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  • Personal Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    step back and think about why what exactly makes me so resistant to the notion of QR codes And the answer runs deeper than just QR codes per se It turns out as I thought about it that the story surrounding QR codes represents for the modern CIO or CTO kind of a horrible blend the worst aspects of technology advocacy combined with the worst aspects of marketing This post is an attempt to explain those broader implications Read more Tweet Filed Under Industry trends Personal By Peter Kretzman 7 Comments One CIO s lessons learned in managing others Tweet Here s a shocker none of us has failed to fail at times We ve all screwed things up on occasion and I m no exception And that s especially true when it comes to managing others which I believe is very much a learned skill In that spirit there are a number of things about people management call them reminders admonitions lessons that I d especially want to tell my younger self if I had a time machine Each one arises from a situation where I ve learned a lesson the hard way over the years either from mishandling something myself or from watching a peer colleague or my own manager mishandle it As the saying goes Good judgment comes from experience experience comes from bad judgment So here are a few things to keep in mind when managing others These lessons have arisen from largely IT situations but their scope and impact is hardly limited to IT They ve become a capsule summary of how I want to manage and how I like to see people around me manage others In fact when I encounter an instance of bad management or think back on my own missteps I can almost always point to a deficiency in one or more of these specific areas as the underlying root cause In no particular order Read more Tweet Filed Under Anecdotes People Personal Pillars of Purview Role definition Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment Bears hedgehogs and Gladys Knight parables of IT leadership Tweet For years I ve had two framed items hung on my office wall throughout my various stints as CIO CTO etc I like to think of them both individually and together as reflecting certain truths or ironies I encounter as a technology executive particularly in the realm of leading others They serve as cautions to me of leadership potentially gone awry So let s talk about what they show The bear and the hedgehog Vielleicht kannst du auch mal was machen The first is a decades old cartoon taken from a German calendar preserved from the years I lived in Berlin Two animals are playing on a seesaw One is huge and bear like the other a small critter like a hedgehog As you d expect the bear outweighs the hedgehog who dangles on the high end of the seesaw The large one says to

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/personal/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Personal R&D Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    that such efforts won t provide you with useful CIO level insights Even a little goes a long way This post describes one example of that as a case study Read more Tweet Filed Under Education Personal Personal R D By Peter Kretzman 17 Comments Fits and starts staying tech savvy as a CIO Tweet Just a quick personal post this time I was recently interviewed by CIO Magazine on the topic of How CIOs Can Stay Tech Savvy Since as is normal only a portion of my conversation with the reporter actually made it into the article I thought I d expand briefly on the topic here My remarks were two fold consistent with what I ve written before on this all important topic It s critical for the IT executive to keep his or her hand in by doing some hands on work and experimentation with new technologies Your purpose in doing this hands on work is not to become a viable technical resource in the area but rather to get some deeper understanding than you d obtain by just reading an article or two As mentioned in the article I estimate that I spend 5 10 hours a month doing this kind of hands on dabbling sometimes with more success than others Let s look at the kinds of things I do large and small Read more Tweet Filed Under Education Personal Personal R D Role definition Tagged With CIO Education experimenting new technologies Personal self learning 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

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/personalrandd/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Peterisms Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    Stakeholders By Peter Kretzman 3 Comments IT States of Denial and more Peterisms Tweet Yes I admit it s an old and hackneyed play on words but I ll repeat it anyway in the course of my career I ve worked in IT positions in the fine States of New York California and Washington but I d have to say that the most frequent state I ve encountered in IT matters has been the State of Denial It seems to be a common trend up and down the levels of a company to engage in a bit of willful self delusion about IT matters practices outcomes As I thought about this I realized that several of my key Peterisms these being sayings that come out of my mouth again and again as already chronicled here and here have evolved as a response to this persistent theme of states of denial So let s talk about three more of those Peterisms in that light Read more Tweet Filed Under Communication Peterisms By Peter Kretzman 3 Comments More Peterisms lessons learned on IT practices Tweet More pithy sayings that at least in my view I reuse in an attempt to succinctly express key concepts and lessons Or perhaps in many cases to annoy my staff via tireless repetition I have several dozen of these sayings most likely I haven t actually counted and for many of them I can no longer remember their origin The ones this time around though are attributable You are free to draw conclusions or insights about my cultural values from the breadth of sources represented here Aside from the theme of wildly disparate cultural derivation though these apothegms