Solutions

Again I find myself contemplating the problem with setting IT organisations on the “right path” with regards to transformation. It almost seems that out of politeness and I suppose an obligation to some pretence created before my arrival. There is a common pattern to the “Digital transformation” get in some tools, an issue tracking system, a continuous integration platform, maybe some kind of orchestration, a version control system, etc… normally these will all be the “likely suspects.”   



At some point, someone will say something like “I feel we’re creating solutions for the unknown” at which point I will look at them somewhat at a loss for words. Not because I disagree but because I deeply understand that they are likely right, it isn’t very smart to go “yes I know, but this is what the organisation has asked for and as such that’s more or less what we’re going to do.” What would I do for most of these organisations if given carte blanch? Firstly I wouldn’t set about putting in place tools until we had to, remember “Do just enough so that you can get started.” I suppose I take the most issue with the process and management side of the whole thing. Version control is likely the only thing that’s a no-brainer you go with some flavour of hosted git, which one? I don’t really care.

The last thing I’d ever commit to is a computerised issue management system whether it’s VSTS, Atlassian or Kanbanize, why? Because that way leads to creating a “solution” that doesn’t make any sense. There will be loads of features you never use and as many that don’t fit the business and given the business doesn’t even know what it wants yet you’re in a sticky place.

By the way, I really dislike the word solution, as I tend to find that today’s solution is tomorrow’s embuggerance. I’m very much a believer in the Toyota view of “countermeasures” this is what we’re doing until we find a better way of doing it and we will constantly challenge ourselves with finding a better way of doing this.

So I would say the best thing is to stick to using sticky notes, large bits of paper, whiteboards, bits of string, felt tip pens, and A3 reports. I’d suggest talking every day and changing things every week or so. Engender PDCA and robust problem-solving methodology. Then maybe after six months or a year, you’ll be ready to commit the current state to a computer system of your design. Don’t buy COTS as it’ll have lots of things you don’t want and it will lack lots of things you do want. You can use the time saved by your new processes to do this development work if you do go for a standard packaged piece of software look for the one that sets the least level of constraints. You can’t trust that a third party piece of software won’t do something your company can’t accept.

I honestly think that this would drive far better practice and adoption in almost all organisations. Though we wouldn’t get to deliver nicely packaged “solutions.”

Dark Road

It didn’t take much time to think about his answer, yes, of course, he’d take the job, who could turn down that kind of opportunity? And now here he was sat in the driving rain waiting for a delivery man. The road was dark a single street light out of a half-dozen seemed to still function, streams of water ran into drains, a burbling sound mixed in with the wind whistling around Georgian townhouses and safety railings. What a miserable night to be out, but it was going to be worth it when he got paid.

Through a window in a house opposite he could make out the top few inches of television, he imagined a family sat in there nice and warm, eating a nice meal. His stomach growled it had been a couple of days since he’d last eaten. He tightened his coat and hunkered down; he’d found a place to squat down by a wall that stuck out a bit further than the others. It didn’t provide much coverage but it was better than none. He tugged at his beanie.

“I fucking hate this.” He muttered to himself, howling wind picked up, and he rubbed his nose. The headlights of a car came into view, maybe it was his lucky day he thought to himself, but it rolled on past. A Toyota Prius. He sighed and stared at the road.

Hey kid. Gotta light?” A low voice suddenly came from nowhere, he looked around and stood hunched over next to him was a figure of a man all in shadow and black a cigarette punching ivory white out of the shadow. He just sat there. How the hell did this massive slab of a man suddenly appear above him, blocking out the rain he was so huge. 

“Kid you deaf as well as dumb, I asked if you had a light.” The voice was intimidating, all the more intimidating because all he could make out was shadow and a the tip of a cigarette surely there should be a face there somewhere. He gathered himself and rummaged through his pockets.

“Sure, here” his voice wavered. His hand shakily held the lighter up and the figures gloved hand took it from him and then the figure stood up, he could of swore it looked like he was over seven foot tool. He cupped the lighter to his face and sparked it up, as the fire lit up the figure face for a moment he could swear he saw a skull. 

“Cheers kid.” The figure handed back the lighter, turned and strolled off down the road, cane in one hand, cigarette in the other. Was that guy seven foot tall with a skull for a face and blue flames for eyes? He asked himself, then pinched his cheek. 

