Better ROI from Software Development

Better ROI from Software Development

By Red Folder Consultancy Ltd
Providing advice on how to get the best Return On Investment from your Software Development.
Hosted by Mark Taylor of Red Folder Consultancy, this series is targeted at those that fund software development in improving their return on investment.
Through a series of short weekly podcasts, Mark explores and explains why "traditional" management techniques will not only produce poor returns, but actively encourage it.
Find out more about Red Folder Consultancy, or sign up to their mailing list at red-folder.com.
Or reach out to Mark on Twitter @redfoldermark
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#20: Continuous Delivery

Better ROI from Software Development

#20: Continuous Delivery

Better ROI from Software Development

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#34: Recruitment - Getting the best and keeping them
This episode is the final part of a recruitment mini-series; where I have been focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I think many of these themes are universal, I have, of course, been focusing on software development. In this episode, I will close out this recruitment mini-series, with a discussion on getting the most from your new employee and keeping them engaged.
08:17
March 26, 2020
#33: Recruitment - Act quickly
This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I am focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will, of course, be focusing on software development. In this episode, I talk about the need to act quickly.
08:24
March 18, 2020
#32: Recruitment - Interviews
This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will, of course, be focusing on software development. In this episode, I talk about the actual interview. Interviewing an individual to gauging future performance is far from a fool-proof means of recruitment. Unfortunately, it is commonly the only option available to us. I'll provide advice, from my personal experience, on what works well and a few things that don't.
16:00
March 11, 2020
#31: Recruitment - Working with agencies
This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will, of course, be focusing on software development. In this episode, I talk about working with recruitment agencies. For better or worse, most software development recruitment is undertaken through agencies. While it is possible, and desirable, to attract potential employees directly, most organisations are not appropriately placed for this. In this episode, I talk about how I engage with agencies for best effect - as well as touch on some longer-term activities that can help to reduce your reliance on them.
10:48
March 4, 2020
#30: Recruitment - Understanding worth
This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development. In this episode I talk about getting a good understanding of the market before you go into it. Software Development remuneration has risen steadily for quite some time. Dependent on the skills and experience your role requires, you may find that previous recruitment may not be an accurate guide to current market rates. Blindly going into the market with a figure based on historical recruitment can quickly affect you ability to attract the best people. Also, given that many organisations has a recruitment sign off process, having a eye on the market before getting any rates signed off can avoid recruitment stalling for lack of enough approved funds.
07:52
February 26, 2020
#29: Recruitment - Defining the role
This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development. In this episode I talk about the importance of defining the role.
10:57
February 19, 2020
#28: Recruitment - Is a permanent employee the right thing for you?
This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development. In this episode I ask the question if traditional recruitment, a permanent employee, is the right thing for you? While the first inclination maybe to advertise and recruit for a permanent employee, it may not be the right way of getting that extra help. And with the rise of the gig-economy and a shortage of skilled software developers on the market, sometimes you may have to look at alternatives. I'll also talk about the alternative options such as using contractors or outsourcing.
09:33
February 12, 2020
#27: Recruitment - Should you be recruiting at all?
This episode is part of a recruitment mini-series; where I will be focusing on various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development. Somewhat at odds with the title of the mini-series, I first ask the question: "should you be recruiting at all?" I find many organisations are recruiting when they shouldn't be ... Along with more than a few that should be recruiting and aren't. I believe our traditional management techniques would have us recruit to solve the wrong types of problems - which can often produce the opposite of the desired outcome. In this episode, I will be looking at some of the reasons why recruitment may not be solving the right problem.
12:54
February 5, 2020
#26 Recruitment - A mini-series
Over the coming episodes I'm going to take a deep dive into recruitment. Recruitment is singularly one of the most important roles of management. Our businesses are run and operated by people. Yes processes, tools and a hundred other things can help, but ultimately it is the people that make the business. So over the coming few episodes I want to talk about various characteristics that I believe are important in recruitment. And while I believe many of these themes are universal, I will of course be focusing on software development. In this episode, I will be summarising the themes that I plan to look at over the coming weeks.
08:51
January 29, 2020
#25: The series so far
Welcome to the 25th episode. I decide I wanted to use this episode as both a recap to the series so far and as a good entry point for new listeners. During this episode, I'll be summarising the key takeaways so far - and which episodes to listen to if you want more.
17:39
January 22, 2020
#24: Mob Programming
In last week's episode I introduced the idea of Pair Programming. A software development practice that has two developers working on the same thing on the same computer. One acting as the driver - the other as a navigator - with regular role reversal. I talked about, while there is an increase to the developer-hours spent on a problem, the benefits of faster delivery, better quality, knowledge sharing and better team communications soon outweighs the cost. In this episode, I want to talk about a similar software development practice - but much more amped up - mob programming.
