Some of you might know that I went to graduate school. It’s an amazing experience, but incredibly intense. You are asked to gain a huge breadth of knowledge in your area of study and then dive deep in one small part of your specialty. The first two and a half years are focused on breadth, so we studied key thinkers and writers in our area. Often, there was so much reading that my cohort and I felt overwhelmed. I saw very different reactions to this workload over the years. Some people read as much as they could and stopped when they could. Some read parts of everything. Some dug deep in only one of the readings.
This Fall, my daughter came home with an assignment for her social studies class. She was supposed to create a replica of the headdress for the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor. She had to study each element of the headdress and understand what the snake, the sun and the horns meant to the people who worshipped Hathor. As we constructed the headdress out of foam, paint and metal, we talked about the meaning of the pieces. We were building an artifact – a physical thing that represented the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians and still carries a meaning for us today.
By Phil Verghis
For a few years now, leaders at customer support organizations have talked about moving customers from a ‘transaction-based’ service and support model to a ‘relationship-based’ one. This involves changing customers’ perceptions, from contacting you only when there are break-fix or how do I questions, to one that understands their business, including the technical and business context of their queries.
This last weekend, I was at a DevOps summit that included a wealth of different perspectives, from some of the early founders of the approach to many people who are applying it to their organizations today. For those of you who aren’t familiar with DevOps, it’s a set of practices that apply Agile and Lean (popular in development) to operations teams. It also seeks to leverage these same approaches to speed the handoffs between these groups.