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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 😉
PierG

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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?

Mmmm….

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.

via Projects are evil and must be destroyed | Evan Bottcher.

What do you think?
PierG

Let me suggest a very good blog about IT called Having IT Your Way that you can read in the Harvard Business Publishing site.

Here is what Susan Cramm writes on her first post:

I’ve decided to step out again – this time by sharing the secrets of how IT works and helping you, the business leader, take control of IT. You see, I believe to gain control, you have to give it up, and it’s my hope that the words I write don’t burn my IT bridges but help bridge the gap that has existed for far too long.

I do agree on almost all the topics she mentions, and I don’t like always the way in which she suggests to ‘trick the system‘ to have IT your way.

Overall, I strongly suggest all my readers to subscribe to the Susan Cramm RSS Feed.

PierG

By AMagill, Some rights reserved

As you know, if you read this blog, few days ago we run into a replacement of all keys that are used for automatic coffee machines or other automatic dispensers.

A pretty easy task: you just need to return your key, and the give back a new one with the correct amount of money charged. A straightforward task that has be done for hundreds of people an surely CAN BE DONE POORELY.

With my surprise, they did a great job. A guy came next to the dispenser with a small magic box and sample instructions:

  • plug the old key in the first hole
  • plug the new key in the second hole
  • wait for an OK message (all money transferred and key activated) in a small visor
  • … and that’s all: less than 10 seconds including a smile and a ‘thank you’

PierG

P.S. Interesting how such a simple event can lead to (by now) two blog posts 🙂

Bureaucracy is the structure, and set of regulations in place to control activity […]. It is represented by standardized procedure (rule-following), […]. In practice the interpretation and execution of policy can lead to informal influence. Wikipedia

It’s interesting how the term bureaucracy has a negative undertone when you suffer the consequences of it, while has a positive undertone when it’s related to your job and how it helps you in giving a better service.

To tell the truth, in that second case, you don’t call it bureaucracy, you call it: process, or procedure, or … something cool 🙂

PierG

Do you know which are the parameters used in evaluating contracts during an outsourcing process? I’ll tell you: COSTS!

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What about knowing the business, understanding what has to be done, defining services and SLA?

Someone unfortunately thinks that these are technical details that can be sorted out after.

So guys, don’t complain of services you receive from an outsourcer: what they do is nearly a miracle. Or better don’t complain (integrally) of the outsourcer, may be the cause of such a misery is sitting in your building.

PierG

Do you know why, as IT professional, we have such a bad reputation? Because we don’t fail.

We continuously deploy solutions just a bit late, almost with all the desired capabilities, that works in most cases for some time.

It’s just after few weeks that everything start becoming covered by cracks, and after few months we need a “crash recovery program”.

With other kind of business, it’s harder ‘having success’ in such a foolish way: a machine tool needs a certain setup time and work time to do his machining. ‘Compressing’ time is almost impossible, failure is more evident (and often more accepted).

That’s way we should fail more often, and have a better definition of success.

PierG

I hit something that made a crack in the windshield of my car.

I took the car to a proper place next to my office to have it repaired. They told me :<< you can leave it here and we’ll fix it immediately. No problem for your commute tonight!>>. GREAT, I thought!

At 7p.m. I went to take it and .. unfortunately the car was not ready: they broke the new windshield while mounting it. The gave me the owner’s car as a courtesy car and promised to have the car fixed for the day after. And this time they were true.

Two reasons I will not go there to fix my car any longer:

  1. they didn’t call me immediately to say they had a problem. They waited me to go there that evening and have a ‘late surprise’;
  2. the courtesy car was so ruined that I had three doubts:
    • Will I be able to reach my home with such a flatiron?
    • Do they have the right skills to repair my car, if this is what they do with their own car?
    • Are they capable to take care of my car, if this is how they take care of their own car?

PierG

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