28 February 2017 - Theory of cake

So, one thing that really came out of my talk at London's Calling was the Theory of Cake. It was the 4th "C". You see, my talk worked around the principle of the "4 C's" when you are trying to get through the build stage without losing your mind. The first 3 "C's" were; Communication, Control and Core. The last was Cake. 

You're probably wondering what Cake has got to do with a Technology conference talk, well let me explain the Theory of Cake to you. Imagine you have a cake. Here's one I prepared earlier from Konditor and Cook, a Curly Whirly cake. My favourite. 




Before I begin, this is about the Theory of Cake and not Cake Theory. That relates to Chinese economics and is completely different. 

So, imagine that you are prepared to share this cake with others; I know, its tricky. 
You start to cut the cake. You may cut the cake depending on its shape and cut even slices. But then there is always one person who will ask for a small piece (that's never me, by the way) and who may alter your cutting options. 

You can also cut the cake in different ways. You could cut the cake in different sized pieces, some with no icing on the edge, others as chunky large pieces with lots of icing. The recipients of the cake can then select the piece that works for them. You offer a choice.

You can also cut the cake along the horizontal so you can tailor it and add more of the particular filling you desire. Are you starting to get hungry now?

So, what does cutting cake have to do with anything you wonder? Well, its this. When you start out on a project you will have an idea of on how things should progress to ensure success. Every project has stakeholders and risks and issues and they will affect how the project is delivered. How you originally planned your project could change based on these influences. They could affect what is delivered and how. 

But remember this; when you cut a cake and then change the cutting procedure half way through you are still delivering cake to your recipients. Breaking up a project delivery based on external factors is just the same. You still end up delivering something. Everyone still gets cake.  




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