October 18

Brutal feedback is how you grow

From the military into Product, part 3 In Part 1 and Part 2, I outlined two key lesson that I have manage to carry forward from my time in the military to my roles in Product. Servant leadership is not sacrificial leadership No one is going to die in Product (for the most part) In […]

October 18

No one is going to die in product*

From the military, into Product, part 2 In Part 1, wrote about how I learned the difference between servant leadership and sacrificial leadership. Now, I would to share how the perspective gain on the battlefield, has helped me better respond to emergencies and incidents that happen in Product every day. In several companies I have […]

October 18

Servant leadership is not sacrificial leadership

From the military into Product, Part 1 I spent nearly 11 years in the British Military. I started in Bomb Disposal and ended my service working on strategy in NATO. I made a huge amount of mistakes and learnt a great deal. Among the many lessons I learnt, three things have stuck with me over […]

October 11

What you could learn ‘Escaping the Build Trap’ by Melissa Perri (2018, 168 pages)

Nobody ever won a race by running the fastest in the wrong direction. This is one of my favourite mantras that I return to often. When I take on a new role or position, or build a new product – taking some time to observe and orientate before I acted has always enabled me to […]

What you could learn from ‘A Rulebook for Arguments’ by Anthony Weston (2017, 85 pages)

Good discussion and argument, like everything else, requires training and practice. Here are Anthony’s 50 rules for arguments. Resolve premise and conclusion – separate your argument (premise) from conclusion Unfold your ideas in a natural order – play around with the order of your argument until it feel right Start from reliable premises – open […]

May 24

What you could learn from ‘Drive’ by Daniel Pink (2009, 208 pages)

    You can buy ‘Drive’ here on Amazon UK (all proceeds go to site upkeep and any extra go to veteran charities).

May 10

What you could learn from ‘Kafka The Definitive Guide’ (2017, 280 pages)

While the shift from monolithic architecture to micro-services is now very well know (even legacy enterprise companies have begun their transition), the lesser well know, but potential more significant is the transition from request-response communication to pub-sub. Request-response, broadly (simplified) works like this: Max is thirsty and hungry and sends two requests to two different […]

April 12

Leadership hack 023 + pull leadership

The more I learn about software development and systems, the more I admire the Lean movement. Central to the lean movement is the concept of moving from push to pull. Push systems In a push system, work is fed into the system at the rate at which those controlling the system decide. For example, on […]

March 24

What you could learn from ‘Infrastructure as Code’ by Kief Morris (2016, 326 pages)

Good book about modern software development are hard to find. Infrasturcre as code balance explaini the high-level pricnilpes with detail in a clear and compelling way. Infrastructure as code emphasises ‘consistent, repeatable routines for provision and changing systems and their configurations’. Changes are made to definitions, which are then automatically validated and cascaded across the […]

March 23

What you could learn from ‘Effective DevOps’ by Davis & Daniels (2016, 356 pages).

My advice is not to buy this book unless: You work in a large company that releases software less than one a week You have never heard of, or experienced DevOps I found this book very basic and too highly focused on culture. Much of the book is not aligned with other articles, book or […]

March 15

What you could learn from ‘Turning the Flywheel’ by Jim Collins (2019, 37 pages)

How do great companies succeed? What drives exponential growth in some companies and not others? In his book ‘Turning the Flywheel’ Jim Collins builds on his earlier work (Good to Great, How the Might Fall and Built to Last), and suggest that these great companies have managed to identify a series of reinforcing steps which […]

March 08

What you could learn from ‘Large Scale Scrum’ by Larman and Vodde (2017,325 pages)

There are a number of frameworks to apply Agile across a large organisation. Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) suggest that Scrum LeSS principles: Transparency More with less Whole-product focus Customer-centric Continuous improvement toward perfection Lean thinking System thinking Empirical process control Queuing theory There are two forms of Less: LeSS – for 2 to 8 teams […]