Recent Posts

How Managers Drive Results and Employee Engagement Simultaneously

A team can tenaciously pursue business goals while still having a sense of comfort and fun. The problem is not many managers know how to lead in such a way as to get this best-of-both-worlds scenario. However, in an article for Harvard Business Review, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman use their data collected from over 60,000 leaders to pinpoints six traits of the managers who really do achieve both: Communicates clear strategy and direction Inspires …

Read More »

Clean It Up: The Value of Benchmarking Data

The demand for data has never been higher, but it is important to remember not all data is quality data. Making business decisions based on bad data is like living off a diet of Big Macs—death will come sooner rather than later. As Doug Bonderud explains in an article for Spark, benchmarking data can be an effective way to clean up data and create a more competitive business. McData Whether across silos inside the business …

Read More »

If Technology Isn’t Holding Back Your Analytics, What Is?

Failing to adhere to the fundamentals is the cause of too many problems in business. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Todd Clark and Dan Wiesenfeld find that this phenomenon even applies to business analytics. When it comes to floundering data strategy—organizational structure, culture, or methodology may be to blame. The Balanced Strategy Obviously, the structure of the analytics department will have a significant effect on their ultimate success. For instance, if the department …

Read More »

The Struggle with Quality Metrics

Quantifying the value of quality management and broadcasting it across the business is not as intuitive as it sounds. There are still several companies who struggle with measuring their quality metrics. In an article for Quality Digest, Sameer Kadam and Mickey Shah identify four problems that arise and how to handle them: Problems with the consistent capture of quality-related data Problems with non-digital systems of record Problems with storage and retrieval Problems with understanding which …

Read More »

4 Factors Driving IT Forward in 2017

In their second annual “State of IT” report, Salesforce has surveyed over 2,200 global IT leaders. They received leaders’ insights on the subjects of IT’s changing role, new technologies, and the traits that define top IT teams. From the data, four big takeaways were identified: Lines are blurring between IT and business units. Innovation is becoming the major imperative for IT. IT is exploring app-building capabilities for users to increase speed. The business is eager …

Read More »

ISBSG Releases New Data Repository Relevant to Agile Project Costs

The International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (ISBSG) is an invaluable resource for IT industry data. It has recently released a new development and enhancement repository for purchase, 2017 R1. “Over 500 projects have been added and the number of new development projects, releases and series of sprints is now over 8000.” As ISBSG notes, the challenge of the shift to agile software development is that organizations have lost some numeric insight into development. Story points …

Read More »

PwC’s 2017 Global Survey on Digital IQ

PwC has been tracking the proliferation of digital technologies in organizations for a decade. Attitudes toward CIOs and the role of IT have improved dramatically since then, but according to PwC, businesses’ ability to handle technological change is overall no better now than 10 years ago. Their research this year surveys over 2,200 executives from 53 countries and makes recommendations about what business must do to stay competitive. Learning Fast, but Tech Is Faster Of …

Read More »

Which Size Metric Works for Testing?

Different situations inspire testing teams to adopt different size metrics for work. In a post at his blog, Tom Cagley touches upon the factors that should influence how you approach test measurements. Here are three considerations: How testing is organized Where testing is incorporated into the value delivery chain Whether work is being done for a fee Molded to the Situation When it comes to organization, there are typically two models seen—one where there are …

Read More »

How Your Company Can Learn to Make Better Predictions about Anything

Project managers have enough of a headache just making estimations on their projects, but imagine if everyone in your whole organization were better at making predictions on any subject. As it turns out—this is really possible. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Danny Hernandez, data scientist at Twitch, describes how his company’s employees vastly improved their predictive capabilities. Predicting Profitability Twitch, a popular platform for streaming video games, has developed training to benefit anyone …

Read More »

How to Start an IT Monitoring Initiative

Effective IT monitoring starts at a high level, with a business mindset. To start by meandering in the dense forest of infrastructure data is today a handicap that you do not need. In an article for Gartner, Sony Shetty outlines the basics for establishing reliable, business-minded IT monitoring. Step One Less than 20 percent of IT monitoring investments currently focus on business-relevant metrics, but Gartner predicts it will increase to 60 percent by 2021. The …

Read More »

Strong Leaders Manage in Every Direction

Good managers use their influence to guide subordinates to success. Great managers use their influence to guide colleagues and even superiors to success. In an article for McKinsey, Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise share data collected from over 1,200 senior marketing executives and also over 7,400 additional marketing and non-marketing leaders, all of which finds that leaders who flex their influence in every direction are more effective. Up and Out Managing bosses and peers in …

Read More »

Five Metrics to Measure Your Agile Software Team Performance

Agile teams are rightfully weary to bog their teams down in metrics and reporting, but a small helping of metrics is useful in all situations. In an article for Built in Chicago, Viktor Bogdanov discusses five types of metrics to measure team performance in a practical way: The number of commitments to user stories Agile process metrics Source code metrics Product metrics Security metrics Agile Evidence The first metric is about confirming that user stories …

Read More »

The State of Performance Management: Everything Has Changed

Introduction – The New Age Performance Management The idea of performance management has gone through some drastic developments in recent years. Adobe scrapped their performance reviews in 2012. Deloitte followed suit in 2015. General Electric and Microsoft have completely abandoned their annual ranking system. More and more companies are directing their focus on company goals by making their system more employee-oriented. The above charts indicate that 75 percent of respondents believe performance management to be …

Read More »

3 Areas Where Benchmarking Can Assist Marketing

Benchmarking reveals the sort of information that you would usually need a genie’s lamp in order to get. And it can be valuably applied to any aspect of business. In an article for IBM, Sam Melnick outlines the basics of benchmarking and then shares three areas where it can be helpful to marketing performance. Market Value Melnick finds that there are a few key steps in benchmarking: determine the most relevant benchmarks (no need to …

Read More »

Benchmarking Digital Performance to Drive Excellence

As CEO Jason Albanese points out in an article for Inc., when sports teams want to know where they stand, they just compare their stats with those of other teams. Benchmarking operates around the same concept, except that comparisons between businesses are not as clean and straightforward. Choosing what to compare is not easy either. Albanese however advocates benchmarking digital performance, and he explains the best ways to conduct it. Disrupt-proof When you measure digital …

Read More »