Tuesday, November 20, 2012

IT issues in a complex world

Welcome to the inaugural istcl Blog. This blog contains our perspective on some of the important issues that confront Information Technology.

Information Technology (IT) often represents, innovation, change and hope. What changes more slowly is our society - our people, values and the processes that people and our society use to shape and to operate in our world.  This is written with humility, knowing there are many experts and a large body of writing already out there and only represents the insights gained on our own experiences. Hopefully these observations are helpful to someone.

This writing comes with its caution: It is impossible to generalize about all of society - we are complex people representing a diverse spectrum of opinion.  We range from innovative to ultra conservative from hopeful to cautious, from embracing to cynical and anti-social. Society does have its judges, constantly monitoring our our industry: a market that determines what succeeds and who is cast aside for the next to try; and market watchdogs to help find the meaning of what we are doing, with all the necessary warnings.  We vote for our feet and our wallets and there is always someone trying to tell us who we should vote for. Our own critical evaluation is our own best defense, especially in the complex world of IT.

When considering IT issues two forces are always in play:

Firstly - Technology changes and innovation, driving to do things better, faster, more productively, more profitably, with shorter cycle time, providing perceived value for the money spent, thus bringing wealth to the inventors and a, hopefully and optimistically, a better life, a better way of doing things, to the people in our society.

Secondly - The people within our complex society, where changes happens more slowly, where we are seduced by the power and hopefulness that technology brings to us, but are often struggling to harness IT’s promise. Once found we are always searching for meaning, or having found it, always interpreting what this new thing brings to us.

This Blog is about the technology, the people that succeed and fail in harnessing the promise of technology. It is also about what drives us to change, why we have so many problems with technology projects, what works and what doesn't. Ultimately this is about what technology means to us, the good, the bad...you know the rest.

The promise of technology is always the same: how can we do our work better, more efficiently and in ways that get what we really want and system that works with people that work to deliver. The problems with getting technology to work for us are universal, but these problems are amenable to analysis and action. 

Some topics I will be covering in the future include:

·         Why projects fail – the political forces that need confronting
·         Why projects fail – The role of Honesty
·         Performance and effectiveness
·         Project Costs – True costs
·         IT Process Maturity – How do our Projects compare to other Projects
·         IT Process Maturity – How do we measure how good we really are - are you ready for the truth

If there are any questions, please drop me a line at If there is anything you think you want covered, let me know...

Thanks for reading! -Ron

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