It is not your business to reinvent the wheel. Focus on your core competitive advantage, and automate everything else using PROCESIO.
Stefan Mihartescu is the Fractional Chief Technology Officer at PROCESIO, and his mission is to improve people's lives through streamlining their workflows He is also the founder at Deep AI, applying the latest Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning technologies to optimize work in various industries.
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Stefan Mihartescu 0:00
I think from software engineering, don't reinvent the wheel, you know. So I would assume that the same principle applies for for the future as well, as long as you make use of the latest technologies and make sure that you are standardizing so you remove the cognitive load on people too. Because if you're not standardizing, and you invent your own process, or you invent your own thing, you you have to do a lot of on that you have to train people, you have to maintain that you have to evolve that. And that's a lot of work.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:38
Once upon a time, there were millions of businesses struggling every day, they wasted time, effort and money on repetitive tasks that added no value one day, the Better Automation podcast by PROCESIO came to help them find a way. Because of this, these businesses save time, reduce costs, innovate and make better decisions because of that, these businesses grow, scale, and use human creativity to change this world. Hello, my name is Aziz, and I'm your host at Better Automation podcast by PROCESIO, where I interview the world's top experts and share their very best ideas on how to improve automation in your business, processes. And life. My guest today is Stefan Mihartescu. Stefan is the Chief Technology Officer at PROCESIO and his mission is to improve people's lives through streamlining their workflows. He is also the founder of Deep AI, applying the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to optimize work in various industries. Stefan, how are you today?
Stefan Mihartescu 1:56
I'm very well, thank you for asking. I'm trying to accommodate with the requests whether because it's quite hard to doing those things. But everything is well.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:05
I understand exactly what you mean. And since this is a hot weather, let's speak about the hot topic, which is what's your story of like beginning your involvement with PROCESIO? How did you discover the idea? What was your perspective about it, tell me everything
Stefan Mihartescu 2:25
here. So actually PROCESIO discovered me. And it was, they came to me for basically doing I would call it fractional CTO, because fractional CTO is kind of like a trendy word, you know, when a CTO like takes care of some aspects of the business, but not all of them. So the opposition initially came to me to help them with some bottlenecks and their software engineering processes, and their software as well. I've been working with them since January as the CTO, and we I've been helping them to automate. So they can help other people automate things.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 3:08
I love this. So we're speaking, you know, like in the matrix to the architect, you know, that guy. I'm loving this. And then let's step back. Imagine some of the listeners, they are curious about this whole thing. But they want to understand logically, they say, okay, my business is running on profit, I'm making profit, I'm making money, what's wrong with my workflows? Why should I spend time examining them? Won't that distract me from making money and doing my work? So just explained, what's important about looking at the bottlenecks in any process, or what's important about automation, about being conscious of workflows in a business,
Stefan Mihartescu 3:53
okay, so I can speak on from my perspective, and that perspective is more of a like DevOps perspective, where I basically automate and integrate the works of many other people. And I also automate processes within the engineering part of it. And to give you an example, if you want to scale, it doesn't always is it's not a linear scale, it doesn't work. The more you research, the more resources you add, the more you scale, you actually need. One away to orchestrate those resources so they can work in accordance with everything. Yeah, basically, if you are to have an engineering team, and let's say that team is of 10 people, if you add one more people, it doesn't actually help you. It may not help you, it may but it may not help you depending on very much on how you work with it. So in case you're a developer, it can help you but at the same time, it can add more technical debt because each every time we call something or reprogram something, there is also overhead that we bring, how are we going to manage that software? How are we going to maintain that software, and basically, how are going to integrate us the small sub system into the bigger system. And this is where I come into play where I help the teams to make sure they are able and self sufficient to develop their software without many dependencies or without depending on each other as much. And this way you can do to automation.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 5:29
I love this, it reminds me of two things. One is the theory of constraint that if you spend your time building potential, that doesn't matter, you need to fix the bottlenecks in any system, because those are the constraints and therefore adding more resources, doesn't mean anything, if there is a constraint that is limiting the work in progress, or anything like that, as well as integrating systems together so that they work in, in harmony, so that they are integrated together for better results.
