Serverless Craic Ep28 Next Best Action - Phase 3 of the Value Flywheel


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We've been going through the Value Flywheel Effect in the last few episodes. And talking about the different phases. The Value Flywheel is the core mechanism we talk about in our book. There are four phases. The first is Clarity of Purpose, then we have Challenge, Next Best Action and Long Term Value.

Today we're talking about Next Best Action. When you boil it right down, you've got understanding, your Northstar, Clarity of Purpose and you understand your landscape. But how do you start? What is the next best thing you can do? What is the simplest thing you can start today to improve your lot. And help the flywheel turn a little smoother and remove some inertia barriers. In very simple terms: what is the next best thing you can do today, tomorrow or this week.

Conceptually, you need your next best action to be focused on business value. And not focused on building a huge platform. Or spending the next six months organising runtime or infrastructure strategy. You need to get going and start adding value as quickly as possible.

There are two things to consider: a frictionless developer experience, so your engineers can create value very quickly. And a serverless first mindset, how you decide what choices you make. A serverless first mindset is selecting a serverless option first, when you review services and techniques to use in the cloud. A lot of people think it's a maturity cycle so they start at the bottom. Let's build it and work our way up to serverless. But it should start with serverless and working your way back to a fallback mechanism. In a nutshell, you should be renting all services in a managed service or serverless style. It's not common place yet. But it's something we've had great success with.

It's trusting your cloud provider platform to have the capability to do something. And just use it. We've all seen teams that have a problem to solve go off and write a fra Next best action implies responsiveness and speed. It's not about how quickly you type code. It's a time to value. How quickly you can get value in the hands of customers to see if it works.

Code is a liability. By mapping out your tech stack and adopting a serverless first approach you can tackle those code liabilities. So you're not going to be hit by old systems that have been left to decay over time. And when you need to make rapid changes you can't respond because you haven't paid down your code liability. Mapping your stack and embracing serverless helps to minimise code liabilities and get you on the right path. What happens if we don't do this?

We call it the framework mentality. Someone decides they're going to write a framework and they can do it over the weekend. And that becomes the foundation for the next big project. You get version one into production and everyone's really happy. This developer is a rockstar, because they have rocked out a framework. But a year later, that framework is the very thing that's slowing down the project. And no one can understand why we did this thing in the first place. So if your next best action is let's write a framework, it's not the right idea. Sometimes quick fixes in your first release in code will absolutely slow you down in future releases.

We're now at a time where you can use your provider for an atomic service or capability. And just use that and don't worry about what's behind it. It's like the domain driven stuff. They're enabling constraints, rather than constraints that slow you down. If your next best actions are always around patching, upgrading, hardening or getting ready for scale, you're not delivering business value.

You need to adopt a serverless first mindset and approach so that your cloud provider is basically your platform team. Who are constantly upgrading, making performance improvements and making things more secure. And you're getting all that for dollars. You're focusing your time on differentiated stuff. On delivering value, outcomes and impact. If your next actions are always around hardening, patching and securing, you need to think about what you can do to minimise that in the future? If your next best action is to fix the infrastructure and you're not an infrastructure company, then you've done something wrong, it needs to be something about your own business value proposition.

Serverless Craic from The Serverless Edge @ServerlessEdge

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