Hi, I´m Jorge!
I´m Portuguese and an experienced technical leader with an extensive background in SDLC, team management, system design, and architecture for more than 20 years.
I love working with people, making them grow, build a great culture with happy motivated, and engaged teams.
For me working as a team is everything and the only way to get great results with high quality.
I have a passion for getting stuff done, Agile methodologies, innovation, learning something new every day, travel, football, and scuba diving.
As a mentor, I always try to create a committed relationship with the mentee, and what gives me the most pleasure is to know that I can help and teach the mentees through my experience and the knowledge that I have acquired during these more than 20 years of my professional career. In the last 15 years, I had the opportunity to meet and help people from different organizations, countries, and cultures.
As a person, I consider myself results-oriented, but also a people person. My focus is on transferring knowledge and expertise to develop the personal and professional skills of those around me.
My Mentoring Topics
- Conflict Management
- Feedback conversations
- Managing Stakeholders expectations
- Team Management and culture
- Agile and Scrum
- Career progression
- How to deal with Impostor syndrome
- Moving from Engineer to Leader role
EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products
Key Insights from "EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products" by Marty Cagan Transformation from ordinary to extraordinary: The book emphasizes that ordinary people can produce extraordinary products when empowered with the right tools, knowledge, and environment. Product teams: Cagan emphasizes the importance of autonomous, cross-functional product teams for creating innovative products. Leadership role: The book highlights the role of leadership in empowering teams and fostering a conducive environment for innovation. Product vision: Cagan underscores the significance of a clear, compelling product vision as a guiding light for product teams. User-centric approach: The book promotes a deep understanding of users, their needs, and their problems as key to creating valuable products. Risks and failures: Cagan discusses the importance of embracing risks and learning from failures in the product development process. Continuous learning: The book advocates for continuous learning and improvement both at the individual and team level. Role of technology: Cagan emphasizes the crucial role of leveraging technology to create innovative solutions. Product discovery: The book details the process of product discovery as a means to validate ideas before development. Product delivery: Cagan outlines the importance of efficient product delivery mechanisms for successful product development. Detailed Analysis and Summary "EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products" by Marty Cagan is a compelling read that delves into the nuances of creating extraordinary products. The book's central theme is the idea that ordinary people can produce extraordinary products when provided with the right tools, knowledge, and environment. This concept resonates with my years of research and teaching in product development, where I've witnessed the transformative effect of empowerment on individuals and teams. One of the key concepts that Cagan discusses is the importance of autonomous, cross-functional product teams in the innovation process. In my experience, this approach fosters collaboration, allows for diverse perspectives, and accelerates the product development cycle. Cagan goes a step further to discuss the role of leadership in empowering these teams. The book argues that leaders should not merely manage but inspire, mentor, and create an environment conducive to innovation. This aligns with the transformational leadership theory, a concept I frequently reference in my lectures. Another critical insight from the book is the import of a clear, compelling product vision. According to Cagan, this vision serves as a guiding light for product teams, providing direction and fostering alignment. This concept is deeply rooted in goal-setting theory, which emphasizes the significance of clear, challenging goals in driving performance. At the heart of Cagan's approach to product development is a user-centric approach. The book promotes a deep understanding of users, their needs, and their problems as the key to creating valuable products. This aligns with the principles of user-centered design and human-computer interaction, topics I frequently delve into during my lectures. Cagan also discusses the importance of embracing risks and learning from failures in the product development process. This aspect resonates with the concept of a learning organization, where failure is seen not as a setback but as an opportunity for learning and improvement. On the topic of learning, the book advocates for continuous learning and improvement both at the individual and team level. This idea echoes the principles of continuous improvement and lifelong learning, which are foundational to personal and professional growth. Cagan also emphasizes the crucial role of leveraging technology to create innovative solutions. The book points out that technology isn't just a tool but a source