Stefan Mihartescu 6:03
Is this correct? Yeah, definitely.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 6:06
Thank you. So I will ask you, then specifically, let's say because, you know, I like to think about objections, and how to how to handle them. Someone will say, Look, these are fancy words for something that could be common sense. So I will just think about it. And I will do it without needing to use words like system, and bottleneck and small added resources without increasing efficiency and all that. Do you believe that it's common sense? Or is it mostly counter intuitive, where many of the things that you do in your work are not the instinctive human things, but things that need different kinds of understanding?
Stefan Mihartescu 6:50
Yeah, I mean, I think the way you put it, it's, it's perfectly, it definitely needs a different way of understanding. Because also, another perspective from many other people, is very helpful. Because we ask people, in order to understand complexity, we tend to add more things on top of it. So I'm trying to fix a problem. And I will add, let's say another fix to fix that problem. But it doesn't really work every time like that you most of the time, you need to take things out. Okay, let's see, will this fix if I take this out? Is this going to break? More? Or? So? Yeah, I definitely agree with you here that you need a different different perspective to make things simpler. And I think everybody should think of like software, how we can create this simple and not add, like, a lot of things and they can complex because complex doesn't usually doesn't save time, complex actually increases time.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 7:55
Thank you. I love this, there is a human bias, actually, that people respect and are in all of complex things. When in reality, like you mentioned, simplicity can be what works, what is needed, and what is the best use of the resources you have. But then, let's think about you know, the Einstein code that things should be as simple as possible. But no simpler I think is Einstein who said this, but so there is a limit where things become too simplistic or too simple. So if someone is hearing your advice, and thinking, okay, my life is too complex, things are too complicated right? Now, I'm overwhelmed. I need to simplify, when or how can they know if their processes are becoming too simple to be effective? Because there is something about reality or life that the things you do today, you sometimes cannot know that if they're working or not until 90 days or six months or something. And therefore, it's a difficult situation where you have to go through the period to build momentum before you see the outcome? Or do you have another perspective on this?
Stefan Mihartescu 9:07
Yeah, I mean, my perspective, you say that things are getting complex and my life is getting complicated all the way see complex and complicated. They're kind of two different words. So complexity is actually a requirement to solve the problem where complicated, there's not really a requirement, you can make it you can make a simple thing that complicated, right. So I, I would say that complexity, it should be applied when is necessary. Otherwise, you should not make it complicated and try to treat it as simple. I hope that answered your question.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 9:43
Thank you. And I remember a business guru was actually saying, you should make things as complicated and I'm using the word that in the definition that you're using as possible, so that your competitors cannot copy you because they will have a headache in the process. While if things are simple within your business, it's very easy for them to copy. Do you agree with this? Do you think this is like correct or not?
Stefan Mihartescu 10:09
No, I don't think is correct. Because it's not always about your idea. Or it's not always about the business that you're building. Most of the time. It's about the people who, who are who is building this business, and who am I serving this business to? So yeah, maybe I can copy Facebook, like one to one make another Facebook, would that mean that I'll be successful, I doubt that because it's about the brand and what they've done and like the people they're serving. And I would me, I would go on the idea to build things as simple as possible. So you can move very fast and today's economy and today's technology where everything like changes really quick. For example, now we have Warren and Ukraine, the entire economy fall down, you know, like businesses need to be the to adapt those things to today coming to the technology like never just are coming every day. So in order to be to be able to shift that focus really fast, you need to have simple things, because if it's complicated for for, for your competitor to copy is complicated for you to do anything else.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 11:15
Thank you. I agree with that very much that to remember that. If things are too complicated, then for you as well, you cannot really manage it because it becomes very difficult and to step back and return to what you were mentioning about resources and that adding more resources doesn't mean that you will have better output or better productivity. I heard one time a lecture of professor who somewhat specializes in team performance in IT companies. And he was saying that pure angel methodology is too expensive and not possible for small teams. The way he approaches it is like a factory where you're ensuring the highest utilization of every resource you have. But if you go pure Asia, I'll you'll have too many resources idling too long, and therefore, it's not really what anybody can use. Do you agree with this? Do you understand what he's speaking about? And if so, how does your work relate or what you do to resolve bottlenecks relate to this.