have another common thread to them they tend to come to mind as you go through the standard back and forth negotiations with business stakeholders about features projects workload Read more Tweet Filed Under Communication Personal Peterisms By Peter Kretzman 3 Comments End of year Peterisms for the CTO CIO Tweet One habit I ve picked up as a CTO CIO a habit that usually comes out in the many meetings that make up my work week is that of leading through aphorism Over the years I ve accumulated a number of pithy sayings that like the proverbial picture being worth a thousand words succinctly express key concepts and lessons that I ve learned throughout my career And I pass those on sometimes repeatedly My staff in more than a few of my jobs have started to call these sayings Peterisms although I certainly can t claim that I ve invented most of them So for a light hearted end of year blog entry in what may become a recurring flavor of post here s a few of them with some discussion about what they connote in my personal Darmok like management code Read more Tweet Filed Under Communication Peterisms Contact information for Peter Kretzman Ph 425 835 3487 Email peter dot kretzman at gmail dot com Social media

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/peterisms/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Pillars of Purview Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    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 commonly by the NoEstimates advocates in their opposition to estimates and in their explanation of their approach Full disclosure I ve attempted to include the major NoEstimates arguments but this won t be a balanced presentation by any means I find these arguments all seriously flawed and I ll explain why in each case Here we go point by point Estimates aren t accurate and can t be established with certainty Let s use Ron Jeffries statement as an example of this stance Estimates are difficult When requirements are vague and it seems that they always are then the best conceivable estimates would also be very vague Accurate estimation becomes essentially impossible Even with clear requirements and it seems that they never are it is still almost impossible to know how long something will take because we ve never done it before But accurate is simply the wrong standard to apply to estimates It d be great if they could be totally accurate but it should be understood at all times that by nature they probably are not They are merely a team s best shot using the best knowledge available at the time and they re used to establish an initial meaningful plan that can be monitored and adjusted moving forward They re a tool not an outcome As such the benefits of estimates and their contributions to the planning and tracking process exist even without them being strictly accurate per se These benefits were itemized in my last post Estimates can t predict the future Knowing the future precisely isn t what estimating is about actually It s a misunderstanding and a disservice to think it is Here s why Read more Tweet Filed Under Estimating General Industry trends Process By Peter Kretzman 5 Comments The case against NoEstimates part 2 why estimates matter Tweet Last time I provided an introduction to a very odd and very vocal recent movement known as NoEstimates which seeks ways to reduce or eliminate the use of estimates in software development I started off my discussion of it by going through some basic common sense business reasons to reject it Those reasons for rejection boiled down to estimates are flat out natural ubiquitous and unavoidable in practical life and in business expressing general reluctance to do them unfortunately reinforces the often negative perception of IT people as aloof uncooperative and unsavvy about business imperatives Let s look now at the many other solid reasons to keep estimates in the software development and project management toolbox Estimates help in project selection over a wider time frame and they assist in filling in a project portfolio evenly to align with overall team company capacity Specifically companies often need to determine which projects to sink time and company resources into e g needing to pick just three out of a list of fifteen proposed projects for a given time period This is a common and recurring dilemma in every company I ve ever worked at where demand for various business functionality always exceeds the supply of resources to fulfill it In such a ubiquitous scenario what makes anyone think that the anticipated cost and duration for delivering each potential project should not figure into the decision process that selects the vital few from among the many choices Why would you possibly rule out considering those factors to the best of your ability Yes of course they should be weighed along with value risk and other factors but cost and schedule will always be among the key considerations to juggle You re thinking that assessing probable cost and schedule can t be done because you re uncomfortable with uncertainty and perhaps you might get it wrong I m going to be blunt then you re not ready to play strategically in the business arena Estimates reduce overreliance on experimenting with red herring projects Nothing is wrong with selective and judicious experimentation on a small scale focused on learning and adjusting but the universal NoEstimates answer to the project selection conundrum is to just start Well simply as a practical matter you can t just start 15 different projects as an experiment and gather enough useful consistent information on all of them to feed into your decision meaningfully Even if you could and did you d still have to use your gut i e you d have to estimate based on what that information is telling you since very few of the unknowns associated with each of the potential projects would have been eliminated via the short experiment The NoEstimates panacea of story slicing doesn t help you here at this up front stage unless and even if you story slice the entire project which would be BDUF unknowns will almost certainly continue to lurk in your backlog some big some small There s simply no way around it at some point if you want to choose purposefully among competing options of similar value you have to take a shot at determining what each project is likely to take cost schedule dependencies despite imperfect information You don t like it that there s a possibility that you might get it wrong and pick the wrong projects Bluntly again then you re not ready to play strategically in the business arena Read more Tweet Filed Under Estimating Industry trends Process By Peter Kretzman Leave a Comment The case against NoEstimates part 1 introduction and common sense Tweet In the immortal words of Pogo we have met the enemy and he is