of product innovation when used creatively and strategically. Lastly, the book details the processes of product discovery and product delivery. Product discovery involves validating ideas before development, while product delivery focuses on bringing these validated ideas to life. These concepts align with the lean startup methodology and agile development practices, which advocate for iterative development and continuous feedback. In conclusion, "EMPOWERED - Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products" by Marty Cagan offers invaluable insights into the process of product development. It presents a compelling case for empowering individuals and teams, fostering a user-centric approach, embracing risks and failures, and leveraging technology for innovation. In doing so, it provides a comprehensive guide for anyone involved in product development, from beginners to seasoned professionals.View
Gene Kim, Forsgren, Jez Humble
Key Facts or Insights from "Accelerate" High performing organizations deploy 200 times more frequently than low performers, with 2,555 times faster lead times. There is a strong correlation between IT performance and company performance, including profitability, productivity, and market share. Organizational culture is a key factor in IT performance. High-trust cultures, with less fear of failure, result in better outcomes. Continuous delivery and lean management practices are significant predictors of IT performance. The use of version control and automated testing are critical factors in continuous delivery. Transformational leadership plays a crucial role in software delivery performance. Investment in DevOps capabilities can lead to higher IT performance, which can drive better business outcomes. Technical practices, process improvement, and cultural change are all crucial to improve software delivery. High performers achieve both speed and stability without making trade-offs, debunking the myth that you can't have both. Continuous learning and improvement are at the heart of high-performing organizations. Effective measurement and monitoring are key ingredients for managing performance and directing improvement efforts. Detailed Analysis and Summary of "Accelerate" "Accelerate" is a groundbreaking work that uses scientific research to decipher the driving forces behind technological innovation and success within an organization. The authors, Gene Kim, Nicole Forsgren, and Jez Humble, draw on years of experience and their expertise in DevOps to provide a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices that lead to high performance in the IT industry. The first key insight is the quantifiable difference between high performing organizations and their less successful counterparts. High performers deploy more frequently and have faster lead times, indicating a significantly more efficient and effective development process. This finding challenges the conventional wisdom that increased deployment frequency leads to more failures and slower recovery time. In fact, the opposite is true: frequent deployments make the system more resilient and easier to fix if things go wrong. The second insight is the strong correlation between IT performance and overall company performance. This reinforces the notion that IT is not just a support function but a critical component of business success. Efficient and effective IT operations can enhance profitability, productivity, and market share. The third insight highlights the role of organizational culture in IT performance. High-trust cultures, where employees are not afraid to take risks and learn from failures, tend to outperform low-trust cultures. This supports the idea that fostering a culture of innovation and risk-taking can lead to better results. The fourth insight emphasizes the importance of continuous delivery and lean management practices. These practices, which include things like version control and automated testing, are significant predictors of IT performance. The fifth insight underscores the importance of transformational leadership in software delivery performance. Leaders who inspire and motivate their teams, who foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, and who encourage their teams to take risks and experiment, contribute significantly to the success of their organization. The sixth insight highlights the value of investing in DevOps capabilities. These capabilities not only lead to higher IT performance but also drive better business outcomes. This finding reinforces the idea that DevOps is not just about technology but also about business value. The seventh insight emphasizes the importance of technical practices, process improvement, and cultural change in improving software delivery. These three factors are all crucial and interrelated. The eighth insight debunks the myth that speed and stability are trade-offs. High performers achieve both, demonstrating that it is possible to deliver quickly while maintaining a stable system. The ninth insight highlights the importance of continuous learning and improvement. High-performing organizations are always looking for ways to get better and are never satisfied with the status quo. The tenth insight underscores the importance of effective measurement and monitoring. Without accurate and timely data, it is impossible to know whether you are improving or not. In conclusion, "Accelerate" provides valuable insights into what makes a high-performing IT organization. The book successfully demonstrates that success in the digital age is not just about adopting new technologies, but also about implementing effective practices, fostering a positive culture, and investing in leadership. It encourages organizations to adopt a holistic approach to improvement, focusing not just on technology, but also on people, processes, and culture. This comprehensive approach is what sets high performers apart and is the key to their success. As an experienced professor dealing with these topics for many years, I can attest to the validity and value of these insights.View
