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  • CTO/CIO Perspectives - Intensely practical tips on information technology management, by Peter Kretzman
    builds reuse of code and many others Oh yes and the use of estimates Or planning in general To be sure it s not just developers we see seasoned industry analysts for reputable firms actually proposing that to get better quality you need to fire your QA team And actually getting applauded by many for out of the box thinking Self inflicted wounds But let s talk about just one of these throw out the long used practice memes that pops up regularly dismissing the value of bug tracking How can anyone argue against tracking bugs Unbelievably they do and vigorously A number of years back I came into a struggling social networking company as their first CTO Among other issues I discovered that the dev team had basically stopped tracking bugs a year or two before and were proud of that Did that mean their software had no bugs Not when I talked to the business stakeholders who lamented that nearly every system was already bug riddled and getting worse by the release Why did the development team shun bug tracking That wasn t quite so clear Read more Tweet Filed Under Anecdotes Industry trends Process Tools By Peter Kretzman Leave a Comment The CIO and integrity this shouldn t be hard folks Tweet Surprising and disturbing IT related news crossed my Twitter feed last night a well known CIO is being sued for alleged fraud by his former firm Allegations are that this senior executive received kickbacks from vendors that he helped connect to the company where he served as CIO and vice president My purpose here isn t to comment on this individual case it s now in the courts information is still sketchy about the details and I feel that people are entitled to a presumption of innocence while the various legal actions run their course As Forbes columnist Ben Kepes wrote though this is one for the we knew these things happened but tried not to know about it department So let s broaden the topic to the overall issue of CIO ethics and integrity particularly with respect to financial matters As I ve written before the head of technology for many companies certainly all the firms I ve worked for stands at the rudder of a very large portion of the overall spend for that company IT infrastructure and systems spending taken broadly is often the second highest category after salaries for total annual outlay for a company The responsibility involved for the senior IT executive cannot be overstated Often when I ve come into a new CTO CIO position I ve discovered over the course of the natural archaeology that one performs in such a situation highly questionable business deals cut by my predecessors with outside vendors I ve raised my eyebrows and yes even occasionally shouted a bit at the incomprehensibility of various vendor arrangements I ve inherited Read more Tweet Filed Under Ethics General Industry trends Role definition By Peter Kretzman 2 Comments The case against NoEstimates the bottom line Tweet I ve now methodically presented the case against NoEstimates in three different lights from a common sense standpoint from the perspective of the solid reasons why estimates are useful and by examining the various frequent talking points used by NoEstimates advocates Looked at from any of these angles NoEstimates comes up way short on both its core ideas and business practicality Aside from these issues of substance let s look briefly at the behavior of the NoEstimates proponents Blunt as it may be here s my summary of the behaviors I ve seen across most NoEstimates posts and tweets Presenting and repeating via redundant tweets month after month fallacy riddled arguments consisting primarily of anecdotal horror stories jibes at evil management snide cartoons and vague declarations that there are better ways Providing little or no detail or concrete proposals on their approach relying for literally years now on stating that we re just exploring or there are better ways Consistently dodging substantive engagement with critics and at times openly questioning whether critics should even have a voice in the discussion If NoEstimates avoids engaging actively in the marketplace of ideas and debate why should their arguments be taken seriously Real progress in understanding any controversial topic requires we do more than state and restate our own views but actually engage with those who disagree Continuing to use discredited examples and statistics or even blatant misrepresentation of the stated views of recognized authorities to help prove their case Frequent use of epithets to describe NoEstimates critics trolls liars morons box of rocks and more I pointed out in my introduction that the lofty claims of the NoEstimates movement essentially that software development can and should be an exception to the natural useful and pervasive use of estimates in every other walk of life carry a heavy burden of proof Not only have they failed to meet that burden they ve barely attempted to at least not the way that most people normally set about justifying a specific stance on anything But aside from style let s return to the substance of the issue