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0800-DEVOPS #41 – Sooner, safer, happier with Jonathan Smart

27. 10. 2022

Welcome to 0800-DEVOPS, a newsletter digest of interesting ideas from the world of DevOps, technical practices and increased productivity! I'm talking to Jonathan Smart about delivering Better Value Sooner Safer and Happier.

A newsletter that started as a personal learning and getting-in-touch project by Ivan Krnic grew into a sociotechnical newsletter covering topics of technical excellence, organizational improvements, and productivity.

DevOps enabling agile

Thanks, Jeffery for pointing this out – I’ve been seeing it for quite some time!

Agile efforts have in many cases fallen short of delivering their full potential. My take is that organizations have focused their agile efforts too much on *collaboration only*. And since it’s difficult to measure “better” collaboration (let alone to correlate it directly to better organizational performance), doubts about the usefulness of agile efforts remained.

On the other hand, DevOps efforts have focused on the flow of value. It’s much easier to visualize and measure the flow – just take a look at the extensive body of knowledge: Value Stream Management, Flow Framework, Flow Engineering, and “regular” Kanban. Flow can be very tangible and directly correlated to DORA metrics signalizing high organizational performance. Since Management can see a direct relationship between DevOps efforts and better flow, i.e. high performance, it’s easier to get their buy-in.

Some folks will say “This is not Agile’s fault! Agile also talks about flow and visualization and technical practices!”. And they would be right. Agile does indeed talk about all that. But for some reason, in real life, too many organizations focus only on collaboration.

Should we go back and fix this injustice for Agile? Probably not. I’m with Jon Smart on this one when he says, “Capital “A” Agile refers to agility as a noun, a product, a process, a set of practices, doing Agile. This alone does not necessarily translate into better outcomes. I prefer agile with a lower case “a,” as a verb, rather than a noun, as in being agile, exhibiting agility. It refers to behavior, to culture, to principles, which inform millions of decisions every day. How that manifests will be unique, as your context is unique.”

Interview of the Month

BVSSH with Jon Smart

BVSSH with Jon Smart

Jonathan Smart is a business agility practitioner, thought leader, coach, and the author of a bestseller “Sooner Safer Happier”. Listen to our conversation on delivering Better Value, Sooner, Safer and Happier!

Hand picked

The hierarchy is bullshit (and bad for business) – Hierarchy is good for breaking things down and simplifying the world, but that’s as far as it goes. Charity Majors shares why (and how!) we should drain the hierarchy of social dominance.

The Re-Org Rag (I’m My Own VP)Forrest Brazeal is singing what everybody is thinking

A Story of Goha – “When somebody says it will take 3 years to fix (in cloud terms that is 25 years give or take) they practically rely on the fact that either you die, they die or the problem goes away.”

A Culture Of CandorJason Cox is recalling his conversation with Ed Catmull that speaks volumes about how Pixar became one of the best organizations in the world: “Getting a true and honest signal when things are going wrong is critical for our organizations if we hope to see them stay relevant, successful and thriving. Look for problems. Reward and embrace honest feedback so that you can change.”

Read with us

Read with us

Sooner Safer Happier: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility

Get the book

Tell me about agility without mentioning the capital “A” Agile.

Jonathan wrote this book based on his vast experience working in enterprises such as Barkleys Bank and Deloitte. I honestly wish I had this book 10 years ago. Many conversations would be so much easier back then.

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