March 04, 2014

SAFe – Good But Not Good Enough
SAFe distinguishes three levels, portfolio, program, and team. Activities at this level are different, and SAFe describes fairly well how to hook them together. We might prefer self-organization, but the SAFe breakdown isn’t bad and parts of it are good. The advice may not be Pure Agile but it’s Pretty Darn Good.Scrum and Agile really don’t offer much help at these levels, and large organizations have these levels or equivalents. Without guidance these levels are likely to be inefficient and to militate against Agile ideas. SAFe’s guidance is better than no guidance at all.

Six Creative Leadership Lessons From The Military In An Era of VUCA And COIN
Of course, thinking historically, military leadership is among the most ancient of leadership forms. That long view, combined with the diverse military activities across so many different societies today, means that references to “military leadership” can point to a wide range of practices. The category is, consequently, an expansive one, which can contribute to partial understanding and even the creation of a “straw man” about which selective claims can be attached. The military itself, long committed to leadership training and practice, has increasingly engaged in reflection and research on the topic.

Citrix At A Crossroads: Which Path Forward?
One interesting coincidence is that Templeton’s announced departure coincided with Microsoft’s search for a new CEO. Citrix and Microsoft have long been allies. Microsoft gave Citrix access to the OS/2 source code to build its product, and Citrix later created Microsoft’s Terminal Server technology, which is still used under the Remote Desktop Services label. Citrix has mostly been in lockstep with Microsoft from a strategy perspective. How this relationship develops under new leadership, given that Citrix’s portfolio has diversified and is no longer completely reliant on Microsoft, is another area to watch.

10 creative ways businesses are using tablets
Tablets can provide a customized user experience that businesses can use to create better ways to interact with customers. You've probably heard about businesses using mobile devices to gather analytics on the shopping or buying behaviors of their customers, but there are other tablet usage stories. We've compiled a list of 10 creative ways companies are using tablets.

A CIO who masters disasters
If Halamka had been the CIO of Target, you get the impression that the retailer's breach would have been handled differently. "Be open, be honest, be forthcoming, hide nothing and use it as a podium, a bully pulpit to move an entire industry," said Halamka. Commenting on Target's handling of its security breach, Halamka said he would have advised disclosing the severity of the incident fully, up front, instead of building up to it. "Customers would rather hear about what you experience and why it is making you stronger and what adversity you are working through," said Halamka.

Securing endpoint devices with code-execution prevention
While most organizations have antivirus software (AV) installed on employee devices, too many use it as their only means of endpoint device protection rather than relying on it as a first line of defense. Simply put, AV is not able to stop all malware. So along with regular patching to prevent known exploits from being a threat, administrators must deploy additional controls to decrease the chances of attacks against users being successful.

Open source challenges a proprietary Internet of Things
In December, the Linux Foundation, a non-profit consortium that promotes Linux adoption, created the AllSeen Alliance. It took a code stack developed by Qualcomm called the AllJoyn Framework and put it under its open-source umbrella. This C++ code supports the major operating systems, chipsets and embedded variants. Any electronics or appliance maker, or even an LED light bulb maker that uses the AllJoyn code will have a basis for connectivity with another product that also uses the code.

Intel expects Bay Trail successor in tablets by year end
The Cherry Trail chip, which will be made using the 14-nanometer process, will be even faster and more power-efficient than Bay Trail, which is made using the 22-nm process. Users can expect better battery life and performance in tablets with Cherry Trail compared to the current Bay Trail chips. The new 14-nm manufacturing process will allow Intel to make denser chips that are more power-efficient. Intel could target the new Cherry Trail chips at high-end tablets during the holiday season this year, and may push the Bay Trail tablet into the lower price ban

MIT builds self-completing programs
“When you’re trying to synthesize a larger piece of code, you’re relying on other functions, other subparts of the code,” Rishabh Singh explains. “If it just so happens that your system only depends on certain properties of the subparts, you should be able to express that somehow in a high-level language. Once you are able to specify that only certain properties are required, then you are able to successfully synthesize the larger code.” For instance, Singh explains, suppose that one of the subparts of the code is a routine for finding the square root of a number, and a higher-level function relies on the results of that computation.

Can You Measure Business Agility?
Organizations structure themselves in response to the external environment. If the external environment is predictable and relatively resistant to change (as it was during the License Raj in India), traditional means of work, which emphasize division of labour and efficiencies arising out of economies of scale, should be the way to go. But in an intense, volatile environment as we have today, companies must embrace the agile culture and structure, to compete out there.

Quote for the day:

"When I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I'm tempted to think there are no little things" -- Bruce Barton

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