Nov 052012
 

Global competition, increasing customer power, and quantum advances in technology have combined to demand a new and more adaptive approach to managing the business. In spite of significant advances in methods to improve business performance, such as TQM, Six Sigma, Lean, BPR, ERP, CRM, SaaS, and the cloud, many organizations continue to struggle in executing improvements to business performance. In many cases, the culprit is a traditional functional view of the business, where organizations develop plans, budgets, and even reward systems mainly in a functional or departmental context, paying little attention to the “critical few” measures of performance that matter to customers and failing to gain clarity on the type of cross-departmental collaboration needed to Read more

Nov 012012
 

IT organizations worldwide use dashboards to provide managers with the key performance metrics they need to steer their organizations in the right direction and make important strategic business decisions. However, the data being measured must be meaningful for the dashboard to be valuable. Considerable effort and resources can be wasted tracking the wrong information. Dashboards need to be regularly reviewed to ensure they incorporate data from all relevant sources. For example, organizations must now incorporate and leverage the vast amount of data coming in through their various social media channels, as this data provides key information on trends that can affect an organization’s bottom line. So what is the secret to designing a dashboard that Read more

Oct 232012
 

One of the most important disruptive technologies that businesses can employ today is video. Video can benefit several business activities, including training, corporate communications, collaboration and knowledge sharing, and CRM. In addition, video is not something you are going to have to browbeat your employees to use. In fact, many employees — thanks to the popularity of YouTube and similar consumer video-sharing sites, in conjunction with their rabid obsession with smartphones and tablets — feel quite at home both watching and making videos. And a lot are also quite familiar with turning to consumer video-sharing sites to seek out videos showing them how to do something — whether it’s how to play “Paint It Black” Read more

Oct 102012
 

I recently watched a talk by a self-appointed agile "expert" who tried to explain the key elements of Scrum. There were lots of minor and major mistakes in his presentation, but the sentence that struck me most was: "User stories are what we call requirements in agile." The sad thing is not that much that this guy said was completely wrong, but that his view is quite common. Another "Scrum" team I was visiting recently showed me its task board. On the left, the group had "prioritized" their stories by assigning them to three categories. Their choice was pretty representative: they had eight cards with priority one, three cards with priority two, and not a Read more

Oct 092012
 

The analogy between the evolution of the electric energy industry and cloud computing is oftentimes used, and for good reason. It’s likely the most applicable predictor of where this industry is heading over the next 10-20 years. Although slight regional variances exist, it’s generally the case that I, as a consumer of electric power, can plug in my appliance anywhere in the world and expect it to work efficiently, safely, and reliably. Standards for voltage regulation, plug/outlet design, and circuit protection are mature and widely embraced, and the electric appliance industry can compete, and innovate, on a level playing field for the benefit of consumers worldwide. The clock radio in my office is one of Read more

Oct 042012
 
Jim Plamondon, Cutter, and the API Economy

I’ve recently joined the Cutter Consortium as a Senior Consultant, focusing on the API Economy. This begs three questions: Why the API Economy? Why me? Why Cutter? Why the API Economy? The API Economy is, in brief, the exchange of information resources facilitated by: Exposing your entity’s core information resources to an ecosystem of developers through an Internet-based Application Programming Interface (API), and Combining other entities’ APIs to build new information resources. You may never have heard of the API Economy, but you will. It is the economic force that is driving cloud computing and mobile apps. The success of cloud and mobile computing is accelerating the API Economy towards a tipping point, in a Read more

Sep 252012
 

Social networking, mobility, and analytics are among the key topics for the enterprise today, as companies attempt to leverage social networks for insights, provide on-the-road access to data, and integrate an increasing realm of data into the diversified range of analytics possibilities provided by Big Data. Each of these areas is of growing importance to corporate marketing strategies and internal efficiency. But the confluence of social, mobile, and analytics is creating some important trends in its own right. As we explore in a recent Executive Update (see “SoLoMo Analytics“), many of these revolve around the growing combination of social, local, and mobile — often called “SoLoMo” — that has become a key emerging ecosystem of consumer behavior Read more

Sep 192012
 

Change at an architectural level is always transformational. But too often architects have struggled to demonstrate or realize this potential for making a significant, positive difference at the enterprise level. Instead, big changes are more frequently driven by the architectural opportunities from new technologies. This is starting to change, and leading enterprises are planning architectural change that genuinely combines the organizational, business, and technology perspectives. Enterprise transformation that successfully unites all three viewpoints requires a new technique to raise the architectural debate to the level of senior decision makers. Enterprise Patterns elevate the debate by: * Providing a means for aggregating viewpoints and lower level patterns into a holistic visualization of architectural possibilities. * Focusing Read more

Sep 112012
 
Be the Management You Want to Change — An Open Letter to Agilists

Dear Agilist, Everywhere I go I hear the same thing: “Culture and management are the major impediments to enterprise agile adoption.” Indeed, hundreds of us recently sought out the annual industry conference presentations and panels on how to change management — and culture — to facilitate the agile organization. I propose you and I stop hoping for management to change. Instead, why don’t we become the change we want management to be? That’s right, become a manager! Why the heck not? Here’s my reasoning. If you are skilled in the disciplines of: Prioritizing based on value, quality, and risk reduction Self-organizing cross-functional teamwork Transparent communication Making work visible Limiting work in process Feedback loops for sensing Read more

Sep 092012
 

I have two purposes in mind writing this blog post: Bring to your attention a new Santa Fe Institute paper on technological progress. I consider it quite a remarkable paper. Provide guidance as to applying the findings reported in this paper. Bela Nagy et al have recently published a working paper entitled Statistical Basis for Predicting Technological Progress. Numerous intriguing observations are made in this paper, including the following comparison between Moore’s Law and Wright’s law: We discover a previously unobserved regularity that production tends to increase exponentially. A combination of exponential decrease in cost and an exponential increase in production would make Moore’s law and Wright’s law indistinguishable, as originally pointed out by Sahal. Read more