The Phoenix Project - A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford
Key Facts and Insights from "The Phoenix Project" The Three Ways: The first principle, known as "The flow of work from left to right," emphasizes the need for work to be visualized and flow smoothly from development to operations to the customer. The second principle, "Amplify feedback loops," underscores the importance of creating channels for necessary adjustments. The third principle, "Continual experimentation and learning," promotes a culture of continual experimentation, taking risks, and learning from failure. DevOps: The book emphasizes the critical role of DevOps in modern IT operations and how it can help businesses win. DevOps represents the integration of development and operations teams to deliver better, faster, and more reliable outcomes. IT as a competitive advantage: The book argues that IT is no longer just a support function but a strategic asset that can provide a competitive advantage when managed effectively. Importance of Visibility: The book stresses the importance of visibility in IT operations. It emphasizes the need for clear visibility of work-in-progress, flow, and feedback to reduce wastage and increase efficiency. Work in Progress (WIP): The book highlights the dangers of excessive WIP and how it can lead to burnout and inefficiency. It recommends limiting WIP to improve flow and efficiency. Technical Debt: The book discusses the concept of technical debt and how neglecting it can lead to long-term inefficiencies and increased costs. Value of IT operations: The book underscores the value that IT operations bring to a business, emphasizing the need for organizations to invest in their IT operations. Culture of Learning: The book advocates for a culture of learning where failures are seen as opportunities for learning, not blame. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): The book introduces the concept of Infrastructure as Code, a key DevOps practice that involves managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools. Automation: The Phoenix Project highlights the importance of automation in reducing errors, freeing up human resources, and increasing efficiency and productivity. Managing Bottlenecks: The book discusses the Theory of Constraints and how managing bottlenecks in any process can improve overall performance. In-depth Analysis "The Phoenix Project" presents a compelling case for the integration of development and operations teams through a method known as DevOps. This critical shift in IT operations management can best be understood through the lens of The Three Ways. The first way emphasizes the need for work to flow smoothly from development to operations to the customer, a principle that is at the heart of DevOps. The second way underscores the importance of creating channels for necessary adjustments or feedback. This feedback loop is an integral part of the DevOps culture as it helps teams to identify and rectify issues promptly, thereby improving the quality of outcomes. The third way promotes a culture of continual experimentation, learning, and understanding that failure is a part of this process. The authors, Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford, argue convincingly that IT is no longer just a support function but a strategic asset that can provide a competitive advantage when managed effectively. This is a significant shift from traditional perspectives and places IT at the heart of business strategy. The book also emphasizes the importance of visibility in IT operations. It is essential to have clear visibility of work-in-progress, flow, and feedback to reduce wastage and increase efficiency. In this context, the book introduces the concept of technical debt, which refers to the future cost of correcting shortcuts taken in system development or maintenance today. If neglected, technical debt can lead to long-term inefficiencies and increased costs. One of the key insights from the book is the dangers of excessive Work in Progress (WIP). Too much WIP can lead to burnout and inefficiency. To address this, the authors recommend limiting WIP to improve flow and efficiency. This is a core principle of lean and agile methodologies, which aim to reduce waste and increase the delivery speed. The Phoenix Project also introduces the concept of Infrastructure as Code (IaC), a key practice in DevOps. IaC involves managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools. This is a significant shift from traditional IT operations and provides a more efficient and reliable approach to managing