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How to retain IT talent with goal alignment

September 16, 2013 2 Comments
How to retain IT talent with goal alignment

Back in 1990, I was hired by the principals of a start-up company (Pages Software) to build an engineering team from scratch to create a new product: a design-oriented word processor. For more than a year and a half, I acted both as head of engineering and as chief software architect — a dual role […]

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“The Real Software Crisis” [BYTE Magazine, January 1996]

September 13, 2013 3 Comments
“The Real Software Crisis” [BYTE Magazine, January 1996]

[This commentary of mine, published in the January 1996 edition of BYTE Magazine (p. 218), used to be available on-line at BYTE.com, but no longer is, so I’ve re-posted it here. In the 17 years since I wrote it, I’ve seen nothing to change my mind.] The shortage of top-notch programmers threatens to become the […]

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Septic code: why some large IT projects never go into production

September 12, 2013 4 Comments
Septic code: why some large IT projects never go into production

A common pattern in the failure of large IT software projects is “the Never-Ending Story”, which I described back in 2000 (PDF) as follows: The client contracts with the manufacturer to develop and install a system. The project starts. The completion date slips. It keeps slipping. Each time the adjusted delivery date approaches, the project slips […]

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Active risk management: doing IT projects right

September 9, 2013 1 Comment
Active risk management: doing IT projects right

In a prior post, I talked about IT project risk management and gave a real-world example of doing it wrong, with the expected consequences. But some organizations do it right, and it’s worth looking at those examples as well. Some years back, I spent a few months at a client site reviewing a couple of […]

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Active risk management: doing IT projects wrong

September 2, 2013 3 Comments
Active risk management: doing IT projects wrong

IT projects are typically full of risks. There can be many human factors, many external factors, and many unknown factors, all of which can interact in unexpected ways. Because of that, it is critical that you actively identify, track and manage those risks. But to do that means that you have to be willing to […]

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