Here s my take as backed by specific examples over the course of these blog posts estimates are an important part of the process of collaboratively setting reasonable targets goals commitments Indeed whether estimates are explicit or implicit they re a reality I see them as an unavoidable and indispensable factor in business Read more Tweet Filed Under Estimating General Industry trends Process By Peter Kretzman 7 Comments The case against NoEstimates part 3 NoEstimates arguments and their weaknesses Tweet I ve spent the last two blog posts introducing the NoEstimates movement first discussing what it appears to espouse and presenting some initial reasons why I reject it I then covered the many solid reasons why it makes sense to use estimates in software development This time let s go through in detail the various arguments put forward

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/ (2016-04-28)
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  • About Peter Kretzman - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    enterprise software He has served in CIO and CTO positions at several companies including high volume Internet sites Peter s blog covers broad topics of interest to senior executives giving the CTO CIO perspective on such things as working as a member of a company s executive team forging business IT alignment focusing product and application development enhancing and maintaining world class operations and the care and feeding of technical staff Per CIO Magazine 6 19 2009 Kretzman a 25 year IT and online veteran shares thoughts on focusing product and application development as well as enhancing and maintaining world class operations He also points out that many departments survive by hiding inefficiencies oversights and missed opportunities Peter lives in Seattle WA with his wife and children He can be contacted in German as well as English Peter Kretzman is currently available for high level IT consulting engagements and speaking engagements particularly focused on overall IT capability assessments interim CIO roles and effecting a turnaround on key projects in crisis Phone 425 835 3487 or email peter dot kretzman at gmail dot com To sign up to receive future CTO CIO Perspectives posts via email fill out this form Peter

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/about-peter-kretzman/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Most popular posts on this blog - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    common sense Complexity isn t simple multiple causes of IT failure Career tips for the CTO CIO path One CIO s lessons learned in managing others Hiring and firing an example of a stellar employee Nuts the biggest trap of all for IT stakeholders Using feedback loops to improve IT department service Novels of IT Part 2 Haunting the CEO CMOs outspending CIOs on technology so what Here s what Novels of IT Part 3 Adventures of an IT Leader The Practical CIO Difficulties in project prioritization selection part 2 IT transparency is good But how transparent should you be IT consumerization the cloud and the alleged death of the CIO Yes we can yes we must the ongoing case for IT Business alignment A rational CapEx purchase and tracking process for IT More timeless still relevant information technology jokes The Practical CIO Difficulties in project prioritization selection part 1 Tweet Share this Twitter Google Facebook Email Print Contact information for Peter Kretzman Ph 425 835 3487 Email peter dot kretzman at gmail dot com Social media Blog post categories Anecdotes 21 Book reviews 7 Communication 23 Education 6 Estimating 9 Ethics 1 Financial 7 General 31 Humor 7 Industry trends 23 Metrics 5 Overview 10 People 12 Performance 1 Personal 20 Personal R D 2 Peterisms 4 Pillars of Purview 43 Process 38 Projects 17 Recommended reading 8 Role definition 29 Stakeholders 15 Strategy 9 Tools 6 Top 25 posts 25 Vendor management 10 Blogroll 10x Software Development Steve McConnell s blog Archimedius Greg Ness always interesting blogs on networking security and virtualization Bridging the Gap Bridging the Gap between Business and IT Laura Brandenburg s excellent blog on crafting business analyst practices to solve business problems CIO Dashboard Chris Curran blogs on IT management issues CTOvision com Bob

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/most-popular-posts-on-this-blog/ (2016-04-28)
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  • What's this blog here for? - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    notable books I welcome your thoughts and contributions in the form of comments to the topics I cover here Although all comments are moderated before being actually published I have had very few occasions to ever not publish a non spam comment and I review comments quickly That said please be aware that comments containing personal attacks will not be published nor will I publish comments that seem primarily intended just to push a particular product To sign up to receive future CTO CIO Perspectives posts via email fill out this form Necessary disclaimer none of the opinions presented on this blog is intended to represent the views of any of my employers or clients past or