12:54
January 15, 2020
#23: Pair Programming
In this weeks episode, I want to introduce the practise of Pair Programming. At first, Pair Programming can seem completely at odds with achieving returns from your software development investment. Though this episode, I will look at the common misconceptions and why this is a valuable practice for ROI.
12:20
January 8, 2020
#22: Handling incomplete work
In the last few episodes I've started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software and ultimately delivery of value to our customer. In episode 18, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings. Following your development team saved their software code to the Source Control, I then introduced Continuous Integration in episode 19. I described how Continuous Integration allows us to find problems faster - allowing us to address them much more cost effectively and making Software Development much more productive. In episode 20, I introduced Continuous Delivery. It builds on Continuous Integration and make the releasing of our of software as easy as a button press. Through automation we make our release process a repeatable, reliable, easy, non-event. And then in the last episode I introduced Continuous Deployment which builds upon Continuous Delivery by removing the manual button press - automating the entire process from developer to customer many times a day. In this, the final episode of this mini-series, I want to talk about how to handle incomplete work.
13:18
December 18, 2019
#21: Continuous Deployment
In the last few episodes I've started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software ... and ultimately delivery of value to our customer. In episode 18, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings. Once your development team has saved their software code to the Source Control, I then introduced Continuous Integration in episode 19. I described how Continuous Integration allowed us to find problems faster - allowing us to address them much more cost effectively and making Software Development much more productive. Then, in the last episode, I introduced Continuous Delivery. It builds on Continuous Integration and make the releasing of our of software as easy as a button press. Through automation we make our release process a repeatable, reliable, easy, non-event process. In this episode, I introduce Continuous Deployment.
07:34
December 11, 2019
#20: Continuous Delivery
In the last few episodes I've started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software, and ultimately delivery of value to our customer. In episode 18, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings. Once your development team has saved their software code to the Source Control, I then introduced Continuous Integration in the last episode, episode 19. I described how Continuous Integration allowed us to find problems faster - allowing us to address them much more cost effectively and making Software Development much more productive. In this episode I introduce the next step in the process of getting that software into the hands of your customer - Continuous Delivery
07:20
December 4, 2019
#19: Continuous Integration
UPDATE: I noticed after initial publish the order of the clips in this episode where very incorrect.  I've now updated - apologies for any confusion. In last week's episode I started a mini-series introducing some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software and ultimately delivery of value to our customer. In that episode, I introduced Source Control, what it was, why your developers will be using it and the value it brings. Once your development team has saved their software code to the Source Control, what happens next? In this episode I introduce Continuous Integration.
11:08
November 27, 2019
#18: Source Control
In this episode, I want to talk about Source Control. Source Control is a tool that should be available to your Software Development and at the heart of everything they do. The aim of this episode is to introduce to you what it is, why they should be using it and ultimately why your are probably spending money on it. This is part of a mini-series which takes us up to Christmas. I will introduce some of the tools and practices that allow for the fast delivery of software and ultimately delivery of value to our customer. We start with Source Control in this episode, then move through a number of closely related topics to getting our software investment in front of our customer as quickly as possible.
10:18
November 20, 2019
#17: Monoliths and Microservices
In this weeks podcast, I wanted to talk about how the size and complexity of a deployable piece of software matters to the ability to deliver value to the customer - and thus ROI on our Software Development.
07:41
November 13, 2019
#16: Technical Debt
In this episode I want to introduce the term Technical Debt. The term Technical debt was coined in 1992 by Ward Cunningham to describe what happens when we fail to adequately maintain what he calls “immature” code. I find technical debt a great way to express choices we make in prioritising our software development investment.
10:09
November 6, 2019
#15 - Monitoring
In last weeks episode I talked about software testing - predominantly around automation to aid in flow of delivering value to your customer. One point I touched on in the episode is that you cannot, and indeed should not, aim or expect to test everything. While I can understand an expectation or a desire to test everything 100% - it simply isn't feasible. Pre-release testing is to gain enough confidence to put it live. The second half of that is post-release Monitoring. And it is Monitoring that I want to cover in this episode.
09:13
October 30, 2019
#14: Software Testing
In this episode I want to talk about testing, why it is important for ROI and what types of testing can be done.
11:07
October 23, 2019
#13: State of DevOps report 2019
Back in episode 10, I briefly mentioned the State of DevOps reports as part of the introduction to DevOps. In this episode I want to spend more time reviewing the 2019 report
11:25
October 15, 2019
#12: War and Peace and IT
