Software, software everywhere

Software is different from other technical stuff.  It’s abstract, invisible, and runs at extremely high speed.  So the people who are good at working with software tend to be different from “ordinary” engineers.  They have to be good at visualizing the abstract processes and the mathematical algorithms that make up the procedures implemented in software. […]

How can IT management fail to understand business goals?

“Now more than ever, IT must invest the time to understand specific business goals and translate IT metrics to reflect an impact against these business goals.  Often there is a gap between what IT reports and what is of interest to the business.”   — An Introductory Overview of ITIL V3, itSMF, 2007, p. 38 There’s […]

Agile Clouds

Buzzwords abound in the Business IT world. You can’t ignore these words because they come at you from all sides. Here are the realities of “Cloud” and “Agile” to help you cope with the possible hype you’ve been hearing.

Complexity is good – or is it bad?

The next time you hold a complicated piece of consumer electronics in your hand – such as your mobile phone – take a moment to reflect on its complexity and its simplicity. Encapsulating one of these in the other is an art.

A Look Back – The Era of the Personal Computer is Over

Because of Hewlett-Packard’s recent announcement suggesting that they will abandon the PC business, I think you might enjoy reading this piece I wrote – 12 years ago, in 1999 – about the impending demise of the PC business as a high-growth market.   The era of the Personal Computer is over. Not because PCs are […]

The Trickle From the Pipe

I spent many years managing engineering projects.  It was satisfying work, because the people doing it are very dedicated, they have a culture of finding the best solution, and they get satisfaction from seeing their creations go into the world and be useful (and profitable). When I began to consult for managers who were counting […]

How to get business value for every dollar you spend on development – Part 1

I’ve spent many years managing development projects in high-tech industries. My experience teaches me that people doing development are extremely aware that their time and effort is frequently wasted, for a lot of different reasons. The key point for you as a business leader is that wasted effort is the same as wasted dollars. It’s […]

Discovering the Real Requirements and Resources for a Project

When you’re responsible for a project, one of the first things you’re supposed to do is determine the requirements for the project. In other words, what exactly do the people who asked for it want? This is much more complicated than it sounds, and much has been written about eliciting requirements and getting them written […]

What Does an Architect Do?

Architecture is about design at the top level, including interfaces and protocols. Architecture of complex systems requires knowledge of the technology in all of the components. In software, there are few constraints on how the components are put together, so it requires discipline to keep things simple and consistent. Bring in an architect when you are trying to integrate many existing subsystems.

Nine things you can do to get what you need from technologists

Summary Business managers often find themselves bamboozled by technologists and their managers. After spending a lot of money on IT or Engineering, they still don’t have what they want. Here are nine ways a business manager can ask questions to improve relations with the technologists. If you’re a business manager, you are dealing with a […]