The Rise of the Camera Bots

I’ve been tracking the “Internet of Things” space for a few years now.  There’s incredible hype around this, but especially in the commercial sector, I maintain that the hype will eventually be justified.

The vendors talk as if this is all done and dusted.  However, it’s still early days. As is usually the case, the tech industry is rushing into it, and not in a particularly ordered fashion.   To quote Sun-Tzu, “In the middle of chaos, there […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:04+00:00 October 27th, 2016|Internet of Things, Life Meets Tech|Comments Off on The Rise of the Camera Bots

And, We’re Live…

My new website, and my new blog home is live.  Since you’re reading this, you know the URL…

Time for a short look back, and a slightly longer look forward.

The historic posts on this blog were ported from old, restricted audience blog site.  The early ones predate my commitment to customer care management consulting, but I’ll let them stand.

Going forward, I’ll be posting a minimum of twice a week.  One post will be about customer […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:14+00:00 October 12th, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on And, We’re Live…

Decision Frameworks

In my last post, I talked about the importance of decision making and the sheer number of decisions that have to be made during a project.  Clearly, every decision should not take a meeting of 30 people, and three hours.  Though, I can say that I have seen cases where that happens, and it is every bit as paralyzing as you would expect.

You need to have every person on the team making decisions that are appropriate to their scope of responsibility.  […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:14+00:00 September 19th, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on Decision Frameworks

Decisions, Decisions

In a prior post, I gave a potential example of a flawed decision making process.  But at least a decision was made.   A maxim that I’ve carried with me throughout my career is..

When You Deliver, All the Decisions Have Been Made

Every project failure that I have seen can be traced to non-decisions or uninformed decisions.  Now, I realize that this is a contentious statement.  If you look at research into why projects fail, the decision making process, if it’s […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:14+00:00 September 12th, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on Decisions, Decisions

Have You Tried Turning It Off and On?

I was following a thread on Reddit where IT people were exchanging stories about the, for the lack of a better word, “bonehead” things that their users reported.  Most stories carried an aura of IT superiority, and the whole thread rubbed me the wrong way.

We’ve come a long way in making computers and applications easier to use.  The graphical interface of our Windows and Macs have converged and have become effectively standardized.   Once the basics are down, most of us can […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:15+00:00 August 23rd, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on Have You Tried Turning It Off and On?

We Live in a Template

Most of us have a desire to express ourselves creatively.  And modern software tools lower the barrier to creating.  No longer are years of study and disciplined practice required.  Just click, drag and drop.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that what gets created is good.  The tools can assist with technical skills, but cannot, on their own, replace the judgement that comes with the years of study.

However, if you put the creator into a box that prevents them from aesthetically wounding themselves, you […]

By | 2016-10-11T16:06:09+00:00 August 13th, 2016|Technology|Comments Off on We Live in a Template

Dramatic Pause, Sweeping Hand Gesture

Some years ago, a Senior VP friend of mine asked me to help on a troubled Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software implementation.  At the time, his company was a rapidly growing investment darling. The implementation of a “big-boy” package was being done by one of the top (i.e. really expensive) consulting/professional services organizations.

I found myself sitting in a configuration meeting, being asked to set values for the “Business”, “Corporation” and “Organization” fields.  Having a nominal grasp on English language, and the concept […]

By | 2018-06-01T19:03:15+00:00 August 6th, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on Dramatic Pause, Sweeping Hand Gesture

The Price of Flexibility

When I was starting my career, one of the axioms was “Nobody was ever fired for buying IBM”.  IBM was the market gorilla so IBM was safe.  Safe not only in IT’s mind, but in the C-Suite, who actually had heard of IBM.

Today, for IBM you could substitute Cisco, Salesforce, SAP, even Microsoft.  Market dominance implies safety.

Even though it’s possibly THE best technology marketing message ever created, it’s not true.  People get fired for making the safe choice.  I’ve seen it.  […]

By | 2016-10-11T16:06:33+00:00 August 2nd, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on The Price of Flexibility

Business Needs Translated (part 2)

In my last post, I talked about how critical it it to fully understand the business needs at the beginning of an IT project.  Let’s look at a few of the reasons that this can go wrong.

  1. Business and IT speak different languages.  Yes, this is obvious.  How to address it isn’t.  I’ll deal with this more fully in a future post.
  2. How business runs in practice is different than in theory.   Ask management how […]
By | 2018-06-01T19:03:15+00:00 July 24th, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on Business Needs Translated (part 2)

Business Needs Translated (part 1)

IT projects represent the translation of business needs into a business tool.

How do we get there?  Well, you have to:

  • Fully understand the business needs
  • Translate those needs into general functional requirements
  • Translate the functional requirements into technical requirements
  • Translate the technical requirements into designs that fit the capabilities of the chosen technologies
  • Build it

In my experience, fully understanding the business needs is the most critical and difficult part.  Get that wrong, and you’ll be building the wrong thing.

Within that context, […]

By | 2016-10-11T15:34:05+00:00 July 19th, 2016|Business, Technology|Comments Off on Business Needs Translated (part 1)