Consequences

Of late I have been watching a lot of whimsical anime along with a lot of modern magic stuff and once again I’m stuck thinking about folklore and fairy tales and how they could make great settings. Now I know that there is loads of stuff out there already with these kinds of settings but I think there’s a lot of room for great storytelling to be done. As always my mind is abuzz with various different options and scenarios, I think I’ll probably get started by doing some research into British folklore.

“Mahoutsukai no Yome”
A strong theme in most settings is that magic is slowly ebbing out of the world and that any form of magic requires an equivalent exchange. A deal with some mythical entity or giving up something of value to the caster and some kind of friction between magic users who gain their power from spirits or nature and those who use more hermetic or alchemical routes to power.
“Durarara”
Another interesting category is where the mundane and mystical interact and where the mundane may end up being even more monstrous than the supernatural. Durarara is a pretty good example of this where the mundane are thrust into being the exceptional among an eclectic cast of eccentrics and supernatural characters.

A Godless World System Tweaks

Hit Points

Hit points in this setting do not go up with levels, they are set from the begining and can only go up via extraordinary circumstances or by using feats. As such it is based off of the characters constitution statistics.The lowest starting hit point value for a player character is four.

The idea behind this change is to get around how characters become progressively more “bullet spongy” as time goes on, going from so flimsy a light breeze can kill them to indomitable monsters that nothing can harm regardless of character stats or class.

Fatigue Points

Fighting is an exhausting process both physically and mentally,

Constitution Hit Die Number Die modifier
1 1 D4 -2
2 – 5 2 D4 0
6 – 7 2 D6 0
8 – 9 2 D6 +2
10 2 D6 +3
11 3 D6 +2
12 4 D6 +2
13 4 D6 +3
14 4 D8 +3
15 5 D8 +3
16 5 D10 +2
17 5 D10 +3
18 5 D12 +2
19 6 D12 +2
20 6 D12 +3

Melee Damage

To go with the theme melee damage outside of power moves is greatly modified by a player characters strength statistic. Note, weapon notation will be greatly modified to go along with this system.

The idea here is that a monstrous hulking barbarian should do considerably more damage then a spindly barbarian. Also that a broardsword in the hands of said barbarian will do more damage then in the hand of his averagly built bretheren.

Strength Die Number Die modifier
1-5 1 -2
6-8 1 -1
9-10 1 0
11 1 +1
12 1 +2
13 2 +1
14 2 +2
15 3 +1
16 3 +2
17 4 +1
18 5 +1
19 5 +2
20 6 +1

Some weapons will have a maximum damage, this indicates that the character is unable to use their full strength for risk of breaking the weapon, the player may choose to disregard this however they must make a roll to see if the weapon breaks. Roll a d6 1 to 3 it breaks 4 to 6 it doesn't the threshold for breaking increases by one for each extra die beyond the first so 2d above the max damage means the weapon breaks on a 1 to 4.

The Unlife

There was a time where I would not have wished the pain of slow agonising death on anyone, where the thought of wishing another to feel their innards rot away, the ability to smell and taste their own rotting flesh forever, was unthinkable. Hoping to inflict the sense of maggots burrowing through their soft belly or worms squriming through ones skull, slithering down your neck, such hopes would have seemed monstrous. But now, having lived like this for so long I wish nothing more than to inflict this hateful agonosing state of unlife on those blessed enough to still be alive and more so to those who can afford with coin or service to prolong the delay of the unset of such unpleasent effects of death. How I hate that now I can barely move, limbs rotted away mearly my malignant spirit festering in this rotting hust that had once been so strong. How I hate the heroes that slayed the gods trapping us here for all eternity to fester on this dying world, how praised they were, how foolish they seem now.

I shall go on lingering no doubt long past the time my mind completly decays to maddness and roam the lands a mindless ghost, oh how I hope that time comes soon, how blissful it shall be to be no more than a mindnless malignant spirit tormenting the living to my hearts content, heart, how droll.

Asylum – Discoveries

The Kuiper Belt 2371June 3rd

18:31 Atomic Earth Time

Deep Space Survey Vessel Utopia

“This is survey team Vulture, I think we’ve got something here…”

“Please extrapolate Vulture.”

A pause on the communication line.

“We’ve got no idea survey command, but it’s nothing we’ve ever seen before.”

“We’re on deep space survey vessel floating in the outer parts of the Kuiper belt Vulture, we haven’t seen much of this before.”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m serious, whatever this is shouldn’t be here. I think, wait, no I am not going to speculate – we need a Research team out here command. We need a research team now.”

