Welcome!

Article

Packing for the Caribbean - Agile Decisions - Knapsack

Agile and complexity - Complex problems (NP) are all around

So there you are, living in New York City - well actually it is Queens, but still... You're planning an extended weekend escape from city.

You booked a great vacation in the Caribbean.

Your flight is early next morning. You are in your bedroom packing.

Considering the current restrictions, you are allowed only one piece of luggage and a small carry on to take onboard.

You have only tonight to decide what to pack. You want to make sure, that you're packing just what you need.

You remember how you've missed a proper mosquito repellant last year on your excursion to Alaska. Who would've known that the mosquito is their national bird?

Maybe a helmet is in order - did you know that the common belief that dozens, if not hundreds of people die of coconuts falling on their heads, is no more than an urban fairytale?

There you are in your bedroom, surrounded by your carry-on and bag open, awaiting. Looking at your huge closet unsure what you really need to take.

The thing is that, each and every item has a certain utility or in other words, has a certain benefit. At the same time, each and every item has a certain volume, or bulk. The transportable storage space is constrained.

You're inspecting the items you'd like to take. Definitely you need a pair of running shoes for aerobics, your second pair of leisure pants just to be on the safe side, your teenage days weightlifting shirts that shows the biceps, and your moisture repellant cross training sweater. These are already inside.

You might go snorkeling, so you should pack the lovely snorkeling mask with the fish pattern that was your 21st birthday gift and which you've always cherished.

The hard copy of the Silent Influencing book that you've started reading, with those cool illustrations and creative concepts, is a must.

The check-in bag is bursting, and you haven't even packed the casual evening dress and an extra pair of pants. You decide that probably the snorkeling fins should stay and that you don't really need your water purification bottle.

You land in Nassau only to discover that you've left your bathing suit on the top drawer, as you were making room for your ukulele...

This problem which we all faced at one point or another is also a well-known complex problem. Unfortunately, it is not one of those, plug in a formula and get a solution type of problem.

It seems that even the most mundane and seemingly easy problems are really difficult, challenging and complex. The packing your bag to go on a vacation problem is known as the knapsack or rucksack problem.

According to Wikipedia:

The knapsack or rucksack problem in combinatorial optimization: Given a set of items, each with a mass and a value, determine the number of each item to include in a collection so that the total weight is less than or equal to a given limit and the total value is as large as possible. It derives its name from the problem faced by someone who is constrained by a fixed-size knapsack and must fill it with the most valuable items.

The knapsack problem has been studied for more than a century, with early works dating as far back as 1897 and even before.

It has plagued knights on pilgrimages, and mid age's ships exploring the globe. Due to shortage in haul space, the ships didn't pack any fruit which resulted in nasty health problems to the sailors... only towards the end of the millennium, did a British physician recommend packing fruits and vegetables on long sea excursion as a cure against Scurvy; changing the priorities of items to be packed on ships forever.

Summary

We understand that there are two types of problems. Ones which are easy to solve they are known as Polynomial problems. We studied about them in school, sometimes we had formulas to solve them; in general they are not representative of the challenging business and personal problems that we face in our lives.

The second types of decision-problems are complex, confusing and constitute the majority of business and personal decision-problems we face. The number of possible solutions is enormous and grows exponentially with the problem size. Since we can't really calculate the total number of solutions, we opt for rules of thumb for deciding on the best course of action.

More - an Ulitzer article here:

Agile 101 - Three Practical Guidelines for Business Decisions

The above is based on Micheal's new bestseller, available on Amazon.

Don't miss the Audio version of the Agile PMO

More Stories By Michael Nir

Michael Nir - President of Sapir Consulting - (M.Sc. Engineering) has been providing operational, organizational and management consulting and training for over 15 years. He is passionate about Gestalt theory and practice, which complements his engineering background and contributes to his understanding of individual and team dynamics in business. Michael authored 8 Bestsellers in the fields of Influencing, Agile, Teams, Leadership and others. Michael's experience includes significant expertise in the telecoms, hi-tech, software development, R&D environments and petrochemical & infrastructure industries. He develops creative and innovative solutions in project and product management, process improvement, leadership, and team building programs. Michael's professional background is analytical and technical; however, he has a keen interest in human interactions and behaviors. He holds two engineering degrees from the prestigious Technion Institute of Technology: a Bachelor of civil engineering and Masters of Industrial engineering. He has balanced his technical side with the extensive study and practice of Gestalt Therapy and "Instrumental Enrichment," a philosophy of mediated learning. In his consulting and training engagements, Michael combines both the analytical and technical world with his focus on people, delivering unique and meaningful solutions, and addressing whole systems.

Latest Stories
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...