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- Who are your customers?
- What do they ask you for?
- What do you do to the requests?
- And where do they go when you are finished with them?
Most large companies invest heavily in application development, and they do so for a compelling reason: their future might depend on it
I’m not (at all) impressed by the concept of Use Case Points (count of the number of transactions performed by an application and the number of actors that interact with the application in question) but I loved the sentence :)
This confusion happens all the time. Quality is not an absolute measure. It doesn’t mean ‘deluxeness’ or ‘perfection’. It means keeping the promise the customer wants you to make.
From Misunderstanding quality
I see a lot of CIOs spending a lot of time — which is very important to do — on major business initiatives. But I often see an inadequate amount of time spent where the day-to-day, most frequent touchpoints are, which is with all the other ways the people in the company are their users. One of the big changes that has come with the mass consumerization of technology is that IT needs to flip that around a little and spend more time focusing on the overall employee experience.
from Google’s CIO on How to Make Your IT Department Great .
So happy to see that I’m not alone: before asking to sit at the ‘business table’ , dear CIOs, be sure to know how to do your homework first!
Incidentally this means you should have an IT background ;)
It’s ironic that two industries who are highly reliant on collaboration often have the most siloed legacy systems, processes and IT infrastructures. As one aerospace executive told me recently, the industry sees cloud computing as solution to what many call “silos of excellence” that slow down progress. Aerospace executives also speak of security concerns, especially in the area of globally-based defense support and logistics platforms.
full article here
…. mmmmmm: my spider senses are tingling ….
In many sectors, a shortage of IT-literate talent in the business is creating a bottleneck. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of executives can, with the appropriate training, learn how to manage value from IT. But capability building must start at the top. Some companies have put their top 200 managers through IT boot camp as a way to start the process.
when we look around at the companies who are doing well, it can be hard to see the rhyme or reason of the decisions that led to that success. Take Apple and the work it put into building a technology platform on which hundreds of thousands of independent developers could create apps and offer them to Apple’s customers. Or take Salesforce.com and its willingness to have self-organizing development teams continuously tweaking code, even though, with a global system serving more than two million subscribers, the risks of introducing errors into its 30 million lines of code would seem to present compelling reasons not to. (Drawing on the software development practices known as Agile, Scrum, and XP, the teams work in short, iterative cycles of test-driven development with direct customer feedback as the work proceeds.)
In fact, these companies are not behaving chaotically. They are acting according to a rethinking of the rules to suit today’s business conditions, and learning new heuristics based on their successes.
A manager has to know when to ignore a precise number. “He has to know that ‘larger’ and ‘smaller,’ ‘earlier’ and ‘later,’ ‘up’ and ‘down’ are quantitative terms and often more accurate, indeed more rigorous, than any specific figures or range of figures.”
IT people is often scared when I say that I don’t like the traditional testing phase in IT projects.
I understand, it’s so relaxing to know that you have a bunch of people to blame when projects go the wrong way: “we did 3 month of testing, we really couldn’t do more to save this project!”.
And if it’s not the testing team, you can always blame the requirements team for gathering them badly. But this is another story, another post :). Let’s get back to testing.
What I generally don’t like about testing is that you do some operations based on … what the system is designed to do. Someone writes a requirement, someone (else) writes one or more test cases to prove it, someone (else) writes some code and finally someone (else) reads the test case and uses the system giving his interpretation of the behavior … giving a GO/NO GO.
Should I explain why I feel uncomfortable? I hope not but let me add an unobvious thing: where is reality in this long chain? Who’s in charge of saying if the system is doing what is needed and not what someone (else) thinks it should be doing?
Scary, isn’t it?
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