“We’ll have our internals run over your data and tight beam to Jupiter if it’s as interesting as you say.”

“Oh it’s interesting. We’re dropping the survey beacons and getting out of here.”

“Over”

 

Earth 2371 August 18th 22:00

Atomic Earth Time

London – High Street Kensington “The King William”

A young man stared at a glass half full of synthetic alcohol, actual alcohol was banned in the early 22nd century, flicked the side of the glass and leant back. A screen rezzed up into view and the interface quickly changed, a news stream started to play, he sipped at his drink again.

“Boo” A female voice.

“What the!” He jumped, turned and, looked at the source of the voice so close he almost clipped her nose with his own. Bobbed brown hair, bright violet eyes, ridiculously pale skin amplified by subtle natural makeup.

“For a detective, you’re remarkably unperceptive.” She slipped onto the stall next to him and ordered a drink from the service drone.

“Only when I’m not on the job.”

“That’s when it’ll get you killed. What were you watching? Something inappropriate?” She tapped something by her ear.

“News stream, about the Utopia.”

“The survey ship they found wrecked around Neptune?”

“Yeah that one, all hands lost.”

“That’s deep space survey for you, one rogue rock and you’re turned inside out.”

“Charming.”

“I work with you, I’m hardly likely to be a sophisticated lady now am I.”

“Why are you late anyway?”

She made a disgruntled sound and knocked back the drink “Paperwork, and that dickhead from department two sniffing around again.”

“You mean Administrator Dee? He’s a high flyer you should cash in.”

“If only he wanted me for my body, sadly it’s all about what’s in here.” She tapped the side of her head.

“Isn’t it always? One of the only psychics in Urban Pacification, it’s a wonder you ever joined our little band of law enforcers.”

She stretched and flexed her wrists as if they were cat paws “Nyan, Department two just isn’t my style. A girls gotta catch up!” She gave a little smile and ordered another drink.

Two people walked towards them, the young man gave the pair a brief wave.

Late again

“Where was it you said you were from again?” The young man asked me as I glanced around the shop my partner next to me dressed in a stuffy looking suit, fedora on top of his head.

“We’re librarians, we work for the British Library.” Christopher, my partner, was looking tired again, probably up reading all night. “We’re looking for a book” he continued.

“So you said, well there are plenty of books here for you to look at I suppose.” The young man pushed a pair of spectacles up the bridge of his nose.

“It’s not just any book, it’s old, very old,” I said with a sigh, tilting my head to look at the door ajar behind the man.  “The cover is somewhat leathery.”

“Well this is a small library we wouldn’t, however, have anything of that sort.” I watched the young man shift in his seat, a thin sheen of sweat on his forehead.

“Really? It has some rather unnerving pictures in it, and the paper, well wouldn’t seem like paper from a mill.” I had been up all night chasing leads around while Christopher had no doubt been relaxing at home.

“We mean skin,” Christopher announced in a blunt tone. The man’s eyes went wide and a bead of sweat ran from his temple down into his sideburns.

“Sheepskin of course, very old,” I said leaning to the side a bit to see if I couldn’t get a better view through the door.

“We have it on good advice it was here.” Christopher hammered again, today it seemed was not a day for tact. I had had to talk to some very unsavoury, er, people to get the information that led us here.

“W w wu” The man stuttered.

“W w W Where is the damn journal, Cultist!” I snapped at him.

The man sneered at us as the building began to shake.

“I think we’ve found the journal.” Christopher quipped.

“Oh drat.”

“And I think we’re late again.”

“Oh shut up.” I placed my bag on the man’s table, opened it and pulled out a double-barreled shotgun and a stick of dynamite, Christopher already had his trusty service pistol and had already taken a brief moment to knock the young cultist out cold.

“Ladies first.” Christopher gestured towards the door, behind which and likely down into some kind of basement unspeakable horrors once again awaited.

“I hate chivalry,” I said strolling past him

The Concept of Understanding

There was once a time where a single man of average ability and intellect, given all required raw materials and written knowledge would be able to construct all the technology man possessed.

 

Towards the middle of the 20th century this was no longer the case, and by the end of the 20th century there were many individual technologies that were impossible. While a single man could craft all the items required for a steam engine, or an early automobile or a plane, with enough time and knowledge, in a single life time.

