Monthly Archives: December 2011

It’s Not Luck – Eliyah Goldratt

Updated following feedback from Joel-Henry GROSSARD in the comments below.

It’s Not Luck is a sequel to Eli’s first book The Goal, and follows the same basic strategy, following the career of the protagonist, Rogo, teaching us along the way the thinking and business principals that Eli sees as key.

I really enjoyed the book. Teaching through parables and stories is a great technique, and well followed in this book.

The big idea being communicated was a process for thinking carefully and deeply about problems. In looking through this, we see it being applied primarily in a business context, and additionally in the personal life of Rogo. The different scenarios presented help us to see how general an approach it is, and that it is something that we can apply to al areas of our lives. In looking at the business applications we also see some of the principles of how Eli would run a company. In particular I found the following summary of a good businesses goal and the necessary conditions required to meet very helpful:

  • Make Money now as well as in the future,

  • Provide a secure and satisfying environment for employees now as well as in the future, and

  • Provide satisfaction to the market now as well as in the future.

The goal of making money for a business and the necessary conditions are required to have a business that thrives both now and is sustainable. The conditions are required to ensure that the company is profitable, that employees are happy, and that customers are being served. All of which are required to ensure that the company works well now and it is being done in a sustainable way.

While I found this succinct description of goals for a company helpful, the key of the book is the thinking process presented within. I highly recommend you go and read It’s Not Luck, you’ll learn and have fun while doing so.

Codermetrics by Jonathan Alexander

Codermertrics provides an interesting idea, measuring software development with a goal of trying to find things to improve. I found it interesting having seen bad metrics used and talked about in past. Codermetrics goes beyond the classically missed “LOC” (Lines of Code) metric that developers rightfully loath, and presents a variety of different metrics to measure. It bases the ideas around Sabermetrics, the analysis of baseball through metrics.

I found the ideas presented in the book interesting, and pretty well presented. While I can’t see myself using them directly at the current point in time, I can see that measuring what is being doing can be useful for getting feedback, and helping to improve behaviours and techniques. The metrics presented in the book are interesting, and there are good ideas and tools for thinking about how to develop your own metrics, and refine those presented.

I’d recommend the book to people thinking about how to improve the performance of a software development team.

[This book was reviewed as a part of the O’Reilly Blogger Review Program]