Two important rules of the learning organisation that you won’t study in an MBA yet they are ignored at great cost.

The learning cycles described by    Sekar Sethuraman CISSP,CISA,CISM,CGEIT,CIA,PMP is in my view an excellent starting point that would most likely be a significant achievement to formalise and encode into almost any organisation. My personal experiences apart from academic interest are around : What we often call “lessons learned” i.e. the constant adjustment to circumstances and … Read more

The health warning attached to agile is nothing more, it’s not a reason to ignore agile thinking as a powerful tool.

As a manager who entered software engineering as the agile movement was gathering pace and returned to management in the systems world, I find it amusing when other disciplines jump on the bandwagon as it were. I also find it encouraging, but I would have serious concern if it were my business and here is … Read more

How much damage can negative BIAS do to performance and quality of life?

Whether a manager, a sports person, an investor, or a dustman It is vital to understand our personal bias and manage it . Every decision we make requires some level of objectivity to stand a good chance of serving us well. “You’re faced with around 11 million pieces of information at any given moment, according … Read more

How to implement Scrum while keeping your sanity and your Job

Cost overruns, missed schedules and quality issues. These were the reasons cited for the development of Scrum. Management also wants to harvest the business value expected from new software sooner, while using fewer resources Breaking a traditional process up into small increments solves all of these problems. MSFis a wonderful example of this apart from … Read more

Using personalisation cleverly to grow your customer relationship and keep your sanity

In my next  instalment I plan to look a little more closely at the broader context of recommendation engines and how they might be used but foe now I will simply point out that they are broken into two broad types Content Based and  Collaboration Based. The first refers to product knowledge and the second to … Read more

The true DNA of an agile project (exploding the myths)

If you have heard me pour scorn over some of the claims made for agile, you may be surprised to know that I’m an agile practitioner with some considerable experience and not at all adverse to the approach. That said, I always repeat the words of my agile mentor Keith Richards (no not him silly) when I asked the obvious silly question. He said ” It’s horses for courses. When you turn up for training we assume a certain level of education, intelligence and experience”.

Lernaean Hydra, your time is up.

Simple, but powerful tools to truly build a relationship with the customer, some obvious gaping opportunities to cut costs and some basic principals of architecture that even the bin man could understand in one lesson and yet are ignored by 99 percent of technical architects. If you are serious about competing in business, read this. … Read more

TOGAF – well I finally did it ( here’s the summary)

I couldn’t find a readable short summary anywhere so I decided to bear the pain, skim read the dull text and write a summary for any unfortunate person trying to get a quick overview of a new framework in an industry he/she already knows well.

My conclusion after a few hours of wading through the treacle is that it is well put together, if horrendously poor in it’s presentation.
A slight contradiction is that parts are already a bit outdated in that it pays too much attention to things like portability in a world where interoperability is the buzz word and the “cloud” and “tower of babel” are the modern metaphors, nevertheless any slight shortcomings can easily be overcome by intelligent people using it.
A sharp warning though is that; even more so than the ubiquitous Prince2 for project management, TOGAF won’t make an architect of you, you have to bring all the skills to the table and then it helps you get things in the right order, but even that is up for interpretation, so you really must know your stuff and have integrity
It is not therefore a reliable hiring tool in it’s own right and I see it as definitely a team game.

Putting agile in perspective.

Some people are overawed by the challenge of software development to the extent that they rely entirely on a comforting framework to lean against, while others use their big picture perspective to manipulate the marketplace selling their training, books and consultancy services under one disguise after another, while contributing little or nothing to the profession.

Inetgration programmes made easy

Previously Good management strategy and practice supported by intelligent modern systems Lernaean Hydra, your time is up. Give big data the heave-ho for now and get a birds-eye view of your business without a single nosql database. Here’s how we approached the solution Naturally I can’t publish the whole thing if only for sheer volume, … Read more

Give big data the heave-ho for now and get a birds-eye view of your business without a single nosql database.  

Lernaean Hydra, your time is up. Good management strategy and practice supported by intelligent modern systems Two question must be answered up front : 1. What value does your business delivers best? 2. What do your customers think of it? Let me explain. One enduring rule of business is “find a hungry mob and feed … Read more

Good management strategy and practice supported by intelligent modern systems

Let’s begin with the strategy and management practices before we start talking about systems. In the last instalment, we talked about schizophrenic businesses. Businesses with confused outlooks, confused processes and naturally enough, confused systems, confused workforce, resigned customers, despairing shareholders. The five cardinal sins that create schizophrenic organisations: You have a business made up of … Read more

The agile organisation – a risky proposition

What did Bill Gates mean and what did it mean to Microsoft to be agile. Well Bill made the mother of all misjudgements when he said that the internet was of no interest to Microsoft and dismissed its potential. Within one and a half years, Microsoft had changed its mind, won the browser war with Netscape and delivered ASP, the first and still dominant commercial application server for the internet. That was agile, but it had not a thing to do with stand up meetings around whiteboards and walls covered in scribbles.