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/pillars-of-purview/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Projects Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    has somehow always reminded me of the Will Rogers quote Don t gamble take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up then sell it If it don t go up don t buy it In other words with big projects by the time you realize it s failed it s pretty much too late Let s think a bit about the reasons why and what we can do to change that First off I ve never seen a big project fail specifically because of technology Ever And few IT veterans will disagree with me Instead failures nearly always go back to poor communication murky goals inadequate management or mismatched expectations People issues in other words So much for that admittedly standard observation But as the old saying goes everyone complains about the weather but no one does anything about it What then can we actually do to mitigate project failure that occurs because of these commonplace gaps Of course that s actually a long running theme of this blog and several other key blogs that cover similar topics see my Blogroll to the right of this post Various hot stove lessons have taught most of us the value indeed necessity of fundamental approaches and tools such as basic project management stakeholder involvement and communication executive sponsorship and the like Those approaches provide some degree of early warning and an opportunity to regroup they often prevent relatively minor glitches from escalating into real problems Read more Tweet Filed Under Pillars of Purview Projects Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 26 Comments Simple more practical approaches to actual resource allocation Tweet Anyone ever tell you that a simpler approach can often work better than a more complex one Whoever it was it probably wasn t a project management software vendor But simplicity has its merits and I d like to point out a few of these when it comes to resource allocation Project management at its core is largely about resource allocation and this gets tricky when you have multiple projects going on as most organizations do Almost as much as I ve seen organizations drop the ball entirely on cross project resource allocation essentially simply pretending that there will be no contention issues I ve seen organizations go to the other extreme they dive into the depths of intense Project Management in capital letters taken too far too fast this approach can spin up to a high level of rigor and overhead involving often expensive software packages precise low level estimates diligent collection of actuals and ornate project calculations of hours burned and hours earned At the end there you stand like Goethe s Faust no wiser than before Read more Tweet Filed Under Pillars of Purview Projects Tools Top 25 posts Tagged With approximating balance complexity PPM program management project management simple By Peter Kretzman 11 Comments IT transparency is good But how transparent should you be Tweet A few years back

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/pillars-of-purview/projects/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Recommended reading Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    lending perspective and insight into all parties motivations and interests I looked forward for many months to the release last week of The Phoenix Project A Novel about IT DevOps and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim Kevin Behr and George Spafford after meeting and chatting with Gene Kim at a conference back in May of last year I was greatly impressed at the time with Gene s general demeanor enthusiasm and articulateness He gave a rip roaring presentation at the conference on ITIL at Ludicrous Speeds Rugged DevOps I recommend seeing him speak if you get the chance I felt certain that his long promised novel of IT would be a worthy addition to the collection of works in this category Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Overview Recommended reading Role definition Strategy By Peter Kretzman 2 Comments Valuable vs fun learning to love IT Asset Management Tweet My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength Michael Jordan As with so much in life so it goes with IT the parts that are fun aren t always valuable and the parts that are valuable aren t always fun Let s talk about a hugely valuable side of IT that isn t really much fun at all And when it s not fun that means that it s often neglected and thus turns into a great weakness IT assets hardware software systems services represent a major investment for most firms today For new economy companies in particular the cost of such resources both bringing them on board and maintaining them as corporate assets often exceeds expenditures in any area other than wages and benefits It s astonishing then that firms not to mention IT management specifically don t always embrace the ongoing hard work required to maximize the value of those expenditures and minimize the corporate risks involved All too often I see IT asset management ITAM neglected by IT executives because well it involves a discouraging amount of drudgery to do it right especially over the long haul This neglect occurs even more often when an executive succumbs to the latest faddish push for IT to focus on strategy and