My First Hippo Steps

Hippo is a Dutch Content Management System (CMS) company. Friday the 30th of October was the second Forge Friday in Hippo’s history and my first in depth encounter with this product. Hippo has gained popularity in Dutch government deals and Hippo powers some large governmental websites. This is a quite an achievement and although the product has great potential, from my perspective Hippo disappointed in both technical and customer perspective. I hope my gripes will be fixed in future releases so Hippo can continue its success.

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My First Hippo Steps

Avoid Big solutions

rietpluimenMuch of my work consists of solving problems. Problems in areas such as the development process, cooperation between team members, software architecture etc. I’ve noticed there are roughly two ways to solve problems, using big solutions or using small solutions (for lack of a better term). A lot has been written about big redesigns etc. however, I want to understand where these big solutions come from. I think it’s our natural tendency to abstract situations which makes us favor big solutions, even though they’re not always the best option.

After explain the usual method I’ll give you some examples which you can probably identify with. The next post will discuss the small solutions and their gripes.

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Avoid Big solutions

Flowing through The Bottleneck

In the much praised book Flow about product development the management of queues and bottle necks are a central theme. The book states principles on how to best deal with them. Traffic lanes and cars are great for showing the (wrong) use of queuing because most people can relate to traffic jams and bottlenecks in a traffic situation.

One major topic of any process optimization is the management of bottlenecks. One intriguing statement is made, it urges to go beyond the popular idea that ‘the capacity of the bottleneck controls system flow’. It’s not only the bottleneck, it also very important to look at the flow through the bottleneck.

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Flowing through The Bottleneck