Working with Millennials

Posted by Kaila Orn

Millennials. The generation of lazy, narcissistic, self-righteous, participation trophy-toters. As one of those very Millennials, I can attest to the bad rep that we have. Gen X co-workers don’t know how to work with us, and our Baby Boomer bosses struggle to understand how to connect with us. We realize there’s often a disconnect between the generations in the workplace, so I’d like to help shed some light on what we need in order to thrive.

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We all need someone in our corner. That’s why we have CAP.

Posted by Eliassen Group

Let’s say you’re a consultant. You just started a new project working for a fantastic client, and you love your role. Even though your employment situation is ideal, you still need some help. It’s late on a Friday night, and you have a problem. You think about calling your recruiter, but it’s outside of business hours. You’re tired, stressed, and unsure where to turn. Sometimes things go wrong, and that’s where our Consultant Advocate Program comes in.

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Experimentation or Standardization?

 Companies looking to get the benefits of a DevOps mindset often get stuck in the trap of focusing on buying the "best" tool and implementing "best" practices.1 Tools are chosen with very little, if any, collaboration with developers, testers, or operations staff. "Best" practices are determined by committees, again based on scant practical organization experience. While there are benefits to standardization, premature standardization, or standardization with no room for experimentation leads to stagnation and poor overall performance. And what works today will be unlikely to work as well in the future. The pace of change and innovation in DevOps means new opportunities for improvement are arising regularly.

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Technical Debt: Framing the Conversation

Posted by Dave Moran

As Bob Fischer points out in a recent blog post, Technical Debt is a Business Problem, “technical debt is rarely understood by non-technical business people.” So the question is: How do you go about having a productive conversation that enables non-technical people to appreciate the need to actively and continually keep technical debt low?

My solution is simple: keep it visual.

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Separation of Duties and DevOps

It is common for companies to stall or slow in their quest to improve speed, quality, reliability, or security through a DevOps approach.  It is not technology that slows them down, but their culture.  They have practices and beliefs that make some aspects of DevOps seem impossible:

“Sure, developers at small start-up XYZ can put their own code into production, but we're in a regulated industry, and it would never work.”

“We need separation of duties. What you’re suggesting is impossible.”

“Audit or compliance would never allow a developer to test code.”

In this blog post, we’ve focused on separation of duties.  Separation of duties is an important concept and to some, it might seem to be incompatible with a DevOps approach, but it isn’t. In fact, in many cases the separation of duties in the context of DevOps offers more assurance of quality, security, and audit-ability than traditional approaches.

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Melting the Frozen Middle: Helping Middle Management Transition to an Agile Mindset

Posted by Tom Wessel

As an organization goes through an Agile Transformation, one of the roles that is most impacted by the transition is middle management. One day you are managing a team or large department, and the next you find yourself without anyone to “manage”. Instead, your department’s members are now members of Agile teams who self-organize and whose work is no longer under your direct control. This can be a very unnerving experience for middle managers and leave many wondering what their role is now in this brave new world.

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DevOps: It Can't be Bought

Posted by Dave Moran

It must be bought into. But just what are organizations buying into?1

For me, the goal is to be able to answer “yes” to this question:

Can we confidently and reliably deploy and operate software at any time to meet the needs of the business?
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Project Accounting to Agile Funding

Posted by Bob Ellis

A mentor of mine from twenty years ago recently asked: "Can Agile commit to long term commitments needed by executives to run their business?"  I answered with conviction that it certainly can, but when I went on to explain, I realized the answer is fairly complex. To simplify, if you prefer managing with data, you will love agile.

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What I Learned from Disabling Thousands of Production Desktops in a Retail Call Center

Posted by Bob Fischer

DevOps is often misunderstood as simply tools and process, and that's part of the story but misses the mark. DevOps is really about building greater cross-organizational teamwork. Teamwork that ultimately enables speedier time-to-market, higher quality, and more rapid learning. Traditionally, this isn't how people work. It wasn't how I worked when I was a functional manager. I was focused on my individual part of the puzzle being great, not on what really mattered to our customers or the organization. A big production outage provided a great catalyst for me to rethink how I worked. It wasn’t pretty, but it was very instructive.

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The Whole Enchilada: The Value of Value Stream Mapping, Part 1

Posted by Tom Wessel

The familiar expression ‘the whole enchilada’ implies that one should look at the whole situation, the whole picture rather than just focusing on the individual components of the metaphorical enchilada. Whether it is Mexican food or life, the whole is ideally greater than the sum of its parts.  

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Technical Debt is a Business Problem

Posted by Bob Fischer

Technical debt, one of the key drivers of slow delivery, is rarely understood by non-technical business people. Even rarer are companies who have a strategy for investing in its reduction, which has been jointly agreed to by both business and technology groups. Debt is viewed as a problem for technology to address, not a systemic issue. Unfortunately, this leads to longer cycle times, higher costs, and lengthy time-to-market. The DevOps focus on continuous improvement is displaced by behavior that leads to continuous worsening. For companies to improve, the reduction of technical debt must be understood and addressed as a systemic issue.

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What does being "Agile" mean to your CFO? Part 3

Posted by Bob Ellis

The Business Case for Business Agility

Cliché or Real? The world is changing around us at a faster and faster pace. Companies we hadn't even heard of a decade ago have become the centerpiece of our daily lives. The decadent luxury of one generation has become the standard of the next. Consumers and businesses alike now favor pay-per-use and “try before you buy” options. Information and services of yesteryear are now available on our Smartphones for the cost of just a few clicks or the “ad-free version” for a few dollars a month.

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The Dos and Don'ts of Creative Portfolios

Posted by Kurt Brokhoff

Finding work as a creative can be challenging. What exactly are prospective clients looking for? How should a portfolio be positioned to demonstrate that you are capable of addressing a client’s needs? How do you know which pieces to include, and what formats and platforms should be used? Below are some tips, tricks, and tools to keep in mind as you create your portfolio, because finding work as a creative can be challenging...but it doesn’t have to be.

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Kicking Off 2018 Right: Celebrating a Team-First Culture

Posted by Eliassen Group

Each year, professionals and companies alike spend time closing out and reflecting upon the previous year and kicking off the next one. It’s a time for reflection and renewal, candor and celebration, learning and planning. And at no time was this truer than within our own organization during the past two months.

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Eliassen Agile featured in TechTarget: Software development skills shortage spurs channel business

Posted by Eliassen Group

It probably comes as no surprise that there’s a massive demand for DevOps and Agile development skills in the marketplace. Based upon the 2018 IT Priorities Survey conducted by TechTarget, Agile development methods and DevOps are top priorities for IT organizations that must fuel their digital businesses.

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