My List

 Gil Broza | Dec 4, 2013  No Responses
Dec 042013
 
My List

In 2014… People will still call other people “resources.” Even to their face. Nominally Agile organizations will continue to administer performance appraisal schemes that emphasize the individual and downplay the team. Companies will continue to not train their developers in Agile engineering, because technical execution skills will remain off the radar. Technology managers and stakeholders will still assume that their teams ought to develop quality products faster than is realistically possible. Project managers will still struggle to come up with a good measure of Agile team productivity for their executives, and consultants will continue telling those project managers that they shouldn’t be measuring productivity. Bad meetings — and complaining about the number of meetings in …

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If you visit an Agile conference these days, it’s hard not to hear talks like “Scrum within a RUP project” or “Agile in a Traditional Organization.” From a dogmatic Agile point of view, this reminds me a little bit of a veggie-stuffed beef recipe promoted as vegetarian food. From a management perspective, it means that you are only exploiting about 10% or 20% of the potential of Agile . Many consultants would consider such an implementation as failed, and I’m sure you will find a lot of “Scrumbut” practices in these organizations. But does that necessarily mean such an approach is bad? I don’t think so. To the contrary, a fast judgment of these approaches often …

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Defined vs Ready Technology Adoption — The Future is Now (and Forever)

In the 20th century, companies waited until their industries and competitors fully vetted technologies before investing in even the most tried and true ones.  Technophobes believed that investing too early was indulgent and reckless.  Executives wore their late technology adoption strategies as badges of corporate honor.  Today, emerging technologies are ready for immediate deployment:  iPads are ready; Dropbox is ready; Skype is ready; ListenLogic is ready; Foursquare is ready; YouTube is ready. I predict that these and many other hardware and software technologies will be adopted without clear (or “validated”) requirements models, without the venerable SDLC, and even without rapid prototyping. I predict that technology adoption will turbo-charge into instant deployments.  The figure below summarizes defined …

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Dec 022013
 
Coming Soon: 2014

Once again, the end of the year has snuck up! That means it’s time for our annual Cutter Predicts … series. Over the next few weeks, Cutter Fellows and Senior Consultants will showcase their visions of 2014 (and in some cases, beyond) here on the Cutter Blog and also on the Cutter website. Feel free to weigh in: do you agree with their predictions? Do you have supporting evidence of the hypotheses? Or maybe you have evidence to the contrary. In any case, we’d love to hear what you have to say and what you see unfolding next year on the business technology landscape. (If you want to take a trip down memory lane, you’ll …

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Dec 022013
 
Welcome, Ken Morris

Ken Morris quietly joined Cutter’s Business Technology Strategies practice earlier this fall. And since that day, he’s been impressing Cutter clients and staffers alike! Like many Cutter Senior Consultants, Ken is a seasoned CIO. He has held senior IT leadership positions with two global specialty chemicals companies and a global industrial gases company over the past 20+ years. Ken is known for consistently delivering business value by cultivating, motivating, and leading high performance teams that are passionately invested in the success of the organization and the enterprise. Heady stuff! But when you meet Ken, you’ll know exactly why it’s true. Keep your eyes peeled for insight from Ken here at the Cutter Blog, and also …

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Nov 202013
 
Serious Games Need Agile

In my last post, I talked about the ways in which serious games can fill a significant hole in Agile practices. Let’s turn that around and see how Agile can help serious games. Before we can get into the meat of that topic, it’s important to be clear about which serious games we’re going to be discussing. There’s a wide variety of game-like activities used for reasons other than entertainment (education, ideation, market research, etc. etc.), and not all of them can benefit from serious games equally, or even in the same ways. For our purposes, we’ll be focusing on three types: Software-based serious games in general. This is a pretty broad category, encompassing everything …

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The information and communications technology (ICT) world is constantly evolving in complexity. As computational technology advances, it allows for the building of more capable systems, architectures, and solutions. We’ve added so much agility to the behavior of systems that many now consider them as complex adaptive systems, suspected of developing their own intelligence. I would rather call it “stochastically featured” because — due to their omnipotent presence, internal complexity, and strength of interrelationship — we are not able to predict their deterministic behaviors in definitive ways. I have seen a certain pattern in the science world in which a decomposition path is utilized to understand the “pieces” but — as Albert-László Barabási described in his …

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Within the world of Agile, architecture often seems misaligned or is a forgotten value-add to a project, especially in enterprise and large scale programs. However, an agile architecture can enable a business to deliver features faster and give them a competitive advantage. Coupled with SaaS and/or Cloud, it seems obvious that agile architectures are required. So what is the problem? Sometimes organizations struggle to define what exactly an agile architecture is, the value it can add to product delivery, and what artifacts are most useful and relevant. Is an agile architecture about supporting rapid scale-out, continuous delivery and deployment? Or is it an exercise in futility? How much value should an organization attribute to having …

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Agile’s success depends, to a great extent, on the seriousness with which the team performs the prescribed ceremonies. Thou shalt start a sprint with a real sprint planning meeting. Thou shalt always end a sprint with working code, which thine customers and stakeholders shall comment upon. If thine daily stand-up meeting goes longer than 15 minutes, then lo! Someone needs to put a cork in it. Agile keeps the list of ceremonies small, and the ceremonies themselves fairly lightweight. They serve the same purpose as any ritual, to encourage both right behavior and right thinking. Unfortunately, there are not enough of them. Agile ceremonies must reach beyond the team The founders of the Agile movement …

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One of the benefits of having worked in both product management and technology for over 35 years is that you gain a certain perspective. We live in an endless stream of invention. It seems as though everything is new. But to the astute, the observant, even in an explosion of discovery, patterns emerge. If you are brilliant, you see these patterns earlier than others. Intel cofounder Gordon E. Moore observed in 1965 that the number of integrated circuits (remember those?) would double every two years. This brilliant insight came to be known as Moore’s Law, and it predicted and explained the growth in technological capability and the decrease in cost — and hence the ubiquity …

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