Business says it wants to be more involved with technology decision-making – taking a more leadership role especially when it comes to solutions with direct business benefit. And if business acts on this desire by working with IT the way we’ve wanted, this is all to the good. But we have to recognize that the more they care – for example if they are in product development or sales – the less likely they are going to want to work with us in the way we wanted – via steering committees, architecture review boards, and formalized project proposal processes. To them, it might appear easier to use SAAS offerings, or contract for or develop their own solutions – and they may have a point. Many of the efficiencies centralized IT can provide count less when using cloud-based services and newer, more end-user friendly tools. And if IT won’t support them because they are off the ‘approved technology’ ranch – well, they have alternatives.
At the beginning of this decade HP put forth a vision for the future data center that they have now fulfilled with both products and services offerings. Viewed by some at the time as a reaction to IBM Applications on Demand, HP coined Adaptive Infrastructure as its vision for a "composable" data center that let resources be quickly and easily assigned to business services based on their needs and for IT Ops to achieve and maintain high utilization of their data center resources.
Most product management aficianados opine, at some point, about the importance of product passion. You need to love your product. You need to embrace it, nurture it, defend it, extol its virtues to other people. If your product fails, maybe you didn't believe in it enough. (You probably killed Tinkerbell, too, you unfeeling bastard.) If the product succeeds, you can bask in the afterglow, and then maybe have a cigarette.
If that sounds a little creepy, maybe it's worth re-evaluating your relationship with your product. I'm exaggerating for effect, but that's only because the word "passion" is vague, and exhortations to have product passion often sound pretty overheated.
Forrester analysts, Chris Mines in particular, have been publishing no small number of studies about Green IT. What was missing, I thought, was where the technology industry fits into one of the few parts of the economy that's likely to grow over the next couple of years. Public investment will accelerate growth in this market, but there won't be one big Manhattan Project-style program. Therefore, if you're not familiar with this market, it might be hard to figure out where to start.
Many product managers who work with or within Agile teams have told me how they've felt left in the dust during the early phases of the Agile implementation. "We've sighted our target persona!"the development team exclaims. "Champagne for everyone!"
Unfortunately, they forget to invite to these festivities the very person who will, beyond this sighting, provide ongoing intelligence about that role--and the use cases, and whether that's the right role for the product, and what the competition is doing to serve that person, and whether there's a market for all this technology in the first place. A good product manager also has mad skillz in collecting and analyzing this information, something that even the most wunderbar of Wunderkinder doesn't necessarily have right out of the womb.
Shane Hastie at InfoIQ describes the same problem facing business analysts, the cousins of product managers in IT organizations.
Our survey about Agile's effect on the structure and operations of technology companies is now live. If you're interested in participating, here's the link. If you have questions or technical problems, please contact Zachary Reiss-Davis.
Who should take this survey? Since we're interested in the ripple effects outside of the development team, practically anyone in a company that has adopted Agile. The broader the sample of different roles, the better. Please forward the link to anyone who might have something to say on the topic. Affected or unaffected, happy or unhappy with the results, we're interested.
Also, my colleague Dave West is running a different Agile survey. In his case, the topic is limited in focus to development teams, and not just within the technology industry. if you're interested, please contact David D'Silva.
Two things before I start: 1) A big "Thank You' to everyone who commented on my blog posts, emailed me, or spoke to me by phone about the research called "How To Avoid B2B Marketing Obsolescence", and 2) No, I really don't believe B2B marketers will become obsolete. That was just a title that would get you to read further!
As we enter a new year, business process & applications professionals who want to stay ahead of the pack need to know what to expect in 2009. Uncertain economic times lie ahead, and those professionals who know what is on the horizon will best weather the storm. Here are some key trends in key process and app areas that our analysts predict for 2009:
Financial Performance Management: Financial management professionals stand in the spotlight as the economic downturn continues and companies cope with weaker demand, price pressures, rising costs, and credit constraints. Technology and process strategies in 2009 will focus on improving planning, budgeting and forecasting, and cash and risk management while under the cloud of a very uncertain and unfavorable tax environment.