I always loved this quote: “Nothing is more dangerous than using yesterday’s logic for today’s problems,” which shows you that you just cannot afford to get lazy and do the same thing again and again. This origins larger problems when you measure it up. Gary Hamel summaries the problem our organizations aspect as follows: “Right now, your company has 21st-century Internet allowed business processes, Mid-20th-century management processes all made atop 19th-century management principles.” One of the main facts for me to write “DevOps for the Modern Enterprise” was to help report this mismatch between the work we want to do, creative IT based problem answering, and the management belief many managers still have, that of IT being accomplished just like manufacturing.
I like to use the term “mental model” to define what having the wrong attitude means for the everyday job of managers and other executives. Let’s take a very real example to show you how your mental model forms your view of reality. Look at the vase in the picture below. What do you see? Depending on how your brain has been shaped up to this day, you will see different things on the vase. Children predominately see 9 dolphins (see further below to help you see them). I guess that you saw something different, didn’t you?
Suggested read: Widely used DevOps automation tool
What does that say about your mental model of truth and your preferences? What this application hopefully shows you is that each person’s view of reality is not correctly similar and that the mental model you use makes a vital difference in how you perceive reality and act. Recognizing IT, similar to manufacturing leads & to management processes that are inappropriate, you are looking for productivity measures where there are none (more about that here), you expect people to be expendable resources, you think that setting the procedure will fix the end-product and that you can upfront plan for projects. Pretty much all of those have been shown to be incorrect.
As a starting exercise for moving your mental model, I recommend watching Dan Pink’s video on inspiration (watch it here). I leverage his idea extensively in my book and think it is a perfect match for Agile delivery where we provide purpose by providing the agile team with the setting of the problem they are resolving, we permit them to achieve mastery finished quick feedback cycles and we created cross-functional teams that are sensibly autonomous.
Read: Traditional DevOps
Once you know Dan Pink’s mental model you can easily identify some of the common problems with agile projects that don’t deliver those three motivators. This shift in mental models is moving stuff and goes much more in areas of operations and working with vendors/partners, you can read more about it in my book. For now, I hope I was able to inspire you to look more into the topic and for you to try to be more alert of your own mental model. It is worth interesting the model you have and maybe you are then able to get those dolphins, too!