Jan 082016
Agile Frameworks: Does Anyone Know What A Framework Is?

[Later posts in this series: 2, 3, 4] [Welcome to the first in a series of posts about Agile frameworks. In this series, Cutter consultants in the Agile Product Management & Software Engineering Excellence practice give their thoughts on this topic, with the goal of helping people make smart decisions about choosing or implementing Agile frameworks. The author of this first post is Tom Grant, the practice director for Agile Product Management & Software Engineering Excellence.] To My Cutter Colleagues, First, thank you for agreeing to start this dialogue. Given the amount of time we’ve spent talking about Agile frameworks, both with our clients and each other, I thought it would be a good idea to open Read more

Jan 062016
Agile, Broken Dishes, And Loony Dooks

With the new year comes actual change, not just resolutions. Case in point: This is my inaugural post as the new practice director for Agile Product Management And Software Engineering Excellence here at Cutter. I’m excited and honored to take on the position, particularly at a moment when both Agile specifically, and software development generally, are going through some big, big changes. Before we get into that topic, let’s talk about New Year’s traditions from around the world. Many of us are still settling into our work after the holiday break, so it may not be time for the thoughts to be too profound, or the wording too dense. Trust me, by way of metaphor, we’ll Read more

Dec 152015
Looming Threats in Cloud Computing

A lot has changed in a few years. When I talked about cloud three years back, I got frownie-faces from my peers. Skeptical looks that belied a deeper-seated fear or trepidation, probably having more to do with their internal image of what a CIO should be than the promise or peril in the new technology. Now, enthusiasm runs ebulliently through the vendor community, animating the animal spirits and spurring on entrepreneurs in search of profits and glory. Cloud has been elevated to high strategy on the billionaire chess board. Mergers and acquisitions are abuzz. Amazon, armed with an overly energetic workforce, gets hypercompetitive in all ways good and ill, supplanting Oracle as one of our Read more

Dec 012015
Architecture's Messiness Begs for Quarkitecture

Many enterprises have embraced architecture. But it is not so obvious that some in the industry have also been engaging in a kind of “meta-architecture.” This is not unlike the work that particle physicists do as they test and extend their theories with the help of huge particle accelerators, resulting in the continued evolution of the standard model. Modeling the models is difficult work. The challenge is to bring the wisdom of experience together with the possibilities of theory, molding them into precious archetypes in the fiery forge of a specific enterprise. The resulting model would be the standard model of architecture for that organization. This kind of meta-architecture work is what we can refer Read more

Nov 202015

The role of enterprise architecture and the enterprise architect has steadily grown in scope and in importance over the last two decades. Although many EA teams operate as part of the IT department, others are taking a more active position as they help to inform and guide strategy planning, investment and transformation at the enterprise-level. We have reached a stage where EA, as a discipline, is well-established within many enterprises as a core capability. But increasingly the boundary of “enterprise” architecture is extending beyond organizational boundaries. The domain of the enterprise architect is changing, as more and more “enterprise” architecture components are sourced externally. Social and environmental architectures are as important to an enterprise architecture Read more

Nov 172015
Disappearing Acts: Five Enablers of Web Ubiquity

The first 25 years of the Web clearly demonstrated that connectivity and problem solving can be cost-effectively linked. It’s now possible to communicate, shop, and learn on the Web. We can find answers, relationships, and games on the Web, and for those of us who desire a more surrealistic experience, we can immerse ourselves in virtual worlds. What’s next? The emphasis here is not on future Web communications architectures. We can assume that Web communications and networking technology will continue to rapidly evolve. Nor is the emphasis on “the singularity” (see singularity.com), though machines will obviously become much smarter and smarter over time. Instead, the focus is on functional integration — the seamless integration of Read more

Nov 162015
Cutter Experts Honored for Leadership Course

Cutter Fellow Rob Austin and Senior Consultant Shannon Hessel received a Danish Society for Education and Business Prize for their “Leadership in the 21st Century Organizations” course at Copenhagen Business School. Cutter Fellow Dick Nolan was also honored for the lectures he contributed to the course. One of the three DSEB Education Prizes went to Assistant Professor Shannon Hessel and Professor Rob Austin from the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, especially due to their work in the course: “Leadership in the 21st Century Organizations”, in which they combine technology with good old-fashioned storytelling. – via CBS Observer Congratulations, Rob, Shannon, and Dick!

Nov 122015
Bob Charette Weighs in on a Decade of IT Failures

Cutter Fellow Bob Charette has been blogging over at IEEE Risk Factor for the past decade, looking at the myriad ways software projects fail. To mark that 10-year milestone, he set out to analyze what’s changed — and what hasn’t — in the area of systems development- and operations-related failures. Bob doesn’t claim to have compiled a comprehensive “database of debacles” in Lessons From a Decade of IT Failures. Instead, he’s endeavored to bring together the “most interesting and illustrative examples of big IT systems and projects gone awry.” Be sure to spend some time with his colleague Josh Romero’s five super cool interactive visualizations of the data where you’ll: Look at the various ways Read more

Nov 032015
Considering Group Dynamics in Agile Adoption

Understanding individuals and how they interact with each other is one of the key priorities of Agile. In fact, the very first statement of the flagship Agile Manifesto highlights this priority. When individuals interact positively with each other, they promote the group’s common goal. This is collaboration. Honest collaboration invariably challenges the inherently territorial nature of humans. We love to hold on to our spaces and boundaries (both geographical and mental). Collaboration permeates those boundaries and makes them porous. The need to break down the territorial mindset in humans is perhaps the hardest thing to comprehend and accept in an Agile culture change. Promoting collaboration fundamentally depends on understanding how two (or more) individuals interact Read more

Oct 202015
The Gamification of Ordinary Life

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), attention turned once again to the Internet of Things (IoT) and personal devices. Wearables showed up in great profusion, focused upon watches, wristbands, and other personal sensors used to monitor activity rate, pulse, temperature, and whatever else can be determined from movement or simple surface sensors. For the home, measuring and control devices are emerging for temperature, humidity, intruder detection, and so forth — all attached, to personal networks, to the Web, and generally streaming data to external monitors. This all constitutes an escalation of device communications, which ultimately can lead to something like gamification of personal life and the home (Figure 1). Figure 1 — The gamification Read more