present Tweet Share this Twitter Google Facebook Email Print Contact information for Peter Kretzman Ph 425 835 3487 Email peter dot kretzman at gmail dot com Social media Blog post categories Anecdotes 21 Book reviews 7 Communication 23 Education 6 Estimating 9 Ethics 1 Financial 7 General 31 Humor 7 Industry trends 23 Metrics 5 Overview 10 People 12 Performance 1 Personal 20 Personal R D 2 Peterisms 4 Pillars of Purview 43 Process 38 Projects 17 Recommended reading 8 Role definition 29 Stakeholders 15 Strategy 9 Tools 6 Top 25 posts 25 Vendor management 10 Blogroll 10x Software Development Steve McConnell s blog Archimedius Greg Ness always interesting blogs on networking security and virtualization Bridging the Gap Bridging the Gap between Business and IT Laura Brandenburg s excellent blog on crafting business analyst practices to solve business problems CIO Dashboard Chris Curran blogs on IT management issues CTOvision com Bob Gourley s excellent blog looking at things from a lens of enterprise technology E commerce Wisdom Sally McKenzie is a former colleague of mine who writes a great blog that covers what

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/introduction-and-goals/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Recommended reading for the CTO/CIO - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    Theo Schlossnagle Scalable Web Sites by Cal Henderson Release It Design and Deploy Production Ready Software Pragmatic Programmers by Michael Nygard Business and IT Competing on Analytics The New Science of Winning by Thomas H Davenport and Jeanne G Harris Eliminating Us And Them Making IT and the Business One by Steven Romero 8 Things We Hate About IT How to Move Beyond the Frustrations to Form a New Partnership with IT by Susan Cramm Does IT Matter Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage by Nicholas Carr The CIO Paradox Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership by Martha Heller Internet Sociology Here Comes Everybody The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky The Tipping Point How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell The Long Tail Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson The Big Switch Rewiring the World from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr Operational and Financial Reducing Risk and Maximizing Investment Through IT Asset Management A Practitioner s Perspective by Richard L Allen Jennifer D Doyle Tory M Lehr and William B Fisher See my review of this book here Achieving IT Service Quality The Opposite of Luck by Chris Oleson Mike Hagan and Christophe DeMoss General technology background The Information A History a Theory a Flood by James Gleick Novels of IT The Bug by Ellen Ullman fruITion Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology by Chris D Potts See my review of this book here Adventures of an IT Leader by Robert D Austin Richard L Nolan and Shannon O Donnell See my review of this book here Haunting the CEO by John Hughes See my review of this book here The Phoenix Project A Novel about IT DevOps and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim Kevin Behr and George Spafford See my review of this book here Also recommended Growing Software Proven Strategies for Managing Software Engineers by Louis Testa The Shallows What the Internet is Doing To Our Brains by Nicholas Carr Cognitive Surplus Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky You Are Not a Gadget A Manifesto by Jarod Lanier What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly The Filter Bubble What the Internet Is Hiding from You by Eli Pariser Note I ve also started a series of posts on the most important human factors in IT books picking what I consider the most important three such books from each decade starting with the 1970s Additionally I have a series of posts on four Novels of IT as listed above Tweet Share this Twitter Google Facebook Email Print Contact information for Peter Kretzman Ph 425 835 3487 Email peter dot kretzman at gmail dot com Social media Blog post categories Anecdotes 21 Book reviews 7 Communication 23 Education 6 Estimating 9 Ethics 1 Financial 7 General 31 Humor 7 Industry trends 23 Metrics 5 Overview 10 People 12 Performance 1 Personal 20 Personal R D 2

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/reading-list-for-the-ctocio/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Starting points: downloadable tools for the quantitative CTO/CIO - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    don t bite off more than you are able to chew Downloadable spreadsheet Blog post describing the approach and tool Return on Investment ROI analyses A template for Investment analysis for any project allowing for input of core assumptions on costs and benefits and producing quantitative measures such as ROI IRR and payback period Downloadable spreadsheet Blog post describing the approach and tool Resource allocation An elaborate spreadsheet to perform detailed day to day resource allocation across multiple projects for a small team Downloadable spreadsheet Blog post describing the approach and tool Budget planning A budget planning tool to model a corporate desktop laptop refresh approach allowing