Executive Seminar

12 Truths About Corporate IT

Sessions Planning & Content


A Clean Slate Is Not the Answer​

You will learn:
• That even start-up companies, after a few years of using the same IT engagement model, get into the same issues described above.
• That the problem is not just around the current state of your portfolio of digital systems. It is also — and mostly — around how the IT teams engage in your organization.
• That the current tech-state of an organization is the result of hundreds of smaller decisions and not of major shifts in direction.



Why the IT Estimation Practice Is Stuck in Mediocrity​

You will learn:
• That most organizations, when making the right choice of adopting Agile™ methods, are often tossing away the estimation practice.
• That getting better at estimates implies data collection, effort, time and dedication.
• That putting in the additional effort for estimation requires the right incentives.
• That the typical IT engagement model provides little motivation at getting better estimates. Worse, the motives are in place to favor laxity in betterment.
• Simple questions to ask to gauge the maturity level of the IT project estimation practice.



The Billion Dollar Asset Void​

You will learn:
• That all the IT things that have a bar-code on them and are purchased from vendors and are considered as assets and usually well-managed.
• That heavily customized, software-based digital systems have a life expectancy of many years and often end-up being yours for decades. Their total cost over a decade can easily add-up to hundreds of millions of dollars.
• Why these systems are not managed as assets but rather as a collection of independent projects and yearly maintenance budgets.
• A few simple questions to assess the level of asset management applied to digital systems.



Innovation Isn’t Always Where It Seems to Be​

You will learn:
• About the phases that new technologies go through to become available to corporate IT.
• That the pace at which new technologies emerge rarely justifies corporate IT being caught in urgency.
• That innovation process of corporate IT teams primarily focuses on new technologies, not on business value.
• That the lack of relevant measures about team efficiency, speed of delivery, or total cost of ownership open wide the doors for the introduction of technology for the sake of technology.
• That for a digital technology specialist, having the right CV often translates to enticing revenue increases.
What questions to ask when being told about digital innovation.



What’s Gets Measured Imp​acts Quality

You will learn:
• What are the real, job-keeping metrics for the IT function and how to recognize them.
• Which quality criteria are aligned with the typical performance measures.
• What type of quality you’re getting within the current performance framework.
• How to understand what is measured and what really counts for your digital teams.



Your Digital Business Systems Are Cast in Concrete​

You will learn:
• That designing digital systems for easy removal or replacement takes more time.
• That the typical performance measures in place encourage not taking that time.
• That even worse, the engagement model in place creates tangible incentives to make systems hard to replace or difficult to remove.
• What measures are missing and the reasons behind their absence in the performance evaluation landscape.
• That M&A are not the true reason for systems being in function for too long, even after they’re not wanted anymore.
• What to ask to probe about future changes and system dismantlement.



What is Over-Customization and Why it Happens Too Much​

You will learn:
• That over-customization happens more than it should.
• That cross-industry standards are of little help in many areas.
• This situation is partly based on a lack of incentive for managing total cost of ownership.
• But it is mostly due to huge incentives from internal and external providers to lock you in for the years to come.
• To recognize where customization lock-ins are more subject to happen and the management tools to prevent them.



The Wheel Gets Re-Invented at Your Expense​

You will learn:
• That Cross-industry standardization is very weak in many areas and why what exists doesn’t help much.
• That there are little incentives in place for not reinventing the wheel.
• That incentives in place are rather encouraging this behavior.
• A few ruthless questions about how re-use is managed.



Your Corporate IT Teams Cannot Improve Their Speed​

You will learn:
• That improving speed requires two fundamental things: a measure and an incentive.
• Why corporate IT teams do not know how to measure speed and have little incentive to learn how.
• What speed really is, and how to differentiate it from cycle time or cadence.
• How to not get fooled by confusing agility with speed. Although Agile™ processes and methods are good for your enterprise, some well-intentioned people tend to confuse the speed dial with the RPM.
• The questions to ask to determine other IT people’s understanding —or lack thereof — of their speed.



Conflicts of Interest in Corporate IT​

You will learn:
• That the way roles are spread in your IT organization leads to conflicts of interest that would be unacceptable — when not squarely illegal — in other fields of work.
• That the single-counter IT model takes care of everything. It includes creating and controlling the quality of what has been created.
• That there are very few truly independent safeguards to protect you from questionable behaviors and gross mistakes.
• Simple questions to help you recognize these conflicting situations.



What’s Worth a Working Digital Solutions?​

You will learn:
• That IT business systems can always be made to work — one way or another — and that’s not always going to work to your advantage.
• That a working system means nothing more than it’s working.
• That in the typical engagement model of corporate IT, you have no way of ensuring that what’s under the glossy hood of digital systems that have been well-built.
• The innate nature of digital systems is such that they require more quality control than simply the assurance that they do the job.



The Two-Headed Beast​

You will learn:
• That corporate IT is made of two very different halves.
• How to recognize people and processes belonging to one half or the other.
• The fundamental differences in their respective engagement models.
• That most corporate IT performance issues belong to the same half.



Getting Ready

Meeting the instructor and getting practical information on format and logistics:
• Start and end times;
• Late or missing a session;
• Questions;
• Session recording;
• Short overview of the next 13 meetings.
There will be a round table of presentation of attendees to favor networking.



Wrapping Up and Making Sense ​

You will learn:
• That the single-counter-IT model made sense decades ago, but has been inadequate for too long.
• That the process of delivery of digital systems must become ‘data driven’, like the rest of your business. Much more quantitative metrics must be gathered, reported and linked to personal and team performance.
• That every single issue can be dealt with from a measurement point of view.
• That measuring all that needs to improve will happen when people have an incentive to improve.
• What the IT roles are that should not be combined with other IT roles and instead be targeted for re-location within the organization.