Agile Insider reality bytes…


From Behind Closed Doors

Closed DoorsIt would be hard to tell looking at this blog, but for the last 2 years I have been actively blogging, but on the internal blogging platform within a global bank.  When my contract ends on 31st March I will feel a small sense of loss because I will lose access to these articles, as well as many other extremely insightful articles only available within the organisation but written by some people I respect extremely highly and would love to work with again.  A few brave souls have started blogging publicly, but only material not related to their day jobs, which means the important and insightful stuff remains locked behind those closed doors.

I would love to be able to blog now about how successful my project has been, or provide you with some nitty gritty details about the challenges of corporate working, but that would not be appropriate, or indeed fair.  Every corporate is unique and despite the constant, expensive search for silver bullets and one-size-fits all recipes these will constantly remain elusive.

I suspect that every corporate which has any relevance to financial markets and stability are all facing similar challenges to meet increasing pressure from regulators.  Tighter controls, more transparent models and increased accountability make it much harder to deliver innovation in these organisations.  For the last 2 years I've been exploring and demonstrating how a DevOps mentality within these extremely important establishments is introducing opportunities, techniques and practises which can alter the balance from a tick-box, form-filling, blame shifting culture to a more proactive, rigorous and scientific one.

Of course, when I refer to devops, just as when I refer to agile - I mean the culture and values.  Debating puppet vs chef vs foobar is an entertaining side-show; the search for the perfect silver bullet, which takes away the focus from the value of delivering working software, regularly, repeatably and reliably.  Done right, delivering software, or scaling infrastructure should be a non-event, having been practised repeatedly.  The gulf between a cycle time of minutes/hours and months/years won't be bridged with small incremental improvements, it requires radical thinking, cultural change and the occasional leap of faith...

Etsy, NetFlix, Amazon - thanks for the leadership, now move over and smile as the big boys try to 'buy' your culture 😉


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