 

However the end of the 20th century saw such a vast wealth of new knowledge and most importantly its application in devices. It would take the expertise of a thousand human beings and the understanding of a hundred to construct a single device – of course with mass production those thousands could create millions of such devices. But it would still require those thousand to make one device or a million.

 

By the end of 26th century it would take the whole effort of humanity to produce the massive ships that sailed the skies, and the AIs produced technology as if they were a million Einsteins each in a single room, all communicating and debating. Mankind could never understand the devices they built again.

His Mountain of Death

“Alright squad we’re just going through the numbers, just like training, if you keep your head you’ll get to sleep in your bunk soon enough.” The sergeant’s voice came in clear over Simon’s headset, everywhere he looked a virtual hud was displayed with data feeds and gauges superimposed over the vid feeds from outside of his battlesuit. He was in a trench peaking out over a no-mans land of razor wire, mines and craters along with the other dozen troopers in his squad. He was wondering if any of the others were quaking in their boots.

The battlesuit was a standard model, he had a rocket pod and a rail gun and a good inch of super advanced armoured alloys and artificial muscles between him and the toxic smog of the battlefield, apparently someplace in what was once China. He checked the gauges for his ammo again, then the o2 scrubbers, and then the generator, it must have been the thousandth time today. All in the green. Besides the occasional uplifting speech from the sergeant, the troopers exchanged jokes and begged for the enemy to hurry up. How long had they been waiting for some action?

Then his recon gear lit up, his heart skipped a beat, then. “Sergeant, seismic just went off the chart.” his eyes flicked from menu to menu.

“Distance soldier.” The sergeant’s voice level and professional with a slice of lemon and ice.

“Two klicks, closing fast, they’ll be here in moments.” His voice had a tinge of panic to it, slightly to shrill, he focused on the readouts to drown out the doubt in his mind.

“Well troopers, time to test your metal.” As the sergeant spoke the blinding white flash followed by deafening booms of tactical nuclear mines erupting in no-mans land. Cheers went up from his squad mates, chatter about the awesome might of the nuclear detonations. A second past as his vid feed regained clarity, another few moments passed, he began to smile, was that it? Then they began to emerge, probably ones from further back who had avoided the full blast of the mines.

Grotesque insect-like things, all claws, teeth and muscle.

“Raptors!” One of his comrades shouted.

“Let them eat tungsten kids.” Sergeant commanded. Everyone let loose, he wasn’t short on targets and fired into the swarm. Screeching sounds coming from the armoured monstrosities as they sped towards them at blistering speed. His could hear the roar of the rail guns and support Gatling cannons. The shouts and whoops of his team members. He glanced at the recon gear, 500 meters, laying down more fire, 400 meters, still firing, 300 meters, the hundreds had seemed to become thousands, the sounds of spent cartridges being expelled from cannons, the boastful shouts becoming more concerned, less chatter. More firing, 200 meters.

“Recon bring in fire on the line 50 meters!”

“Yes sir, fire support requesting fire at marked location, overwhelming swarm.” He shouted into the comms on the support channel.

“Fire support incoming trooper.”

Suddenly a blast of red and gore exploded from Anderson’s helmet, he twisted and could clearly see the gore oozing from what had been Anderson’s skull. He felt his trousers go damp and warm, the fear clenched around his every being.

“Fuck me.” He exclaimed to himself. Whizzing sounds were all around him now, the beasts were firing razor disks. He poured fire into the mass that was almost at the line, raptors leapt over the pilled corpses of their fellow beasts, bloodthirsty shrill screeches. Then the whistling of shells overhead and more blinding explosions. Peterson screamed a raptors claw wedged through his torso, its jaw closing over his battlesuits head. Simon turned and fired shredding the creature. Dozens more came over the top, he pulled out his powered chain sword, another beast landed on Peterson’s corpse and opened his suit like a can of tomatoes, guts, blood and shit spraying over the trench. The melee became a gruesome affair that they were sorely outmatched in, raptor gore oozed and mixed with the eviscerated remains of his comrades, limbs strewn left and right. The red mist of battle rage, he’d not noticed as the syringes sunk into his neck filling him with an uncontrolled bloodlust.

