ADLER typewriter Model n°7 (Frankfurt / Germany). Unknown model date (probably ~1930/40). By Dake

How Standardization Creates Dis-Order

What happens when you move to standardization? In IT, we’re pushed to do single server loads, unified single-sign on systems, international PKI based Role Based Access Control, and all types of other forms of simplifying, rationalizing and standardizing. But no one ever stops to ask, Does standardizing in IT really make life easier? Not “no one” exactly. Because two researchers …

Belgian royal conservatory's dome, interior with sun. (c) E. Forrest Christian

IT Models as Transitional Objects

David Wastell, who was Senior Lecturer in information systems at University of Manchester, points out that information systems development (ISD) projects are learning endeavors, a movement from one state to another. This learning therefore creates organizational anxiety. He says that models and other IT project deliverables can function as emotional transitional space, using the Tavistock use of the term. ISD …

Traffic signal at Tamil Nadu. (c) 2011 Thamizhpparithi Maari (CC BY SA 3.0)

Replacing Management With Project Management Is Disastrous

CIO (Australia) Magazine had an interesting article last month by Sue Bushell on Information Technology (IT) organizations and their spectacular failure to the business [“Just Deserts”, 2005 May 5]. Bushell quoted Kathryn Cason of Requisite Organization International Institute on the problems of IT being caused by the organizational structure itself: The fact that IT has primarily been pushed into a …

Satellite image of Laguna San Antonio, Bolivia. NASA image

Self-Organizing for Success in IT?

I’ve been thinking about how many things have to get done right in order to any of the projects that I am working on to be successful. I’m show surprised that anything ever gets accomplished. There has to be a better way. If societies can evolve into complex structures through emergent whatevers, why can’t information systems? Image credit: Satellite image …