infrastructure. Automation is another key theme in the book. The authors highlight the importance of automation in reducing errors, freeing up human resources, and increasing efficiency and productivity. This is a key practice in DevOps, where the aim is to automate as much of the software delivery pipeline as possible. Finally, the authors discuss the Theory of Constraints and how managing bottlenecks in any process can improve overall performance. This is an essential principle in operations management and is particularly relevant in the context of IT operations, where bottlenecks can significantly hinder the delivery speed. In conclusion, "The Phoenix Project" provides a compelling case for adopting DevOps and rethinking the role of IT in business strategy. The principles and practices discussed in the book have the potential to transform IT operations and help businesses win in a competitive environment.View
Turn the Ship Around! - A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
L. David Marquet
Key Facts and Insights from "Turn the Ship Around! - A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders" 1. **The Leader-Leader model:** The book introduces a novel approach to leadership called the Leader-Leader model, which contrasts the traditional Leader-Follower model. 2. **Empowerment of the crew:** The author emphasizes empowering each team member, not just the leaders, to make decisions and take responsibility. 3. **Intent-based leadership:** The concept of intent-based leadership is central to the book. It involves giving control, creating leaders, and driving excellence. 4. **Technical competence is necessary:** The author asserts that leaders must have technical competence to make informed decisions and guide their teams effectively. 5. **Clarity over certainty:** The book emphasizes the importance of clarity over certainty in decision-making processes. 6. **Continuous learning:** The book advocates for a culture of continuous learning and improvement. 7. **Psychological safety:** The book highlights the importance of creating an environment where crew members feel safe to voice their opinions and concerns. 8. **Short, early conversations:** The author suggests that short, early conversations can prevent bigger problems later on. 9. **The "we" language:** The author promotes the use of "we" language to foster teamwork and cohesion. 10. **Resilience in the face of failure:** The book underscores the importance of resilience and learning from failures. 11. **Changing the measure of success:** The author encourages changing the measure of success from being activity-based to thinking-based. In-Depth Summary and Analysis "Turn the Ship Around!" is an insightful exploration of leadership and organizational transformation penned by L. David Marquet, a former U.S. Navy captain. The book is both a personal narrative of Marquet's experiences in turning the ship, USS Santa Fe, from the worst-performing in the fleet to one of the best, and a practical guide to his innovative leadership methods. Marquet introduces a unique leadership style - the Leader-Leader model. This approach is a marked shift from the traditional Leader-Follower model that is prevalent in many organizations. The Leader-Leader model is built on the idea that everyone can be a leader, not just those at the top of the hierarchy. By empowering each member of the team to make decisions, take responsibility, and lead in their respective areas, a culture of mutual respect, trust, and continuous improvement is fostered. This concept is what Marquet refers to as 'intent-based leadership'. Intent-based leadership puts forth that leaders should not be the sole decision-makers. Instead, they should aim to give control to their subordinates, enabling them to become leaders themselves. This approach is grounded in the belief that those at the 'coalface' often have a better understanding of the work and the challenges, and thus, are best placed to make decisions. However, for this model to work, two key elements are necessary: technical competence and organizational clarity. Technical competence allows individuals to make informed decisions, while organizational clarity ensures everyone understands the organization's purpose and goals. Marquet demonstrates these principles by recounting his experiences on the USS Santa Fe where he focused on increasing the crew's technical competence and providing clear, consistent communication about the ship's mission and objectives. The book also emphasizes the importance of psychological safety, a concept well-documented in organizational behavior research. Marquet argues that a work environment where crew members feel safe to voice their opinions and concerns is conducive to innovation and problem-solving. Short, early conversations are another principle Marquet advocates for in his book. He suggests that addressing issues early on, even if they seem minor, can prevent them from escalating into larger problems. Marquet also promotes the use of inclusive language, specifically the "we" language. This fosters a sense of unity and shared responsibility, reinforcing the Leader-Leader model. Resilience and learning from failures are also underscored in the book. Marquet shares instances where mistakes were made on the USS Santa Fe, but instead of resorting to blame, the focus was on learning and improving from these experiences. Finally, Marquet proposes a shift in the measure of success from being activity-based to thinking-based. This encourages a focus on the process and the decision-making, rather than just the end result. In conclusion, "Turn the Ship Around!" is a potent read for anyone interested in leadership and organizational culture. It offers a unique perspective on leadership that is not only applicable to the military setting but also to any organization that aspires to be more effective, innovative, and resilient. Marquet's Leader-Leader model and intent-based leadership could be the key to transforming hierarchal, disempowered teams into agile, empowered ones.View
