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IT Best Practices

The 4 Types of Innovation and the Problems They Solve

Innovation is the cornerstone of an organization’s survival. It’s sometimes the difference between a problem costing a thousand dollars or a million to solve. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Greg Satell finds we tend to use a “one size fits all” mentality when it comes to innovation, and it’s horribly ineffective. He believes there isn’t a single, foolproof plan for innovation–but rather an innovation matrix that can be followed in conjunction with how …

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3 Mistakes to Avoid When Pitching to a CIO

The role of CIO is laden with vital responsibility, and part of that responsibility is acquiring new supplies for the organization. So if you are trying to successfully pitch a sale to the CIO, how can you do so without completely aggravating them? In an article for CIO UK, Chloe Dobinson shares what not to do when pitching to the CIO. There are three rookie mistakes a salesperson should avoid: Do not be generic. Do …

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What Does a Great Product Development Group Look Like?

Since 1989 we have been traveling the globe looking at great, and sometimes challenged, organizations. From an engineering and management perspective, here are some common “great” things we see. As you read them, contrast with your organization and determine where you would like your group to be. Deadlines, budget, and project status Goals are established, clearly defined, and communicated to the organization. These are usually related to deadlines, budget, and quality (e.g., defects or customer …

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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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