September 28, 2014

Emergence: the next efficient evolution of crowd-sourced innovation
While this model is great for generating mass content, having a large number of suggestions means there’s often a lot of ‘background noise’ which can drown out that one truly great idea. The average employee also has a fairly limited attention span, which is proven to plateau – meaning they lose interest after a certain point in the process and engagement levels drop. This killer combination creates tension in the innovation process. Current crowd-sourcing solutions and methods attempt to ease this by killing weak ideas as quickly as possible. Although this isn’t always for the best, as I’ll explain later.

3 Days on the Road and this is what is moving and shaking in Information Management
There were a number of themes and threads that arose over the couple of days that align, as it happens, align with numerous other inquires in the last few months. So thought I would detail some of these for you. There was one overarching theme that solidified in my mind, and that of complexity. More specifically how firms in general are tending to continuously overlay new complex processes and rules atop what was already a complex business or organization. This ‘adding to complexity’ seems to be everywhere and is creating all kinds of perverse or unintended consequences.

Too many cooks spoil the broth
There is a well-known case study of a major consulting firm being hired by a big airline company to help with its strategy formulation, and the consulting firm recommended a significant shift in strategy. The company later recruited the country head of the consulting firm to join its board, who then used his dominant influence to defend the strategy. The company pursued the new strategy until it was run into the ground. Apart from providing a lesson in harmful over-reliance on consultants, this case highlights the dangers of a board having too strong a vested interest in a particular strategy.

Agile Self Governance
Today in the Agile project world the idea of self-governance is pervasive. But the parallels with the Irish governance regime in the noughties is too close for comfort. The Agile principles guide that projects should be built around motivated individuals, given the environment and support needed and trust them to get the job done. Further valuing working software over comprehensive documentation is effectively encouraging teams to dispense with transparency and traceability. While this may work in small scale environments, in a large enterprise the idea that all teams will be highly skilled, properly resourced and motivated contradicts general experience.

Does IT Strategy Matter?
Increasingly, I have heard CIOs and other IT executives say, “There is no IT strategy; there only business strategy.” This sounds great, especially for a division of the corporate structure that has historically referred to itself as separate from “the business.” The problem is that this would seem to suggest that there is only one strategy: the enterprise strategy. When you extend this logic, it would suggest that there need not be a Marketing strategy, an Operations strategy, product or service strategies, HR strategies, and the like.

5 Realities about Agile Cost Savings
Every project has to juggle scope, resource costs, and schedule. If your scope is constant then you need a certain amount of resources and type of resource to achieve your goals. If you use fewer resources to complete your project, you will need more time in the schedule to complete all your scope. Ultimately, you need to strike the right balance between resources and time to achieve the scope. Either way, the cost will be the same for the most part. Here are five of our observations regarding agile’s impact on project costs:

The NHS journey to digital
By deploying a technology that is simple to use and does not require management overheads or IT specialists, the project has helped to reduce the time required by pathologists to input findings and, as a result, to diagnose cancer. It can be used on both computers and mobile devices allowing hundreds of simultaneous users and keeping costs to a minimum. Granted, healthcare provision is not the same as purchasing groceries in the supermarket. It is nonetheless important that it works for those it is designed to serve – whether they are patients or customers – just as a business,

The Open Group Panel: Internet of Things – Opportunities and Obstacles
The Internet of Things is more than the “things” – it means a higher order of software platforms. For example, if we are going to operate data centers with new dexterity thanks to software-definited networking (SDN) and storage (SDS) — indeed the entire data center being software-defined (SDDC) — then why not a software-defined automobile, or factory floor, or hospital operating room — or even a software-defined city block or neighborhood? And so how does this all actually work? Does it easily spin out of control? Or does it remain under proper management and governance? Do we have unknown unknowns about what to expect with this new level of complexity, scale, and volume of input devices?

Why Your SOC and NOC Should Run Together but Separately
Another reason the NOC and SOC should not be combined is because the skillset required for members of each group is vastly different. A NOC analyst must be proficient in network, application and systems engineering, while SOC analysts require security engineering skills. Furthermore, the very nature of the adversaries that each group battles differs, with the SOC focusing on “intelligent adversaries” and the NOC dealing with naturally occurring system events. These completely different directions result in contrasting solutions which can be extremely difficult for each group to adapt to.

Unconventional Approach to Shift-Left by Removing Scripting from the Equation
A scriptless approach can help overcome these challenges by providing greater agility to test automation teams. Script-based Test Automation Challenges Historically, test automation has been perceived as a process in which tests drive an application through its user interface (UI).2 Our experience with UI-based test automation finds that the typical bottlenecks limiting ROI are in the devel-opment of test scripts. Scripted approach limita-tions include: • Test scripts are developed in a tool-specific language, which non-technical users and busi-ness stakeholders do not understand. • There is often a steep learning curve before mastering the required technical skills.

Quote for the day:

"Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed." -- Mwai Kibaki