Stefan Mihartescu 12:22
So regarding the organization, perform performance and how teams should should operate actually at Paseo. I've introduced ideas of streamline teams. And there is a book on this theme topologies I can remember the author's but I know daughters, they were DevOps engineers, and they come up with this organization structure from the bottom up. So from like their line of work up to the business. And I yeah, I definitely agree that jail, or Scrum, maybe maybe too expensive to apply to smaller teams, especially teams that are very high performing, that are very senior, because you're blessa, you're going to have a scrum master, the scrum master will not understand anything, and will not even understand the competencies of each engineer what he can do, and to basically mediate the ceremonies, he will definitely leave a little bit more knowledge, aside of that, like high performers. And I say high performance because even Google the day did like a DevOps type of report on on organizations and say that elite performance, this is where I'm coming from with the high performance work. I took it from that report. And what they say is that elite performers are using CICD elite performers are have less time to deploy them on less time to recovery. So basically, when I'm referring to actually performance, yeah, they can self organize themselves, they can do their own work, they can basically understand the business objectives, and they can draw the task from those and basically, be creative and have the business succeed. So that would be more of like self organizing, but that will not work for everyone. So that's why I'm saying similar in teams would be a much better approach.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 14:16
Thank you. I love this point. And it's really a very important point today and in the future. And for those self organizing teams, how do you think that machine learning or AI can help them each one of the devs or whoever is involved in such teams perform better? What do you see as the future of work?
Stefan Mihartescu 14:39
That's a very good question, and I will try to answer. So is that about how AI and machine learning is helping those people it's about how AI and machine learning is helping everyone because now you're going to have aI on basically and machine learning on AI? Everything, at least for, let's say object recognition, you can take your phone and let's say scanning document. And instantly you can copy all the words from the document and put it like you can modify the document. Right? So the same is going to help everyone is going to help the engineers as well. And on a specific points on how is going to help engineers, there's like a very broad, broad topic. So we'll have to narrow it down a little bit.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 15:30
Thank you. And I'll narrow it down. How will process your under future help fetch teams or non technical employees perform better for better or gain organizational performance and ROI on the work and the time they spend? And can you explain what is PROCESIO for people who might not know exactly understand what it is all about?
Stefan Mihartescu 15:55
So PROCESIO is a local, no code platform, I see it as the future of technology is the next layer of abstractions that we need to build. So basically, it's a platform, no code, low code that allows you to create programs backends, and all kinds of integrations and automation to a web interface. So you don't need any type of like technology knowledge to to use it. But you do need kind of like, let's say, let's call it bi business intelligence, or like, you need to have knowledge enough about your topic and to see how you're going to architect the system. So you can put it in like visual and, and procedural. And coming back to the question on organization performance. How processor can save a lot of time from organizations, because processor is actually not only as an abstraction of visual programming, you also have the infrastructure, which is managed by us, you can execute things on our own our own infrastructure. And so that will not require you to have any knowledge of clouds, you have everything in processor, which is basically the cloud.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 17:10
Thank you for this and to speak. Even more importantly, what do you believe is the next important thing or the next evolution, or next criteria for success for businesses in a more and more competitive marketplace? Is it important to approach automation as a way to understand your processes, and have visibility and therefore, you can delete or eliminate what isn't working, and therefore, you'll become more performing, or how you, as a systems thinker, define higher performance, define better results, define efficiency and effectiveness, so that the manager or the executive or the CEO can have that in mind when thinking about their business, as a perspective, that will give them better results.
Stefan Mihartescu 18:06
Who is going to be to be on top and it's going to like outperform the the competitors will have to definitely have most of their software processes are automated. And what I mean by that is planning, integration, delivery, running production, so like monetization systems alerting, and all these have to be automated. So let's say you will integrate other tools, even process your to facilitate those kinds of changes, instead of hiring your own team to do that, because you have to be as soon as possible and delegate authority to other to other third parties, because if you're going to implement is the is I think, from software engineering, don't reinvent the wheel, you know. So I would assume that the same principle applies for for the future as well as long as you make use of the latest technologies and make sure that you are standardizing so you remove the cognitive load on people too. Because if you're not standardizing and you invent your own process, or you invent your own thing, you you have to do a lot of on that you have to train people, you have to maintain that you have to evolve that. And that's a lot of work and that that is active on your business, your businesses, maybe retail, but you're reinventing the wheel on the process.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 19:34
Thank you. So if I understood you correctly, about the cognitive load and reinventing the wheel that every business should have SOPs or standard operating procedures that everybody follows so that they can use their brain to create or be creative or innovate rather than each time reinventing whatever is the workflow or the process that they are doing with will waste a lot of their energy, their willpower, their creativity, which is not necessary. So anything that will need to be repeated, it should be automated or standardized into checklists so that the person can free up their thinking, and anything that needs to be invented, which will be your competitive advantage, or your innovation. That is what we should save the energy and creativity for is this correct,
Stefan Mihartescu 20:27
I can say you put it much nicer than me. So that's perfect.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 20:33
Thank you very much. And you as a systems thinker, a lot of people grew up in a linear way of thinking, which is how the mind usually works, where it's like step one, and then step two. And step three, well, if you're thinking systems, everything is interconnected, and things are influencing each other. And there isn't really a beginning or end, but it's all working together and affecting everything. How can people move from thinking linearly into systems thinking? Is it necessary? Because for 1000s of years, they have been thinking in a linear way, rather than a systems way? Or should Systems Thinking stay for the specialist and use cases? Like when they need someone like you? What's your perspective on it?
