The promise of Agile is speed to market for delivering incremental value to the customer, but why is the adoption of Agile in organizations so difficult and slow? As addressed in my recent blog post, “Are you Using, Doing, or Being Agile?” Agile adoption takes more than just checking boxes, but rather is a complex, multi-phase journey. And any unfamiliar journey requires the navigator to know the destination. Have you tried using GPS without entering an address? Understanding where you are headed is a key component of any successful endeavor. (more…)Read More
A Center of Excellence—such as an OSM (Office of Strategy Management), PMO (Project Management Office), IT Governance, Continuous Improvement, or similar task force—is usually established to achieve one or more of the following core objectives within an organization:
- Implement and popularize a best practice
- Add a new capability, function, or technology
- Improve utilization of (or return on) an asset
- Upgrade employees’ skillsets
Technology is expected to enhance productivity
Most business cases for technology investments include “productivity gains.” Even when no formal business case is created or communicated, users, managers, and executives implicitly expect that new technology will make their lives better.
However, many organizations spend money on technology as if it were a lottery ticket—hoping they will win. We could consider technology investments to be calculated risks, but, unfortunately, that just doesn’t seem to be the case. Most investments in tech turn into mechanical implementation projects that result in more complaints than compliments.
The most common complaint about technology from the user community is that it kills productivity, exactly the KPI it aims to improve. There are two reasons:
- Poor maintenance and support
But, before jumping to fix your data issues, it’s important to establish a framework that ensures the data will be usable in the long run—not only immediately after a big cleanse, which is often time consuming and expensive. This 5-part framework provides a comprehensive approach for addressing existing data quality issues, and prevent issues from arising in the future.Read More
How Do You Fund Your IT Investments?
First of all, if you are an IT manager or executive and have asked for money to fund a project, you are brave. Too many folks in IT are order-takers. So, hats off to those valiant IT leaders who create business cases for IT initiatives, and present justifications for investments.
However, there is an inherent issue with “asking for money.” It’s as uncomfortable for the asker as it is for the askee. It is almost like you are asking to borrow money with a promise to repay with interest if everything works out.
What’s worse, a pattern of asking for money widens the gap between the business and IT. It doesn’t need to be like this.Read More
A Value Stream Mapping (VSM) workshop is designed to plan process improvements by mapping the current flow of information and materials, generating an ideal future state for that flow, and putting forth a high-level plan to achieve the future state.
Here is a tutorial explaining the process and expected outcomes from a VSM workshop:Read More
A health check is a formal examination assessing if an IT project is on track and under control, and serving as a valuable continuous improvement tool. The outcome is a project health report that proactively and impartially informs project stakeholders of the well-being of the initiative.
Too often, a project health check is only initiated once a project already is in trouble. But best-in-class organizations require health checks at several points during a project’s life cycle.
Creating the health report can be time-consuming, and it is typically not the responsibility of the project manager (PM). Instead, such reports should be produced by an independent party for the benefit of the project sponsor. I’ve seen health checks carried out effectively by a central Project Management Office, an internal auditor, or an external 3rd party.Read More
Congratulations! You’ve decided to outsource some of your IT services, based on a sound resourcing strategy. And you’ve found a reliable outsourcing partner. Now you need to manage your outsourced IT team.
If you’ve ever managed a vendor, you may have had one of the following thoughts cross your mind:
- “This team just doesn’t get it. I have repeatedly expressed how they can be successful here, but they keep doing the opposite!”
- “We didn’t award them a new project they bid on, and now it seems there is a lack of interest in the entire account.”
- “The resources assigned to this contract are incompetent, but the account exec is unwilling to switch them out.”
- “During management updates, they only focus on the positive. They are not being transparent.”
Such warning signs usually mean a key resource management responsibility has been fumbled or forgotten.
To set yourself up for success, manage your outsourced IT resources on two dimensions: the relationship and the outcomes.Read More
Implementations start with the best of intentions and the highest of hopes, but most organizations we work with fall short on outcomes from their system investments. JD Edwards is no exception.
This is completely normal: IT projects have enough trouble staying on time, on budget, and on scope. So what do you do now?
Watch this video for my advice:
(If you enjoyed this clip, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel.)Read More
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) has its origin in manufacturing, but has been successfully adopted for business processes. Why should IT consider conducting a VSM workshop?Read More