Hello!

Welcome to my site where I post my thoughts, my ideas and my general ramblings. I care about helping people and organisations get the most of technology. I am mostly interested in leading and growing engineering teams, aligning engineers with purpose and values and wardley mapping. I hope you find some of it useful. Please feel free to reach out to me at details below or check out the contacts page for other places I linger.

The future of Managed Services and the 7 Powers

Hamilton Helmer introduces the concept of “7 Powers” in his book titled “7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy”. In that book he identifies seven areas of business strategy that when executed well, create the potential for persistent differential returns (i.e., the company consistently outperforms it’s competitors and creates lasting financial value). In this post I will review this model against one specific type of business: the IT Managed Service Provider to demonstrate both historical trends in strategy and also where some future opportunities can be found and fought over....

May 15, 2024 · 12 min · liamjbennett

What is Portfolio Architecture

What is Portfolio Architecture? About a year ago, I assumed the role of Head of Portfolio Architecture. However, even within the first few months, I encountered a common question: ‘What is portfolio architecture?’ Well, this is one of those posts that have been sitting in some draft form or another since the first few days of me taking on the new role. It’s not exactly the type of job title that one can easily ask your nearest AI and get a straightforward or relevant answer for - so I thought I’d add to the corpus of knowledge by writing down something here....

April 23, 2024 · 4 min · liamjbennett

Love Letter to RSS

A love letter to RSS It has recently come to my attention that the technology I assumed foundational to the internet as I know it, RSS, is not something that everyone is aware of and using. The internet has gone through several generations and people’s interactions and habits along with it. Web 1.0 was an era of web portals, Web 2.0 the era of search and social and now the more recent generation where decentralisation, AI and IndieWeb are the topics of exploration....

March 26, 2024 · 3 min · liamjbennett

The Changelog

I’m back! It’s been a almost a year since my last post, primarily driven by going deep into a new role at work (more on that to come). Despite the lack of posts, I’ve certainly not stopped writing and I now have a range of new research topics that you going to hear more about from me over the next few months. What’s changed I’ve also not stopped with making one or two changes to this site....

March 4, 2024 · 1 min · liamjbennett

Map those skills part 2 - using the maps

Over the past few weeks I’ve been exploring the use of wardley mapping to map my skills for career development. I think it’s important to think strategically about your career development, whether you’re early in your career looking to land that dream job or later and looking to transition into a role or company that reignites your passions. In my last post I talked about my journey developing my first skills maps and some of the mistakes I made along the way....

May 6, 2023 · 5 min · liamjbennett

Map those Skills!

Over the past few months the tech industry has been going through the shock and awe of corporate downsizing that occurs when the economy feels like its about to enter a recession. Big Tech is making layoff after layoff, typically around 10% of the workforce and those are the ones we know about. Many tech companies (and others) will start following suit, even if not as publicly, as the market shrinks and spending slows with companies trying to save cash and preserve profits....

February 17, 2023 · 8 min · liamjbennett

My workflow in 2023

In Aug 2021 I wrote my original post describing my knowledge management and productivity workflow, including the various tools I’d stitched together and some of the challenges I was having. Over a year on and I’ve been making some more significant changes to that tooling and as 2022 comes to a close I thought I would look back on that original post and reflect on what I’ve changed, fixed and learnt along the way....

December 23, 2022 · 7 min · liamjbennett

Chaos Engineering - fact or fiction

Intro (what even is it?!) I have been a developer and a DevOps engineer (or whatever the latest title is now) for most of my career and I like my systems to be reliable and well architected. I like being confident that when the unexpected happens, and it always does, that the systems that I am responsible for can handle it and not wake me up at 2am. When I talk to developers, I’m often talking about testing and the testing pyramid - we all know it’s value and the positive investment that it is....

November 16, 2022 · 6 min · liamjbennett

Mixed Operating Models - part 3

In the first two parts of this series, I talked about the problem space of mixed operating models in an organisation, why it exists and how to prepare for it. In this post I want to talk about the most important and often most challenging element of operating mixed operating models within an organisation: the cultural change. Any transition of working practices requires a corresponding and iterative process of empathetic change management, where with every modification and iteration, context is given for the changes, conversations are had with those who might be effected and (unlike many corporate change management initiatives) the process includes the input of those on the front-line of the changes....

August 22, 2022 · 7 min · liamjbennett

Mixed Operating Models - part 2

In the first post on Mixed Operating Models I discussed that each application in your landscape, both custom built and third-party will need a different type of operating model and using wardley mapping to map that landscape will give the context of which model is appropriate and at what time. Transitioning between models won’t be easy and requires both technical and cultural changes to be successful. In this post, I will talk about the technical aspects that act as a foundation to any operating model change and cultural shift....

July 13, 2022 · 8 min · liamjbennett