Sputnik and Outsourcing

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Corante’s Outsourcing blog has reprinted T.A. Heppenheimer’s fascinating “How America Chose Not to Beat Sputnik Into Space” [NO LONGER AVAILABLE] from the Winter 2004 issue of Invention and Techology. [Update Now at American Heritage.] Also see the copyright information for the article. [Defunct link] I’m not sure what this really has to do with outsourcing, but you can see how …

“IS Outsourcing: A Survey and Analysis of the Literature”

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The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems, a publications of ACM’s Special Interest Group on Management Information Systems, has devoted an entire issue to IT Outsourcing. Jens Dibbern, Time Goles, Rudy Hirschheim and Bandula Jayatilaka take over the entire issue for a journal-length review of everything that has been done. One of the interesting things was that they did …

Bix sits in confusion (Detail), from "Heaven's to Betsy!", Club "16" comics

More Evidence of the High Failure Rate of Performance Improvement Efforts

Forrest ChristianChange, Computers/IT, Organizations, Reviews - Articles, Strategy 1 Comment

Top Consultant, a UK-based operation dealing with consultancies, has an interesting article describing a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Celerant Consulting, an affiliate of Novell. Top-Consultant reports that More than 4 in 10 senior executives surveyed in a major new cross-industry study said that performance improvement initiatives undertaken at their companies over the past three …

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McKinsey Quarterly on “When IT lifts productivity”

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A new study of 100 manufacturing companies in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States supports the view that IT expenditures have little impact on productivity unless they are accompanied by first-rate management practices.………………..Companies should first improve their management practices and then invest in IT. — from “When IT lifts productivity” by Stephen J. Dorgan and John J. …

Don’t Mix Experience Levels

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“Systems development surprise” by Allan E. Alter. COMPUTERWORLD, 1996 Feb 12. Alter reported on results that came out of a study done by P. J. Guinan, Jay Cooperider and S. Sawyer [“The effective use of automated application development tools”, IBM Systems Journal, 36(1), 1997 — although it may be “Software development: Processes and performance“, IBM Systems Journal, 37(4), 1998]. They …

Flowing artesian well in the meadow near the *Laghi di Fusine-superiore*, Valromana, Italia. (c) 2009 Michael Gäbler (CC BY 3.0). Via Wikimedia Commons.

Formalism vs. Constructivism in Software Development

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West reviews the philosophical underpinnings of the battle between structured programming and object-oriented programming. It’s an interesting read, as he goes back to the basic fight between the rationalist/formalist Enlightenment camp and their pesky detractors, variously called “hermeneutics”, “constructivist” or “interpretationalism”.

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Making Software Correct By Design?

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Jesse Poore, the University of Tennessee professor, is interviewed by ACM’s Ubiquity for his recent article in IEEE Computer, “A Tale of Three Disciplines… And a Revolution”. Poore talks about how if we made correct specifications, our software would work. While I agree that software should not fail as often as it does, I think that he misses the point …