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Welcome to the sixth anniversary edition of my Enterprise Architect’s “New Year’s Resolutions.” I hope this article will give you food for thought and some inspiration for architectural growth in 2011. Learn About Business Architecture Many advances in architecture have occurred over the past few years, but one of the most rapidly advancing aspects has been business architecture. This has come from several areas. EA teams have expanded their capabilities in business architecture. Business organizations have experienced the value of an architectural approach to defining the business (analytic, focused, formal, specific, unambiguous). Finally, business architects have been pushing the envelope, illustrated by the growth in business architecture working groups and industry organizations. Business architecture is much …

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Jan 042011
 
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Over the coming few weeks we will be revising the Cutter Agile practice page in a significant manner. Various offerings will be refreshed and new ones added. These forthcoming revisions and additions apply to both consulting and training. The objective of so doing is quite straightforward: make the Agile practice a rich marketplace for Cutter clients. The idea is to pose a problem of choosing, not of choice, for clients and prospects. We will be posing this “problem” in order to give the client the final decision as to which offerings are best suited to satisfy his/her specific needs. For example, a client might prefer one software method over another. While both will probably be offered …

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Your Agile Engagement is a Strategic Opportunity

I recently gotten into a bit of hot water with one of my clients – a leading online service in a certain category – when I commented that the kind of things they do in software development and IT is really no different from what various clients of mine do in other industries. In so saying, I seem to have unintentionally pushed the “but it is really different here” button. I should have known better… Feeling a little uncomfortable with the body language in the room, I pulled out the holidays discount coupons a client of mine in the apparel business was kind enough to give me the day before. “But what is the difference?” …

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Dec 272010
 
Surfing Technical Debt

The Second Workshop on Managing Technical Debt will be held on May 23, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is part of and co-located with the 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE2011).  Between the workshop and the conference you can rest assured any aspect of software engineering known to mankind will be amply covered. The workshop is quite unique in its strong emphasis on rigorizing the foundations of technical debt and unifying the ways in which the generic concept is being applied. The reason for so doing is quite straightforward.  The term ‘technical debt’ has, no doubt, proven intuitively compelling. The various intuitive interpretations, however, differ in various subtle nuances. The Overview of the workshop points out: …

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Next time you look at an organization’s complicated collection of systems, and the interfaces between them, do a little archeology — and think of an old English hotel.

 
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I predict that in the USA, the tension between Democrat- and Republican-controlled Houses of  Congress will force compromise early and more will get done.  The emerging economy will strengthen as global competition forces corporate investment.  Companies that are overly conservative and hold on will find themselves at risk again. [Editor's Note: This post is part of the annual "Cutter Predicts ..." series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

Dec 232010
 
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Here are my predictions for 2011: The transformation of smart phones into virtual wallets will stimulate new targeted attacks on mobile users. Spending on cyber surveillance technologies by governments will increase dramatically with little corresponding increase in the safety or security of citizens. Consumers who purchase 3D televisions will not need to worry about where they left their glasses because there will be very little 3D content available. [Editor's Note: This post is part of the annual "Cutter Predicts ..." series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

Dec 222010
 
Trends for 2011 and Beyond

Every year the Cutter Trends Council attempts to come up with the biggest trends for the next 12 months. Unfortunately, this is an almost-impossible task, akin to forecasting the stock market for the next 6 or 12 months. Long range trends, on the other hand, are much easier to forecast. For example, there were a number of economists and brokers who forecast the recent recession (the one we’re still in) but hardly any were able to accurately forecast that it would occur in the early Fall of 2008. What is true of forecasting economic trends is also true of Business-IT trends. It has been clear for decades that the retirement of the “baby boomers” in …

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2010 saw the rapid growth of quantitatively-driven performance improvement among organizations serious about getting lean and seeing results.  Much of this can be attributed to newer techniques in agile practices such as Kanban for software, and related awareness resulting from these practices. Organizations getting serious about real, measurable improvement take being a learning organization to heart. They  have started to explore blended approaches where they may bring together more than one “named” approach, firmly internalize the salient themes from them and synthesize a custom method that meets their specific business needs.  Some of these organizations have also started to investigate and pursue use of CMMI as a framework for organizing and benchmarking their performance accomplishments. In …

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2011: The Year the C Level Gets the Business Value of Agile

There are two strands of interest to the CIO, the CTO, the CEO and the rest of the executive team: strategy and delivery. The fundamental premise of Agility to the C-level is quite straightforward: “Merge” the two, so that: Delivery can start before strategy is complete Delivery informs strategy through tight feedback loops The net effect is faster/earlier delivery of products and service that are well suited to satisfy the needs of target markets. The paramount need to deliver faster/earlier is, for all practical purposes, dictated by today’s markets becoming hyper-segmented. For example, my (or your) Twitter network today is an evolving market segment. My Twitter network in March 2011 could easily be a different …

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