What’s Behind the Frosty Relationships Between Business and IT?

Image by Andrew Becraft, CC license. Business people complain their IT team is understaffed, uncooperative, slow, and deploys lousy systems. IT claims business people are disorganized, unwilling to learn, bossy and never available. Such is the just-under-the-surface functional rivalry that regularly plays out every day in many organizations, a tiff that delays and sometimes stops […]

Steep Climb

Scope Can Determine Success or Failure

Image: Island Peak, Nepal, by McKay Savage, CC license “Scope,” or “footprint” in software terms refers to the number of business processes that an application will “cover,” or enable.  The scope of an accounting system is usually: general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, fixed assets, P&L and balance sheet. The scope has to fit the […]

one minute

The One Minute Technology Manager – Test the Assumptions

Image by Nicolas Will, CC license Behind every idea is a set of assumptions.  These assumptions can be exposed by simply by asking “why”? When it comes to good technology management, it’s your job to test these assumptions, to kill the losing propositions or to make them more viable as sound investments.  Sometimes these assumptions […]

why do software projects cost so much

Why Do Software Projects Cost So Much?

The short answer to why corporate software costs so much is that implementing it takes so long, even if everything goes perfectly, which happens exactly as often as Haley’s Comet passing through our skies. It’s expensive for one reason: specialized, and therefore expensive, skills. It takes expensive skills to: write the software in the first […]

Nike store

Case Study: Nike’s Adventure with Supply Chain Planning Software

A Nike Factory store in Atlantic City, NJ.  Photo by Shabai Liu, CC license. Background In February 2001 Nike, Inc. announced that it would miss sales and profit targets for the quarter due to problems with supply chain software it had begun to implement the previous year. The company said that it had experienced unforeseen […]

Att Def

Attention Deficit and the Enterprise Software Project

Never mind how many people you can get to work on your enterprise software project team. The critical factor today is how much of their focused attention you can get when you need it. Quoting columnist and Guinness record holder for Highest IQ Marilyn vos Savant, “Working in an office with an array of electronic […]


Have a Methodology – But Only One That Makes Sense to You

Who needs a methodology?  Just do it.  Photo: Spring 2013 Hackathon at Columbia University, where participants were challenged to build — over a weekend —  software programs for New York City startups; by Matylda Czarnecka,, CC license. You’re about to launch a big ERP project. You need a structured methodology.  The lazy/easy thing to […]

US Pop

Case Study: The 2010 Census

Image: U.S. Counties, population change 2000-2010, by Joe Wolf, CC license   Failed IT projects are not unusual in the government sector. Big IT projects are hard enough without the added complexity, delays, politics, and bureaucracy of government entities. But leaving those dysfunctions aside, there is much to learn from these failures. The 2010 Census […]

Why Wouldn’t I Want SaaS?

Software-as-a-Service is challenging the paradigm that software is a thing you buy, take back to your office and install. Looking back some day, we might shake our heads and wonder why any enterprise ever thought it had to purchase and physically install a copy of millions of lines of code that ran on a computer […]