Book: Team Guide to Software Operability

Team Guide to Software Operability

Matthew Skelton and Rob Thatcher

Software operability is the measure of how well a software system works when operating 'live' in production, whether that is the public cloud, a co-located datacentre, an embedded system, or a remote sensor forming part of an Internet of Things (IoT) network. We say that a software system with good operability works well and is operable. A highly operable software system is one that minimizes the time and effort needed for unplanned interventions (whether manual or automated) in order to keep the system running.


What this guide does provide is a set of hands-on practices based on real-world, tried-and-tested experience across multiple organizations for teams to adopt (and adapt) in order to promote and enhance software operability.

In short, if you build or run software systems and care about how well they work, then this book is for you!


  • Publication date: September 2016

  • Pages: TBC

  • Formats: Leanpub (PDF, Mobi, ePub), print

  • Twitter: @Operability

The Team Guide series

The Team Guide books are written and curated by experienced software practitioners and emphasise the need for collaboration and learning, with the team at the centre. The books focus on specific techniques and approaches that have been proven to work well for teams building software systems, and contain several case studies from people in the field, bringing to life the concepts in real situations.

Book: Better Whiteboard Sketches

Better Whiteboard Sketches

Matthew Skelton

A well-drawn diagram can help a diverse group of people to understand and remember concepts and details, saving time and effort in avoiding repetition and misunderstandings. People who draw clear diagrams gain a reputation for being more understandable and helpful and their ideas and approaches are therefore more likely to succeed.

This book provides a very practical approach to better whiteboard sketches. Although the techniques are based on sound research and practical usage, the theory is kept to a minimum and you can get started with techniques almost immediately.


"A picture is worth a thousand words" goes the English saying, but too often whiteboard sketches and notebook drawings quickly lose their meaning after they are drawn. If you have ever looked at a technical diagram and thought "these squiggles are meaningless!", then this book is for you.


  • Publication date: February 2019

  • Pages: TBC

  • Formats: Leanpub (PDF, Mobi, ePub), print

  • Twitter: @BetterSketches

Book: Internal Tech Conferences

Book: Internal Tech Conferences

Internal tech conferences can make a significant impact on an organisation's level of sharing, learning, and communication by accelerating multi-team learning across technology departments. An increasing number of enlightened organisations are using this powerful approach to spread and embed new ideas and practices.

In this book we share practical advice on how to prepare, run, and follow-up on an internal tech conference, together with some case studies from several organisations showing the approaches in common and the adaptations for each situation.

Author: Chris O'Dell


Chris has been developing software with Microsoft technologies for nearly fourteen years. She currently works at Monzo helping to build the future of banking. She has led teams delivering highly available Web APIs, distributed systems and cloud based services. She has also led teams developing internal build and deployment tooling using the unconventional mix of .Net codebases onto AWS infrastructure. Chris promotes practices we know as Continuous Delivery, including TDD, version control, and Continuous Integration.

Twitter: @ChrisAnnODell

LinkedIn: christineodell

Author: Chris Young


Chris has been a computerist since age 12 when he was introduced to the magic of the Commodore PET. He works with engineering and management teams with the aim of getting the best results possible for all involved. The role and value of metrics in this came from discovering the Lean/Kanban community around 2010 which got him measuring things in earnest. He is an active member of the Lean/Agile/DevOps community speaking at Meet Ups and conferences across Europe including GOTO Berlin, Agile Cambridge, CukeUp and QCon.

Twitter: @worldofchris

LinkedIn: worldofchris

Author: Victoria Morgan-Smith

Victoria Morgan-Smith


Victoria Morgan-Smith is Director of Delivery, Internal Products at the Financial Times, where she has been helping teams succeed since 2009. Before this she was a developer for 9 years, a background which fuels her interest in finding fun ways to coach, energise and motivate teams into self-organising units. She is passionate about collaboration beyond the team, adopting agile principles to get under the skin of what will deliver measurable business value around the organisation.

Twitter: @VictoriaJMS

LinkedIn: victoriamorgansmith


Author: Matthew Skelton

Matthew Skelton


Matthew Skelton is Head of Consulting at Conflux, where he specialises in Continuous Delivery, operability and organisation dynamics for software in manufacturing, ecommerce, and online services, including cloud, IoT, and embedded software.

Recognised by TechBeacon in 2018 as one of the top 100 people to follow in DevOps, Matthew curates the well-known DevOps team topologies patterns at and is co-author of the books Continuous Delivery with Windows and .NET (O’Reilly, 2016), Team Guide to Software Operability (Skelton Thatcher Publications, 2016), and Team Topologies (IT Revolution Press, 2019).

Twitter: @matthewpskelton

LinkedIn: matthewskelton

Slideshare: matthewskelton