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Do not defer the difficult in IT projects

August 26, 2013 1 Comment
Do not defer the difficult in IT projects

When an IT project starts, those involved — both managers and developers — want to feel that they’re making progress. They also want to demonstrate that progress to those above them in the organization. So there is a very natural, very human tendency to concentrate on the easiest tasks, the “low-hanging fruit” that can be […]

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Getting technology lifecycles in sync

August 23, 2013 3 Comments
Getting technology lifecycles in sync

Different technologies age at different rates. Understanding the variations is the first step to managing them. One of the great challenges you face as an IT manager is selecting the right technology for a given project, for a specific department, or for your organization as a whole. That technology may be anything from an end-user […]

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The Gartner Hype Cycle, 2013

August 22, 2013 2 Comments
The Gartner Hype Cycle, 2013

Barry Ritholtz, over at the always-worth-reading The Big Picture, posts the latest “hype cycle” from Gartner and where current proposed/emerging/developing technologies stand. I wasn’t familiar with Gartner’s stages of hype (as shown along the bottom of the chart), but they’re very useful. The overall concept meshes well with an article I wrote back in 2009 for […]

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Second-class software quality in major IT projects

August 19, 2013 1 Comment
Second-class software quality in major IT projects

Many years ago, software-engineering guru Gerald Weinberg famously said that if builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization. I’d like to say that efforts at software quality have improved since he first said that, and in many organizations they have. On the other hand, […]

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The Unhappy Valley: customized COTS between “buy” and “build”

August 13, 2013 1 Comment
The Unhappy Valley: customized COTS between “buy” and “build”

In response to my post yesterday on buy vs. build, Geoff asked a very important question: I’d be interested to get your opinion on the degree of customisation that COTS packages can realistically handle. I’ve seen several systems that started out as customised COTS, but eventually departed so far from the vanilla functionality that we […]

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