All posts by Richard

Amazon doubles quarterly profits…

This is the most amazing statistic for me.

In the first quarter of 2018 Amazon collected more than $550m a day in revenue from Amazon.com sales, web hosting, TV production and Whole Foods

Amazon doubles quarterly profits to $1.6bn – and hikes annual cost of Prime | Technology | The Guardian

Diminishing Returns of DevOps…

Talking with a client this week, he was complaining about Agile methodologies and stated that his “next generation projects” were not delivering the expected productivity gains.

What was happening? I think that there were a few things at work here…

First, our client had spent a large amount of time and money “adapting” the methodology to his environment. During this process,  a number of key aspects had been watered down to the point where the base intent was lost.

Second, there was a serious lack of experienced Agile team members who knew what they were doing. I see this more and more across the industry. Without these experienced people to coach and lead, teams lose time and focus as they search for existing solutions.

Lastly, there are natural diminishing returns as the new practices are generalized. The first couple of generations of Agile projects were staffed with the best and most proactive advocates. With each generation of projects this gets watered down and there is a return to the mean.

It’s essential that companies understand what’s happening, where their projects fit in the larger heirarchy of Agile and adjust accordingly. It’s not possible for every project to be world beating but then every project doesn’t have to be.

#DXC #Agile

All over for retailers?

This week I attended the DXC Digital Retail event in Paris, and that got me thinking…

In 1969 Sears, Roebuck & Co was the largest retailer in the world, had over 350,000 employees with it’s irresistable mixture of physical stores and unrivaled delivery services. They divested into Insurance, Banking, Real Estate, even handtools and furniture.

They were so big that they looked for a new HQ and ended up building what was, at the time, the tallest building in the world, the Sears Tower in Chicago. By the time, the office was complete the world had moved on. Today the tower doesn’t even have the Sears name.

The parallels with Amazon are massive, especially at this moment. Back to the Digital Retail event.

Listening to the discussion groups, everyone danced around the subject but they were all thinking of Amazon. However, what was obvious is that nobody thought that this was the end game. In fact, one CIO said it best (excuse any errors in translation).

“We’re all still investing in Digital looking for the pay back”.

With no obvious playbook for everyone to follow, the game is still open and how to play it depends on your clients, your brand and, of course, your product.

What does this mean for DXC’s clients? It’s time to innovate, change and see what happens. That’s almost obvious but it’s not an open door to change.

Since there is no playbook, it’s almost worth trying anything on the shop floor, it also means that this isn’t the time to drop the ball on the basics. The back office needs to be efficient, solid and dependable; almost invistible. Only this allows you to shine in front of your clients day after day.

#DXC #Paris #Retail

 

Favourite albums…

I’ve been nominated to list 10 all-time, favourite albums. Ones which have really made an impact, been influential and are my go-to albums even if only now and then.

However, I’m not going to post one a day because I don’t look at Facebook every day.

These are in the order that I discovered them and with a comment, I couldn’t resist.

ELO – Out of the Blue

Stoke Goldington and a world of endless possibility.

Yazoo – Upstairs at Eric’s

Like getting new ears.

Pet Shop Boys – actually.

Brought in HMV Milton Keynes straight off the delivery truck.

The Beatles – 1967-1970

There was stuff older than me and then discovering Liverpool for a second time.

Bryan Adams – Reckless

The soundtrack of life in Brighton with a tape player in the glovebox.

Celine Dion – D’Eux

France! Everyday a new discovery.

Radiohead – The Bends

A Smart, football and flying the world.

Stereophonics – Word Gets Around

The best album about spending your teenage years in a small town.

Gomez – Liquid Skin

The last album on the desert island.

Ben Folds – Songs for Silverman

Children and California