innovation to the detriment of fundamentals Read more Tweet Filed Under Anecdotes Book reviews Financial Process Recommended reading Vendor management By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment Novels of IT Part 3 Adventures of an IT Leader Tweet My long quest for an insightful broad and practically applicable novel of IT finally met with resounding success once I got my hands on the outstanding book that is the subject of this post Adventures of an IT Leader by Robert D Austin Richard L Nolan and Shannon O Donnell To recap I was looking for a book that was both reasonably engaging as a novel and one that accurately portrayed a broad swath of the inner workings nuances and personality types that are typically part of the landscape of IT in today s world Reading the book should provide a window into common dilemmas and disagreements regarding IT issues lending perspective and insight into all parties motivations and interests See my earlier posts on Chris Potts FruITion and John Hughes Haunting the CEO Again my views aside I should emphasize that all three of these novels of IT are worth reading and forming your own opinion Adventures of an IT Leader comes by far the closest to meeting the criteria I had outlined for a novel of IT It opens with an executive Jim Barton being unexpectedly tapped as CIO by the new CEO of his firm after long and successful stints managing other areas of the company In short Barton isn t an IT person by training or experience In fact one reason for his selection as the new CIO is that he has long been the foremost critic of the IT function at his company And now unexpectedly he has to walk a few miles in IT s moccasins so to speak The novel then follows Barton and his numerous IT challenges and crises for about a year Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Overview Pillars of Purview Recommended reading Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment Novels of IT Part 2 Haunting the CEO Tweet Last time I introduced this series by pointing out that reading what I call novels of IT could serve a few very useful purposes for those of us who work in and around information technology In fact I presented a number of criteria that come to mind when answering the implicit question of why anyone should bother to read a novel of IT Ideally it s because such novels at their best can do the following provide a degree of engagement and entertainment in making their points provide a realistic insight in a show not tell kind of way into what motivates the typical players in these business scenarios help all factions inside and outside IT come to see the other side s perspective and arrive at deeper understandings of common problems and disagreements allow the CIO to hand the novel to his or her CEO or CFO and trust that everyone s reading of it will help reach common ground in how to collectively and collaboratively approach the company s goals There are of course pitfalls involved in constructing such a novel the foremost of which is falling into blatant stereotypes most notably the nerdy CIO who clings to technology and can t see a larger role for himself or herself The book I covered in my first post on IT novels Chris Potts FruITion not only fell into this trap in spades but took it to a whole new dimension painting IT in general as basically no longer needed as a separate discipline and as having become so trivial as to not need an executive at all This

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/recommended-reading/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Strategy Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    I introduced this series by pointing out that reading what I call novels of IT could serve a few very useful purposes for those of us who work in and around information technology In fact I presented a number of criteria that come to mind when answering the implicit question of why anyone should bother to read a novel of IT Ideally it s because such novels at their best can do the following provide a degree of engagement and entertainment in making their points provide a realistic insight in a show not tell kind of way into what motivates the typical players in these business scenarios help all factions inside and outside IT come to see the other side s perspective and arrive at deeper understandings of common problems and disagreements allow the CIO to hand the novel to his or her CEO or CFO and trust that everyone s reading of it will help reach common ground in how to collectively and collaboratively approach the company s goals There are of course pitfalls involved in constructing such a novel the foremost of which is falling into blatant stereotypes most notably the nerdy CIO who clings to technology and can t see a larger role for himself or herself The book I covered in my first post on IT novels Chris Potts FruITion not only fell into this trap in spades but took it to a whole new dimension painting IT in general as basically no longer needed as a separate discipline and as having become so trivial as to not need an executive at all This time I ll discuss John Hughes recent and excellent contribution to this genre Haunting the CEO Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Recommended reading Role definition Strategy Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 5 Comments Novels of IT Part 1 Turtles All The Way Down Tweet Novels are harder than most technology oriented people typically realize The backbone of a good novel is character development meaning that the character learns and grows which makes it easy for especially amateur novelists to start off with a character who is frankly little more than a one dimensional dolt This is an even more dangerous pitfall when it s a novel of IT the temptation is almost unavoidable for the author to create as protagonist a stereotypical technology leader clueless as to what is really important or how to be effective who is then gradually enlightened by wiser individuals as the novel progresses There are three IT related novels I m aware of all relatively recent that fall essentially along those lines fruITion Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology by Chris D Potts Adventures of an IT Leader by Robert D Austin Richard L Nolan and Shannon O Donnell Haunting the CEO by John Hughes All of them are worth reading but I had majorly different reactions to each While I d intended to cover all three in one blog post

