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We have a practice at home: one day per week we have a ‘reading evening’. No TV is allowed: after dinner we take a book and we read all together.
Now what’s happening lately is that my 8-yrs-old digital-native heavy-iPad-user computer-enthusiast son started saying:
“OK Dad tonight we have our reading evening and you cannot read with the iPad, you have to use a paper book”
So I asked:
And he said …. ok I don’t want to tell you the answer immediately .
You guess: why he doesn’t want me to read with the iPad?
I’ve heard, in different moments in time, different definitions of how an IT Manager, a CIO, should look like. Which are the most important skills, the background she has to have.
At the beginning, it was all about technology:
IT was too far from human beings
and IT was available only in big corporations. The IT Manager was the guy with the white coat: an expert of her matter. An IT guy.
Than IT became more commodity and it was the time of business:
IT was too far from the business
and IT decided it was time to talk the language of the business. So the IT dept moved under the CFO or the COO, and the IT Manager became a ‘business man’. Technical skills were no more important for her: there was the outsourcing and the SLAs to cope with the ‘technical stuff’.
Then the internet came, and Google, and Facebook, and Twitter … and all of the sudden
IT, inside corporations, is too far from real life
and people inside the company use to have such a bad IT experience that he would never accept at home … even for free.
To manage all of this we need a new race of IT Managers: they must have deep understanding of both parties. They must know a lot about IT and a lot about making business. But today it’s no more enough. Nowadays IT tech skills and management skills can be an obstacle, sooner or later, if they are not enriched with good design skills.
In the innovation and design era, to move IT at the right speed (maybe 10xFaster) and at the right level of innovation, IT + management + design have to be carefully used, melted, weighed out.
p.s. Thanks to my friend Nico Bigi for the inspiration of this post
One thing that I took with me from the speech is that:
“user’s need are verbs and not nouns”
Let me explain that: when you have to understand people’s needs, because you have to design something to service them, ask them to describe the need as a verb.
So I don’t need a STAIR (noun), a stair is a already a solution, “I need to go up (verb) to …” .
I give you an extra tip for free : the most the description of the need is ‘open’ (= less constraints, more general), the highes is the number of innovative options you can get back.
p.s. Thank you Matteo for teaching me that
Last week during the UX Conference, there were some talks about disruptive innovation coming from (even slightly) changing something that already exists. An example is the talk of my friend Cesare Bottini called Reinventing the wheel.
During the conf, there was a gentleman from BTicino: a very well known Italian company “one of the most important manufacturers in the world in the field of low-voltage electrical equipment for living, working and production spaces, that integrate solutions for energy distribution, communication (audio and video door entry systems) and for the control of lighting, sound distribution, climate and safety”
Now they kind of ‘own’ the Italian market. I don’t know the numbers but let’s say that 30% of italian houses have light switches (just to name a component) from BTicino.
As they want to move ahead in the “home automation” process, these old components we already have in our houses might sound like a problem but I think instead they are a great advantage as … we already have them in our houses.
So what would you do to exploit this problem/advantage (they already have their ‘old’ light switches in our houses) to generate innovation and make a step in the future of more ‘automated’/digital houses?
Interesting challenge Post here your ideas!
Scale is a solved problem. We know how to do stuff at very, very large scale — if by stuff you mean “churning out the same widget, a billion times over”. What we don’t know how to do is the opposite of scaling up: scaling down an institution, to make a difference to a human life. Lives are singular; and for institutions to truly matter in human terms, they must go beyond the homogeneous, to the singular.
Do you agree?
+ operational advantages such as setting up infrastructure in minutes rather than months, completing massive computational projects with a large number of resources quickly, and scaling architecture up and down to provide the needed IT resources only when you need them, deliver targeted IT solutions fast for individual business units – these deliver a “return on agility.” The return on agility delivers business value by allowing you adapt rapidly, while remaining focused on your core competencies rather than distracted by operating IT infrastructure.
But more importantly it allows the business to change and dramatically reduce time-to-market for products. It drives down the cost of experimentation and allows companies to explore many more product directions with minimal risk. In the current economic climate where capital is scarce, being able to develop new products rapidly without the need for major capital investments is crucial to the success of businesses.
I’ve collected some resources about “UX and friends” and I want to share them with you. I hope they can inspire or be helpful!
SEO & UX – Working together to make your site better
5 Reasons Why Metaphors Can Improve the User Experience
“4 UI Lessons For Instagram, From Facebook’s New Instagram Clone prsm.tc/QnviC5 via @prismatic”
- Piergiorgio Grossi
“Eyes On Pinterest: How People Look at Your Boards prsm.tc/13xqVh via @prismatic”
- Piergiorgio Grossi
When a SW project finish, a Project Manager is a happy, a company can send the bill and … the team moves to another project leaving the code to the lucky maintenance team.
Is the project team deeply motivated to build a product who can last for long? Is the maintenance team skilled (and willing and has the right incentive) to make the system working better and better?
Here is a possible recipe:
Form long-lived teams around applications/products, or sets of features. A team works from a prioritised backlog of work that contains a mix of larger initiatives, minor enhancements, or BAU-style bug fixes and maintenance. Second-level support should be handled by people in the product team. Everyone in the team should work with common process and a clear understanding of technical design and business vision.
What do you think?