to replace Times New Roman across Microsoft Office,” the Microsoft Design Team opined in Calibri’s de facto obit. “It has served us all well, but we believe it’s time to evolve.”
“It usually seems to me that the reason it works out this way is because teams generally have large backlogs of things they’ve decided they’d like to do. Most of the stuff in that backlog was written down long before the current OKRs where specified…. So it makes sense that when the OKRs come out for the quarter, we just take what we already have and figure out how to fit it into the OKRs.”
‘When asked to comment on the specifics of this article, Mr. Musk replied with a “poop” emoji.’
- central is thinking about product features, not business. The business funds the product, the customer value – it’s the McGuffin that you careful guide to being cash flow. The question here is to find other org.s that have adopted abs adapted the practices successfully, or not.
- the advice at the end is pretty straightforward – the practices are kind of simple, so applying them just means deciding to do them – just like deciding to diet and exercise. It’s the deciding and sticking to it that’s hard.
- an analysis of this book requires an approach: don’t halo effect/shoot down the book and triumphs, focus on describing why others find it hard to act this way. This book isn’t wrong in it’s own story: the challenge is “scaling” the lessons learned to other orgs.
- They Still do intense annual planning, do they just do it “better”?
- Comp of max 160 and lots of equity is good? Probably.
- “wasted time” a common phrase, in interview chapter.
- people interested in high performance, not quality of life…?
- dependencies – something you need but can’t control/build/etc.
- we spent too much time coordinating and not enough building.
- dependency discussion (when they had a monolith) is a good business view in this tech stuff – do most LoB execs (outside Amazon) have this much IT knowledge?’
- Two pizza teams changes to single threaded leader – lots it emphasis on one person owning one thing, all parts of that thing. End-to-end.
- not a what decision, a who and how – figuring out how to respond to iTunes on Windows.
- Needs a long term focus.
- there isn’t talk of the “boring” retail business – warehouses/logistics, purchasing from suppliers, etc. how is that all run?
“76% of employees employed by high-growth firms agree that their job requires them to be creative,” from “Creativity Catalyzes A Growth Mindset,” Forrester, April 2021.
New talk on metrics
I’m giving a new talk for the first time on May 10th, “Beyond DevOps metrics – technical, business, and culture metrics for the software defined business.” I’ll pull a lot from my upcoming Mindset book, and these Tanzu Talk videos.
One of the better, odder pieces of PowerPoint clipart I’ve seen today
My new booklet is almost done getting all put together. You can still see a draft of it, or wait until next month when it officially comes out.
Modernizing apps, etc.
Modernization white paper: “Tackle Application Modernization in Days and Weeks, Not Months and Years.” It’s a good overview of the disciplined process VMware Tanzu customers go through to modernize their portfolio. It takes years, lots of planning. What I like is that it has a generic, quick process for doing analysis (over and over as you finish each, say, quarter) and focuses a lot of process, not just technology/replatforming. As ever with us, getting CI/CD (“path to production”) a quick and automated as possible is the first, kind of most important step.
No commitment thinking
From “On Bullshit”:
The characteristic topics of a bull session have to do with very personal and emotion-laden aspects of life — for instance, religion, politics, or sex. People are generally reluctant to speak altogether openly about these topics if they expect that they might be taken too seriously. What tends to go on in a bull session is that the participants try out various thoughts and attitudes in order to see how it feels to hear themselves saying such things and in order to discover how others respond, without it being assumed that they are committed to what they say: It is understood by everyone in a bull session that the statements people make do not necessarily reveal what they really believe or how they really feel.
The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no central interest to him; what we are not to understand is that his intention is neither to report the truth nor co conceal it…. His eye is not on the facts at all, as the eyes of the honest man and of the liar are, except insofar as they may be pertinent to his interest in getting away with what he says. He does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly. He just picks them out, or makes them up, to suit his purpose.
Some reading I did for getting up to speed on healthcare tech.
“Claims 2030: A talent strategy for the future of insurance claims”
- Using the old AI agent sidekick idea to take care of decision making. You still have a human face to walk you through stuff. Other roles are a person to sort out more complex things that a computer can’t do and the data scientists who monitor decision making and do new ML-stuff training.
“The productivity imperative for US life and annuities carriers,” McKinsey March, 2021
- Life insurance companies have been looking for growth for a long time.
- Cost cutting is a big priority: “In a proprietary McKinsey survey conducted before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, senior life-insurance executives estimated the industry needed to reduce its costs by 35 percent in the medium term, far higher than the typical 10 to 15 percent reductions realized in most cost-cutting programs.”
“How insurers can act on the opportunity of digital ecosystems,” interview with Markus Warg, McKinsey
- Insurance providers looking for new revenue streams, also new ways to optimize/save money, inc. lesser payouts.
- This guy is all about engaging with the “ecosystem” or partners and other people to layer on new features to health insurance. HealthKit on the Apple Watch is an interesting aspect. Why don’t more insurers do that?
- Offering new features to improve the business: “Take, for instance, health insurance. Health insurance’s value is in covering financial risks. However, this product can be enhanced substantially through further services related to telemedicine or health management—resulting in better prevention and reduced costs through more appropriate care settings. This benefits both the customer and the insurer. Similarly, innovations such as digital care assistants prove that traditionally lengthy processes can be completed via an app in just a few minutes. At the same time, such services help to create touchpoints with caregivers along the way.”
- Some pushing to getting faster develop lifecycles.
“The Time For Strategic EHR Workflow Is Now,” Forrester, July 2019
- Electronic Health Records (EHR) are not delivering on the promise of optimizing. Doctors don’t like them, they spend too much time in them. The UIs haven’t improved that much: ‘Providers now spend approximately 2 hours in
the eHr for every hour spent engaged in patient-facing activities.4 in addition, providers report spending an added 1 to 2 hours of “pajama time” catching up on work each night after hours.’
The new lobbies in New York all seem to have the same granite walls, the same glass doors, and the same abstract art in the lobbies. None of them stand for anything and they all share the same Airport-like aesthetic. Unlike Art Deco, they say nothing about the contemporary world or the stories of the people who built them.
Original source: After Minimalism