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Contextual Awareness

Lots of energy, effort and thought goes into good research and decision-making. The Cynefin Sensemaking Framework is used to identify the domain pattern, sense or probe the problem, analyze the situation, dimension the outcomes, and respond. For some of the bigger decisions in life I also like to walk through my metacognition (deep thinking) model. For alternative group facilitation techniques consider Liberating Structures.

Time Well Spent

After examining the research on the world’s most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, soldiers and scientists, David Epstein explains why generalists with knowledge transfer skills not specialists with specialized skills are primed to excel in most fields. In the book he reviews the scientific research on Naturalistic Decision Making (NDM), pattern recognition, memory chunking, reinforced learning, deliberate practice, feedback in both kind and harsh environments.

If you liked Blink, Outliers, Thinking Fast and Slow you will love this book.

Politics and Policies – A Guide for Hard Conversations

Last year when companies took a stand and decided not to allow political discussions at work, I thought this made sense. Mainly due to the hyper-partisan nature of our society, cancel culture, and enthusiasm for woke-ness. After thinking about this, I realized I was wrong.

When it comes to building extraordinary workplaces and high-performing teams, researchers have long appreciated that three psychological needs are essential: autonomy, competence, and establishing trust by feeling connected to each other. We can’t just rely on our personal truths or blindly follow political ideologies and narratives.

If you want to allow free political discussions at work, it should come with some guardrails. For me, this meant publishing my “Searching for a Better-Better” deck. It’s my personal views on our economy, capitalism, and democratic system. Please read; then we can more comfortably discuss your thoughts and ideas for a better-better.

Development Initiatives

It is essential to establish the type of initiative for your project early on. Initiatives guide you when setting stakeholder expectations, determining best processes/practices, preventing scope creep, delays, or wasting resources. 

In the vernacular of product development, most of these terms are well understood, except “Minimal Viable Product”. Some people commonly misinterpret a MVP as an initiative focused on well-groomed backlogs, and value-driven outcomes. The end goal of an MVP is rapid learning and risk mitigation, not a deployable product.

Minimal Viable Product (MVP) – In a Lean environment MVPs are focused on delivering a Kano prioritized roadmap. Typically aligned to business goals, used to assess Product/Market Fit and determine pricing before scaling your technology and marketing dollars. These initiatives may not be of production quality or made generally available.

Prototype – also commonly called a Proof-of-Concept is a preliminary model, wireframe design or implementation used to validate a hypothesis from which production-ready code is to be based on.

Parity Replacement – A product replacement typically due to quality, supply chain limitations, performance, capabilities, cost, capability obsolescence or manufacturer discontinuation. Do not assume that all feature functionality is still required or even desired. 

Update – A change made to fix a problem, satisfy a new need or reveal a new feature. Bug fixes, API/SDK updates, OS, DB, UX changes.

Upgrade – Adding new service tiers, altering the purchasing or onboarding experience, bundling, discounting, special programs, promotions, segmented customer feature sets typically delivered with feature switches, micro-services or identiy driven implementations.

New Release – Adding, changing or replacing functionality, reliability, performance characteristics, elements of the user experience, cost reductions, or integrations. 

Rework – Additional effort of redoing a process or activity that was incorrectly implemented in the first instance due to implementation errors, omissions, failures, changes, poor communications on a proposed solution.

Refactoring – Restructuring existing computer code, changing the factoring, without changing its external behavior. Refactoring is intended to improve the design, structure, performance and/or implementation of the software (its non-functional attributes), while preserving functionality.

Technology Transformation – integration of technology into an area of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a process or cultural change that requires continual challenge of the status quo, experiments, and getting comfortable with failure.

Serverless Architectures

Serverless architecture is an approach to software design that allows developers to build and run services without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. Developers can write and deploy code, while a cloud provider provisions servers to run their applications, databases, and storage systems at any scale.

If you are interested in Serverless Architectures a talented PDX team has put together a exceptional resource. Why Serverless? Convincing others to embrace another transformation is a tough sell. You may still be dealing with the transition to CI/CD, DevOps or Micro-Services. So please enjoy the information and tool up before your pitch.

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