for corporate growth and planned retirement of obsolete machines Downloadable spreadsheet Blog post describing the approach and tool Tweet Share this Twitter Google Facebook Email Print Contact information for Peter Kretzman Ph 425 835 3487 Email peter dot kretzman at gmail dot com Social media Blog post categories Anecdotes 21 Book reviews 7 Communication 23 Education 6 Estimating 9 Ethics 1 Financial 7 General 31 Humor 7 Industry trends 23 Metrics 5 Overview 10 People 12 Performance 1 Personal 20 Personal R D 2 Peterisms 4 Pillars of Purview 43 Process 38 Projects 17 Recommended reading 8 Role definition 29 Stakeholders 15 Strategy 9 Tools 6 Top 25 posts 25 Vendor management 10 Blogroll 10x Software Development Steve McConnell s blog Archimedius Greg Ness always interesting blogs on networking security and virtualization Bridging the Gap Bridging the Gap between Business and IT Laura Brandenburg s excellent blog on crafting business analyst practices to solve business problems CIO Dashboard Chris Curran blogs on IT management issues CTOvision com Bob Gourley s excellent blog looking at things from a lens of enterprise technology E commerce Wisdom Sally McKenzie is a former colleague of mine who

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/starting-point-downloadable-tools-for-the-quantitative-ctocio/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Peter Kretzman, Author at CTO/CIO Perspectives
    builds reuse of code and many others Oh yes and the use of estimates Or planning in general To be sure it s not just developers we see seasoned industry analysts for reputable firms actually proposing that to get better quality you need to fire your QA team And actually getting applauded by many for out of the box thinking Self inflicted wounds But let s talk about just one of these throw out the long used practice memes that pops up regularly dismissing the value of bug tracking How can anyone argue against tracking bugs Unbelievably they do and vigorously A number of years back I came into a struggling social networking company as their first CTO Among other issues I discovered that the dev team had basically stopped tracking bugs a year or two before and were proud of that Did that mean their software had no bugs Not when I talked to the business stakeholders who lamented that nearly every system was already bug riddled and getting worse by the release Why did the development team shun bug tracking That wasn t quite so clear Read more Tweet Filed Under Anecdotes Industry trends Process Tools By Peter Kretzman Leave a Comment The CIO and integrity this shouldn t be hard folks Tweet Surprising and disturbing IT related news crossed my Twitter feed last night a well known CIO is being sued for alleged fraud by his former firm Allegations are that this senior executive received kickbacks from vendors that he helped connect to the company where he served as CIO and vice president My purpose here isn t to comment on this individual case it s now in the courts information is still sketchy about the details and I feel that people are entitled to a presumption of innocence while the various legal actions run their course As Forbes columnist Ben Kepes wrote though this is one for the we knew these things happened but tried not to know about it department So let s broaden the topic to the overall issue of CIO ethics and integrity particularly with respect to financial matters As I ve written before the head of technology for many companies certainly all the firms I ve worked for stands at the rudder of a very large portion of the overall spend for that company IT infrastructure and systems spending taken broadly is often the second highest category after salaries for total annual outlay for a company The responsibility involved for the senior IT executive cannot be overstated Often when I ve come into a new CTO CIO position I ve discovered over the course of the natural archaeology that one performs in such a situation highly questionable business deals cut by my predecessors with outside vendors I ve raised my eyebrows and yes even occasionally shouted a bit at the incomprehensibility of various vendor arrangements I ve inherited Read more Tweet Filed Under Ethics General Industry trends Role definition By Peter Kretzman 2 Comments The case against NoEstimates the bottom line Tweet I ve now methodically presented the case against NoEstimates in three different lights from a common sense standpoint from the perspective of the solid reasons why estimates are useful and by examining the various frequent talking points used by NoEstimates advocates Looked at from any of these angles NoEstimates comes up way short on both its core ideas and business practicality Aside from these issues of substance let s look briefly at the behavior of the NoEstimates proponents Blunt as it may be here s my summary of the behaviors I ve seen across most NoEstimates posts and tweets Presenting and repeating via redundant tweets month after month fallacy riddled arguments consisting primarily of anecdotal horror stories jibes at evil management snide cartoons and vague declarations that there are better ways Providing little or no detail or concrete proposals on their approach relying