In this short episode, I want to introduce a book that I feel that every executive should read. I started writing about how to get better ROI from Software Development back in 2016. This was as a direct aim to educate the executive level on how to interact, with better results, with IT - and predominately software development. Like many, I've felt that the relationship between IT and the Business had become dysfunctional - with neither party happy with what the other brings to the table. Both parties becoming frustrated with the other. I've spent many years researching, writing and speaking on how to address this dysfunction. And I really wish I'd had this book. ... To be honest, I wish I'd written this book. I'm finding it a great companion piece to my own work and recommend it highly to any listener to this podcast.
05:11
October 9, 2019
#11: We need to talk about Culture
In the last five episodes I've introduced a number of terms to help us move away from the traditional software development practices. In episode 6, I introduced the Minimum Viable Product as a way to rethink our traditional ideas of waterfall style software projects. I recommend using MVP as a way to approach the traditional problems of unknown benefits, unknown costs and unknown risks. In episode 7, I introduced Lean as a backup to the mind set behind Minimum Viable Product. Lean's strong manufacturing pedigree stands out as a proven method of reducing waste, delivering faster throughput and ultimately value to the customer. In episode 8, I introduce Agile as a complementary mind set to back up Minimum Viable Product. I introduced the Agile Manifest; the commitment behind much of the work in the Agile movement since 2001. I showed how the manifestos recommendations aligned with Lean and MVP. In episode 9, I introduced the Cloud as a key enabled to support the adoption of Minimum Viable Product, Lean and Agile. I talked about the value that the flexibility of the Cloud can provide - along with the potentially market changing opportunities made available by initiative services the Cloud makes available. And in the last episode, episode 10, I introduced DevOps as a set of practices and process that build on a Lean & Agile heritage. I also introduced the State of DevOps report as providing evidence that DevOps is helping organisations meet and exceed their goals. In this episode, I want to take a step back and address some of cultural issues that these episodes generate.
13:10
October 2, 2019
#10 - Introduction to DevOps
Over the last couple of episodes; I've introduced the concepts of Minimum Viable Product as a way to think about software development to improve your return on investment. I've then introduced Lean and Agile to provide background and backup for why that Minimum Viable Product mind set works. And in last weeks, I introduced the Cloud as an enabler to Minimum Viable Product in practice. In this episode I want to introduce one last term in this set of episodes - DevOps
10:07
September 25, 2019
#9: Introduction to the Cloud
In the last couple of episodes I've introduced the concepts of Minimum Viable Product, Lean and Agile. I believe these help us to adjust our mind-set to one more conducive to getting Better ROI from Software Development. In this episode, I introduce the Cloud; which I believe enables some core practicalities that our new mind-set requires.
09:07
September 18, 2019
#8: Introduction to Agile
In the last couple of episodes I've introduced the concepts of Minimum Viable Product and Lean Software Development. In this episode I want to introduce Agile. Along with Minimum Viable Product & Lean Software Development - Agile - along with Cloud & DevOps which I'll pick up in the coming weeks - provides a great introduction on how to get the Better Return from your Software Development Investment.
15:04
September 11, 2019
#7 - Introduction to Lean Software Development
In the last episode I introduced the Minimum Viable Product. I personally see Minimum Viable Products being related to Lean Principals. I'll give you an introduction to Lean in this podcast - and where appropriate, tie it back to the Minimum Viable Product.
20:29
September 4, 2019
#6: Introduction to the Minimum Viable Product
In my last podcast I talked about how you should be considering investment in software development as volatile experiments – and that they should be managed as such. In this podcast, I’ll introduce the concept of Minimal Viable Product (MVP) a tool that can help you manage that volatility in an experimental manner.
10:10
August 7, 2019
#5: Thinking about software development investment
 In this episode I want to talk about how to think about investing in software development. I see too many people thinking that software development is an activity with one outcome – success. And with that I see funding being made to that software development with the expectation that it will deliver specific anticipated benefits. I want to take you through why I think that mindset is incorrect and how you should be thinking when investing in software development.
08:27
July 31, 2019
#4: Why is software development complex?
Software Development is complex. The problems it solves will always have a level of complexity. In this podcast I talk about why.
10:57
July 24, 2019
#3: Projects are bad for return on investment
Projects are not the best way to get great return on your software development. And in this podcast I'll tell you why.
05:20
July 17, 2019
#2 - It's not about utilization
In the last podcast I told you that focusing on 100% utilization is the wrong thing for return on investment. But how can that be? Are we not taught that utilization means productivity? Are we not encourage to stretch our staff? To get the most out of the staff salary? Are we not even told its a good thing to sweat the asset? 
04:36
July 10, 2019
#1 - Why is it difficult to get the best return on investment
Why is it difficult to get great return on your software development investment? Why is it that software development isn't keeping pace with your business? You’ve tried to resolve it yourself; you’ve set targets, you’ve encouraged, you’ve cajoled, you’ve been driven half insane with techno-babble – but your tried and tested management techniques aren’t working – if anything they are producing negative effects. So why is it so difficult?
04:40
July 2, 2019
Episode 0 - Why I'm doing this podcast
Episode 0 - a brief summary of why I am creating this podcast series.
04:56
June 20, 2019