Pursuing Velocity

 Posted by on Sep 5, 2012  No Responses »
Sep 052012
Pursuing Velocity

In my recent Cutter Advisor “Reassessing Your Software Process,” I tried to shed light on the relative velocity of an in-house process v. that of related processes in the market. I stressed that I actually perceive the two as “twins” that can’t really be separated as they mutually affect each other. Furthermore, I expressed my conviction that the boundary between the firm and the market shifts nowadays not “only” as a function of cost of transactions[1], but as a function of the disparity in velocity of the software process inside the firm versus the velocity of related processes in the market. In response to my advisor, Peggy Drew, an Agile Program Manager with Omgeo, wrote Read more

Aug 282012
Lessons from the Olympics on Stakeholder Management

The 2012 Summer Olympics, officially “The Games of the XXX Olympiad” (I don’t want the IOC branding police after me), have finally concluded, but the buzz about NBC’s coverage in the US still goes on. It all started during the opening ceremonies when the Twitterverse went crazy over the fact that the Games were not being broadcast live here in the US, but rather were delayed at least five hours. Now, I think there is plenty of room for dissatisfaction with NBC’s coverage. The inane blabber from the announcers comes immediately to mind. And if you wanted to see something other than gymnastics, swimming, track, or volleyball, you were pretty much out of luck. (There Read more

Aug 152012

For those not familiar with the structure of subways, the third rail is the one that carries the power for the trains. Under no circumstances do you ever want to touch it. The phrase “third rail” has made its way into political discourse as a description of a “no-win” issue — something that should be avoided at all costs. In corporate IT, email and the increasingly sophisticated messaging structure that supports it are third rail issues. As I said, the third rail is what carries the power to a subway train or electrified rapid transit. Should you be so unlucky as to find yourself on one of those tracks, it’s safe to touch the two Read more

Aug 022012
Test-Driven Business: The Myth of Planning

In my first post in the Test-Driven Business (TDB) series, I took the liberty of being a little provocative, placing Planning after Ideation and Implementation as one possible way in which the three phases could be sequenced. This arrangement is illustrated in Figure 1. Figure 1: Cultivation Culture Obviously, Planning could precede Implementation and it might precede Ideation. The reason for my provisionally placing it last was to draw attention to the complicated interrelationship between the three phases, to the fact that in today’s markets linear order between the three can’t really be taken for granted. As a matter of fact, I would contend that sharp scholars have been observing that the order is not necessarily Read more

Aug 012012

August has officially arrived, which means the annual Agile conference is just two short weeks away. Whether you’re doing Agile, thinking about doing Agile, or are a leading Agile thinker, you’re aware of this event. This year’s conference, Agile2012, is headed to Dallas, Texas. The weather promises to be about 100°, so don’t forget to bring your hat and sun block (under 3.4 ounces if you’re carrying on)! I’m pleased to report that eight members of the Cutter Consortium Agile team are presenting at Agile2012. Led by Dr. Israel Gat, Director of our Agile Practice, Cutter’s team is ready to help you make the most of your Agile2012 experience. Dr. Gat’s “No Bull Know How” Read more

Aug 012012

Is there something intrinsically incompatible between Agile and CMMI that will forever keep this conversation burning? This always heated debate hasn’t lost its steam yet. But maybe it should. Instead of focusing on “why or why not” – let’s focus instead on “how” Agile and CMMI can work together to effect successful software projects. The upcoming Cutter IT Journal with Guest Editor Hillel Glazer seeks practical advice and insight on how to improve the understanding and compatibility between Agile and CMMI. How can Agile or CMMI as products and services — provided via training or education — contribute to fanning or resolving the conversation? Or is there a viable reason they should part ways? Let Read more

Aug 012012

Last week I wrote an Advisor for our Business & Enterprise Architecture practice about the role of the solution architect.  I thought I’d share my overview of how that role compares to the enterprise architect’s. Is this how the roles are delineated in your company? Topic Solution Architecture Enterprise Architecture Scope Single solution or set of related solutions All current and future solutions and COTS Primary Goals Ensure that the solution fits within the enterprise context Define the enterprise context including business, information, application, and technology Responsibility Translates nonfunctional and functional requirements into design, within enterprise context Translates strategies into target architectures and roadmaps Tradeoffs Enterprisestrategy and goals vs. solution tactical and delivery requirements Prioritization and rationalization Read more

Jul 312012

Has agile crossed the chasm? Unambiguously: yes and no. To apply the concept of Geoffrey Moore’s book, we must first answer the question, “Is agile a disruptive technology?” To me, that answer is yes. If you do not agree, this is a good stopping point. Next, we must answer the question in regards to the market. Let us first focus on the software industry, both software product companies and IT. Then we can answer the question: yes, agile has crossed the chasm, from the perspective of the total addressable agile market. Certainly, mainstream has adopted agile. Traditional manufacturing organizations such as Caterpillar, Boeing, and Ford use agile methods. Insurance companies like Farmers, United Healthcare, and Read more

Jul 262012
Quick Reflections on the Voke Press Release about Agile

I recently had the pleasure of responding to the comments made by Voke in a press release about its new report that claims that companies do not understand costs of rework and cannot identify clear benefits of Agile. Brian Bloom of Computerworld Canada asked for my reaction, which was subsequently published in IT World Canada. Though I haven’t had the opportunity to read the full report, my impression is the report reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the core tenets of Agile. An Agile phrase you might want think about as you read the article is value delivery. Basically, I view Agile software as a triplet {Process, Output, Outcome}, where: Process=The way a self-organizing team works in accord with an Agile Read more

Jul 172012

On that long list of venerable institutions primed for a high-tech overhaul, higher education is near the top. Its shortcomings are much discussed: universities are expensive, inaccessible, inflexible, and out of touch with the needs of students and the world economy. A diploma that demands four (or more) years on campus, long lectures, fend-for-yourself homework, and massive final exams seems as much a relic of the 19th century as of the 20th. Educating the millions of people that our future depends on will require not just a productivity boost but something fundamentally different. These days “something fundamentally different” usually involves the Internet. Decades of desultory experiments with “computer-aided education” have now yielded exciting, scalable, measurably Read more