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Using Timespans to Solve Communication Problems

E. Forrest Christian Computers/IT, Theory 1 Comment

Ever wonder if timespans has any practical usefulness? Here is how I used timespans to clear up a communication problem in a global IT architecture group for an international bank. Awhile back I worked with a group of enterprise architects (EA) at an international bank with major operations in all the inhabited continents. The group, although “headquartered” in the US, …

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

How Standardization Creates Dis-Order

E. Forrest Christian Change, Computers/IT, Reviews - Articles Leave a Comment

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

E. Forrest Christian Computers/IT Leave a Comment

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

E. Forrest Christian Computers/IT, Managing Leave a Comment

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?

E. Forrest Christian Organizations 3 Comments

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 …

Devizesbowmen shooting a recurve bow at archery target. (c) Jethrothompson (CC BY SA 3) Via Wikimedia.

Using Middleware to Not Replace Systems

E. Forrest Christian Reviews - Articles Leave a Comment

There have been a spat of IT articles in HBR in the past couple of years, showing that IT has finally made it from the weirdo to the standard practice status. “Getting IT Right” seems to follow from “The REAL New Economy” and “IT Doesn’t Matter”. Charlie S. Feld and Donna B. Stoddard make an argument for “three interdependent, interrelated, …