Speaker Interview – Paul Crosby
How is your presentation relevant to the theme of this year’s BBC conference: Innovation in the Fast Lane?
As we move forward into Agile and DevOps focused organizations, hybrid roles are becoming the norm. Dealing with being a hybrid split between multiple disciplines is a top priority for organizations that are transforming their organizations.
What are your top tips for companies or employees wishing to innovate?
Embrace Failure. Agile is based on the learning principals of Fail Fast or Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model. This means you organizations need to harness the power of failure in innovation. As Thomas Edison stated, “I haven’t failed—I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”. Edison never saw making 10,00 light bulbs that didn’t’ works as failure, he saw it as innovation.
Critical Thinking. As we move faster we need to make decision faster that are rational and unbiased. This is why critical thinking is becoming more and more important in Agile and DevOps environments. We need to make GOOD decisions quickly and that takes critical thinking.
Flexibility and Adaptability. You can’t be rigid when Agile and DevOps demand you be flexible in finding solutions to work creatively and innovatively. If you always do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.
Micro Iterations. This concept is taking hold in organizations as they discover breaking complex big-bang projects are easier to deploy in very small increments over a short period of time. No more boil the ocean approaches—break deliverables, tasks and solutions into tiny pieces that can be implemented more easily with release planning.
Hands On Environments. To innovate we need concrete experiences with products and services. This means creating sandbox or play environments for analysts, developers, and leaders. If you make shoes, then wear those shoes every day. If you’re a restaurant, eat your own food. If you are a software shop, use your own software. Creating micro environments that are production environment like that can be executed every team members laptop away from corporate server environments produces solid results in innovation.
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