Stefan Mihartescu 21:20
So I would say that system thinking I mean, I would, I wouldn't call it system thinking I would call it software engineering, because basically, this is what's to today days, the systems engineers do, they actually are software engineers, they we are not doing manual operations on virtual machines. We are coding automation for declaratively for those resources to be deployed and manage. And yeah, I would say a software engineering mindset would definitely help anyone. And this would be the manager, the CEO. So if you can learn like any type of like programming language, and try to understand that type of like, thinking, because this is what you're actually referring, because software, anything is that the actually linear thinking you have you have, you have concepts in software engineering that are like non physical. So you, you're you don't have physical constraints that you do in our real world. So definitely software engineering mindset will help anybody.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 22:22
This is very useful. And therefore if you approach with a software engineer in mind, a business just for business owners who don't have that ability, or that knowledge or skills to think like you how do you think and design about a whole business as a software engineering or systems project, what will be the different perspective or different approach that you will take when designing or creating a business that maybe someone listening or viewing can learn from and think about their business differently?
Stefan Mihartescu 22:59
I'm not sure this would apply to all businesses, though. For example, I, you might not need really software engineering mindset, if you have a retail business, although all retail businesses are like technology. But if you're developing a technology and your business like proposal is softer, you should definitely try to understand how software engineering works. If you like yours, your business is either offering software services or your business is delivering the software product.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 23:28
Thank you. And I'll ask you in general about no code, and the citizen developer dream or anybody could create their own app with no code tools, and like drag and drop and all that. Some people say any person can do that a lot of humans have instincts for good software apps, they have been using apps all their lives, they understand that, while other people say actually you cannot just bring a gardener or I mean, they use that example. It's not me I love gardeners, nature is beautiful. But you cannot bring a gardener and make them a no code citizen developer because they need to understand the foundations of software engineering of software architecture and all that. So do you recommend to people who want to build apps, even MVPs? Even if they are not technical founders to take courses to understand how to create, you know how to code how to create software, UI, UX design and all that or do you believe that it's not really necessary as long as the tools have some good templates and are easy to use?
Stefan Mihartescu 24:43
As I said, at the beginning, it's most people have like a natural instinct for how abs should look like because we are connected to the technology. Our brain is not only here now it's like out there as well. So we are actually Sending ourselves to technology and most people have this instinct of how things should work. They know on actions event on what happens in those applications. And they may be very well able to develop that sure with like some bottlenecks or some like a cordless that he may need to jump, but he will definitely be able to. And he won't have to learn the entire let's say software engineering side of it, where you need to learn about languages about how code is executed about how your hardware is executing that softer, how the hardware leaves in cloud, and it's orchestrated by like automation to run software, you definitely don't need to know that in order to apply some business logic or do integrations. You can just like do it right now. With PROCESIO that will be one.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 25:54
I agree. And I recommend PROCESIO as well to all the viewers and listeners and like you said, PROCESIO is the modern low code, no code platform for advanced automation and creating an enterprise grade back end for your software. Any viewer can request a totally free account at PROCESIO.app, they can use it they can change their lives. And for those with higher business needs. There is a very generous exclusive 50% discount code. It's BETTER50OFF one word, in capital letters, more information in the description of this episode. Stefan, this was my privilege. My honor, I really enjoyed our conversation. I learned a lot and I wish you to keep going with process yo and to have a great day.
Stefan Mihartescu 26:44
Thank you as is thank you for this session. And thank you for insightful question, and we'll see you later.