Posts Tagged 'Leadership'

Jun 062013
Executive Education Created Just for Business Technologists

“Executive education” usually brings a university classroom to my mind, the kind you find on an ivy-walled campus. Cutter’s executive education (which we call Summit 2013), however, is a little different: it takes place next-door to a prestigious university. Yep, Summit 2013 will be held at Le Meridien Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the edge of the MIT campus. The program is chock-full of stellar sessions. The 3-day event kicks off on Nov. 4 with a keynote on The Evolving Role of 21st Century Technology Leaders by Robert D. Scott. Robert, former VP of Innovation & Architecture at Procter & Gamble (where he also served in CIO positions, both corporate and business unit). Robert is Read more

Sep 112012
Be the Management You Want to Change — An Open Letter to Agilists

Dear Agilist, Everywhere I go I hear the same thing: “Culture and management are the major impediments to enterprise agile adoption.” Indeed, hundreds of us recently sought out the annual industry conference presentations and panels on how to change management — and culture — to facilitate the agile organization. I propose you and I stop hoping for management to change. Instead, why don’t we become the change we want management to be? That’s right, become a manager! Why the heck not? Here’s my reasoning. If you are skilled in the disciplines of: Prioritizing based on value, quality, and risk reduction Self-organizing cross-functional teamwork Transparent communication Making work visible Limiting work in process Feedback loops for sensing Read more

Dec 152011

CIOs and their management teams are facing a leadership crises – with the emphasis on MORE – be more productive, more efficient, more creative, more collaborative, more customer focused and more business savvy. How can leaders inspire their teams to produce technical innovation in a timely, efficient manner? What approaches – or maybe even a science – can help leaders meet these increasing demands? The March 2012 Cutter IT Journal, with Guest Editor Lynne Ellyn, will address these questions. Please send us your ideas – proposals of interest are due 28 December 2011. To respond, please visit

Oct 142011
Steve Jobs: Greater than Scipio Africanus?

As expected and sudden was the inevitable and tragic end to Steve Jobs’s life, so too is it surprising yet necessary that an outpouring of praise and emotion would follow. We all loved his inventions. The Twitterverse was rightfully aflame with stories about Steve. As if drawn nearly as perfectly as the interfaces he and his team dedicated their lives to, the final measure of his arc marks a very clean and a nearly perfect transition into history. The last brilliant burst that characterized his second tenure at the helm of Apple was a perfect, if not — from today’s vantage point — a seemingly inevitable concluding crescendo. Beethoven would have been proud. Jobs will Read more

Jul 262011

The latest findings in neuroscience have broad implications for all aspects of business, from product design to leadership. Hot topics include human task performance, learning, motivation, attention, and memory. Deep insights from this research can lead to the creation of better software. For the IT professional, this will change the way software is designed and developed. It will also change how software teams are assembled and managed. Software-enabled tasks are astonishingly diverse — reporting an electrical outage to the utility company, comparing investment portfolios, analyzing blood test results, trading commodities, ordering books, or even playing Angry Birds. As diverse as these tasks are, each draws on the attention, learning, motivation, and memory of its users. Read more

Dec 142010
Organizing for Demand Management: Egoless Requirements

Too often IT projects are initiated on the basis of the “who shouts loudest” syndrome, dominated by the biggest egos in the business management arena. Another form of this malaise arises when internal politics, with business unit managers jockeying for position, sidelines the needs of the organization as a whole. If demand management is to be applied effectively to help align IT with business needs, then a certain objectivity must be achieved. Older readers may recall the idea of egoless programming advocated by Gerald Weinberg nearly 40 years ago [1]. Simply put, the concept of egoless programming advocates that a programmer should review the code of another programmer in an objective way such that personal Read more

Aug 242010

In a recent e-mail exchange with Cutter Fellow Lynne Ellyn (SVP and CIO of DTE), she mentioned that one characteristic of agile leaders is providing focus and clarity for an organization or team. Her comments sparked my thinking about why it’s so hard to be a good agile leader. We tend to create lists of what leaders do or their agilelike behaviors, but these lists and the item descriptions obscure the difficulty in actually being an agile leader. Consider providing focus and clarity. It sounds simple, but it’s not. Why do we embrace agility in the first place? Agility helps us manage change and uncertainty. Turbulence — business, economic, and technological — creates change, which Read more