20 July 2016

Not so fast!

I recently noticed that I have been using @CIOPortfolio for 5 years now and that got me thinking about what has changed for CIOs over that time. Although digital technology is renowned for its frenetic pace of innovation (here we go again!) you could argue that not much has changed. Surprisingly, that is a terrifically useful insight for CIOs.

2 July 2016

Beyond Agile Delivery

Photo credit: Mike Baird
You could be forgiven for thinking that the agile movement is taking over the world. For example, Amazon is famously agile and because it can make changes to its software every second it can maintain its lead in existing markets whilst conquering new ones. But look more carefully and, of course, things are more complicated than that. In many respects, leading digital businesses are not as agile as they seem. 

7 May 2016

Are we there yet?

Screenshot of the survey app
Thanks to the 100 or so people who have taken a look at the IT Portfolio survey app so far. I am still looking for more feedback so that I can improve both the content of the survey and the way the app works. If you want to help just pick your favourite phone/tablet/PC, point your browser at beta.api.cioportfolio.co.uk and start moving the sliders around with your finger/stylus/mouse. The app looks best on a large tablet but I have used it on a compact mobile phone held in landscape mode. Let me have feedback by adding a comment below or you can get in touch via Twitter or LinkedIn.


Thanks for the feedback on the app so far. I have updated the links in this post to point at the new version and will retire the old one shortly. Although not strictly necessary the new version is serverless (using AWS Lambda) and I will blog about the migration later.

3 March 2016

Breaking free from the tyranny of time

This is quite a long post so here is the 30-second version:

  • organising services around calendars and clocks is generally a bad idea
  • it is much better to organise around outcomes and risks
  • this is now a practical option because of new technology
  • CIOs can take the lead and help the whole enterprise.

Sarah Wilkinson, CTO for the UK Home Office, recently wrote a post about breaking away from some long held traditions in IT. The article includes some great advice but I think we need to go further. Sarah explains that setting a single, arbitrary timetable for strategy and other IT processes creates issues because the pace of change varies across different parts of an organisation and over time. She suggests that CIOs should monitor what is going on and keep resetting the timetable for IT Strategy to fit. This is better than the traditional IT approach but why not drop the timetable altogether? Leading organisations are shifting away from operating according to predefined procedures and set routines and, instead, are providing more flexible services which focus on outcomes and adapt to risk. We should do the same for IT.

9 February 2016

Show me the money

Don't expect any return on investment in IT

Earlier this week, during a short twitter exchange with @dhinchcliffe, I decided to write a more substantial post about why your IT department needs to stop chasing its own agenda. This will be an easier case to make if you realise that IT investments and IT projects generally don't make any sense. Rather than try to persuade you of this (no doubt you will already have an opinion about this) let me share a tool I use all the time and challenge you to show me where I am going wrong.

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