The DevOps Handbook - How to Create World-Class Agility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations
Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, John Willis
Key Facts and Insights DevOps is a cultural shift and a collaboration mindset: The book emphasizes that DevOps is not just about tools and technologies, it's a cultural shift in the IT industry that promotes collaboration between the development and operations teams. Three ways of DevOps: The authors describe the three ways of DevOps – systems thinking, amplifying feedback loops, and developing a culture of continuous experimentation and learning. Value of automation: The book illustrates the importance of automation in the software delivery process to improve efficiency and reduce errors. Importance of Continuous Integration and Delivery: DevOps is heavily reliant on the practices of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) in order to deploy reliable software faster. Security and Quality are not add-ons: They need to be embedded in the DNA of your DevOps culture, leading to the devsecops movement. DevOps affects the entire business: The authors highlight that the benefits of DevOps extend beyond the IT department. It can improve the entire business by enabling faster delivery of features, more stable operating environments, and more time to add value rather than fix problems. Case Studies: The book features numerous case studies from companies that have successfully implemented DevOps principles, providing practical examples and lessons learned. Measurement and Monitoring: Emphasizing the necessity to measure everything from performance to deployment frequency, and incorporating real-time monitoring to catch issues early. Lean Management: The book borrows many principles from lean management, such as eliminating waste, optimizing for speed, and building quality in. Resilience and Learning from Failures: The authors stress the importance of learning from failures and building systems that are resilient to failure. In-Depth Summary and Analysis "The DevOps Handbook" is a comprehensive guide for understanding and implementing DevOps principles and practices in technology organizations. The authors - Gene Kim, Jez Humble, Patrick Debois, and John Willis - are industry veterans who provide a wealth of knowledge and practical insights based on their vast experience. The book begins by defining DevOps as a cultural shift and a collaboration mindset, not just a set of tools or methodologies. It's a profound transformation in how IT organizations operate, breaking down silos and promoting cross-functional teams. This emphasis on the cultural aspect of DevOps is a crucial insight, as it highlights that successful adoption of DevOps involves significant organizational change. Following this, the authors discuss the 'Three Ways of DevOps,' which form the core principles of the DevOps philosophy. The 'First Way' focuses on system thinking, emphasizing the importance of understanding the entire system from development to operations to the end user. The 'Second Way' is about amplifying feedback loops, ensuring that problems are identified and corrected as early as possible to improve quality and reliability. The 'Third Way' encourages a culture of continuous learning and experimentation, fostering innovation and constant improvement. The book further illustrates the importance of automation in the software delivery process. This complements the principles of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD), which are central to the DevOps philosophy. CI/CD practices help in deploying reliable software faster, reducing the time to market and enabling quicker user feedback. Security and quality are other key themes in the book. The authors stress that these elements should not be afterthoughts or add-ons; instead, they must be integrated into the development process from the start. This is a critical insight, as it aligns with the emerging trend of 'DevSecOps,' which aims to embed security within the DevOps process. The book also highlights the broader business benefits of DevOps. By improving collaboration and efficiency in the IT department, DevOps can help organizations deliver value to customers faster and more reliably. This can provide a significant competitive advantage in today's fast-paced digital economy. Numerous case studies are included in the book, providing real-world examples of companies that have successfully implemented DevOps. These case studies offer valuable lessons learned and practical advice for other organizations embarking on their DevOps journey. Lastly, the book emphasizes the need for measurement and monitoring. By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) and implementing real-time monitoring, organizations can gain valuable insights into their operations and make data-driven decisions. In conclusion, "The DevOps Handbook" offers a comprehensive guide to understanding and implementing DevOps. It emphasizes that DevOps is not just about tools and technologies, but a cultural shift that requires substantial organizational change. The book provides practical insights and advice, making it a valuable resource for anyone involved in the IT industry.View
