Tag Archive | process

1-Minute Assessment: Value Management

Take today’s 1-minute assessment:

  1. Organizations typically have a framework for Risk Management.  Do you have one for Value Management, to enable business and IT decisions to maximize the value from IT-enabled business investments?
  2. Is your Value Management integrated with your financial planning?
  3. Do you have a targeted investment mix for your IT Portfolio?
  4. Are you happy with the Value/Return side of your business cases?
  5. Do you plan for people and talent in line with the managed Portfolio?
  6. Do you watch and report on Portfolio performance?
  7. Do you retire programs that crowd out potentially more lucrative investments?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you aren’t realizing ideal value from your IT-enabled business investments, and potentially flying blind with respect to practices to aid the Board and executive management in understanding and carrying out their roles related to such investments.

A framework for Value Management will enable you to:

  • Manage costs, risks, and benefits, in an integrated way
  • Increase the chances for a Portfolio mix having the potential to generate the highest return
  • Reduce the number of losing propositions in the mix, and so cut cost and free-up talent
  • Increase business value and goodwill

ISACA’s ValIT, one such framework for Value Management, provides a foundation for you to manage strategy, architecture, delivery, and value, from a common set of principles and practice.  Are you doing the right things?  Are you doing them the right way?  Are you getting them done well?  Are you seeing the benefits?

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

1-Minute Assessment: Requirements Management

Take today’s 1-minute assessment:

  1. Do you have templates to formalize the capture of requirements?
  2. Do you have well-known governance around who you authorize to articulate requirements, and who can accept them?
  3. Do your teams attribute requirements to catalog business priorities, plus rank the complexity, time, and cost to deliver?
  4. Does IT, together with the Business, agree to baseline the requirements at some point during the delivery lifecycle?
  5. When requirements change, do you understand the effects of those on design and on the project’s schedule?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you might be seeing inconsistencies in the way IT products and services are reflecting Business needs.  Consider that requirements are upstream from planning and scheduling, analysis and design, coding and testing, learning and roll-out.

Requirements management is a continuous and dynamic process.  Competency here pays off in predictable cadence for all involved, and is a solid foundation for goodness in design and architecture.  Lack of it results in thrash and dissatisfied customers.

Related Reading

Quality Attribute Workshops

1-Minute Assessment: Sizing and Estimating

Agile Architecting

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

1-Minute Assessment: Risk Management

Take today’s 1-minute assessment:

  1. Do you have a strategy and procedure to find, analyze, and mitigate risks?
  2. Is your team familiar with industry frameworks, like ISACA Risk IT, or NIST RMF ?
  3. Does the Business acknowledge risk-mitigating projects as important, deserving of IT investment?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you might be lacking a continuous and forward-looking process, at the project, program, portfolio, and enterprise levels, that would enable IT and the Business to effectively manage risk.

Consider sources for risk, internal and external, like staff, contractors, partners, competitors, the market, regulators, the disgruntled ex-employee, the organized and syndicated hacker.  Risk will manifest through acts of omission and commission.  Remember what’s at risk – your people, facilities, information, value, brand, intellectual property, perhaps even your very existence as a practical public or private entity.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

1-Minute Assessment: Sizing and Estimating

Take today’s 1-minute assessment:

  1. Do you differentiate between Sizing and Estimating?
  2. Do you have a standard bill of components, the quantifiable items that make up your software solutions? e.g. servlets, controllers, reports, tables, classes, queries, screens, the file types output by your development stack – these are ultimately the “things” that are quantifiable, that will drive estimates of effort and cost.
  3. Do you keep up history that correlates what’s built with the effort expended to build it?
  4. If your development team sold its services externally, would you be willing to do fixed-fee engagements based on your estimates?
  5. Do you have a lifecycle for estimating, aligned to your funding process?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you might be seeing some lack of control around project and portfolio delivery, the budget, resource allocation, capacity planning, and the like.  Capability in sizing and estimating is paramount for staffing, cost, and schedule accuracy.  It’s just a SWAG otherwise.  Lack of this ability is a chief cause of diminished IT goodwill in the Business.

Sizing & Estimating, something other than software:  Your partner asks you to redo the kid’s room.  It’s 10 X 16 with 8 foot ceilings; 416 square feet.  You’ll need 13 panels of sheet-rock (14 if you want some leeway) and 52 feet of ceiling molding.  The paint you like covers at a rate of 350 square feet per gallon.  You want 2 coats so you buy 2 gallons plus 2 quarts for the walls, and 1 gallon for the ceiling, giving you about 5% wiggle room for the walls and 9% for the ceiling.  The on-line shopper at your local store makes it easy for you to price the materials.  You let your partner know that it will take 5 days to complete the job, since you’ve experienced redoing a similar room just 2 years earlier.

Need more? If so, feel free to email me or comment below, and I will send another example where we size and estimate what it will take to make lunch for 10 guests – 6 vegetarians (2 of them gluten-free) and 4 carnivores.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013

1-Minute Assessment: Quality Gates

Take today’s 1-minute assessment

  1. Does your IT organization have a standard naming convention for its quality gates? (e.g. DEV, QA, End-2-End, UAT, PRE-PROD, other)
  2. Do the delivery teams abide by those?
  3. Do the various functions who have a stake in the gates, like release managers, testers, and those who provision environments, subscribe to the same standard and coordinate their activities so?

Did you answer NO to any of these questions?  If so, you might be seeing some thrash across a handful of service and process areas that you can fix, relatively quickly, for good return.

© Michael C. Simonelli, onthegocio.com, 2013