Weekly Braindump #29

Error Reduction Vs Excellence, Lunch Time Talks & Resilience

Hello! Happy Bank Holiday Weekend! How’s your week been? Here’s what I’ve been doing/reading.

I’ve been working on…

It’s been a strange week of random network & server issues which largely wrote off what I had planned.

  • We returned to the topic of error reduction VS excellence VS innovation VS continuous improvement. When is good enough good enough? When do you keep polishing to get those ever diminishing returns? Is striving for an extra 1% improvement demoralising or motivating? Part of me thinks that a growth/learning mindset determines whether you find work rewarding or outright drudgery. I also think that knowing what environment you’re operating in is everything. I keep returning to the Cynefin framework as a fairly good indicator of what you should be doing in what context.
  • I’m going launch some lunchtime talks in work. Initially it’ll be colleagues doing the talking and sharing. This is another prong of my efforts to connect the dots across people & departments. We’ve got lots of people with lots of great ideas but often the hierarchy accidentally gets the way of igniting the spark. We’ve tried this digitally with limited success, so let’s see how a real-world version might work. More on this next week.
  • Experienced a network failure which pretty much knocked a floor out of operation for a couple of hours. Had me thinking about resilience not just in terms of hardware, but also in terms of people being able to work from anywhere when an office outage occurs. A colleague helpfully suggested we should write this up as a disaster recovery excercise which is a really good shout — I’ll be planning that in for next week.
  • Been wrestling with Exchange server (again!). This time some weird Exchange database problem caused the mailstore to rapidly eat disk space.. which is not good. Especially as the database is only ever designed to grow but never automatically shrink (good job Microsoft!). I continue to rage about some basic functionality that is missing from the GUI but is buried in the command shell. I quite like fiddling with scripts — but for expediency, it would be great if some of this stuff was more readily available.
  • Friday we waved goodbye to one of the team (he will be missed!). I had hoped to spend more time this week making sure we braindumped (on brand!) everything before heading out the door. The Kanban board was really useful in terms of knowing what was in motion and what needed reallocating. In doing the handover I realised that I may need to hasten my idea for building an internal wiki as a central tech knowledge repository. We tried this with Yammer initially, but search isn’t good enough and we need far more structure.

I’ve been reading…

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