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Theory of Constraints

Great interview with Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project, discussing the Theory of Constraints and delays in project development.

Great interview with Gene Kim, author of The Phoenix Project, discussing the Theory of Constraints and delays in project development. Here is an excerpt starting from minute 6:50.

"I've been trained in the theory of constraints and one of the things I think is so powerful is the notion of the constraint in the value stream. What is so provocative about that notion is that any improvement not made at the constraint is an illusion. If you fix something before the constraint you end up with more work piled up in front of the constraint. If you fix something after the constraint you will always be starved for work."

In most transformations, if you look at what's really impeding flow, the fast flow of features, from development to operations to the customer, it's typically IT operations.

Operations can never deliver environments upon demand. You have to wait months or quarters to get a test environment. When that happens terrible things happen. People actually horde environments. They invite people to their teams because the know they have reputation for having a cluster of test environments so people end up testing on environments that are years old which doesn't actually achieve the goal.

"One of the most powerful things organizations can do  is to enable development and QA to be able to get the environments they need when they need them."

That's all fine and dandy, but how do we fix it? Isn't the problem of provisioning environments something we just have to live with? So what? That's life right?  Wrong! There is a solution. Database virtualization enables provisioning the largest and most difficult part of development and QA environment in minutes  and on demand. What a clear and powerful testament to the power of  database virtualization

Gene Kim, quoted above, is the author of  The Phoenix Project which is a great book laying out a captivating (at least for geeks) adventure of finding out where and what the constraints are at a company.

As each constraint is found the protagonist finds  how alleviate the constraint.  Eventually after eliminating the major constraints the new efficiencies  take the company from a losing position in the market to the market leader. What is the impact of the major constraint in IT, the  inability to provision environments on demand? A quote from the IT Revolution Manifesto. According to analysts, global IT spending in 2010 was approximately $10 trillion.

But nearly 70% of IT projects fail, and nearly 50% of IT work is unplanned work or rework. If we conservatively estimate that 20% of IT work is wasted, that's $2 trillion of value each year that we're letting slip through our fingers.

Many people read that and think it's ridiculous and maybe those numbers are high, but whether they are high or not, it's clear that project failure has a massive world wide impact.

"UK government scraps the PS12 billion National program for IT in the NHS"

WORLD Cost of IT Failure $6 Trillion  

What are the issues that are leading to project delays and project failures?

#1 Issue Facing Bank CIO's in 2014: "Dealing with the Complexity of Data"

"Implementing effective data access and ..  nimble infrastructure...banks will be able to ...  to actually harnessing the data and using it to their advantage."

# 2 issue: Innovation - "Frankly, technology executives have no choice but to emphasize innovation." How do we know when we have successful data access and nimble infrastructure?

One of the best predictors of DevOps performance is that IT Operations can make available environments available on-demand to Development and Test, so that they can build and test the application in an environment that is synchronized with Production.

What are the initiatives in the industry to address data agility?

IT trends: Gartner's 2013 predictions for information management

#2 Technologies helping information producers and consumers organize, share and exchange data on the move

What technology is at the fore front of data agility? Delphix.

Delphix enables provisioning of environments on-demand to Development and Test in minutes for almost no storage overhead.

In the 3 years that Delphix has been on the market it had been adopted by:

Fortune #1 Walmart
#1 social Facebook
#1 US bank Wells Fargo
#1 Cisconetworking
#1 cable provider Comcast
#1 auction site Ebay
#1 insurance New York Life
#1 chip manufacture Intel

The list goes on.

"The status quo is pre-ordained failure" The status quo is the biggest impediment in the industry. Those companies who innovate succeed. Delphix is sorting the wheat from the chaff. Delphix is the most powerful innovation I've seen in years. The companies that are adopting Delphix and innovating are succeeding. Minimum application development project improvement that we've documented so far is 20%. Average development project acceleration is 2x. We've seen two companies improve application development by 5x using Delphix.

This post originally appears on http://www.kylehailey.com/theory-of-constraints/