As many of you will know by the time you read this, Ed Yourdon died last week. He was a pioneer in software engineering, author of 26 computer books and hundreds of computer articles, a prominent consultant and lecturer, and, here at Cutter, founder and longtime Editor of what is now known as Cutter IT Journal. Ed also cofounded the Consortium part of Cutter, authored many Cutter technology journals, and wrote thousands of Cutter email advisors. Most importantly, Ed was a great friend to all of us. His influence on Cutter’s mission and values endures. My first encounter with Ed was at a CASE conference. He had just delivered a brilliant keynote that, true to form, Read more
Insight into managing the IT organization.
Cutter Fellow Rob Austin and Senior Consultant Shannon Hessel received a Danish Society for Education and Business Prize for their “Leadership in the 21st Century Organizations” course at Copenhagen Business School. Cutter Fellow Dick Nolan was also honored for the lectures he contributed to the course. One of the three DSEB Education Prizes went to Assistant Professor Shannon Hessel and Professor Rob Austin from the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, especially due to their work in the course: “Leadership in the 21st Century Organizations”, in which they combine technology with good old-fashioned storytelling. – via CBS Observer Congratulations, Rob, Shannon, and Dick!
Cutter Fellow Bob Charette has been blogging over at IEEE Risk Factor for the past decade, looking at the myriad ways software projects fail. To mark that 10-year milestone, he set out to analyze what’s changed — and what hasn’t — in the area of systems development- and operations-related failures. Bob doesn’t claim to have compiled a comprehensive “database of debacles” in Lessons From a Decade of IT Failures. Instead, he’s endeavored to bring together the “most interesting and illustrative examples of big IT systems and projects gone awry.” Be sure to spend some time with his colleague Josh Romero’s five super cool interactive visualizations of the data where you’ll: Look at the various ways Read more
IT infrastructures are growing in size, capability and complexity as organizations take advantage of cloud computing, big data analytics, the Internet of Things, mobile computing and social media, to deploy complex, integrated, and collaborative applications. As a result, the need to run several applications under varying workloads to meet different functional, nonfunctional, and performance requirements is increasing. Managing these new complex infrastructures via traditional means is challenging and inefficient. Hence, many organizations are looking for new directions and approaches to more efficiently manage their infrastructures to meet their customers’ growing demands, ensure adaptability to changing business requirements, reduce duplication of efforts, and remain competitive. One approach organizations are adopting is software defined infrastructure (SDI) or Read more
The production and ramp-up of complex and highly customized products are planning and control challenges, especially in small lot sizes. Daily challenges like late change requests, and immature high technology products and processes introduce significant risks in the production process. Using ICT-based approaches can help one develop mitigation strategies to respond quicker to unexpected events, implement and support early warning systems and introduce real-time decision support mechanisms that feature accelerated learning. Using state-of-the-art technologies and tools such as service-based architectures and knowledge-based Multi Agent Systems (MAS) can help improve performance and scalability beyond state-of-the-art. Furthermore, innovative solutions including the IoT and cloud-based architectures can offer the basis for efficient management of the whole production ecosystem Read more
I predict that more software companies will adapt and adopt the vocational training model that’s used successfully in Germany. The idea is to directly connect software education to a job. German companies hire students right out of high school for work-study programs. Those apprenticeships often lead to full-time positions with the company once the student graduates. In the U.S., carpenters and a number of other important craftsman trades have used an apprenticeship system to teach and build expertise for hundreds of years. So far, few U.S. companies are even familiar with such a system for software professionals. With more press attention, we’ll see a tailored German model gain momentum in the U.S. Once employers gain Read more
The 21st Century was introduced by the tumultuous climax of the dot-com boom on March 20, 2000 when the NASDAQ peaked at 5,132. Since then modern corporations marched on to become the majority of the 100 largest organizations in the world (in terms of revenue/budgets and employed people) surpassing the size of many sovereign national governmental organizations. And this phenomenon happened fast. In 1954, the Boeing Corporations became just the 23rd corporation to exceed $1 billion dollars in annual revenue. By the end of the 20th century, hundreds of corporations exceeded multi-billion dollars in annual revenue. I rejoined the University of Washington faculty in 2003 to research one of the hotbeds of corporate foundings and Read more
Last year, I predicted the work force would continue to shrink. I was right. Relative to the population, the work force continued to dwindle, and it will continue to do so in 2015. The percentage values will become even more dramatic when considering the migrant workforce (legal and otherwise). As such, it’s still a good year ahead for those who can find ways to leverage smaller staffs in 2015. Tragically, this will lead to a greater divide between the rich and the poor. Any industries marketing with a “we care” strategy that applies across the “have/have-not” divide will be seen as philanthropic and societally beneficial (in a time of increased political turmoil). Turmoil bodes well Read more
In research and in economic innovation, great insight and great value are frequently created by individuals with stocks of knowledge in two or more domains and by teams of people where the individuals might be experts in one domain but have the facility to grasp enough of another domain to connect the dots. In universities across the globe, more and more research is being done by multidisciplinary teams. While deep expertise in one domain is needed to perform well on these teams, facility with — if not some significant expertise in — another domain is also needed. Tomorrow’s problems and the innovation needed to solve them are likely to require multiple disciplines. One person with Read more
It should come as no surprise that decision making in some flavor or another is at the heart of nearly every business book, method, conference, and article. After all, especially in business, what are we trying to learn from the past if not the answer to “why” or “how did they do that?” Looking at any project or process technique, any analysis, any case study in nearly any topic, ultimately what we’re after is making sense of the means and the ends. Any metric, measure, and indicator is — when used properly — merely a trigger, tripwire, forecast or estimate of something on which to guide the path forward. All of project management can be Read more