Feb 082012
 
Padding estimates and promises

A few days ago, we uncovered an opportunity that depended a lot on timing. If we could get it going in five days, we could exploit it… if it took longer than that, the timing was going to impact some other strategic concerns. I asked a developer for an estimate of the effort, and he said it would take ten days to complete. About my own estimates I have always been sensitive to suggest my own estimates to other developers. My estimates nearly always scared others, but I had a [read more…]

Dec 282011
 
IT - coming on tour in a city near you

For the better part of twenty years, I observed business processes with an eye toward defining, streamlining and sometimes automating them. Now that I am no longer on the consulting side of the table, I get to share greater ownership of our business processes with the other members of our management team. At the same time, I notice a stark difference between engaging clients from the outside in a process improvement effort and being part of a team that has to work politically together to make those improvements happen. I also [read more…]

Dec 192011
 
Cloud cover: Fads don't hide fundamentals

A few weeks ago, I received a call from a Microsoft partner who was promoting Microsoft 360 as the “cloud-based answer to all my Office needs.” [It is not really a quote, but that’s how I listened to his pitch.] Now, here I was thinking that Office was the answer to all my Office needs. Go figure. Many of you know that I consulted for 20 years, leading ultimately toward my current CIO role. Over that span of time, the course of my work required developing sales skills in addition [read more…]