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/strategy/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Top 25 posts Archives - CTO/CIO Perspectives
    A number of these roll across my Twitter stream every day But one such meme rises so high to the top that it has to be the sole focus here And that is the much repeated death of the CIO meme coupled as it is currently with dreamy visions of the world brought to us by the consumerization of IT and the cloud They re all linked at least in many pundit eyes Here s the gist of their argument users can go out and get their own technology now they don t need IT to do it for them End users are now IT savvy and can fend for themselves They ll bring their own devices BYOD they don t need or want IT to provide devices for them They ll procure the services they need and want from the various SaaS offerings in the cloud or from outsourced vendors and they ll handle it all themselves All this ultimately gets not only expressed as the question of who needs a CIO anymore it goes even further who needs an IT department at all anymore Says one article If IT does not provide the end user with the infrastructure they need the latter can rent it by the hour or month from companies like Rackspace or Amazon All you need is a credit card and no approval from IT Other CIO thought leader articles feature astonishing blanket statements like With the consumerization of IT consumers can create value for themselves and the enterprise using technology that costs the enterprise nothing And people even take this so far as arguing that the CIO at this point should just leave technology up to the VARs Let me be clear once again this frequent linking of cloud and IT consumerization to the looming demise of the CIO and IT is not just misguided but actually gets it completely backwards In fact I argue that IT consumerization and the cloud will actually elevate the importance of IT within a company as both a service and a strategic focus Read more Tweet Filed Under Role definition Strategy Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment Novels of IT Part 3 Adventures of an IT Leader Tweet My long quest for an insightful broad and practically applicable novel of IT finally met with resounding success once I got my hands on the outstanding book that is the subject of this post Adventures of an IT Leader by Robert D Austin Richard L Nolan and Shannon O Donnell To recap I was looking for a book that was both reasonably engaging as a novel and one that accurately portrayed a broad swath of the inner workings nuances and personality types that are typically part of the landscape of IT in today s world Reading the book should provide a window into common dilemmas and disagreements regarding IT issues lending perspective and insight into all parties motivations and interests See my earlier posts on Chris Potts FruITion and John Hughes Haunting the CEO Again my views aside I should emphasize that all three of these novels of IT are worth reading and forming your own opinion Adventures of an IT Leader comes by far the closest to meeting the criteria I had outlined for a novel of IT It opens with an executive Jim Barton being unexpectedly tapped as CIO by the new CEO of his firm after long and successful stints managing other areas of the company In short Barton isn t an IT person by training or experience In fact one reason for his selection as the new CIO is that he has long been the foremost critic of the IT function at his company And now unexpectedly he has to walk a few miles in IT s moccasins so to speak The novel then follows Barton and his numerous IT challenges and crises for about a year Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Overview Pillars of Purview Recommended reading Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 1 Comment Novels of IT Part 2 Haunting the CEO Tweet Last time I introduced this series by pointing out that reading what I call novels of IT could serve a few very useful purposes for those of us who work in and around information technology In fact I presented a number of criteria that come to mind when answering the implicit question of why anyone should bother to read a novel of IT Ideally it s because such novels at their best can do the following provide a degree of engagement and entertainment in making their points provide a realistic insight in a show not tell kind of way into what motivates the typical players in these business scenarios help all factions inside and outside IT come to see the other side s perspective and arrive at deeper understandings of common problems and disagreements allow the CIO to hand the novel to his or her CEO or CFO and trust that everyone s reading of it will help reach common ground in how to collectively and collaboratively approach the company s goals There are of course pitfalls involved in constructing such a novel the foremost of which is falling into blatant stereotypes most notably the nerdy CIO who clings to technology and can t see a larger role for himself or herself The book I covered in my first post on IT novels Chris Potts FruITion not only fell into this trap in spades but took it to a whole new dimension painting IT in general as basically no longer needed as a separate discipline and as having become so trivial as to not need an executive at all This time I ll discuss John Hughes recent and excellent contribution to this genre Haunting the CEO Read more Tweet Filed Under Book reviews General Recommended reading Role definition Strategy Top 25 posts By Peter Kretzman 20 Comments Can a CIO be successful without IT experience Define

    Original URL path: http://www.peterkretzman.com/category/top-25-post/ (2016-04-28)
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