Many enterprise architecture (EA) teams struggle with creating a program that demonstrates the level of strategic value that they believe EA should have. Even after following all the advice in frameworks and online articles, chief architects and CIOs still struggle as EA programs fail to reach their potential as an influencer of strategy execution across the enterprise. There are five steps that Cutter Senior Consultant Nick Malik advises EA teams must do to go from a tactical technical program to a strategic role. Ironically, these activities are somewhat tactical in nature. According to Malik, “this is block-and-tackle work”. In his recent Business & Enterprise Architecture Executive Report, “Climbing the Ladder: 5 Steps to Connect EA Read more
Posts Tagged 'strategy'
Life complexifies. Perhaps it is a fundamental law of information that the complexity of information increases. In the world of biology, over time organisms become more complex, with new genetic permutations appearing alongside of old genetic pieces. In the hyperastronomical space in the animal genome, nature constantly produces new combinations. In human knowledge and scientific discovery, the same is true. New insights are built on top of old ones. Breakthroughs in insight usually have higher levels of complexity and hence require higher levels of abstraction and difficult codification to accommodate the widening domain covered. We all know E=MC2 but how many of us really know what it means? In the world of medicine, treatments are Read more
During today’s webinar about ALM, I took great pains to talk about what constitutes a real strategy for software innovation, and what an imitation strategy looks like. Many of the questions we receive at Cutter, such as, “What scaled Agile approach should we pursue?” are impossible to answer without a strategy to guide these sorts of decisions. Before talking about scaled Agile, or whatever the topic du jour is, we first must backtrack into a discussion of the strategic imperatives behind these questions — assuming anyone knows what those imperatives are. One of the hardest aspects to understand about strategy, either for ALM or anything else, is that it’s not written on stone tablets. Strategy is made Read more
[For some related posts about application lifecycle management, click here and here. For my video series on ALM, click here.] Software teams are usually very responsive either to their own organization or the customer; it’s harder to find a team that is good at responding to cues from both. For example, I’ve known teams within corporate IT that are so enmeshed with their customer that the business, for all practical purposes, manages and runs them. I’ve also seen teams in software companies that are primed to respond every time an executive clears her throat, but far less responsive to customer issues. In part, these behaviors are the result of corporate culture: for example, in vertically-oriented Read more
Say that you had a recurring problem with your car. Every time you stalled, the radio was playing. While there might be other contributing factors, such as running the air conditioning, or recharging your phone through the car, you’d be inclined to think that the radio is a major contributing factor. The capacity of the car’s electrical system might be the ultimate culprit, but you’d also be suspicious that the radio is drawing far too much power, all by itself. In 100% of the application lifecycle management (ALM) assessments that I’ve done for clients, requirements are one of the major contributing factors to ALM problems. (If you want to know the assumptions that go into Read more
Recently, I published a five-part series of videos about application lifecycle management (ALM), summarizing a lot of what I’ve learned about the subject. Probably the two most important points are the following: ALM is a strategy, not a framework, a methodology, or a bunch of tools. Software innovators, from IT departments to Silicon Valley start-ups, need to overcome their confusion over what a strategy really is. The videos already make the arguments behind these two points, so I won’t repeat them here. Instead, I’ll focus on a practical issue, knowing the difference between a real strategy and an imitation of one. Many software companies define their strategy as a series of initiatives. Some representative examples Read more
In my recent blog post Choosing Your Point of Organizational Incoherence, I stressed the importance of making a choice on how to deal with systemic incoherence that is beyond your control as a CIO or a CTO. Technology, economy and society are not likely to be aligned anytime soon; emphasis on maximizing shareholders value might make it impossible for you to make certain strategic investments; and, unrealistic expectations about predictability of the software development process might make you want to tear your hair out. True and painful that these three factors and possibly many others might be, you can’t just sit on your hands waiting for all the moons to be aligned. You have to Read more