Gerarchie, reti, decisioni

Peter Denning e Rick Hayes-Roth – Decision Making in very Large Networks – Comm ACM November 2006.

La creazione di reti operative in situazioni di crisi (es. tsunami in est asiatico, uragano Katrina a New Orleans) richiede un coordinamento decisionale rapido ed efficiente. Questa esigenza si scontra con il fatto che i partecipanti appartengono ad organizzazioni gerarchiche

Innovazione ICT in Italia

Da Computerworld Online, 19-02-2007:

“Sono stati annunciati i 20 finalisti (sui 70 nominati da 450 candidati) dello European Information and Communications Technology Prize 2007, il cui montepremi, di 700.000 euro, verrà condiviso da imprese realizzatrici di servizi e prodotti innoivativi in ambito ICT e delle tecnologie digitali. Si parla quindi di settori convergenti quali computer, media e comunicazione. I vincitori saranno ammunciato in occasione del CeBIT di Hannover il 16 marzo. I Paesi rappresentati sono Germania (con 7 finalisti), Francia(4), Austria (3), Svezia (2) e Finlandia, Israele, Norvegia e Rgno Unito (1 ciascuno).
I finalisti sono stati scelti in base al potenziale tecnologico e industriale. Organizzato da Euro CASE e supportato dalla Commissione Europea. Nel gruppo dei primi 70 c’era anche la milanese Gempliss.”

Project Management – Ivo Andric

Da “Il ponte sulla Drina” di Ivo Andric, Meridiani Mondadori 2001, pag. 592:

La primavera dell’anno in cui il visir prese la decisione di costruire il ponte, arrivarono a Visegrad i suoi uomini con il seguito per i preparativi necessari. Erano in molti, con cavalli, carri, macchinari di tutti i generi e tende. […].
Il loro capo era Abid-aga, uomo di fiducia del visir e responsabile della costruzione del ponte insieme a Tosun-efendija, l’architetto. (Di Abid-aga già prima del suo arrivo si diceva che fosse un uomo crudele, senza scrupoli.) Non appena si furono sistemati nelle tende sotto Mejdan, Abid-aga convocò le autorità locali e i notabili musulmani per discutere con loro sul da farsi. In realtà non vi fu discussione, perché parlò uno solo, Abid-aga.

‘Sono certo che prima del mio arrivo vi sono giunte voci sul mio conto, e so che non sono belle né piacevoli. Vi avranno sicuramente detto che esigo lavoro e obbedienza assoluta e sono pronto a frustare o a uccidere chiunque non lavori come si deve e non obbedisca senza sollevare obiezioni, che non conosco il significato di frasi come “non è possibile” e “non c’è”, che con me una testa può cadere anche per una parola insignificante, insomma che sono un uomo sanguinario e malvagio.
Voglio confermarvi che queste voci non sono né inventate né esagerate. E’ vero che sotto il mio tiglio non si trova ombra. Mi sono conquistato questa reputazione nel corso di lunghi anni di servizio, eseguendo fedelmente gli ordini del gran visir. A Dio piacendo eseguirò altrettanto bene il lavoro per cui sono stato inviato qui e spero che, quando avrò portato a termine la mia missione e sarò ripartito, le voci che mi seguiranno saranno anche peggiori e più terribili di quelle che sono giunte alle vostre orecchie.’

CIO Magazine – Postmodern Manifesto

CIO magazine 1 may 2006

The Postmodern Manifesto, by Christopher Koch http://www.cio.com/archive/050106/pomo.html

In a 2005 SIM survey of skills that CIOs expect to most value in their IT staffs over the next three years, project management led the list, followed closely by company, functional and industry knowledge. Other skills in demand included business process reengineering, user relations management, negotiation, change management, communication and managing expectations. Only two technical skills (systems analysis and systems design) made the top 15—and both of those skills focus more on architecture and process than on hard-core programming.

[…]
To some extent, the deconstruction of IT has already occurred, especially in big companies where the large scale of IT and the separation of IT functions such as help desk, application maintenance and some programming have made them candidates for outsourcing. More and more jobs in IT will become components in a distributed services supply chain modeled on today’s distributed manufacturing supply chains.

IT departments already have undergone a structural shift. The number of programmers employed in the United States has dropped by 25 percent since its peak in 2000, even though the total number of IT workers has increased slightly since then, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In our “State of the CIO 2006” survey, 76 percent of respondents said they outsource application development, maintenance or support—more than double the next highest category.

In one respect, the distributed services supply chain model is actually creating more work. As pieces of the IT supply chain break off and become more specialized, the need for coordination of the pieces increases. That means the number of internal jobs dependent upon external people is increasing. This shift is reflected by the new emphasis in IT departments on relationship management and project management.
Economists call these kinds of skills tacit work, which requires the ability to analyze information, grapple with ambiguity and solve problems, often based on experience. Tacit interactions are complex and require interaction (such as managing a software development project) rather than being simple and solitary (fielding help desk calls with a script, for instance).

Tacit jobs have been growing three times faster than employment in the entire national economy, according to consultancy McKinsey, and they make up 70 percent of all U.S. jobs created since 1998 and 41 percent of the total labor market in the United States. These roles track pretty closely with the categories where the Department of Labor says IT employment has made the biggest gains since 2000: application engineers, systems engineers and network analysts.

Glass – Standish Chaos Report

Communications of the ACM, October 2006

Robert L. Glass The Standish Report: Does It Really Describe a Software Crisis?

Most academic papers and guru reports cite the same source for their crisis concern—a study published by the Standish Group more than a decade ago, a study that reported huge failure rates, 70% or more, and minuscule success rates, a study that condemned software practice by the title they employed for the published version of their study, The Chaos Report.
So the Standish Chaos Report could be considered fundamental to most claims of crisis.

[…]
Several researchers, interested in pursuing the origins of this key data, have contacted Standish and asked for a description of their research process, a summary of their latest findings, and in general a scholarly discussion of the validity of the findings. They raise those issues because most research studies conducted by academic and industry researchers arrive at data largely inconsistent with the Standish findings.

Let me say that again. Objective research study findings do not, in general, support those
Standish conclusions.

[…]
Standish, please tell us whether the data we have all been quoting for more than a decade really means what some have been saying it means. It is too important a topic to have such a high degree of uncertainty associated with it.

Boehm – Requirements Volatility

Communications of the ACM, October 2006

Barry Boehm One-size-fits-all Methods: the Wrong Solution to new Problems

Requirements Volatility ratings for stable embedded devices are still in the 0.1% to 0.3% per-month range, but the counterpart ratings for rapidly changing competition-driven applications are often in the 10% to 30% per-month range.

Level 5 CMM – India

Communications of the ACM, October 2006

Michael Cusumano, Envisioning the Future of India’s Software Services Business:

In terms of process maturity, the Indian companies are difficult to beat as well: It is well known that, as of last year’s count, 80 of the World’s 117 SEI CMM Level-5 companies are based in India.

Dilbert – project management

Dilbert su PMI Journal (3-11-06 Scott Adams.)

Boss: Yesterday I had a great meeting about project Wombat.
Dilbert: What?! I’ve been managing that project for six months! How can you have a meeting without inviting me? !!
Greta: Have you noticed that meetings go smoother without any knowledge or expertise?
Boss (very small font): Kinda.