Principles of Operational Excellence

Welcome to My Blog

Here we talk about Operational Excellence in Software Development and other relevant topics such as management, leadership, business, books, science, and technology. I add new content regularly. Subscribe now to stay informed and help us grow!

Topics to Explore

What to Expect

This website focuses on complex yet critical topics that can make or break your software business. I have spread its content conveniently over four large categories.

The first category examines Operational Excellence in Software Development, where I define a complete framework allowing software developers to refine their deliveries and enhance their value proposition.

The second category focuses on business and management theory, without which business would be, to quote Wallace B. Donham, HBR’s founder, “unsystematic, haphazard, and for many men a pathetic gamble”

Organisational theory and culture, transformation, performance, and leadership are at the heart of these discussions, supplemented by material on philosophy, anthropology, and complexity science to provide the theoretical backbone for our ideas.

I have avoided, as best I can, discussing matters where our experience in the field is not relevant. I believe in combining theory with field expertise rather than dogmatically following ideas that appeal to us for their aesthetics or because they confirm our biases.

In the third category, I discuss technological advancements in the fields of computer and natural science that have the potential to change the world as we know it. Quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and complexity theory are slowly changing how we perceive and interact with our world.

The final category will offer a great selection of books that have greatly influenced my intellectual and professional growth. For convenience, I present these reviews in two categories: Business and General Interest.

Curiosity is antifragile, like an addiction, and is magnified by attempts to satisfy it.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder — Nassim N. Taleb

Our Approach

The attentive reader of this website will identify three regular patterns that underlie most of the ideas I present.

These patterns are:

  • Going to the sources, sometimes known as the method of First Principles
  • Practices reinforced by theory, also known as theory-informed practice, from Dave Snowden’s lectures on complexity
  • Adding hands-on personal experience to the mix.

Going to the sources — Two reasons urge us to dig out the origins of a complex topic. 

  • First, we can better assimilate its concepts by familiarising ourselves with its history, architects, and the drivers that led to its inception.
  • Second, even the most original, paradigm-shifting ideas (like Agile or Test-Driven Development) tend to be washed down with time by incorrect application, stringent codification, commodification, and ritualisation beyond recognition. 

Examples of commodification include the three-day training on becoming Agile or Six Sigma belts and ranks.

Ritualisation occurs when we accumulate practices that add little value but are incorporated regardless just because they are part of the package.

Going back to the sources gives us insights into what is core and fundamental and, therefore, must be considered and what can be safely discarded.

Theory-informed practice — Theory without field expertise rarely stands outside academia. On the other hand, practice without theory is no more than hunches and intuition, whose effectiveness will drastically decline as soon as the context shifts.

The theoretical understanding allows us to understand why some methods work while others don’t. A sound theory provides context-aware frameworks, tools, and practices rather than universal and, therefore, washed-down brittle solutions.

Expertise acts as a filter, separating the practical from the impractical, testing what is desirable but not practical and vice versa.

Personal field experience — Most of our articles discuss topics I am intimately familiar with or have observed in real-world scenarios. Two reasons impose this constraint.

  • First, our convictions, opinions, and thoughts are invariably the byproducts of our interactions with the world and are never purely produced by pure intellectual reasoning. Therefore, it is futile to deny their impact on our ideas.
  • Second, I believe that original content based on field experience stamps writings with authenticity and sincerity.

Exceptions exist but are rare and include fascinating and insightful issues like quantum computing and mega-projects that like-minded readers will enjoy.

Keep in Touch!

We strive to add new content frequently. If you like the topics we discuss, make sure to subscribe, it’s free and will remain so!

Also, let’s know in the comments if you have different views, believe the ideas presented were valuable or would like us to cover other topics.

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Georges Lteif
Georges Lteif

Full-time Product Owner with 17+ years in software implementation and delivery