Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Bloom Box

Once in awhile, you read or watch something which makes you go hmmm... is it really real? Can it be done, but one takeaway from this snippet is that there's over 100 start ups in the Silicon Valley working on new energy technology.

Is you're company heading the same direction?

Watch CBS News Videos Online

In case you're wondering how fuel cells work. Look here

Friday, February 19, 2010

Devdutt Pattanaik: East vs. West -- the myths that mystify

A superb viewpoint on why East and West are different. Absolutes vs Contextual thinking. "Paradigms are Human constructs, cultural creations and not natural phenomenon. So it's all subjective."

When applied to business and IT management, I can't help but to wonder whether it is one of the factors why certifications and processes like CMMI, OPM3, PMI etc doesn't quite get the level of adoption and benefits as purported. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dee Hock on Complex Rules

“Simple, clear purpose & principles give rise to complex, intelligent behaviors. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple, stupid behaviours”

Dee Hock, founder of Visa

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Principle Centered Processes

Part of my thinking revolves around the challenges of implementing processes that subscribes to international standards or regulatory bodies. Whether organizations can successfully abide by all the protocols and tomes of documentation required.

Then it struck me that a lot of these rules and regulations are NOT built for change. (The bulk of the griping have already been covered in the dark arts of management) So we’re going to answer the question of HOW organizations can excel in achieving all these process standards as well as ensuring that we will not be RULED by the rules.

To do that, organizations require – Principle Centered Processes. Without which, we would be doing nothing more than APPROVING deviations.

What are Principle Centred Processes? These are processes put in place NOT for CYA’ing
(CYA = Cover Your Ass), but rather for:-
  1. The customer’s benefit (speed! And quality of service)
  2. The organization’s benefit (reduce the amount of process systems to support the system!)
  3. The system’s benefit (to maintain up time – change management)
  4. The staff’s benefit – to reduce the amount of painstaking work required.
If CYA is the primary principle at play within your organization, I’d highly recommend that you detract getting certified. Save yourself the investment and instead put it on leadership training or hiring better people to run your business.

Strategy+Business from Booz&Co has a good article on bureaucracy titled: Getting a Return on Judgment. Do read

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Are Your ICT Investments Built for Change?

If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. We’ve heard that before, supposedly some 1950s Russian manufacturing principle; most people in IT even swear by it. Ever experienced 72 hours of sleep deprivation just to undo a “simple patch” that’s suppose to take 30 minutes to install? We’ve all been there before.

So this “programmed” behaviour leads to stoic, “NO First” attitude when it comes to system enhancements. “NO First”, even happens for any critical patches, operations folk shudder and think up workarounds like “Great Walling” the IT systems with 3 different brands of Firewalls on top of the 2 Intrusion Protection Systems with the false belief that if nothing can get in, everything will be fine.

IT systems go through “revolutions” as system resources, users, business functionalities and complexities skyrocket on a daily basis. A system that is not built for change goes bonkers the moment anyone does anything on it.

What does that tell you? Well, it tells me that the system is FRAGILE by design, and built atop a deck of cards. Inter-dependencies abound and patching or system upgrades are more like deft manoeuvrings on Jenga blocks. Admit it; we behave like children, and upgrades only happen through irrecoverable failures!

Take a second to mull, are your IT people ruled by “Failure Induced Change” or is it “Built for Change”.

Built for Change is a methodology to eliminate old school architectural principles of plunking behemoth systems with quadruple redundancy that's CEMENTED IN SITU, requiring a whole IT department to sustain and nurture before it can sputter menial reports.

It’s also about “de-programming” – “If It ain’t broken don’t fix it” mindset.

Built for Change means thinking about how the system can still run at 10,000 rpm while undergoing daily upgrades and code fixes as customers point out better ways in using your software.

Are your Technology Investments Built for Change?