Never Split the Difference - Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
Chris Voss, Tahl Raz
Key Insights from the Book: The principle of tactical empathy: Understand and recognize the emotions of your counterpart and respond to them in a thoughtful manner. The power of mirroring: Imitate the language and behavior of your counterpart to build rapport and trust. The effectiveness of calibrated questions: Ask questions that allow your counterpart to have control, but steer the conversation towards your desired outcome. The significance of active listening: Listen carefully to what your counterpart is saying and respond accordingly. The role of patience: Give your counterpart time to respond and don’t rush them into making a decision. The importance of a "no": Getting a 'no' is not a failure, but rather an opportunity to understand your counterpart's fears and concerns. The “Ackerman Model”: A strategic bargaining method developed in the FBI, which involves setting a target price, then using a series of calculated offers and conciliatory gestures to reach it. The concept of "Black Swans": Unforeseen events or pieces of information that can dramatically impact the outcome of a negotiation. The value of loss aversion: People are more motivated to avoid losses than to achieve equivalent gains. The utility of "that's right": Getting your counterpart to say "That's right" instead of "You're right," ensures they feel understood and agree with your viewpoint. The "7-38-55 Percent Rule": In communication, 7% of a message is derived from the words, 38% from the tone of voice, and 55% from body language and facial expressions. An In-Depth Analysis of the Book "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz is a compelling exploration into the art of negotiation. Drawing from his experience as a former FBI hostage negotiator, Voss provides readers with practical techniques to improve their negotiation skills. Understanding and Using Tactical Empathy Tactical empathy is at the heart of successful negotiation. It revolves around understanding and acknowledging the feelings and mindset of your counterpart. By doing so, you can navigate the negotiation process more effectively and achieve favourable outcomes. As a negotiator, it's not enough to understand what the other party wants; you must also comprehend how they feel. This emotional intelligence enables you to build a connection and establish mutual trust, increasing the likelihood of a successful negotiation. Mirroring, Calibrated Questions and Active Listening Voss also highlights the importance of mirroring, calibrated questions, and active listening. Mirroring, which involves imitating your counterpart's language and behaviour, can foster a sense of familiarity and rapport. Calibrated questions, on the other hand, allow you to steer the conversation without appearing aggressive or domineering. These questions typically start with "what" or "how," prompting your counterpart to think deeply and contribute valuable information to the discussion. Active listening is equally crucial. By paying close attention to your counterpart's words, you can identify underlying concerns or interests that may be key to the negotiation. This also signals respect and sincerity, strengthening your relationship with the counterpart. The Value of Patience and the Power of 'No' Patience is a virtue in negotiation. Voss emphasizes the importance of allowing your counterpart sufficient time to respond. A hurried negotiation is unlikely to yield optimal results. Moreover, contrary to common belief, receiving a 'no' from your counterpart is not necessarily a setback. Instead, it can serve as a stepping stone to understanding their fears and concerns better. It gives you the opportunity to address those issues and make a more persuasive case. The Ackerman Model and the Concept of Black Swans The Ackerman model is a bargaining method that involves setting a target price, then using a series of calculated offers and conciliatory gestures to reach it. This method, which requires patience and strategic thinking, can be highly effective in achieving your desired outcome. Voss also introduces the concept of 'Black Swans' – unexpected events or pieces of information that can dramatically alter the negotiation landscape. Identifying potential Black Swans and preparing for them can give you a significant advantage. Loss Aversion, 'That's Right' and the 7-38-55 Percent Rule The book also delves into the psychology of negotiation, discussing concepts like loss aversion and the power of the words 'That's right'. People are typically more motivated to avoid losses than to achieve equivalent gains, and this can be leveraged in negotiation. Getting your counterpart to say 