Jan 122016
 

[All posts in this series: 1, 2, 3, 4] As I read through Tom Grant’s article on Agile Frameworks, one word kept jumping out at me: structure! People like frameworks because they provide a structure that is repeatable. As I think back to all the Agile deployments I have dealt with, there were many misconceptions about Agile but the one that was consistent was that Agile did not have structure. Many managers who asked for Agile to be implemented had the idea that being Agile meant that you didn’t have to do many of the things that they were doing with the other software development process they were using. Managers focused on the literal meaning Read more

Jan 122016
 
The Agile Challenge in System Design

While Agile is pretty mainstream by now in Web and app development, it is still a major challenge in system design, where software plays only a part of the game, although that piece is steadily increasing. Whether we’re talking about manufacturers of cars, chips, or medical devices, they all need to respond to the increasing pace in the market. Only one or two decades ago, these industries were content with product cycles of three to five years. Today, some chip manufacturers are capable of delivering a new version of their product every second month, causing excitement for their customers and despair for their competitors. Obviously, Agile in these industries means something different than in pure Read more

Jan 112016
 
Call for Papers: Technical Debt: The Continued Burden On Software Innovation

Technical debt is like the family secret that no one wants to talk about. Everyone knows that it exists, it’s awful, and it makes life miserable for everyone affected by it. However, people are often unable or unwilling to confront it. The simplest explanation of technical debt is the increasing burden created with each decision to cut corners when coding software. The greater the pressure to deliver software, the greater incentive to cut corners. The more corners cut in the past, the harder it is to deliver new software value in the future. Technical debt imposes significant business costs. In an era of digital transformation, organizations respond more slowly to threats and opportunities. What little Read more

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!