Evidence in Management and IT

August 2, 2010

I was recently reading various articles about the use of “Evidence” in Management. The basic idea is that it is all too easy to start management initiatives based on a prejudice of what is going on. The result can be that inappropriate action on a situation. An example would be if a manager were to believe that  his team were unproductive and needed extra motivation there are actions that might be taken to improve motivation, or apply control to demand more output. The reality of the situation might be very different, with the individuals motivated and wanting to produce more – but being hampered by an inability to work effectively in the environment. The appropriate actions here would be quite different, and action on the perceived problem would have no effect. It could even make it worse. Worse still, the problem might be that the team are productive but too much is expected of them for what is achievable in the situation.

 What solution is proposed? Read the rest of this entry »

Messy problems and solutions

May 19, 2010

How often do you end up looking at one problem, and find that to solve it you have to solve all the others that it is interconnected with at the same time? One of the reasons I have found dealing with performance problems interesting over time is that they tend to be like this. It is only relatively recently, however, that I have come across the idea that this is a general class of management problem that occurs in business.  They have been studied under various titles (e.g “wicked” problems), but the common feature is complexity and an inability to have a single easy solution. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Questions…

May 6, 2010

As a professional I find that I should do more networking than I do. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation. As such the following article may be of interest:

10 Questions for Effective Networking


The article is written by a “professional coach” who discusses the benefits of value-based questioning when networking. It seems a better approach than the standard sales-lead approach, and may be useful in breaking the ice with potential clients for the future. I found it interesting, see if you do.

Keeping on going

March 3, 2010

I liked this post and thought it was worth sharing on the Sarquol site… it is a semi-serious look at ways to keep momentum when the going gets tough.




Innovation axes in IT…

March 2, 2010

I was reading an article recently that suggested there are basically 4 types of innovation that a company might seek to undertake:

  1. Product innovation, whereby a new product or service is brought to market or a current one improved;
  2. Process innovation, whereby processes and procedures are modified to make them more efficient
  3. Positioning innovation, whereby a product or service stays fundamentally the same but is sold to a different market or as a different proposition
  4. Paradigm innovation, whereby an innovation is effectively disruptive and facilitates some form of fundamental change

Read the rest of this entry »

Future Scenarios in Architecture…

February 25, 2010

I recently needed to consider the state of a System Architecture and consider the changes likely to be needed over time. Thus, I was trying to produce a “Roadmap” for the architecture into the future. The challenge was that the future is uncertain. Some items can be planned for, and others are dependent on the way the business and technological environments develop. These developments can be considered to be the product of various “forces” playing out in the environment of the system. How then can you address this complexity? Read the rest of this entry »

Project Estimation using Scenarios

January 28, 2010

Defining estimation scenarios

The first stage in the steps to estimating a project was defined to be the definition of the scenarios to be supported in the solution.  The scenarios should be defined at as low a level of detail as possible, with the following diagram showing the example scenario definition.

Scenario definition

Scenario definition

Definition of the scenarios sizing

Read the rest of this entry »