Irrational Exuberance!

Good process is evolved, not designed.

January 1, 2019 Time management is an ongoing challenge for managers: so much to do, so little time. The early-career manager, learning to balance being pulled in so many directions, is a sympathetic figure. Empathy for senior managers, dashing between back-to-back meetings and five minutes late to each, can be hader to summon.

Defining policy, process and programs.

December 30, 2018 I'm working on a presentation for the SFELC Summit 2019 on the topic of designing effective process. There is so much worth saying here that I initially had some trouble narrowing it down. I think the best piece I've written on this topic is "Work the policy, not the exception", but hey, that's about policy not process.

Infrastructure planning: users, baselines and timeframes.

December 9, 2018 Technical infrastructure is never complete. System processes can always run with less overhead or be bin-packed onto fewer machines. Data can be retrieved more quickly and stored at a cheaper cost per terabyte. System design can broaden the gap between failure and user impact. Transport layers can be more secure.

Headcount dilemmas.

November 15, 2018 When I was four, I won a cake walk. For thoes who haven't partaken, a cake walk is when a group of folks walk around a path on the floor, and then stop when they are told to stop. Whether you win or lose a cake is entirely out of your hands, it's a matter of timing and position, both of which are out of your control. I've been reflecting lately on the forces which make headcount planning--really just a specialized form of resource allocation--difficult, and perhaps sthe cake walk has something to teach us.

Talent distributions.

November 4, 2018 When I was applying to college some years ago, one of my teachers asked me if I thought I would regret not applying to more prestigious schools, making the observation that it's not whether the professors will be good--professors are good everywhere--but the quality of the student body. Would I learn from my peers? I hadn't thought of that conversation in a decade, but it floated up through the layers of memory recently when someone asked why I originally joined Stripe.