This blog contains reflections and thoughts on my work as a software engineer

tirsdag den 24. juni 2008

Fusions for dummies

Does anybody know where to buy the "How to merge IT-infrastructure and culture of an organization - for dummies"? Well... My company is about to take part in a fusion which will give birth to a unified organization responsible for all sorts of athletics, sports and excersise in Denmark. Today we had a meeting where we discussed various issues concerning IT-migration stuff and various non-tech and tech. related issues. This is a quick summary gathered from my personal experiences and beliefs - it does not relate at all to anything other than my personal view on how to do things "the right way":

Do figure out a way to quickly deliver some shiny new functionality It sounds like an anti-pattern but it will make you and your current organization shine. It will also help positioning you and your team as a neccesary and vital part of a future IT-departement. Sometimes (most of the time, actually) people in charge doesn't have a clue about what's right and wrong in the world of software development - they however are in charge and do prefer shiny new stuff rather than a Powerpoint filled with techstuff which are very sexy if (and only if) you are a software developer.

Nothing good comes to he who waits. Be aggressive and argue your case to ensure that it is your concept and strategy which will lay the foundation of a new IT-infrastructure

Plan an internal plumbing-strategy to refactor old technical debts to a more smooth and agile solution. Focus on the most basic principles and stick to them. Get used to release often - in the wakening of a new organization waterfall strategies are doomed to fail miserably so you will have to be able to deliver quickly as Product Owners find themselves in the process of getting to know your new organization.

- People before you have lost wars because they won the wrong battles. Don't spend time upgrading your backend support system even if it sucks and lacks basic features - you can be pretty sure that a new one from another company will be planned for in a new organization. It sucks, right? And you argue your cause, so you have the arguments ready to convince the new IT-boss that the system should be discontinued in a new organization. Your frustrations will end on a specified date - don't waste precious time on upgrades if they will not survive the birth of a new organization

Be agile! (can you see the yellow glow above my head?). Don't expect anybody to be able to answer questions about the future so get used to living in a world of chaos. Be pleasantly surprised if you get guaranties and precise directions but don't be overly disappointed if people fail to answer to your frustrations. They don't fail because they want to displease you - they simply does not have authority or plain out doesn't know any better than you do.

Regards Kristian

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