August 24, 2014

Managing Agile Teams with Project Managers
Adopting agile in organizations usually impacts the role and activities of project managers. Scrum offers the possibility for project managers to become Scrum masters or product owners. Project managers can also adopt their way of working and the things they do to work together with Scrum masters and agile teams. Jim Bird wrote the blog post agile - what’s a manager to do? in which he discusses how agile projects can be managed and the role of project management when working with agile teams. He explains the view of Scrum on project management and managers:


A Startup Hopes to Teach Computers to Spot Tumors in Medical Scans
Use of machine learning has exploded in recent years as high-powered computers have grown more advanced and algorithms have gotten better at teaching computers to recognize patterns. Most recently, some machine learning efforts have sought to mimic the physical workings of the human brain, either in software or in hardware (see “Thinking in Silicon”)—an approach often referred to as “deep learning.” Show a computer enough images of a yellow taxi driving down the street, for instance, and it’s possible for it to start to recognize yellow taxis whether they’re on a street or somewhere else. That is the strategy Enlitic is employing.


5 Tips for Agile Enterprise Architecture Innovation
More and more, IT is focused on reliability while the business side is pushing for tech innovation and new tech adoption. Enterprise architects and tech execs are right to be cautious about latching on to the next-big-thing, but there’s also little good done by ignoring this unprecedented wave of business interest and “shadow” adoption. Forrester Research analyst Brian Hopkins recently highlighted a handful of areas enterprise architects can stay grounded in their needs while reaching for innovation and agility. Here are five tips for fostering innovation and agility in EA development as adopted from Hopkins and Forrester’s “Emerging Technology playbook.”


Approach to Building an Enterprise Architecture
The Enterprise Architecture brings together Governance, Services, and Emerging Technology, identifying where these core entities sit and how they fit in and link to the Enterprise Architecture – including the business, systems components, technical and data reference models. Enterprise Architecture requires an iterative project approach, which provides for early deliverables that are progressively refined in subsequent milestones. In addition to evaluation of currently proposed Information Technology projects, current Information Technology environment must be evaluated at high level to provide understanding of Enterprise Architecture implications.


Seven tips on how to forecast future architecture needs
If predicting the future is so difficult, then the role of the Enterprise Architect in defining future architectures is a high risk task! And yet, this is a key part of what enterprise architects do on an almost daily basis. There is an ever-emerging continuum – from the past through the present to the future – and as a history graduate I am well aware of our need to position future architecture needs as an evolution from the past and the present. ... One of the unique characteristics of enterprise architecture is its aim to provide a coherent sense of direction across the multitude of investments that are made in separate projects and change programs.


A Better Way to Streamline the Applications Portfolio
Most CIOs are painfully aware that legacy applications are expensive to maintain. To free up IT budgets to develop new capabilities and innovative technologies, CIOs periodically launch projects to rationalize their applications portfolios. Their goal is to reduce redundant capabilities while retaining applications that deliver the greatest business value at the lowest cost. These projects typically follow a “big bang” approach in which the company develops a rationalization plan that entails retiring, replacing, consolidating, or launching many applications within a short time period. But such all-encompassing efforts have significant drawbacks.


What UX is and isn't?
User experience runs deep, is way more than the UI, and starts in the abstract with the strategy. What are the business, creative, or other internal goals? What does the user want to accomplish and what are their goals? At this level, UX is involving the team in user research, interviews, observations and the like. From there, we can start to discuss the scope needed to obtain the company, customer and user goals. Getting a little more concrete, we can then look at the structure needed to support the scope. UX will be working with the team on the flow of user tasks, interactions and how the information will be put together for easiest consumption.


The 3 Pillars of Data Quality
The cost of handling a CRM record can be massive. A Sirius Decisions study showed that it costs a company $1 to prevent one bad record from entering a CRM system, $10 to correct that bad record after it is entered into your CRM, and even worse, it costs $100 if nothing is done, as the ramifications of the bad data are felt over and over again. To stop this downward spiral, use the three pillars of data quality.


Information Governance Can Be a Key to Drive Efficiency
Compliance is a key reason for organisations to invest in better IT and management solutions, many of which tend to focus on one area alone - password management. In fact, good IT systems and information security policies should ensure that users no longer have to wait for accounts to be created and that NHS Trusts no longer have users sharing passwords, using generic accounts or staff enjoy having access rights that are no longer relevant to their role. ... The latest report labels current information governance arrangements as having become worse - less stringent - and it has led to confusion as a result of the volume of reconfigurations and staff changes across the NHS.


10 Steps to Organize and Facilitate a Successful Requirements Gathering Meeting
Some of the most important tasks a Business Analyst (BA) performs include eliciting, documenting, and analyzing requirements for a project. The technique that I use most when I am playing the role of a BA on a project and need to gather requirements from the stakeholders is to organize and facilitate a successful requirements gathering meeting. Below I have documented 10 steps that I recommend you follow as a guideline to help you organize and facilitate a successful requirements gathering meeting.



Quote for the day:

"If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us ... we would all be millionaires. " -- Abigail Van Buren