People perspective of cloud transformation
The underestimated factor
The underestimated human factor in migrations to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.
You want to migrate (your IT) to the Cloud! This is not only a complex technical task.
Let’s call it “SoftSkills”, “peopleware”, “social systems” - it’s all about people. Their thoughts, feelings and the resulting behaviour make a migration a success. Or not.
The youtube video is a recording of a webinar from Petra Rosemeier from https://www.empazio.de/ together with Gernot Glawe from tecracer.de. The recording is in german language.
Die Aufzeichnung ist in deutscher Sprache.
The AWS Cloud Adoption Framework, which supports doing a successful migration into the cloud, talks about several perspectives. We will take a closer look at one of these perspectives here.
Let’s view migrations to the cloud from a non-technical perspective!
Here are some leading thoughts from the webinar:
In our experience, the central human topics evolve around:
- The ego
- Error culture
- Handling complexity
- Systems thinking
We are not saying that this is scientifically accurate, just that these are helpful views!
In which situations did you perceive an (unhealthy) ego as an factor? What can you do about it?
Everybody is saying “the is good for the project, good for the company”. But ask yourself - is this about you? How do you benefit from the project?
As long as the personals goals are aligned with the company goals, everything is ok. But more often, these aspects come into play, it could become difficult:
- Being the star
- “Step aside, i am going to solve it” (The hero approach)
- Some people are talking all the time (they are “the hero”)
- A singe person dominates the team
It is good having assertiveness, but you should have a healthy ego.
How do you handle errors, and how is your error culture?
There is an old german saying:
“Wo works a lot, is making many errors. Who makes no errors, gets promoted.”
Making mistakes is natural; not learning from them is ineffective. A corporate transformation process is special for each company. There are no silver bullets - so we should make mistakes.
The basic ideas of agile always have some feedback loop incorporated. So it should be ok to make errors.
And keep in mind that the emotions of being wrong are negative for most of the people. So be fault-tolerant, you will be the next to make an error?
How much security do you need?
A plan gives you the security that everything is under control? Right?
What about sticking to the plan although the data has changed? How much security do you need for yourself?
The important point is that you have to be able to cope with uncertainty. You can train this ability. But only if you face the fact that you fear your own insecurity.
How do you learn to ride a bike? Many parents want to protect their children by bolting support wheels to the bicycle. But this is not how you learn to ride a bike; you learn to ride a bike with training wheels. Of course, you should wear a helmet. But protective measures should have an effect, and this effect should not only be to feel safer yourself.
How can you deal with complexity at all?
Here all factors come together. Not only is the migration project itself complex, but the other factors discussed here also increase the complexity.
As explained in AWS Migration best practices - Agile vs. Waterfall? the agile approach is a valid option to reduce complexity.
The main topic is that we are dealing with (at least) two complex systems:
- The technical system
- The social system
The main difference is that with technical systems, it is possible to predict with a degree of probability of occurrence how it will behave.
In social systems, there is a high probability that the same impulse in the system will have a completely different effect the second time. And this is because of the mentioned factors.
So with the technical system, you may rely on the best practices and patterns. With the social systems, the monitoring becomes even more important.
You see that the people perspective is an important part of the migration process. Now you want to know more about migrating successfully to the AWS cloud?