How Enterprises Can Work Differently in the Digital Era

Creating a modern and flexible operating model for IT is no easy feat. Many technology organizations are still operating as a “service provider” to their business units, rather than a strategic partner. The moment this model becomes a problem is often when the business begins to move quickly or veer from the plan. For most companies undergoing a digital transformation, that time is happening now.

The foundation of much of enterprise IT is the budget under which they operate. Unfortunately, in many organizations, technology teams are still simply looked at as a cost centre. This means they are seen as…


How to use the right product metrics, and use them right.

In the world of Product Management, we’re often told that we need to be more data-driven. Sometimes, leaders from across the business will ask us to back up our decisions with some sort of metric. Where’s the data that proves this hypothesis? However, metrics are highly context-dependent. Data must be used carefully, to inform decision-making rather than blindly drive it. When we automatically default to leaning on the only data available without first understanding context, it can lead to a negative outcome.

Let’s look at two example metrics that are often captured in digital products: “number of clicks” and “time…


Exploring different ways to organize product teams

Let’s face it, there is no standard way to organize a company. Many factors like size, maturity, and capability will impact how an organization is structured — and it is no different for product teams.

Although there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat, each model will come with its own set of pros and cons. The bottom line is: there is no “right” way or better way overall — but there may in fact be a better way for your particular organization.

Similarly, the roles within the organization often differ based on these same factors. The…


A drawing of a transitional arrow, from cheeseburger to a glass of wine.
A drawing of a transitional arrow, from cheeseburger to a glass of wine.

How to give your customers a 5-star dining experience, not a $1.99 cheeseburger

It really pisses me off when I hear Product Managers describe their job along the lines of “I gather requirements from the customers and build into the product”. It paints the picture of a fast-food clerk endlessly customizing the burger order of every picky patron to walk through their doors.

Instead, Product Managers should act more like sommeliers. The sommelier is the expert on wine and knows all of the right questions to ask a customer–even the wildly inexperienced or annoyingly particular ones–in order to make a recommendation that delights them. …


Source: Visual Generation — iStock

Healthy alliances can be a critical growth factor for business

Within product-focused organizations, I’m of the opinion that the role of widespread partnerships is undervalued, and can go unnoticed when compared to direct sales channels and proprietary products.

In more dramatic cases, software-as-a-service businesses may shy away from forming partnerships until very late in their maturity. Despite various examples of unicorns that grew explosively in part due to partnerships, there still may exist a negative stigma against partnerships apparent within some organizations.

We can’t truly understand causality, but there are several potential reasons for why a company may avoid going the partner route. …


How the L&D business has become a life raft in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

To quote the great Bob Dylan, “The Times They are A-Changin”. The short-term impact of the global pandemic is evident to every one of us as we sit at home, sheltered from the outside world. On the other hand, we do not yet know the long-term effects that come from an event of this magnitude.

One long-term side effect that we can almost guarantee, however, is the global shift in the way we work. By this, I mean not only our day-to-day jobs — but the way we conduct business and how our workforces operate overall.

Leading up to 2020…


Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/NL_DF0Klepc

Hands-on command line tips for a Unix-like OS shell

Housekeeping Items 🏡

In this quick tutorial, we’ll be using the bash shell, but hey — use what you want. My personal favourite is zsh, which can be downloaded using homebrew — more on that tool another time. A shell is basically an interpreter for direct requests to the OS, using a command line rather than a graphical user interface. A “terminal” is a way to access this shell. We’ll be using “<>” to denote when something is a filler. For example, if you see <file name>.txt, that means any text file you’ll use in the example. For most commands there are many…


Exploring Different Types of APIs and When to Use Each

Source: Vectorstock

In today’s tech landscape, APIs are a hot topic. The rise of microservice based architectures opposed to legacy monoliths has further driven the necessity of robust APIs. With microservices, powerful applications are broken up – i.e. distributed as discrete components across numerous logical and physical machines. This is possible in part due to the availability of cloud computing – virtualized access to almost limitless compute and storage resources made available in a pay-as-you-go model, provided by large technology companies operating massive data centres around the globe.

These microservices based architectures are a contrast to the large-scale, tightly coupled applications of…


A Guide to Delineating Between Services, When Everything Is Labeled as One.

The year is now 2019, and we are fast approaching two whole decades in the 21st-century world. Changes have occurred at enormous scale since the early 2000s, across nearly every industry, sector, and vertical. Technology and its use in both business and everyday life has skyrocketed. Web 2.0 has come and gone, and we’re in the heart of digital transformation maturity. Everything is digital, and everything is a service.

But what does this all really mean? And what is a service? In the tech space, words like service, digital, platform, “big” data, analytics, and robotics get thrown around quite often…

Ryan S.

Product Person. Beer Nerd. Traveller. Writes about software, culture, and innovation. In constant search of the best coffee, tacos, and IPAs in a city near you.

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