- All business activities are in transition from innovation (rare and poorly understood) to commodity-like (common and well defined).
- The characteristics of an activity vary during its lifecycle. An innovation is dynamic & requires deviation whilst a commodity does not.
- How to manage an activity varies with the stage of its lifecycle. Which is why no single project methodology is suitable everywhere.
- Successful project management is knowing when to use static (six sigma, prince 2) and when to use dynamic methodologies (XP, Scrum).
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
I was happy that we launched Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud yesterday along with the official Ubuntu Images on Amazon EC2.
With Ubuntu you can build your own private cloud that matches the EC2 API or you can build in Amazon EC2 with Ubuntu.
This is a first step towards creating a market and free clouds.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
- Many people mix up the terms invention, idea and innovation.
- Innovation is the first(ish) attempt to put an idea into practice. You can manage the process of implementation.
- Ideas are postulated entities and concepts derived from invention and discovery. You can create an environment to encourage ideas.
- You can encourage and manage some aspects of innovation but the real trick is finding out which idea is going to be valuable.
- There is an inverse relationship between the future value of an activity and how certain we are about this.
- We don't know which ideas will be successful - we have to take a guess and often we will fail in our guesses.
- Innovation management is a mix of management, encouragement, guess work and embracing failure.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Today, the chancellor presented an excellent budget.
The budget contained investment in building & green technology, measures for the protection of society's most vulnerable, focus on training & jobs, benefits to savers, introduction of a higher tax rate and increased government borrowing in order to maintain public spending. Unfortunately whilst it's an excellent step in the right direction, it's just a step and we've got an enormous mountain to climb. That said, combined with Brown's recent lambasting of snout troughing MP's, this has been a good few days.
It's still a great shame we purchased all those gilts in the "quantitative easing" fiasco, that interest rates have remained too low, we've been foolishly generous regarding re-insurance of bad debts, the excessive bonus culture remains intact and the for the wealthiest it is all too easy to avoid tax. However, at least this we're heading in the right direction.
Naturally, a few of the most advantaged made the usual hollow threats to leave the country. Such words not only demonstrate arrogant beliefs of self-importance but also a delusion that anyone else cares or that somehow they won't be replaced in a heartbeat. Please don't threaten to leave - just leave, go on, sod off ... and don't come back.
I've heard of lot of rumblings about various cloud conferences having excessive vendor bias. I suspect I know why.
I offered to speak at two upcoming cloud conferences and have been turned down. Fair enough, I might put a lot of work into speaking but I'm hardly a digerati.
I've then subsequently been told that I could speak if I paid £2,000+ or Canonical hired a booth. Wow, so speaker selection is no longer based upon the topic, the quality of the talk but instead how much cash you've got?
No wonder there are rumblings.
We're also releasing official Ubuntu images for AWS. We want to help and encourage our users to build in Amazon's cloud along with building and experimenting with their own clouds. We also want to see multiple providers develop around AWS APIs, and portability between them.
Amazon EC2 API (et al) are the emerging de-facto standard that the market has chosen. Hopefully, with Eucalyptus in the Ubuntu distribution we will see the market further adopt the EC2 API in private clouds and, ultimately, actual moves towards an open cloud.
This is my one grumble with the open cloud manifesto. It's good to talk but the ideas of an open cloud environment have already been heavily discussed over the last three years.There's no need for a manifesto that rehashes old ground; what's needed is the adoption and promotion of standards based around open source reference models.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Depressingly, inflation still continues to remain well above the government 2% target at 2.9%. Sterling has also gone through a sustained period of depreciation and nothing is being done.
What I'm bemused about is how some are calling "quantitative easing" a success and stating that we need more of it. What we need to do is raise taxes, nationalise the building industry, increases interest rates and start building social housing. But don't worry, we're going to get a £5,000 voucher to buy a green car instead.
They've all gone quackers.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Of course, beyond all the Libor manipulation and other practices, we seem to be building up for the next CDO debacle - this time probably on student debt which has been turned into collateral.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Web 2.0 was fantastic. I really enjoyed the talk, the audience was blooming wonderful and the conference exceptional. I was also overwhelmed by the audience that turned up to my talk at SYS-CON.
I was even described by a couple of people as a "presentation rockstar" - wow, thanks but unfortunately wrong.
I love speaking and I'll admit that I do a fairly reasonable job of it these days. It's such an honour and a pleasure to speak to my peers but it's a lot of hard work and physically draining. For your average 40 minute talk, you're talking 120 hours+ of solid work. Whilst, I normally mash-up one talk to the next, each modified version still takes 35+ hours to prepare. On top of this you can often add the agony of flights (12 hours+ in a cramped environment is my favourite), the fog of jetlag and all the usual exhaustion which goes with it.
However, it's all worth it just to hear a few people say how much they enjoyed the talk or how it helped them. Speaking is an opportunity to give something back and it's a delight to do so.
Unfortunately, I'm lousy at self promotion and hence I find it difficult to break into new conferences. If I was a "presentation rockstar" then it would be a different matter. This is why I often speak at the same conferences because at least I'm a known quantity.
So, I'm going to ask you for help. There's a conference coming up about cloud and I'm trying to convince the organisers that I can present, that I know my stuff and that I've been speaking about clouds (or what we used to call utility computing) & open source for a long time. This is not an easy task because I'm a relative unknown compared to many "cloud superstars". I need to convince them that I can really speak on this subject.
Hence, I'm asking you, if you've ever heard me speak, can you leave a comment about how you found the talk (good or bad) so I can at least say ... "this is what the community thinks".
Sunday, April 05, 2009
I'm writing a piece on cloud computing and I'm stuck on a particular analogy. I need to know who invented the "industrial revolution" and who actually first coined the phrase?
Also, I'm still looking for a short and catchy definition for the "industrial revolution" which explains everything in a single sentence rather than requiring me to read several volumes of enlightened historical writings.
Come on people, it has been over two hundred years now. Surely we've got this one nailed down to 140 characters or less.