This week I’m reading the book ‘Your Code as a Crime Scene’.
It provides practical techniques to forensically analyse tech issues that occur at scale. Along with insight on the psychology behind the decisions that led there.
You might be thinking, what does forensically analysing code change have to do with value creation?
These are the same techniques you can use to uncover unconsidered tech value in your portcos.
You’ll probably recognise this example from working with tech teams on value creation initiatives.
‘Many teams actively refactor code… one way to investigate this is by looking at the complexity trends over time.
….modifying code: we have to make decisions based on incomplete information and uncertain outcomes. We aim for solutions that, we believe, have a high probability of leading to desirable outcomes.
However, frequent changes to complex code generally indicates declining quality’Thornhill, A. (2015), Your Code as a Crime Scene, P.25,53.
Finding the means, motive, and opportunity
Most significant technology issues only develop at scale. These issues are often rooted in changes made a long time ago, by people who have long since left the firm.
They can manifest as physical (hardware)/ logical (software) system limitations. This could mean that when a critical mass of customers access your platform, performance slows down.
The worst-case scenario being that performance degreases so much that you have to limit the number of customers you can serve. Most simple solutions to these problems will create step changes in to tech cost.
You can see how these unconsidered tech challenges can limit the value created.
Either by limiting the growth potential or increasing EBITDA to unsustainable levels.
The first step to get a handle on these tech challenges is simple.
It starts with asking your portco tech teams to proactively capture data.
They need to log all the changes they make using version control systems, in plain English.
Every, single change.
This will give you a head start when symptoms of issues occur. Ensuing, you can create the maximum value in your portfolio companies.
You can thank me later. Until next time.