Business Management: There Is No Magic (I Checked)

Posted on August 28, 2015

I am not an entrepreneur.  I've known this about myself for a long time.  I am a builder.  The requirements for one who creates and one who builds are very different, and I am the latter.  This knowledge has driven me to study as hard as I can to learn how to be the best at building, to learn everything that there is. Management Systems.  Organizational Structure.  Policy Frameworks.  ISO Standards.  SOX and COSO.  Corporate Govern...

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Pragmatism: The Keys to the Promises of LEAN & DevOps

Posted on June 11, 2015

In my last post I shared my journey leading me back to the epistemological foundation of the LEAN, and therefore DevOps, movements: conceptual pragmatism.  While I'm tempted to give you a total recap of the subject, there are entire university courses on the subject, and I'm fairly certain no one will care to read a blog entry sized recap of something so large.  Therefore, I shall instead focus on what it means to the world in which we live ...

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Uncovering the Roots of LEAN & DevOps: Conceptual Pragmatism

Posted on June 10, 2015

In the purest sense of the word, I am a philosopher, a lover of wisdom.  If I learn something about a concept, I've gained knowledge, but if I learn about a concepts origins I gain understanding, which leads to wisdom.  With wisdom I can anticipate behavior. Deming was a genius, without a doubt, but anyone who knows Deming also knows that he was first and foremost the student of Shewhart.   Perhaps the most obvious example of this is the ...

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The Agile Manifesto for IT Service Management

Posted on June 4, 2015

Since before the beginnings of the word "DevOps" many of us have tried to create an adaptation of the Agile Manifesto specific to Operations.  All attempts failed.  It is now apparent to me that they failed because DevOps was all together a more complex phenomenon than any of us realized at the time.  While it is true that we were trying to transform the way Development and Operations had occurred in the past, we were in very green territory, ...

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DevOps & The Segregation of Duties

Posted on May 20, 2015

Many people believe that traditional IT Service Management (ITSM) and DevOps are incompatible.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Most frameworks and standards for governance and security such as COBIT5, ITILv3, CMMI-SVC, ISO27K, etc, are treasure troves of good ideas.  The reason there is such tension between these two camps lies not in the words but rather in the perspectives of the reader.  Our perspectives are rooted in our core ...

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New Adventures: Leaving Joyent

Posted on November 8, 2014

After more than 8 years, yesterday was my last day at Joyent. I was asked by David Young & Jason Hoffman to join Joyent in 2006.  At the time the idea of "utility computing" was being talked about but "grid" was really the domain of academic super computers for large batch computation.  The industry solutions for off-prem computing at the time was either shared hosting (such as what Jason's TextDrive was offering) or buying dedicated ...

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21st Century Products: The Era of Service Enabled Goods

Posted on November 3, 2014

We've seen a variety of interesting developments in computing, the astounding success of Docker being the most recent.  When I look back across the successes and failures an interesting realization pops out at me: the difference between a good product and a great one is whether or not it service enabled. Lets use Docker as an example.  What makes Docker great?  Is it about virtualization (LXC)?  That's certainly an enabling technology, ...

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What exactly is value?

Posted on May 12, 2014

In the LEAN and DevOps worlds we're obsessed with the idea of providing value. But what is value really? Some times we use a word so much that it is drained of any practical meaning and becomes more of an abstract idea. It may not be too much of a stretch to say that the word "value" ceases to really contain any value. Webster defines "value" as: "a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged" "the ...

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Reflections on 25 Years of LEAN

Posted on March 17, 2014

Gemba Academy has posted an extremely interesting series of videos entitled: Reflections on 25 Years of LEAN. Featured on the panel are LEAN luminaries Jim Womack (who introduced the Toyota Production System to the US and coined the term LEAN), John Shook (author of the seminal "Learning to See" book on value stream mapping), and Dan Jones (Founder and Chairman of the Lean Enterprise Academy). The videos are interesting enough for anyone ...

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SmartOS & Vagrant

Posted on August 7, 2013

There are many challenges associated with building applications in the cloud. One of the most challenging is that the cloud properly exploited is inherently transient. This means that your development environment must also be transient, such that you never depend on unfounded assumptions. Once upon a time you would routinely re-install your OS to ensure you weren't mistakenly assuming something were present. Moving development to a VM with a ...

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