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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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I see 2011 as the pivotal year in which top and middle management realize they play a crucial role in making Agile and Lean work. While systems thinking gains some more traction in looking at organizations as systems, for many it will remain too vague to be useful. We will see the first signs of simple and pragmatic Agile/Lean practices specifically developed for managers. [Editor's Note: This post is part of the annual "Cutter Predicts ..." series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]

 
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The iPhone 4.0 and the Android phone have significantly raised the bar for government and commercial business application developers. The application developers for these two phones have hit the target dead on. A new standard of application design is now on the market for all to see: usable code that directly provides time savings and innovation while making work significantly more effective and efficient. They’ve already changed the way I shop is a couple of ways, such as: Scan, compare and shop. I can scan a store item on the shelf, while my phone finds the same item in stores within miles of me along with pricing comparisons. Got gas? I can find the price …

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  Leadership IT Organizations (ITOs) are focusing on implementation and integration of three key Value Accretion disciplines over the next 12 months. The continuing uncertainty of the economic climate over the next 12 to 18 months is moving Governors, County Executives and City Mayors and Managers to increasingly look for both short-term and long-term cost reductions in operations. Rather than focusing on downsizing and hoping to fill vacant positions next year, I believe savvy IT Leaders will move their IT organizations toward a “Business within the Business” applying three critical disciplines on an enterprise basis. These three Value Accretion disciplines include a clear focus on: Developing a Program/Portfolio Management Office Increasing Project Management Maturity, and …

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Security and the law have not caught up with technology and the outlaws. But most people seem to be ignoring the risks in favor of the opportunities and I don’t see that changing in 2011. A high profile incident is bound to happen, probably sooner rather than later. The headlines this year have been full of security issues facing the internet. First, there was the Zeus Trojan Horse which has stolen millions of dollars from small businesses and individuals. Zeus steals your credentials from your computer, and then uses them to make numerous small transfers from your bank account (under the $10,000 limit for reporting) until it has been emptied out. Since your computer was …

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Last year, I anticipated collaborative businesses to flourish rapidly. Airlines collaborating with hotels, which in turn would collaborate with car rentals, and they in turn with the insurance companies. The customer benefits through the enhanced experience of seamless service. There are two major movements/trends in this area: Customer Collaboration. Customer collaboration is based on corporate customers who collaborate with one another in the process of buying/procuring products/services. Increasingly, through Web Services, customers are collaborating with each other as much as with vendors by forming electronic consortiums to procure wholesale goods, services, utilities, and so on. This will continue to lead to many-to-many electronic transactions resulting in a true oligopoly. Business Agility. Business agility is an …

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Wikileaks has done more than anything else could have to make a strong emotional impact on world leaders across the globe. Wikileaks is the 9/11 of global diplomacy. The Internet is no longer benign. It has its malignancies. Over the next year, expect world leaders to begin to assert direct and indirect control over the Internet, including networks and data centers. Also look for more governments and militaries to use the Internet for what Internet edgelings have long been doing: communicating with the public. The big government spin on this will range from the transparent to propaganda to unilateral control. When information is power, powers that be will attempt to control information. 2010 was a …

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In 2011 we will see successful mechanical refactoring across service and organizational boundaries. Regretfully it will take nine more years for this to become a common agile practice. In a decade we will see terms of service expressed as automated tests. Service providers will occasionally revise these terms and their tests as they upgrade their services. They will NOT, however, be obligated to support an old interface indefinitely. Rather, they will be obligated to provide automated refactoring scripts that have been shown to mechanically upgrade a well-known public suite of sample applications in such a way that the new tests pass. Careful readers will notice that I’m equating testing a service interface and testing a …

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Dec 152010
 
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In the past several years, companies have invested in a variety of technologies to help them gather data about their customers, their employees, their products, and their services. This has been an exciting opportunity for IT to collaborate with colleagues in Marketing, HR, and Sales, among other divisions of the business on efforts ranging from customer relationships management to business intelligence. The sources of data are ever increasing as the channels through which customers and employees interact with companies increase from blogs to Twitter to old channels like phones and in-person interactions. IT executives are in a race to stay ahead of the deluge. 2011 will be the year of reckoning for many CIOs, as …

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