As the research in Accelerate and in the DevOps Handbook shows, high-performing organizations deliver more rapidly, more repeatably, and more reliably. And as an organization scales, it becomes more and more important to get the product development process right. Drawing on the speaker's experiences leading high-performing organizations at Google and eBay, this session discusses the upstream parts of that process, focusing on organization, problem definition, and prioritization. We will discuss forming small, cross-functional teams with clear areas of responsibility. Then we will discuss the importance of clearly defining the problem we are trying to solve as a team. Finally, we will cover focus and prioritization -- how we decide what to do when. You will take away actionable techniques you can apply in your own organization.Check the slides
Throughout engineering history, focused and empowered teams have consistently achieved the near-impossible. Alan Turing, Tommy Flowers, and their teams at Bletchley Park broke Nazi codes, saved their country, and brought down the Third Reich. Kelly Johnson and the Lockheed Skunk Works designed and built the XP-80 in 143 days, and later produced the U-2, the SR-71, and the F-22. Xerox PARC invented Smalltalk, graphical user interfaces, Ethernet, and the laser printer. What can this history teach us? Well, basically everything.
Effective teams have a purpose - a clearly defined problem which the entire team focuses on and owns end-to-end. Effective teams have an organizational culture that prioritizes collaboration and learning. And most importantly, effective teams are made up of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
If this sounds a lot like DevOps, or true little-a agile, that's no coincidence. But too few organizations actually practice these three-quarter-century-old ideas despite the overwhelming evidence that they work. So let's relearn those history lessons.
Randy is a 30-year veteran of Silicon Valley, and has worked as a senior technology leader and executive at various companies including eBay, Google, and Stitch Fix. Randy is currently VP Engineering at WeWork in San Francisco. He enjoys building empowered teams and large-scale infrastructure, and is particularly passionate about the nexus of culture, technology, and organization.