“KILL” was the only thing that flashed through his throbbing chaotic mind, beast after beast fell into the pit with him and he tore them limb by limb like a crazed child with a crane fly but the swarm didn’t slow. From his mountain of death, he turned to look out over no-mans land once more where he saw monstrous giants like titans of legend except formed of twisted flesh, faces of men and women in twisted agony across their bloated torsos. Then as the beasts fell upon him in a hateful frenzy the world went from red to white, then to black.

 

DevOps, Technical Principle or Institutional Discipline?

Work In Progress

DevOps as a term is seen to have emerged after a 2009 Velocity conference where John Allspaw and Paul Hammond gave their “10 Deploys per day: Dev and Ops Cooperation at Flickr” presentation. During which they described how they created shared goals between Dev and Ops to make deployment a part of everybody’s day job.

Later that year Patrick Debois excited by the idea went on to create the first DevOpsDay in Belgium where the term “DevOps” was born.

Source “DevOps Handbook p. 5” 

The DevOps and I

“To know where we’re going, we need to know from where we came”

I have no idea when I first came across the empty vessel widely referred to as devops but likely it was a couple of years after it’s inception as a thing over at “el Reg” and no doubt like many people from a technical operations and production support background I looked at it with something akin to dejection. “Another word to add to the lingo bingo of tech talk,” I thought. On the surface, the language used to describe devops function tends to revolve around the web, Greenfield deployments and startup ventures with nothing much to offer the enterprise. 10s (at the time) of deployments a day, globally distributed presence at a flick of a switch, self-service for developers so on and so forth, wicked but can you get Jenny in systems her new laptop on time and will the bacs system be up for payroll run? Can you tell me anything about how we get this monolithic java enterprise app running? No? Ah well.

Another thing about these early years of mine and no doubt others exposure to the concept of devops was that a lot of it sounded like things we already did, using scripts to provision resources, having monitoring systems perform self-healing, trying to help developers with their local environment builds. Nothing I’d heard coming out of the devops space seemed like it wanted to solve these problems in an enterprise or legacy setting, often hand waving and the “let devs run wild on production” which would make most operations peoples blood run cold.  Now many of us are no fools, we know that if we get the dev some level of read access or a way to aggregate logs to them it’ll speed up resolution of issues, but actual production access is concerning on a number of levels particularly if you’ve been in the game for a number of decades. We’ve all had similar conversations to the below

Dev "It works on my local system"
Ops "But you don't run firewalls and everything is on the same system"
Dev "Sure it's quicker that way and it works"
Ops "You're supposed to use the test environment"
Dev "That things always broke, I raised a ticket a month ago to get it fixed"

As the years went by and nothing particularly insightful came on the overall principles around devops a number of really useful tools and concepts started to emerge namely central configuration management tools like puppet and chef allowing for “Infrastructure as code” and the idea of Test Driven Infrastructure. From an operations point of viewpoint, these technologies and ideas helped solve real problems and were a successor to the system administrators toolbox of bash, perl and powershell scripts operations had since the Unix days.

Roll forward again and everyone is talking about bots, and I get interested so go off to do a quick Microsoft academy session on bots as the framework had just come out and they recommended two books, “The Lean Enterprise” and “The Devops Handbook” okay I’ll bite. It may have been about azure container services actually, anyway if you’re bored I’d suggest going to have a look at the Microsoft academy it’s pretty good.

And Lo There were Principles!

Page XIV of the DevOps handbook preface, the following two and a half pages lay out the devops myths that permeated most of the blogs, consultants, management speak and, readily available online discussion I had encountered to that point.

“DevOps is only for startups”
“DevOps is incompatible with ITIL”
“DevOps is incompatible with security and regulatory compliance”
“DevOps means eliminating IT Operations”
“DevOps is just infrastructure as code”

There were two others but these were some of my main areas of interest, then the book in quick succession moves onto its introduction “Imagine a World Where Dev and Ops Become DevOps” the very first paragraph asking you to imagine a world where all the various main roles in the delivery of IT services to the customer all work together, not just to help each other out, but towards overarching organisational goals! Holy Mother I’m holding dynamite I thought, it then goes on to explain the IT Death Spiral (I’ll dive into these later) and I’m just going “Yep, I know this, I’ve seen this, are they in my office?” Of course, they weren’t it’s simply that the same story is being played out in organisations around the world all the time there are likely hundreds of thousands of organisations spiralling the drain as I write. I didn’t get much further into the book at that point but I came away with two things.
Number One, for the first time in well I can’t really say it felt like I had had an epiphany. This could really change things, for everyone, forever!
Number Two, I had to read more, I immediately picked up the Pheonix Project (a novel about a fictional organisation that finds DevOps) and Toyota Kata. Why Toyota Kata? Well because in Toyota lived the principles that the DevOps handbook and Pheonix Project alluded too.

