Recent Posts

3 Categories of Size Measure in Test Estimation

How much work needs to be tested? There are various ways to measure the size of work. In a post at his blog, Tom Cagley shares three general categories of measure that may be utilized: Physical measures Functional measures Relative measures The Metric System Physical measures are not quite literally physical, but close enough. They include things like requirements and test cases, and such quantities can be added up as a reflection of the amount …

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5 Practices to Build an Efficient IT Organization

CIOs know they need to lead the charge when it comes to digital transformation and efficiency initiatives. Knowing which types of projects are actually worth doing to realize benefits is not as clear. In an article for McKinsey, Giuliano Caldo and Alexander Kupers share five insights for better IT, garnered from benchmarking five years of data from 164 banks and 97 telecommunication companies globally: Centralize cost management and identify key performance indicators. Manage demand based …

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4 Steps to Reverse Engineer Your Performance Metrics

Measuring the right things is a hard job in itself. Reverse engineering the process of metric selection would be, in theory, the easiest way to guarantee metrics relate back to strategy. How would you do that though? In a short article for Inc., Robin Camarote proposes her solution. Start from Finish Camarote says to take your end goal and, with the management team, build a flow chart that functions in reverse. You ultimately ask these …

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What CIOs Need to Know about Transformation Gaps

The Hackett Group has released its CIO Agenda for 2017, having surveyed a range of executives in midsize and large enterprises (no precise number of respondents is given) about major IT phenomena this year. In a familiar story, most business leaders understand the scope and power of transformation, but less than 40 percent of their businesses are actually ready to undergo transformation. The Slow Transformation According to the authors, businesses are finally shifting away from …

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Benchmarking Your IT Outsourcing Vendor Management Skills

If you make no effort to stay mindful of your vendors, those vendors will reciprocate the indifference. Strong management of vendors and relationships can produce a critical advantage for IT. Stephanie Overby interviews Jeff Augustin, managing director at Alsbridge, for CIO.com about what it takes to understand and develop your vendor management skills. A Dense Landscape Alsbridge uses a vendor management self-assessment tool that examines contract management, financial management, performance management, relationship management, risk management, …

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5 Tips to Make the Best of Company Benchmarking

Is your business a diamond or a lump of coal? Benchmarking can provide an answer, by giving an assessment of where you stand relative to other businesses. But like everything else in business, even benchmarking has some subjectivity to it, and that bit of ambiguity is enough to distort your results. In a post for F. Curtis Barry & Company, five tips for more precise benchmarking are discussed: Use external benchmarks to compare yourself to …

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5 Metrics to Measure If Social Media Is Working in Your Business

Organizations of any size and complexity can benefit from a social media presence, because social media is simply another marketing channel. But it requires strategy and a critical eye to ensure social media adds up to something meaningful. In an article for Forbes, Matthew Goulart describes five metrics to track in order to determine success: Conversions Search volume Brand presence, image, and engagement Followers/likes Return on investment Socially Inclined Conversions are of course of critical …

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Benchmarking Global Data Management

Data: we have a lot of it. Are we using it well? Research has sought to answer this question. Experian has released its 2017 global data management benchmark report, surveying over 1,400 people across a variety of roles in eight countries to measure trends in data quality and management. Here are the highlights. Data to Intelligence To begin with, there is the subject of how data is being used. In the United States, 61 percent …

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How to Choose the Best Cloud for Your App

Much like the clouds in the sky above us, not all digital clouds are made the same. Each cloud comes with its own advantages that cater to certain types of applications more than others. Public versus private cloud is also another chief consideration. In an article for InfoWorld, Pete Johnson does some basic benchmarking of the major cloud offerings Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Lounging on a Cloud Three sample applications …

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How to Prioritize Metrics That Show IT’s Value

There are as many metrics in IT as there are leaves on a tree, but it is crucial that IT pick out at least a few to report back to the business to demonstrate IT’s value. How do you decide which metrics portray the most convincing argument? An article at Computer Weekly collects answers from various executives at assorted businesses. Highlights Firstly, it never hurts to ask users and stakeholders what sort of data matters …

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5 Steps to Get More Out of Your Organization’s Data

Good data is not a yes-or-no proposition. Put another way, implementing various systems to collect data about employees or processes does not guarantee those systems will be useful. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Jon M. Jachimowicz lists five steps for data collection and use that will more reliably move the business forward: Improve your data quality. Link different data. Analyze your data. Infuse your data with theory. Implement changes and keep track of …

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Defining Software Quality: What Is It Really?

Everybody knows quality when they see it. But can you define quality abstractly, especially when it comes to software quality? Tom Cagley takes up the task in a post at his blog, citing a few different sources and synthesizing an answer. Finding the Consensus Philip B. Crosby thought of “quality” in terms of whether what is given agrees with what is required. In other words, either quality exists because requirements are met, or quality does …

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The Competitive Advantage of HR Benchmarking

Between Glassdoor and Indeed—among several other resources—job seekers have plenty of data these days on whether your business is a sweet dream or a nightmare. It is on you to ensure your work environment is hospitable compared to the competition. Toward that end, Suzanne Lucas discusses in a post for Spark the value of benchmarking in HR. Good for Business In the first place, Lucas warns that you be smart about the way you approach …

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How Lack of Strategy Disrupts Your Analytics Initiatives

Throwing money at effective analytics tools is one piece of the puzzle to being a data-driven leader. The other piece is setting a clear strategy that makes it easy to understand what analytics are supposed to track and why. In an article for Forbes, Brent Dykes highlights the mistakes that leaders make with analytics strategy and also the steps required to clarify strategy. Lead the Way or You’re in the Way A 2013 study suggests …

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Sharpen Your Competitive Edge by Benchmarking

Entrepreneur Bob Adams thinks of benchmarking in two ways: financial benchmarking and benchmarking everything else. In an article at BusinessTown, he explains how to make the best of either type for the benefit of your business. Exploiting the Data When benchmarking financials or anything else, the first question of course is from where to derive your data. Industry associations are a go-to source for that, as they at least offer average financials and tend to …

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