Category: Business

Being Agile Means Changing Corporate DNA

Successful companies have well-defined business models. They know what works and what doesn’t. They have a formula for generating revenue and controlling expenses. It’s all good — until the business model needs to change. Why would a successful company want to change its business model? New product competition, disruptive technologies, lower-cost competitors, marketplace demands, rising […]

Guest Post: BYOD: How Employees and Employers Benefit

The BYOD movement is growing among businesses in the U.S. and globally. The ability of employees to bring their personal devices to work has many benefits that employers (and employees) new to the movement need to recognize and weigh before implementing BYOD in their organizations.  Some of the key benefits common to bring-your-own-device programs are […]

You Can’t Reuse or Recycle Wasted Time

At times, seemingly inexplicable situations are simple to understand once you wrap your head around them. For example, I’m often astonished at how long simple software changes take from the time the change is proposed by the business to the time it’s deployed. Here’s a scenario I see a lot at company after company. Hard […]

Your IT Department Has Outlived Its Usefulness

It’s time to blow up the Information Technology (IT) department as we know it. It has outlived its usefulness and over-stayed its welcome. It just doesn’t work any more. Say goodbye. The proponents of agile development, devops and Scrum, myself included, are getting no where fast. It’s not the fault of IT departments per se. […]

Lessons Learned from Blackberry’s Decline and Fall

Enterprise-scale companies invest a lot of time and money in preserving and protecting what works — or more correctly, what they believe works. It’s this preserve-and-protect mentality that makes switching software development approaches so difficult. After having invested so much in training, documentation and tools for software development, these companies are understandably reluctant to make […]

Microsoft Needs a New Beginning

Steve Ballmer has decided to retire from Microsoft — I’m sure it wasn’t voluntary. Many investors have long sought his resignation because Microsoft’s stock performance has lagged for a long time. In the last five years, Microsoft’s stock price is up about 25% while Apple’s is up 183% — 25% vs 183%. It’s long past […]

With Agile Software Development, Your Mileage Will Vary

Different types of organizations have different goals and priorities when developing software. That’s one of the major reasons why software developers disagree on development approaches and techniques. In this post, I’ll examine a few types of companies and how agile development techniques might apply to them. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to software development. The approach […]

The Difference Between Incremental and Continuous Improvement

Most large enterprises claim to engage in continuous improvement but they are really improving incrementally. Their efforts often include annual reorganizations whereby vice presidents are shuffled around and new procedures are put in place. In my experience, little if any value derives from such organizational tinkering. Another form of incremental improvement results from conducting “project […]

Software Projects Can Be Like Combat and Scope Is the DMZ

Change of scope. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before. In some companies, it’s ubiquitous. In fact, some project managers love scope changes because they offer opportunities to adjust the schedule. The sinister sister of scope changes is “scope creep”. What is scope creep? It’s a risk faced by projects that try to lock down […]

Arguments About the Value of IT Are All Wrong

There are endless arguments around whether IT is a support function or a strategic office. Neither side can win the arguments because they’re both wrong. IT occupies a middle ground that’s unique in the enterprise and can’t be classified like other departments. What is Information Technology? What does an IT department do? Would you believe […]

10 Common Mistakes Account for Many Project Failures

There are many more ways to fail than ways to succeed. (Anything that can go wrong, probably will, right?) Yet most software project failures are attributable to a small set of common mistakes. Avoid these and your chances of success increase dramatically. Here’s a short list of common, but often overlooked, project mistakes. Review this […]

Governance Can Suck the Life Out of Software Development Teams

Large enterprises like to centralize governance across all departments. Most large IT departments follow the leader and adopt centralized control mechanisms internally. They often establish governance entities such as program management offices, whose mission is to enforce conformance. There are good reasons for it. By approaching major projects in a uniform fashion, everything from status […]