QC, QA, and Cost of Quality

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Quality Is What the Customer Says It Is

All customers, regardless of industry or market, internal or external to an organization, want quality. Quality is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge. But what is quality? The best definition of quality I have seen is “fitness for purpose.” This works everywhere from a business setting to a family meal.

No matter what definition you use, the quality of a product or service is ultimately defined by the customer.

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ROI vs. Outcomes: Prioritizing IT Projects for the Greater Good

How do you prioritize your IT project portfolio? If ROI is the driving force behind what gets funded and what doesn’t, you’re not alone.

When an organization views the IT department as a cost center, technology projects are typically justified based on ROI. These ROI calculations are made based on direct cost savings alone, not on the most effective use of time and resources.

“Cost savings” is a suboptimal reason for doing things.

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Is Your IT Architecture Designed to Strengthen Your Business Capabilities?

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For years, consultants have been recommending tighter alignment between IT and business strategy. At a high level, it makes perfect sense. But when you begin to peel back the various layers of organizational complexity, aligning IT with the needs of the business becomes a more complicated exercise.

In order to optimize the alignment of IT and business strategy, organizations must understand the discrete business capabilities that the IT architecture is intended to enhance, and build accordingly. At the same time, the IT architecture needs to be able to adapt as the business changes.

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Abraic Requirements Definition Tips

Tips for a Better Requirements Definition Phase

Across the board, successful IT projects follow a certain recipe for success. Time and time again, however, you’ll see organizations skip this step, or that step, and the result can be less than satisfactory.

One such example is the Requirements Definition phase, which answers the most basic questions: “What needs to happen?” and “Why does this need to happen?”

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Establishing SLAs for Internal IT Services

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are standard for measuring performance of an outsourced service.

But what happens when an IT service is managed internally? How are expectations set? How is performance measured?

When IT services are insourced, there should still be SLAs in place in order to sustain internal customer satisfaction and alignment with business priorities.

Without SLAs, the business resorts to a subjective assessment, often concluding that IT services are overpriced, slow, or inadequate, without the information needed to evaluate the real value of the team.

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IT Portfolio Management and the Squeaky Wheel Effect

We’ve all seen it: “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

This idiom has become synonymous with the idea that, in any organization, the person who complains, bellows, shouts, and stomps their feet the loudest will be first to get attention.

Squeaky-wheel types aren’t necessarily negative or harmful. Some Squeaky Wheels are simply annoying. Some have valid ideas that deserve the attention they seek.

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Lack of Governance is Always* the Problem

*For every single Abraic client engagement over the past 20 years, a lack of effective governance has been one of the first issues we identify and resolve.


When IT assets (e.g. software, hardware, or XaaS) are underutilized, underperforming, or underwhelming the business, the root cause of the problem is almost always ownership.

Consider an underperforming asset at your company. Is the department managing the technology the same department that paid for it?

Typically, IT assets are not purchased by IT.

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Everyone Is Moving to Agile. Should I

Everyone Is Moving to Agile. Should I?

Ever since the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was introduced back in 2001, organizations have questioned whether the newer alternative methodologies would be a good fit for their business.

Meanwhile, as Agile’s popularity grows, there is increasing pressure on IT departments to adopt the approach.

While the benefits of Agile can be compelling, those benefits are contingent on a specific set of pre-existing organizational characteristics. The presence or absence of those characteristics will determine whether the Agile approach will result in success or failure.

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