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Are IT budgets easing up, or does budgeting in 2010 feel like 2009 redux? We hope you’ll help us find out. Cutter has just launched its fifth annual IT Budgeting survey, the results of which will appear in an upcoming issue of Cutter Benchmark Review. Please assist us in creating a snapshot of where we stand in 2010 that we’ll use to compare with data from previous years, identify trends, uncover risks, and make practical recommendations. Please take our survey, which takes 10-12 minutes to complete. We truly appreciate your time, and will thank you for participating with an immediate download of “IT Budgeting: IT May Be Faring Better than Others in the Storm,” the …

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Whenever the topic of quality assurance (QA) over a project is brought to a conversation, testing is the first thing to come to most people’s minds. QA actually goes far beyond just testing code. In any case, being test centric can become more effective from the standpoint of QA at the project level if we expand our view of testing by taking the following five considerations: Test the software development process. A fundamental part of continuous improvement is to mature the software development process, whether or not you are using an agile or lean methodology. If you plan a development strategy and stick to it instead of adjusting it to become more effective over time …

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Here is a question to get your mind going. Has the evolution of computing been shaped by Western 20th century politics and culture or have our designs been more indebted to unchanging human psychology? While this sounds like an abstract debate in which only academics would revel, it started with me tweaking Apple’s iPad in a tweet for what I believe to be ambivalence within the iPad’s file system design. The iPhone and iPad file designs do not exactly follow conventional and hierarchical folder/directory designs of yore. The reason is obvious. Most everyday users of ubiquitous devices have no need for the extra complexity. Many casual users of smart phones and now pads and slates …

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Technology governance is something every company needs. But it’s also something that most companies would prefer not to discuss — or publish. The fact is that without explicit, consistent, well-communicated and well-supported governance, you will experience some degree of chaos in the technology acquisition, deployment, and support process. I’ve written a lot about governance over the years. I am one of those who believe that governance can make or break a technology organization’s ability to deliver business value to its clients. I also believe that governance is absolutely, positively political and therefore complicated, convoluted, and at times deranged. Because of the politics, personalities, and corporate cultures that influence and manipulate governance, it’s necessary to be …

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If you haven’t seen the video of Daniel Pink’s TED talk on the surprising science of motivation, you should take 20 minutes to watch now — it’s worth it. Jim Highsmith recently read Pink’s new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, and it got him thinking about how Pink’s ideas about intrinsic motivators — autonomy, mastery, and purpose — match up with the Agile Triangle. Check out Jim’s recent Agile Product & Project Management Executive Update, “Agility, Measurement, and Motivation” (no registration required). In it, Jim reveals how the agile community might use Pink’s message to foster better self-organizing teams and improve workplace satisfaction. What’s your take?

 
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It has been painful to watch the perennial angst of the CIO community. Each year, each conference, and each industry rag frets about what ails the CIO and what kind of CIO the CIO will need to be in the future. When viewed as a whole, the CIO community is paranoid and schizophrenic. Not only do we hear multiple conflicting voices in our collective heads, we have a sense that the future we created is out to get us. Here at Cutter Consortium, we tackled this issue of the future of the CIO with some thought provoking and wildly different perspectives, ranging from the CIO is dead meat to a new kind of CIO is …

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What is Agile? Is it a set of practices, a set of values, or a set of mind—or some combination of the three? Is it “Doing Agile” or “Being Agile?” Is agile defined by a checklist of offered practices—the Nokia test for Scrum, or checking 9 of 12 practice boxes for XP? Is agile a mindset, an amalgamation of adaptation, embracing change, transparency, collaboration, complex systems theory, or courage? Is agile the frequent delivery of high quality customer value while effectively adapting to change, regardless of specific practices? (Ken Collier) The right-brained and the left-brained are alive and well in this debate. Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind) refers to this as L-directed thinking, “sequential, …

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Occasionally, I will ask my students, “Why is the Roman Coliseum still standing?” The answer that I’m fishing for is, “Because the folks who tried to tear it down in the Middle Ages for building material were not as good engineers as the folks who put it up hundreds of years earlier.” All this was recently brought to mind because I’ve been reading a series of historical novels set in 9th century England based around the struggles between the Saxons and the Danes. In a number of places in these novels, the central character comments about the Roman ruins and how no one in his time could understand how the ancient Romans built the bridges, …

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With over 25 emerging markets in the world today in the process of rapid growth and industrialization, the IT industry is paying close attention to the vast potential that exists to support this economic restructuring. In fact, the collaboration of IT and emerging markets presents new opportunities from which both sides can benefit significantly. Join the debate in the July 2010 Cutter IT Journal — with Guest Editor San Murugesan — as we examine the value and impact IT will have in emerging markets now and in the future. To share your perspective with us, send us a short article abstract by April 20. For the full Call for Papers, visit here.

Apr 012010
 
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In a recent blog I wrote about replacing Empowerment with Autonomy. The words we use are important as they both convey a specific meaning, but even more, they bring along historical context. In a similar vein, I propose that agilists use Inspire as a replacement for Motivate. Motivate is similar to Empower, it denotes conveying a privilege to another—they are both extrinsic, not intrinsic. Intrinsic things comes from within, they convey something belonging to a thing by its very nature. Extrinsic things comes from without, they are the result of external forces. When a manager attempts to motivate a person or a team, he is trying to influence behavior by offering incentives. When a manager …

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