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Information Technology

Using Timespans to Solve Communication Problems

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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, had members in each of…

Details Matter If You Want to Succeed

You can make money by taking advantage of people’s arrogance that the small stuff is idiot’s work. Sweating the details means raising the level of work up, not dumbing it down.

How Standardization Creates Dis-Order

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

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 in Oslo…

IT Models as Transitional Objects

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

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 us…

Replacing Management With Project Management Is Disastrous

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

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…

Requisite Organization in Software Development & Information Technology

Château-d'Oex at night, looking across to the mountain. (c) E. Forrest Christian.

Software development groups almost always form a shadow hierarchy or pecking order of merit. Elliott Jaques’s theory of Requisite Organization explains why.

Does Cost Determine Value?

Stack of golden George Washington dollar coins,. (c) 2007 Bill Koslosky, MD (CC BY 2.5)

Just because you got me to spend $65M on a project doesn’t mean that its value isn’t a tenth of that. Costs do not determine value but can determine the value of replacement.

Rapid Talent Pool Evaluation for Merger and Acquisitions Using Requisite Organization

Old watch mechanism. © Günay Mutlu — iStock

A new periodic feature. I wrote the following for another website. It describes the success that Glenn Mehltretter of PeopleFit has had in using Requiste Organization informed practices to create a better merger of two companies.

Self-Organizing for Success in IT?

Satellite image of Laguna San Antonio, Bolivia. NASA image

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 of Laguna San Antonio, Bolivia.

Using Middleware to Not Replace Systems

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

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, and universally applicable principles for executing IT…

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