Benefits and Risks Go Together

Alex Leonov's Blog

Embracing “digital” (whatever it means for you) usually entails a long list of benefits. You’ll get that list from a consultant that’s working with you, from the HBR business article, or from a peer at the networking event.

Everyone talks about the benefits. But there is always another side.

Something is moving in the shadows of digital space. There are risks, and they are of the same magnitude as benefits.

You’re always online? Good. What happens if when you suddenly become offline? You take payments digitally? Good. What happens if when someone hijacks your payment system?

With benefits, there always risks. With digital technologies, even more so.

Don’t dismiss cybersecurity just because “someone else will deal with it” - if it’s business you’re after, do the risk management part, too.

Resilience

Alex Leonov's Blog

Resilience is an quality of an object, system, process, organisation, etc. that allows it to persist through time adapting to changes.

When Will Computers Paint?

Alex Leonov's Blog

I like watching TED talks.

This talk was about taking computer pattern recognition and turning it inside out. Instead of classifying images, the computer was given a “class” of things, and produced a stunning imagery.

Granted, it reflects the programming, and the algorithms used to do it. But one day, it will paint.

Oh yes, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSUOdu_5MPc

Mediation

Alex Leonov's Blog

Mediation is an independent intervention to resolve a dispute. The ‘independent’ bit is a reason why Scrum Masters cannot be inside teams.

Uber, Facebook, AirBnB, and your local telco

Alex Leonov's Blog

How many times have you heard this?

Uber is a taxi company that owns no cars. Facebook is a content provider that produces no content. AirBnB is a hotel chain that owns no real estate.

Aren’t you getting tired of this? First of all, it is a lie.

Uber is not a taxi company. Facebook is not a content provider. AirBnB is not a hotel chain.

They are platforms that allow people to connect. They are infrastructure providers.

In exactly the same way, as your local telco is a communication company that produces no conversations. That’s right, the people produce conversations by using the infrastructure that telco provides.

The only difference is the tools used for service delivery. These days, it’s cloud applications instead of cabling and base stations.

Cross-Functional Team

Alex Leonov's Blog

Cross-Functional Team is a team with specialists from more than one area. Hint: Scrum doesn’t forbid Devs/Testers/BAs; it just doesn’t recognise them.

Bigger Fonts

Alex Leonov's Blog

I like small and neat font sizes. What I forget about is that it’s not that comfortable to everyone.

So, there is a small change for the blog posts. When you read one through “Reaf Full Post” link, or through the permalink, the post content on that page will be in a much bigger font size, which makes it easier to read.

Just the content, not everything :) Enjoy!

DevOps

Alex Leonov's Blog

DevOps is an evolution of earlier agile approaches, which, in addition to [almost] continuous delivery includes deployment and operations.

Occam's Razor

Alex Leonov's Blog

One can find many variations of this principle. The one I like the most is this: do not add entities without necessity.

There is a problem, though. Taken to extreme, this leaves you with a minimalistic and sometimes inextensible process/product. This happens because a bit ‘without necessity’ gets overlooked.

If a strategy, process, service, or product requires extra things to be maintainable, extensible and viable in the future, then some work to enable that is definitely necessary. It does not mean that the entire future roadmap has to be created, but some vision should be in place and should be reflected in the inner workings of the organisation.

The hardest part is to find the balance.