Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the nice Mayflower inspire session in Berlin and with this post I share some impressions from three inspiring lightening talks about digital transformation, how to turn projects and devops on steroids.

Digital transformation

A quite interesting lightning talk by Bjoern Schotte about the tsunami digital transformation.

3 reasons for the tornado

  • smartphone domination – mobile ate the world – 5,5 of 8 billion people will use a smartphone by 2020
  • responsible and mature customers who use fluid channels to get informed about products. End users get far less predictable regarding their buying behavior
  • complex (software development) environments that changes faster than ever

And what can we do about it?

  • build small and fast teams
  • t shaped skills (deep in a few areas and wide in many areas)
  • DevProductSupportNetSecBizOps (BA,Marketing, FE/UX) – bring them together and tear down walls
  • use microservices and consider Conway’s laworganizations which design systems … are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations
  • deliver as fast as possible to learn as early as possible (if your product is fitting to market needs and to avoid heavy front loaded investments)
  • combine departments and enable short communication ways (build teams that have all necessary functions combined and colocated – cross functional but not just limited to IT functions)
  • 3 C’s – Card, Confirmation, Conversation and StoryMapping to get clarity and think of MVPs
  • use weighted decision matrix to drive decision making
  • include your end user
    • check for feature needs using
    • get deeper analytics using hotjar
    • work with feature flags and fake flags in your application
  • create thinking space, slack space
    • #workoutloud using wikis and microblogs
    • include slacktime
    • use internal barcamps, bownbags, random lunches and lightening talks
    • use work expos to explain and show your work and spread knowledge and transparency in your organization
  • consider growing agility (including mindset and culture) rather than just thinking about scaling it (just thinking about building and assembling)

Turning projects

Interesting insights by Jo Brunner about catastrophic projects and ways to turn it around.

  • on average developers spend 78% reading existing code, 20% changing it and 2% writing new code (study follows) – what a crazy situation.
  • development often gets far slower during time – complexity gets increased, the number of features/time goes down – you can see that often after around one year (considering you started on a green field project)
  • don’t fall into the pressure trap but make sustainable pace a basic alignment
  • pressure leads to a short term faster delivery followed by rapid decline of performance
  • consider Brook’s law of software development: adding manpower to a late software project makes it later
  • reduce the number of features (e.g. using weighted decision matrix and cost of delay calculations), the Kano model and MVP thinking
  • remove distractions and enable focus
  • done is better than perfect
  • sequentiell instead of parallel feature development

Dev Ops on steroids

Crazy fast and cool presentation by Johann-Peter Hartmann – Chief Tailwind Officer at Mayflower


  • Infrastructure as code (tech: ansible, saltstack, puppet, chef)
  • Infrastructure as a service (tech: new relic, kibana, logstash, pingdom, elasticsearch, icinga)
  • puppet labs – state of dev ops reports
    • High-performing IT organizations deploy 30x more frequently with 200x shorter lead times; they have 60x fewer failures and recover 168x faster
    • Lean management and continuous delivery practices create the conditions for delivering value faster, sustainably
    • IT managers play a critical role in any DevOps transformation
    • It doesn’t matter if your apps are greenfield, brownfield or legacy — as long as they are architected with testability and deployability in mind, high performance is achievable
  • DevOps sets top performers apart (and now even big companies got it)
  • ask Why shall we deliver 10 features a day … to get faster from our idea to the customer feedback, reduce the risk of building an not needed product and using time windows
  • if it hurts, do it more often
  • DevProductSupportNetSecBizOps (BA,Marketing, FE/UX) – bring them together and tear down walls
  • You built it, you run it
  • data driven company using product data, usage statistics
  • global optimization won’t work with department goals and management by objectives
    • global responsibility vs  clear accountability
    • common goals vs department goals and individual goals
    • global process optimizations vs. local and own process optimization
    • team decisions vs decider decisions
  • read the 5th discipline 
  • don’t hire dev ops or build dev ops departments – it’s a shared skill!

3 ways

Systems thinking

Amplify feedback loops


Why waiting for management and the business analyst? Find delays in your feedback (and decision chain) and try to remove it.

Fail cheap and often

  • use experiments and failure  ( 30 features a day and throw 27 away)
  • culture of continual


Thanks to Mayflower for hosting a great evening and enabling a fast update. The format of lightening talks was great to get an overview on 3 important topics.