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Agile practitioners talk a great deal about the importance of breaking bad old habits and replacing them with muscle memory. Since you’re breaking down programmed, reflexive responses, you need more than words. You don’t reason with a habit. That’s why I often inject serious games as training exercises when I’m working with someone in the midst of an Agile transformation project. For one client, specialization within teams was a serious stumbling block to Agility. As long as Bob (not his real name) was the only person who could build a particular kind of critical component, Bob would be a choke point in every sprint. Other team members had similar specializations in platform issues, data formats, …

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Transforming healthcare is a key priority for public and private healthcare providers and governments. But the healthcare industry is facing major challenges in delivering quality healthcare services at affordable costs. How can IT transform healthcare? There has been progress in applying IT in healthcare in areas such as telemedicine, mobile health, electronic medical records (EMR) and healthcare portals. There is greater potential, however, particularly considering ongoing advances in RFID, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile devices and wireless communications, social media, nanotechnology, robotics, data analytics, context-aware systems and smart applications. Healthcare IT is both promising and challenging to IT professionals, managers and executives. Only through the prudent design, development and implementation of healthcare IT initiatives that …

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Many organizations start their Agile journey by adopting Scrum because it describes a good strategy for leading Agile software teams. Scrum, however, is only part of what is required to deliver sophisticated solutions to your stakeholders. Invariably, teams need to look to other methods to fill in the process gaps that Scrum purposely ignores. When looking at other methods, there is considerable overlap and conflicting terminology that can be confusing to practitioners as well as outside stakeholders. Worse yet, people don’t always know where to look for advice or even what issues they need to consider. To address these challenges, the DAD process decision framework provides a more cohesive approach to Agile solution delivery (see …

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Big, Bad Data?

 Ken Orr | Jan 14, 2014  4 Responses
Jan 142014
 
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The Middle Ages used a phrase to describe a term that was not meaningful as “a distinction without a difference.” Oftentimes, in the desire to catch a technological/marketing wave, salespeople and consultants overuse terms coined to describe one thing to mean something entirely different. Not long ago, I was reading an article in the New York Times about department stores tracking their customers by using their wireless devices, using their movement through their stores to predict what they were interested in and what they bought. The article described this as yet another instance of the importance of Big Data. The more I read, the more I found this reference both comical and disturbing. Clearly, there was nothing necessarily …

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In “Making Managerial Dashboards Meaningful” (Cutter IT Journal January 2013), the authors discussed the criteria and measures a dashboard needed to provide managers with reliable key performance indicators. All agreed on the need to choose carefully both the data displayed and the type of visualization to use. The “right” data, the “right” visualization, and the alignment of the data to the business goals supporting the dashboard user are necessary to support better decision making. In an upcoming issue of Cutter IT Journal we will take this one step further by exploring the creation of “Smart Dashboards” — ones that will provide even more intelligence and that “go beyond” the capabilities of current dashboards. We use …

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All Gov't Levels to Search for Cost-Effective Operational Stability

This coming year, government leaders will be looking for the most cost-effective means of operational stability for their level of government. Public sector executive leaders will take specific steps to assess their organization (both operations and information technology) to determine the most cost-effective means for business operations. For the IT organizations, this means taking a detailed look at the utilization of operational disciplines, governance and business alignment methods. In addition, decisions will have to be made regarding human capital replacement, training and/or selectively sourcing required technology operations and functions. At the same time, executive leaders will be faced with making decisions on modernization of systems and productivity applications. Progressive executive leaders will utilize an unbiased and …

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IT to Secure its Role in Selecting/Implementing Cloud Solutions

Here’s what I see coming in the new year: Enlightened CIOs will regain a key role in the acquisition and implementation of enterprise Cloud solutions, including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) computing resources. They will not only put policies in place that will encourage end-users and business units to include IT in the procurement and deployment processes, but will also enable IT to play a more proactive role in the evaluation and selection process. Corporate end-users and business units will be forced to enlist greater IT involvement and support in the acquisition and implementation of enterprise Cloud solutions because they will face greater challenges integrating them into their existing systems, software and data sources, …

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Will the Laggards Speed Up, Please?

The Oil and Gas (O&G) industry, especially its so-called “upstream” segment, exploration and production (or going from the rock to the pipeline), is totally based on data. A seismic survey may collect petabytes of acoustic signals. Increasingly, when wells are drilled, sensors are inserted in them, and these sensors collect data for the next 30 years of production. Two completely different applications, but in both cases they result in masses of data. O&G’s dependency on data began decades ago when the Schlumberger brothers invented the “electric log” in 1926. And yet, this sector has been one of the most conservative, even lagging, adopters of modern modeling and management techniques for both information and processes. Over …

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Analytics "Late-Comers" will Gain New Prominence

We’ve come to expect breakthroughs from retail, social and financial institutions as they apply leading-edge analytics to deliver impressive business insights. Heavy industries such as utilities, energy exploration and transportation have lagged these analytics power-users in three key dimensions: enterprise culture, technology foundation and business results. I believe 2014 will be the year when these analytics “late-comers” will gain new prominence. Here are six predications on what to expect: Enterprise Culture: new beliefs and norms are necessary to embrace analytics within most enterprises 1.  Analytics will be formalized as a leadership competency. Most large organizations have a set of leadership competencies that reflect their vision and strategy. In 2014, being able to drive decision making with …

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IoT, Big Data, Mobile Apps, Drones to Impact Privacy & Security

Here are my predictions for 2014: 2014 will bring exponential expansion and evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT). This will also bring new opportunities for information security trailblazers unlike any we’ve seen before. The potential benefits of the IoT will be huge, but just as large will be the new and constantly evolving information security and privacy risks. We will see some significant privacy breaches resulting from the use of IoT devices as a result. New IoT risks, and resulting security incidents and privacy breaches, will bring a significant need for technology information security pros to also understand privacy concepts so they can implement privacy protections within all these new devices, and into the …

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