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Chris On The Bridge: Embrace Risk

By: Chris Greacen - 04/05/2020

During the pandemic I shared a short series of videos about some of the software development and teamwork topics that Lab Zero was facing. Here is one about how critical it is to have the right tools available when taking on risky work...

All software teams need to manage risk. If they're working on something important that's a big bet for your company, you need to be able to embrace the risk if you want to get your hands on the benefits.

Just like the fire department who need to be able to work in dangerous situations, your team needs the kit to manage risk in software development. You wouldn't just run into a burning building, but with the right gear you can do it. Your CI, your branching model, your testing rig, your management support are the kit that matters.

People what to work on teams that can take risks and reap the benefits. How are you managing risk?

Here's the transcript:

    Hey how's it going this is Chris from Lab Zero. Yeah, this is probably overkill in the car here I was thinking about risk. You know, I had to run out to get some essential services and when I went to pick up my stuff, everybody there had gloves on, everybody there had masks on. They were doing what's necessary to manage risk. And their business is working.

    We work with a lot of companies different sizes, different shapes at Lab Zero. And the way companies handle risk is very different from company to company. I think there is this sweet spot where you want your teams to be able to take risks. If you're gonna make big bets and win, you gotta have teams that are able to operate in a way that works. And sometimes that means embracing risk.

    And not being completely reckless with your business, with your technology, with your software investment of course. You know but making a big change it's safe - because you've got tests that allow you to make that change without ruining everything. You've got the CI that's going to run those tests with every change. You've got a branching model that allows you to make sweeping changes in isolation (and then bringing them back once you've proven that they're that it's all safe). You've got test environments that allow you to deploy large changes to your system and test them and see them work. You've got management and leadership that realizes that risk is part of the game. And you've got to be able to take risks in order to keep your business chugging along. You've got to take risks in order to keep your software program chugging along.

    People want to work on teams that have us that are in that sweet spot of risk - or at least of embracing risk. Nothing good comes easy, right? And and so you've got to be able to operate when there's some something at stake.

    I think about this because - shoot, just going to the supermarket as a seems like a risky endeavor right now. But with the right tools, and the right gear, and the right mindset you'd be good for it I think you're gonna be good for it too.

    Let me know how that's working for you...

    Be well!

More from this "Chris On The Bridge" series: