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Fighting for the Future: Lessons from the Training Room

Published on Sep 04, 2016

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Fighting for the Future

Lessons from the Training Room 
Hi everyone, I’m going to get right to it --
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Good News,
Bad News.

I’ve got some Good News, and some Bad News.

The Good News is…
Photo by Hamed Saber


Open Source is everywhere in the Enterprise!

It’s not a matter of whether to use Open Source software at all but rather, *which* software to use.

I think we can all agree that this is great!

Now, the Bad News…
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change is still frIGHTENING.

Change is still frightening!

It is difficult for us to move forward into the unknown when we still derive benefit and comfort from standing still.

How does this bad news collide with our good news?

Imagine you’ve found an unknown open source project that’s perfect for your org…
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Best Tool = New Tool?
New Tool = Change
Change = Frightening

…that best tool is unknown, and therefore new.

That new tool is now a vector of change.

And change is *frightening*.

What this means is…

Change Means A Fight...

…trying to get stakeholders in your Enterprise on-board with this project you believe can be something of a fight.

For me, when I think of a fight, I think of…

I am Too Literal.

Street Fighter V. It’s a fighting game where you choose a character and fight with others to climb the online ranking ladder

This might seem a weird match on the surface, but in both contexts…

Unproven Contenders
Making Their Case

You have an ”unknown contender” making its case to a limited section of the world.

For both contexts, you need proper structure and focus.

Here’s some things I’ve learned on the online ladder that I’ve used in Enterprise.

The first thing is:

"Use The Training Room"

Show Don't Tell - Build Demos 
“Use the Training Room”

SFV comes with a great training room. It lets you test the viability of anything that’s in your head before you go out to actually fight a match.

You can make your own “Training Room” by building demos and micro-POCs for the project. You want to test things, but you also want to bring people into that ”Training Room” to show them what it does.

The reason for this is simple --


The future is hard to see.

You want to help stakeholders touch the future and interact with it whenever possible.

Next tip is:

"Learn to Block"

Be Ready for Objections 
Learn to Block.

In SFV , you hold back before an attack from your opponent in order to defend.

In your organization, you are going to ”hold back” by thinking about what is wrong with the project you like before others bring it up.

Guard Your LifeBar.

You have to ”guard the lifebar” of the what you propose.

Every project has tradeoffs, contexts where it is good or bad. Focus on both the good and bad and you can increase confidence in the project.

Our next tip:

"Know Your Matchups"

Learn Different Lenses for technologies. 
Know Your Matchups.

In SFV you control a character with a limited set of moves against many different characters.

You don’t use your character the same way every match.


You Need
Multiple Stories.

You discuss and display different aspects of a technology to different people.

Executives , Development, SRE, Security, Ops…everyone has different needs. Speak to those.

Benefits of Standing
Still VS. Moving Forward

But no matter what the stakeholder needs, you want to communicate why moving forward is going to be better than standing still.

Last tip, and the most important:

"Learn to Lose"

FaILURE is Feedback 
Learn to Lose.

I wish I could tell you I’ve taken all my own advice to amass a 100% win streak…

But that’s not the case.

Losing is important because it tells you what you still need to learn.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes a project you think will be perfect will get shot down.


In my experience, this is often a matter of timing.

Either the business isn’t yet ready, or the project isn’t ready.

Sometimes the best thing to do is let time pass and revisit it later.

Is it really the best?

But..maybe consider that *you* might be wrong?

I’ve talked about how we can bring change, but to be effective at bringing change…

**you must be willing to be changed.**

Reconsider your perspectives, but also remember that identifying and adopting promising open source technologies is an iterative process...

It's over When You Quit Trying.

…it’s not over until you choose not to continue.

There’s always the possibility for another round.

So whether you are playing SFV or advocating adoption of unknown OSS, I want you to go out, do your best and...




Keep trying…

Untitled Slide

…and thank you for playing!