Doing my usual monthly catch-up with posts from Confused of Calcutta. Two lists from his posts made a great impression on me:

Over the years, over many organisations, I’ve seen many skirmishes between “finance” and “HR” and “operations” and “IT”. As the years passed, and as skirmishes became battles, they became boringly familiar. I’d seen the movie before, and even slept through it. Each battle went through four steps:

  • My profession is more important than yours.
  • In fact it is so much more important that you won’t even understand what I do.
  • But I understand what you do, and it is simple. I don’t understand the fuss.
  • So I will spend my time pointing out that difference to my management whenever I can.

Working in the NHS, this is all-too familiar. It’s both reassuring and depressing to find that the problem is not unique to the health industry! The other list was this:

For many years I’ve been of the belief that:

  • when a problem is generic look to the opensource community for the solution
  • when a problem is specific to a vertical market look to the commercial community
  • when a problem is unique to your organisation look to your own developers

This is pretty much exactly what my colleague P has said in his recent paper advocating an open-source approach to software development in the NHS. In fact, CoC goes on to describe the benefits to healthcare specifically.