Dec 072013
 
We Will Forget the ACA Web Site Fiasco

In a few months, the Affordable Care Act enrollment system will finally be working well, millions of people will have enrolled, and the debate will return to the basic policy and political question of whether the whole program is good for the U.S. or not. By 2015, the IT profession as a whole, government procurement services, and the contractors will forget the lessons of the October-November fiasco and will largely or completely return to the same practices as before: unrealistic deadlines, lack of testing, big waterfall lifecycle models, tell-me-what-I-want-to-hear practices, etc. Why am I being so pessimistic? Because we’ve been here before. The Y2K effort consumed a lot of resources, and contrary to many people, Read more

Dec 062013
 
A Focus on Organizations and Value Chains

If there was one major development in the Agile field in the last year or two, it’s been a shift of focus from teams and methodologies to organizations and value chains. I expect this development to gain more speed and depth in the next three years — becoming the major issue of the debate. I see three main threads within the focus on organizations and value chains emerging. These seem to address different needs and markets. The first thread is a tendency to “blueprint” an organization in order to facilitate Agile’s introduction. The “Scaling Agile Framework” belongs, in my opinion, in this group, as do the initiatives of the PMI. Despite a heated debate about Read more

Dec 052013
 
BYOD Will Become Mandatory In Order to Keep an Eye on You

For 2014, I see an increasing convergence of two trends that may not overjoy many of us. The first is that bring-your-own-device (BYOD ) to work will be increasingly embraced by employers as well as other organizations, such as schools and universities. Earlier this year, it was predicted that half of all companies will mandate BYODs as a condition of employment by 2017. While I think that is an aggressive target, given not only the security issues involved, but the application/data/OS integration issues as well as the rapidity of device turnover, it is a trend that is already taking hold. Companies such as Cisco and VMWare have mandated BYOD, and universities (and now high schools) Read more

Dec 042013
 

Over the past decade, the world has once again experienced the rapid introduction of a broad spectrum of technologies that hold great promise to those organizations which possess the personnel with the skills to exploit them, as well as great risk to organizations where those skills are missing or are weak. Cloud computing, data analytics, sensors and the Internet of Things, robotics, mobile and social computing, and green technology, to name a few, are the latest technologies organizations are struggling with to understand and apply in a secure manner today. Just over the horizon are not only improvements to each of these technologies (as well as their integration), but also the increasing use of autonomous Read more

My List

 Posted by on 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 Read more

Dec 032013
 

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 Read more

Dec 032013
 
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 Read more

Coming Soon: 2014

 Posted by on Dec 2, 2013  No Responses »
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 Read more

Welcome, Ken Morris

 Posted by on Dec 2, 2013  No Responses »
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 Read more

Serious Games Need Agile

 Posted by on Nov 20, 2013  1 Response »
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 Read more