For me, devops had become DevOps.

The Friction at the Heart of IT Services

I’ll use IT Services as a catch-all for the all-encompassing mass of an organisation’s various technology obligations including but not limited to security, projects, quality, testing, development, servicing systems that customers directly use, core and remote infrastructure, servicing systems required by end users to do their day job and generic support.

At the core of a non-DevOps organisation, there is an overwhelming friction between “development” and “operations” illustrated below

With these two major arms of the IT Service in a state of constant conflict, it’s not entirely surprising that heated confrontation is often routine and we end up in a state of cold war with the two sides often passively undermining one another.

Often a release into production becomes akin to throwing a ball over a wall… though as me and a friend in QA management often say it’s more like they polish up a turd and then throw that over the wall. But let us pretend it’s a ball.

"Development are idiots, they've shipped buggy code again!" Says Ops girl.
"Operation are idiots, they've deployed the wrong tar ball again!" Says Dev boy.

As a result of every failed release Operations add a new administrative step or an additional manual test to stop the problem from happening again while development gets dragged into trying to fix a problem they can only see in the rear glass mirror which with every new step gets smaller and smaller.  At the same time, the time that is supposed to be being used to develop the next feature is getting smaller which will lead to less testing time and increases the chance of new problems in production. Everything just keeps getting worse as pressure at both ends of the supply chain gets higher, downtime windows get longer, the frequency of releases drops, fear builds with each new deployment, fixes upon fixes, patches upon patches, bodges upon bodges, heroic firefighting from all sides, we are going down the drain faster and faster. Before you know it you’re down to two releases a year and months of planning before each one, invariably followed by months of firefighting and emergency out of order patching.

This is the conflict at the heart of most organisations IT Services and It is the source of the IT Death Spiral.

You know you’re in the death spiral if, tick as applicable:-

  • Every release is met with dread.
  • Development is producing dozens of pages of documentation detailing every tiny thing.
  • Release meetings that take hours spread over months.
  • Everybody and their grandmothers are in those meetings but rarely anyone from development or operations.
  • Operations spend weeks preparing their documentation and doing test runs.
  • Everyone is trying not to be part of the deployment team.
  • You need a deployment team!
  • Everything is done on site.
  • You do the release over a weekend (or even better, bank holiday weekend!)
  • You’ve got a change process even your auditors think is thorough.
  • The feature set of the release is likely a tenth of what it was supposed to be and you already know there are bugs in it.
  • Nobody really knows why you’re putting the release in.
  • Nobody in the business is excited or expects it to work.
  • The development cycle is shot to pieces.
  • The release window is guaranteed to overrun.

Now I’ve fallen into the old trap of only talking about releases, but I am attempting to highlight the core conflict, I shall get onto the mundane but critical items later on.

Lean and DevOps, Here to Help

Jeez, we having nightmares yet? Well, all hope is not lost!

“Start by getting the boring stuff right”

So let’s cut to the chase, in my opinion, DevOps is no more a technical skill set than the Toyota Production System is. In The Pheonix Project the first time we see the fruits of everyone’s labor is when Bill gets his laptop delivered to him, he can’t believe that his laptop could possibly have been replaced so he goes off to complain to Patty who points out that yes they’ve done all the laptops and that amazingly they can now accurately predict when they will get future laptops to users! What has this got to do with cloud deployment skills, continuous deployment or automated environment management? Nothing of course.

So what is DevOps? What do we need to reach DevOps and break the self-destructive IT death spiral?

One thing we need to do is we need to determine where we are and where we want to be. High-level organisational goals that are well understood should be by everyone and every project should be aligned with those goals this is part of understanding the current state. Once you have goals you can go through everything and check to see if it will affect those goals if it doesn’t then it should be considered for dumping. Having high-level ephemeral goal is also important for an organisation overall as it gives you a True North to align yourself towards when you’re wandering through the unknown territory that is the now.

Communication is key, break down barriers that inhibit the accurate transfer of knowledge and make sure everyone is on the same page and aligned with the organisational goals. It’s a lot easier to push a boulder if you’re all pushing from the same side.