Blog posts from 2009 - Differentis

Moments of truth in IT programme management (1/3)

By Jim Patience


Date 19 December 2009 Tags

The greatest risk to any programme or project is at the very start. Getting things wrong at the beginning leads to a much higher risk of failure – it’s very tough to recover from a bad start.

Big programmes are fraught with risk. The Standish group recently reviewed a series of business critical programmes and only 28% were completed on time and budget.

So what can programme managers and sponsors do to ensure they get off to a good start? It’s all about mobilisation, conditioning for success at the outset.

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Keeping on the front foot, where it matters

By Jim Patience


Date 19 November 2009 Tags

You’re on the board of a serious company and you’re aware that among the many IT initiatives that run every year, maybe three or four would have a critical business impact on the firm, for better or worse.

You’ve got your best people running them, so why the niggling worry?

You may be thinking about getting your internal audit folk to give these programmes a once over. You’re aware though that they have no more experience of big complex programmes than the people you have running them. You’re also aware that by the time a problem becomes self-evident it may be too late.

If getting it right is the only option, timely objective insight could keep you on the front foot.

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Smart Management of IT in a Recession

By David Marsh


Date 19 October 2009 Tags

Information Technology is only a small portion of corporate costs and since the last recession it has become cheaper but more embedded in the business.

A general prescription to “cut discretionary IT spend” across the company is perhaps unwise (if understandable). It’s much better to take a careful look at the IT portfolio and cut the least attractive elements, rather than decelerate or stop sound IT investments that could yield value quickly.

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CIOs face major transformation

By Mark Helme


Date 19 August 2009 Tags ,

Over the last 40 years, Information Technology, and the ways in which it has been deployed and managed have gone through several discontinuous eras in which significant changes to the business model and IT leadership have been made.

They are discontinuous because they did not grow naturally out of the previous era, but emerged often due to the development of some new technology that was not predicted. The next era we are seeing will also require a dramatically different approach and rethink.

Will businesses and CIO’s be prepared and able to rise to the challenge of this major transformation? What’s changing and why?

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Where’s Einstein when you need him?

By Pete Buffham


Date 15 August 2009 Tags

The goal of creating an IT architecture that supports the business and adds real value, is shared by technical architects and most CIOs alike.

Achieving that goal means being able to manage the difference between breadth and depth; we have already argued (in IT Architecture in a disjointed world) that architecture can only be done effectively by a team of business and technical people capable of making appropriate trade-offs.

Here we are going to argue that the same principle applies within an organisation’s community of technical architects. No-one knows it all (not even Bill Gates knows everything there is to know about Microsoft products) so you need a well organised and knowledgeable team. Otherwise it’s going to be tough and fruitless.

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