Category Archives: Book reviews

February 12

What you could learn from ‘Practical Monitoring’ by Mike Julian (2017, 137 pages)

Modern software architecture makes finding what is going wrong more complex than ever before. in his book ‘Practical Monitoring‘ Mike offers good advice on how to find and diagnose faults, failures and errors. Monitoring anti-patterns Tool obsession – think about the mission and goal, rather than the tool or approach Monitoring is a job – […]

February 01

WHAT YOU COULD LEARN FROM ‘THE END OF BUREAUCRACY’ THIS MONTHS HBR (NOV/DEC 18)

Making process improvements stick After the initial focus and xxx of a new process, the benefits soon ware off, over 44% of initiatves still show benefits after two years. To keep reaping the benefits of improvements, here are the authors top tips: Visible support from board members and senior leadership (35% improvement after one year […]

January 31

What you could learn from ‘The Decision Book’ by Krogerus and Tschappeler (2017, 149 pages)

Get better a decisions by using frameworks to help you gain a different perspective.

January 25

What you can learn from ‘Decode and Conquer’ by Lewis C. Lin (2013, 202 pages)

In his book ‘Decode and Conquer’, Lewis breaks down the separate roles of the Product Owner. His advice includes: Have a clear set of criteria for design (he likes Dieter Rams), these should be three of four criteria that you use to evaluate other/your designs The CIRCLES method of analysing design Comprehend situation (what, who, why, when, where and […]

January 25

What you could learn from ‘Lean vs. Agile vs. Design thinking’ by Gothelf & Seiden (2017, 39 pages)

Modern product development is rife with frameworks and philosophies. Many books and articles attempt to provide their own interpretation, mainly to sell books. In their book ‘Lean vs. Agile vs. Design, the authors do a great job in explaining the basics of each, and providing a good list of recommendations. The diagram below from Gartner […]

January 15

What you could learn from Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh (2018, 299 pages)

In their book, Reid and Chris argue that blitzscaling is a general framework and specific techniques that allow companies to achieve massive scale at incredible speed. The authors use examples of Airbnb, Google, Uber, Zappos and Tencent (among others) to bring their frameworks to life and rienforce thier asertions. The main tenant of blitzscaling is […]

December 28

What could you could learn from ‘Building Microservices’ by Sam Newman (2015, 250 pages)

When electricity replaced steam as the means of power in factories, there was initially little improvement in productivity. Factory owners just replaced their centralised steam engine, with a single electrical generator. Only factories when factories moved away from a centralised generator, to separate generators for each machine, where they able to operate machine independently, move […]

December 14

Leadership hack 026 – balancing delivery and discovery

As a leader you want your team to deliver and meet their objectives.   However, there is a problem with just blindly following a plan – the real world. In WW2 a group of soldiers got separated from their unit and ended up lost in the Alps.  Far away from friendly forces and in danger from […]

November 15

What you could learn from ‘Building successful communities of practice’ by Emily Webber (2016, 70 pages)

Emily argues that to be a resilient and happy organisation you must invest in the learning and development of its people as a whole.  In her book, she argues that communities of practice are the best way to encourage learning and development. “Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion […]

November 01

Product leadership part 3 – leadership

Leadership is a highly ambiguous and contested topic.  If you want to explore leadership, and how it’s meaning has changed over time, see here.  Briefly, in a dynamic environment with highly skilled people (i.e., at Monese), leaders need to support and guide their followers, rather than tell them what to do.  However, leaders need to ensure that people are […]

October 26

What you could learn from ‘The Age of Agile’ by Steve Denning (2018, 264 pages)

How have companies like Google, Spotify, Netflix and Facebook managed to continue to innovate despite their global scale? Steve Denning in his book ‘The Age of Agile’ argues that the competitive advantage of these companies is the ability to get teams focusing on bringing value to the customer and the priority of flow through the system […]

October 25

What you could learn from ‘Powerful’ by Patty McCord (2018, 148 pages)

Netflix is now the global superpower of streaming.  How did they get there, and how did they out-compete Google and Amazon? Patty McCord in her book ‘Powerful’ suggests that the Netflix culture and a strong HR team, under her guidance, played an enormous part in that success. In the book, Patty divides advice into nine […]

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