Book Notes

A 3-post collection

Accelerate - Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organisations

By Matt Button |  Sep 19, 2019  | book-notes

I first read Accelerate by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, Gene Kim back in 2018 when it was a hot topic in the office; only an hour or two would go by between overhearing somebody talk about it, internal blog posts were being written, and we’d receive emails about following the findings.

One of the goals behind the book was to run a series of surveys, gathering 23000 responses across 2000 organizations, then using statistical methods on the results in order to find a way to measure software delivery performance, and to find out what drives it. One of the most impressive things about the book is that it not only presents the research findings, but also goes into detail about why the findings are trustworthy, meaning that they not only tell us what they learned, but how they learned it.

I recently read through the book again and took a bunch of notes which cover the main points.

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Are we there yet? Insights on how to lead by design - by Sam Bucolo

By Matt Button |  Jan 14, 2019  | design-thinking, design, innovation, book-notes

One of the books that I read over the summer break was “Are we there yet? Insights on How to Lead by Design” by Sam Bucolo.

For the first few years of Sam’s career, he worked as a design consultant. As he gained more design and problem solving experience, he came to realise that he was often getting the wrong brief from his clients.

Sam found that while companies could conceptualise new products or services, the sticking point was aligning this conceptualisation to their business models, which meant that time, and time again, projects significantly fell below expectation or failed completely.

These experiences led Sam to specialise in Design Led Innovation.

My notes:

There are three elements of Design Led Innovation:

  1. Customer value: This is the starting point, and is about being clear on who the customer is, and the problem that the business is solving for them.
  2. Management Mindset: The correct mindset to create a strategy which has been built around new insights about the customer.
  3. Strategic alignment: Ensuring that all business processes and systems are aligned with the customer’s problem.
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Notes on Running Lean by Ash Maurya - The Three Stages of a Startup

By Matt Button |  Sep 8, 2018  | product-development, book-notes

Most entrepreneurs start with a strong initial vision, and a Plan A for realising that vision. Unfortunately, most Plan A’s don’t work.

Smart people are great at rationalising almost anything, but entreprenuers are especially gifted at this. It’s important to realise that your initial vision is built largely on untested assumptions.

Lean methodologies can help you systematically test and refine your initial vision. Running Lean by Ash Maura outlines, and gives practical examples on how to do so.

Running Lean has four parts:

  1. The Three Stages of a Startup (covered in this post)
  2. Documenting your Plan A
  3. Identifying the riskiest parts of your plan
  4. Systematically testing your plan.
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