for literally years now on stating that we re just exploring or there are better ways Consistently dodging substantive engagement with critics and at times openly questioning whether critics should even have a voice in the discussion If NoEstimates avoids engaging actively in the marketplace of ideas and debate why should their arguments be taken seriously Real progress in understanding any controversial topic requires we do more than state and restate our own views but actually engage with those who disagree Continuing to use discredited examples and statistics or even blatant misrepresentation of the stated views of recognized authorities to help prove their case Frequent use of epithets to describe NoEstimates critics trolls liars morons box of rocks and more I pointed out in my introduction that the lofty claims of the NoEstimates movement essentially that software development can and should be an exception to the natural useful and pervasive use of estimates in every other walk of life carry a heavy burden of proof Not only have they failed to meet that burden they ve barely attempted to at least not the way that most people normally set about justifying a specific stance on anything But aside from style let s return to the substance of the issue Here s my take as backed by specific examples over the course of these blog posts estimates are an important part of the process of collaboratively setting reasonable targets goals commitments Indeed whether estimates are explicit or implicit they re a reality I see them as an unavoidable and indispensable factor in business Read more Tweet Filed Under Estimating General Industry trends Process By Peter Kretzman 7 Comments The case against NoEstimates part 3 NoEstimates arguments and their weaknesses Tweet I ve spent the last two blog posts introducing the NoEstimates movement first discussing what it appears to espouse and presenting some initial reasons why I reject it I then covered the many solid reasons why it makes sense to use estimates in software development This time let s go through in detail the various arguments put forward

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/author/peter-kretzman/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Cringeworthy comments overheard in the IT trenches: the developers - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    appealing to their innate optimism or relying on your personal magnetic charm or relationship with them Demonstrable results are what count not your ability to sell them your personal representation of reality We focus on producing code not documentation My code is self documenting Just read my code it shows you exactly how the functionality works You must not be very technical I guess This is often said in defense when the stakeholder complains of not understanding how the software is intended to work To the stakeholder statements like the above translate to essentially the following we don t really care all that much whether or not you can USE the software We don t care about explaining it And we re pointing you to the code as an answer to your pesky question because we basically aren t interested in doing the hard work of translating the answer into clear business English Explaining what s going on apart from the code itself just isn t fun plus did we already say this it s hard work so we well we just don t care You may not think you re saying that but that s what stakeholders often hear when you say one of the above remarks Don t ever ask stakeholders to be at anywhere close to your level of technical knowledge in order for them to get an answer to a basic business question Don t ever ask them to read your code And certainly never tell them that any problem they re experiencing with running your software has to do with their supposedly deficient level of technical ability General denial and dismissal of problems bugs The system is actually up it s just that the users can t reach it It works just fine on my machine shrug That s not a bug The dollar amount is correct in the system it just shows up wrong on the screen None of the above when I ve overheard them in the wild has been stated with even the slightest touch of irony or self awareness Let s call them what they are excuses dodging of accountability and complete and staggering inability to see the situation from the user s point of view That s not a bug that s a feature That s not a bug that s a feature request Bugs aren t a quality measure an idealistic but sadly and inexcusably tone deaf way of stating that not all bugs are weighted the same in impact and import and that they are imperfectly and inconsistently gathered so simply counting them doesn t necessarily work well as a comparative measure But think here beyond the idealism what do you suppose stakeholders hear when they hear you say that bugs aren t a quality measure Do you really imagine that they ll be inclined to tune into your lengthy theoretical explanation i e what you really meant to say after that If you think about it you

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/2016/03/24/cringeworthy-comments-overheard-trenches-developers/ (2016-04-28)
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