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IT Best Practices

Why #NoEstimates Is a Rough Finish for Your IT Career

I live in the American Southwest—the Mojave Desert, to be specific. We have massive areas of land covered with nearly identical homes, built in clusters called “developments.” The term is meaningful, because the builders aren’t just building houses; they are developing entire communities. Complexity Lives at the Business Level We have a well-established process: The organization with the right to build on a tract of land proposes a plan, which is reviewed by a planning ...

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Bad User Experiences: How Analytics Can Improve App Testing

You go through all of the trouble to make an app and invest valuable time and resources into its execution, but despite all this effort, you allow for bad user experiences to continually happen. In an article for InformationWeek, Jonathan Feldman elaborates on the usefulness of analytics and how to implement them into the evaluation process. H-App-y Days People will not use an app, no matter how amazing the technology may be, if they do ...

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4 Guiding Principles for Aspiring IT Leaders

What does it take to become a leader in the IT industry? In an article for TechRepublic, Patrick Gray elaborates on four pieces of advice he gave graduating MBAs that are seeking to pursue a role in leadership. Here are the sorts of behaviors a promising leader should engage in: Be a lifelong learner. Avoid the elusive “expert game.” Practice what you preach. Have a career plan. Leading Means Learning Particularly in IT, novel approaches ...

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The 5 Leadership Styles for Managing Data Scientists

Inappropriate leadership is the root of why most data science experiments fail. John Weathington, writing for TechRepublic, explores why projects fail because of unfitting leadership and how to choose a management style that is effective for addressing different problems. According to contingency theory, the leadership style should adjust according to the situation. Victor Vroom and Phillip Yetton developed this model and suggest five different decision-making styles, dependent upon the amount of group involvement: Autocratic leadership ...

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12 Bad Habits that Slow IT to a Crawl

You never see a sports team with a sloth or a snail as the mascot. That is because people seldom want to celebrate slowness. In an article for InfoWorld, Bob Lewis identifies a whole dozen bad habits IT has picked up that are slowing it down. Once you address these concerns, IT can finally become the mascot that the business needs, oversized fuzzy costume and all: Faulty governance Multitasking Bloated projects Manual provisioning Favoring interfaces ...

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IT Can Score with Reverse Mentoring

Reverse mentoring is great for seasoned executives with loads of business know-how and an embarrassingly weak grasp of technology. It’s also a sucker punch of a victory for an IT outfit struggling to gain visibility in those lofty reaches of the organization. Bart Perkins, writing for Computerworld, has some pointers for how to pair the IT savvy with those tech-challenged captains at the helm. Mentors – Don’t Blow it! Mentors, first and foremost, should understand ...

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A Short Guide to Writing Software Requirements

Requirements writing is critical. Misinterpretations, flawed designs, missing functionality, they all contribute to the ruin of the project and they all stem from shoddy requirements. In his blog post, PJ Srivastava writes about user stories, workflow diagrams, visual designs, nonfunctional requirements, and test scenarios. These are among the tactics a business analyst can use to guard against degenerate requirements. The Fundamentals In the world of requirements writing, the language used, the level of detail, and ...

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10 Ways to Repurpose Your IT Investments

Legacy technology is seldom destined for the scrap heap in the right hands. You might even be surprised how much value remains to be found. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett lists 10 ways you can recycle old IT investments and receive a thumbs-up from the more miserly souls in your organization: Donate old equipment to a school or a charity. Use slower hard drives for cold storage archiving. Use old servers for testing ...

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Adopting Cloud Is No Longer a Competitive Advantage

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, it’s time for IT professionals to get their head out of the clouds – specifically, the IT cloud. As more organizations “join the cloud club,” its value declines, making it more of an advantage than competitive. The competitive part, writes Charles Babcock for InformationWeek, comes from what companies can do with the current technology. Deeper into the Cloud Since yesterday’s rare is today’s commonplace (and tomorrow’s old ...

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Should You Get Rid of IT Staff Performance Reviews?

The five-point grading scale that CIOs use to assess employees may be seeing its final days. This is the conclusion reached by John Brandon of Computerworld after the multinational consulting firm Accenture announced it would be scrapping the annual performance review as of September, 2015. Accenture will join Microsoft and Deloitte in replacing performance reviews with regular after-project evaluations. Five-Point Backfire Bosses working in “ivory towers” who may know nothing of a manager or team’s ...

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