'That's right' instead of 'You're right' ensures they feel understood and agree with your viewpoint. The former indicates genuine agreement, while the latter often signals appeasement. Lastly, Voss presents the "7-38-55 Percent Rule," a principle that underscores the importance of non-verbal communication. It posits that only 7% of a message is derived from words, while 38% comes from the tone of voice, and 55% from body language and facial expressions. In conclusion, "Never Split the Difference" offers a wealth of practical strategies and psychological insights for effective negotiation. It challenges traditional notions, encouraging readers to perceive negotiation through a different lens. Whether it's in a professional context or everyday life, these techniques can undoubtedly enhance your ability to negotiate successfully.View
The first 90 days
Michael D. Watkins
Key Insights from "The First 90 Days" by Michael D. Watkins Transition failures: Many transitions fail due to lack of preparation, understanding, and strategy. Accelerate your learning: You need to understand the new organization’s structure, culture, and politics quickly. Match strategy to situation: Different situations require different strategies. Watkins outlines four common business situations a leader may find themselves in: start-up, turnaround, realignment, and sustaining success. Secure early wins: Early successes build credibility and create momentum. They create virtuous cycles that help you to build credibility and secure resources. Negotiate success: You need to figure out how to build a productive relationship with your new boss and manage their expectations. Achieve alignment: The higher up in the organization you are, the more you need to align strategy, structure, systems, and skills to achieve your goals. Build your team: If the existing team lacks essential skills, you may need to restructure it or bring in new members. Create coalitions: Your success depends on the ability to influence people outside your direct line of control. Therefore, you need to build supportive alliances, networks, and coalitions. Keep your balance: During the transition, you need to keep your balance and perspective and help your team do the same. Expedite everyone: Finally, you need to help all those in your unit - your direct reports, bosses, and peers - accelerate their own transitions. Detailed Analysis and Summary "The First 90 Days" by Michael D. Watkins is a comprehensive guide for leaders transitioning into new roles. Watkins, a renowned expert on leadership transitions, provides a step-by-step strategy for getting up to speed quickly in a new role and ensuring that the transition is successful. The book begins by highlighting the challenges of transition. Watkins emphasizes that many transitions fail due to lack of preparation, understanding, and strategy. He suggests that leaders should prepare for a transition by rapidly learning about the new organization's structure, culture, and politics. This ability to accelerate your learning is a critical success factor during leadership transitions. Another key insight from the book is the need to match strategy to situation. Watkins outlines four common business situations a leader may find themselves in: start-up, turnaround, realignment, and sustaining success. Each situation requires a different strategy and approach. For example, a start-up requires an entrepreneurial mindset, while a turnaround might require a more directive approach. Watkins also underscores the importance of securing early wins. Early successes are crucial because they build credibility, create momentum, and can help to secure resources. Leaders can secure early wins by identifying opportunities for improvement, implementing changes, and demonstrating results rapidly. The ability to negotiate success is another key theme in the book. Leaders need to build a productive relationship with their new boss, manage their expectations, and understand their priorities. Watkins suggests that leaders should have open and honest conversations with their boss about expectations, resources, and support. Another significant insight is the need to achieve alignment. According to Watkins, the higher up in the organization you are, the more you need to align strategy, structure, systems, and skills to achieve your goals. He emphasizes that misalignments can lead to confusion, inefficiency, and conflict. Building and developing your team is another crucial aspect of successful transitions. Watkins advises that if the existing team lacks essential skills, leaders may need to restructure the team or bring in new members. He also highlights the importance of investing time in team development and building a positive team culture. Watkins also emphasizes the importance of creating coalitions. He notes that a leader's success depends on their ability to influence people outside their direct line of control. Therefore, leaders need to build supportive alliances, networks, and coalitions. This can be achieved by identifying key influencers, understanding their interests and concerns, and building relationships with them. Another key insight is the need to keep your balance. During the transition, leaders need to maintain their balance and perspective and help their team do the same. This can involve managing stress, maintaining a work-life balance, and ensuring that the team is not overwhelmed by the changes. Lastly, Watkins emphasizes that leaders need to expedite everyone during the transition. This means helping all those in the unit - direct reports, bosses, and peers - accelerate their own transitions. This can be achieved by providing support, guidance, and resources to help them navigate the transition. In conclusion, "The First 90 Days" provides a comprehensive guide for leaders transitioning into new roles. It provides a wealth of insights and practical strategies that can help leaders get up to speed quickly and ensure a successful transition. As a leader, the ability to manage transitions effectively is crucial for success, and this book provides an invaluable resource in this regard.View
