And so it begins

Welcome. Well done for finding me, and thanks for visiting. As this is my first post its fair to say there isn’t a huge amount of material that would have inspired you to visit. Your pioneering spirit is alive and well.

So, content. What is it that I hope will keep you coming back, and inspire others to visit in the future? They say write about what you know, and for me that’s IT. I’ve been in the industry for a long time, delivering software products for clients. I started as a developer and evolved into a project and programme manager, a fairly typical career path. More recently I’ve worked as part of CTO groups looking at wider IT strategies.

I’ve always worked in big companies (and I mean over 10,000 employees big). I’ve never created or worked for a technology start-up or small software house. But what interests me isn’t unique to a particular size of company. It started with a desire to understand more about how people, process and culture impact the ability to deliver software products. How do you influence those aspects for the better? What motivates people and encourages them to “do the right thing”? And do it together collectively? What product development processes work best and help foster a productive and innovative culture? What causes things to go wrong?

In “The Lean Startup”, Eric Ries makes an important point that when you talk about people, process and culture, they don’t just apply to a particular type of company. The same concepts can be applied as much within large, established companies and government programmes as shiny new technology start-ups. They don’t even just apply to technology companies. That’s what really interests me. How do you apply what are starting to be recognised as good product development practices in these different environments, and help ensure your company thrives? Changing large companies is hard, akin to turning a supertanker. There’s a lot of existing momentum to fight against. But new start-ups can head down the wrong path quickly too, and the results tend to be rather more immediate and catastrophic for those involved.

So, if like me, you think Agile and Lean have a place in technology organisations. That they might just be able to foster innovation and creativity, and allow companies to thrive and survive. Then remember this blog. Bookmark it. Come back and visit. And join in the debate.

By Chris Peake

Chris is a technology leader with an interest in the people and process aspects of software delivery. How can software can be delivered efficiently? How can cultural change can be triggered in an organisation? How should ideas be communicated to make them stick? How do those ideas evolve in the first place? Based in London, he has worked in IT for many years, delivering software products in the financial services industry.

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