January 2013

Picture of a shower dial

The danger of data-driven decisions: Avoid “the hot shower effect”

  • Adrian Reed 
  • 4 min read

Picture of a shower dialI travel a lot with my work.  One of the challenges of staying in a hotel for the first time is getting the shower to work.  Certainly here in the UK, there is no universal shower fitting – sometimes there can be an assortment of taps, dials and plungers and getting the water to flow out of the shower hose can be a challenge at what I call “06:00 BC” (the “BC” stands for “before caffeine”).

 

Having got the water flowing, the next challenge is getting it to the right temperature.  I’m sure we’ve all had experiences where it takes a few seconds for any adjustments to the temperature dial to affect the temperature of the water coming through the pipes.  This often leads to a reinforcing and amplifying feedback loop:  The water isn’t hot enough, so you turn the dial towards the “hot” side.  Nothing seems to happen, so you turn the dial a little further… then a few seconds later the water is much too hot so you turn it back down.  But then a few seconds later the water is ice-cold again, so the process repeats.  This leads to an oscillation whereby you’re turning the shower controls backwards and forwards, never quite settling on the “perfect” temperature.

Image of a man walking a tightrope in a circular blackhole

Avoiding the Security Black Hole with Non-Functional Requirements

  • Adrian Reed 
  • 2 min read

I’m pleased to say that one of my recent blog articles has been published on “Techwell.com”, where I have contributed as a guest author. I’d love to hear what you think, so please take a look and add a comment on the site. A short excerpt is shown below. Excerpt: As an avid Skype user, I couldn’t believe… 

A picture of a man in a pinstripe suit contrasted against a man drawing on glass

The creativity myth

A picture of a man in a pinstripe suit contrasted against a man drawing on glassI recently read an excellent and though provoking article entitled Essential and creative advice from Joss Whedon, Carrie Brownstein, Jim Stengel and 13 others.  The article cites some really creative tidbits and describes the content as providing “some useful insight into being creative in whatever realm you work in”.

 

I was really pleased to see that this article indirectly promoted the use of creative thinking in any industry.  My view is that every job or business should (or could) involve creativity, yet often pre-conceptions blinker us from the opportunities.  People talk about “The creative industries” as if these are the “owners” of creative thinking, ideation and fun.  This implies that everyone else has to come to work in pinstripe suits carrying a briefcase and wearing a bowler hat.  OK, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but I’m sure you understand my point!

 

Perception really matters – I’ll give you an example.  A few years ago I was working as a “Lead Business Analyst” in the Financial Services industry in the UK.  I’ll let you into a secret — when people hear the term “business analyst”, their eyes glaze over.  Even more so because it’s in Financial Services (which sounds dry, boring and dull at the best of times) so by the time I’d said “Business Analyst in the Financial Services Industry” people were generally either asleep or looking for an opportunity to get out of the conversation.

Using Your BA Skills to Set Career Development Goals

  • Adrian Reed 
  • 2 min read

I’m pleased to say that one of my recent blog articles has been published on “Techwell.com”, where I have contributed as a guest author. I’d love to hear what you think, so please take a look and add a comment on the site. A short excerpt is shown below.  The article relates to setting career goals–so if you’re…