Team Topologies - Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow
Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais
Key Insights from the Book: Four Fundamental Team Topologies: The book introduces four types of team structures: Stream-aligned, Enabling, Complicated-Subsystem, and Platform teams. These structures play a crucial role in improving software delivery performance. Interaction Modes: The book outlines three modes of interaction: Collaboration, X-as-a-Service, and Facilitating. These modes help to create clear and efficient communication pathways between different teams. Cognitive Load: The authors discuss the concept of cognitive load and its impact on team performance and productivity. They emphasize the need to consider cognitive load while designing team structures. Fracture Plane: The book introduces the concept of a fracture plane – a logical boundary that separates different areas of the system. This concept helps to organize teams around the system's natural boundaries. Team-first Approach: The authors suggest a team-first approach where the team topology is designed first, and then the work is assigned. This approach ensures that the team’s structure aligns with the overall business strategy. Evolutionary Change: The book discusses the importance of evolutionary change in the team structure, explaining that teams should evolve as the system grows and changes. Team APIs: The authors introduce the concept of Team APIs, a set of expectations and agreements that guide how teams interact with each other. This concept promotes consistency and efficiency in team interactions. In-depth Summary and Analysis: "Team Topologies - Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow" by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais is a revolutionary book that offers a fresh perspective on team structure and interactions in the context of business and technology. The book presents a compelling argument for rethinking the conventional wisdom about team organization in favor of a more flexible, adaptive approach. At the core of the book are the four fundamental team topologies: Stream-aligned, Enabling, Complicated-Subsystem, and Platform teams. Each team structure serves a specific purpose and is designed to maximize efficiency in software delivery. The Stream-aligned team is responsible for a particular product or service stream, enabling teams to provide temporary support to overcome obstacles, Complicated-Subsystem teams handle parts of the system that require specialized knowledge, and Platform teams provide a self-service API to other teams. The authors also identify three modes of interaction between teams - Collaboration, X-as-a-Service, and Facilitating. By defining clear modes of interaction, teams can better understand their roles and responsibilities, thereby reducing friction and increasing productivity. A crucial concept introduced in the book is that of cognitive load. The authors argue that the efficiency of a team is directly related to the cognitive load it carries. They recommend designing team structures that consider each team member's cognitive capacity, thereby improving overall performance and productivity. The book also introduces the idea of a fracture plane, a logical boundary within a system where it can be split into different areas. This concept provides a useful tool for organizing teams around the natural boundaries of the system, promoting autonomy and reducing coordination needs. The authors advocate for a team-first approach to work assignment. They argue that by designing the team topology first and then assigning the work, businesses can ensure alignment between the team’s structure and the overall business strategy. The book also recognizes the importance of evolutionary change in team structures. As the system grows and changes, so should the teams. This approach ensures that the team structure remains relevant and effective. Lastly, the book introduces the concept of Team APIs - a set of expectations and agreements that guide how teams interact with each other. This concept promotes consistency and efficiency in team interactions, reducing the potential for misunderstandings and conflicts. In conclusion, "Team Topologies - Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow" offers valuable insights and practical strategies for improving team structure and interactions. By applying these insights, businesses can significantly enhance their software delivery performance, leading to improved productivity and better business outcomes.View