Archive for February, 2004
ManagementSpeak: Our Risk Management Assessment policy will enable us attain our five nines fiscal objective. Translation: The nebulous risk management policy will only be used against youâ€”the executive team can always get an exception. Joseph Baxter took the risk and joined the KJR club.
To optimize the whole you usually have to sub-optimize the parts. This is a fundamental reality of design. It isn’t, however, an original discovery. I personally first encountered the concept in Arno Penzias’ Ideas and Information (Simon and Schuster, 1989): “When each activity focuses on providing ‘quality service’ according to its own metrics, important efficiencies […]
ManagementSpeak: To get a fresh perspective, our IT department is starting a Best Practices review of unrelated industries. Translation: Once our employees see how burger-flippers work, we won’t have to worry about work environment or employee retention. KJR club member Steve Johnson provides a fresh perspective.
Despite the best (or perhaps worst) efforts of the business and IT press, words do have meaning and, depending on the word, at least a small population of loyalists who remember the meaning and cringe when it’s ignored in favor of some other, vaguer usage. Take “Return on Investment” — ROI. Originally a collection of […]
ManagementSpeak: In order to be competitive, we can’t wait to complete design before we release our products. Translation: I have no concept of engineering whatsoever. This week’s anonymous contributor has a strong concept of semantic reverse engineering.
According to the Theory of Else, IT’s job is done when the software runs. It’s up to others in the business to make sure useful business results follow. As last week’s column explained, the Theory of Else is a good way to make sure IT gets the blame when projects fail to deliver their expected […]
ManagementSpeak: He plays a key role in our process. Translation: He’s the only one who knows anything about this process. This week’s source, Mr. Jan McCollum isn’t the only one who knows the hidden meaning in this week’s phrase.
“When I am right, no one remembers. When I am wrong, no one forgets,” Doug Harvey, a professional baseball umpire, once lamented. In IT we face a similar dilemma: Our responsibility is the delivery of working software that adheres to the specifications. When we do, and the specifications are appropriate, and the business makes use […]