Don't Be Seduced By Metrics

Good business leaders understand the importance of establishing key metrics to measure effectiveness and efficiency of delivery against organizational goals and initiatives. Key word here "metrics" as opposed to "metric", singular. There are some obvious ones such as: revenue, customer satisfaction, quality, etc. Similarly, in order to develop and sustain a successful organization, it is critical not to just consistently monitor, but to act on changes in business performance indicated by the metrics - the real value of measurement being its impact on how we act on what we know - using experience, knowledge, and judgment to gain insight. Some considerations for measurements:

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Risk Management: The Benefits of Proactive Behavior

Uncertainty is everywhere - in markets, in budgets, in boardrooms, and in customer requirements. In fact, "uncertainty" has joined "change" as the only constants. Uncertainty means risk, and that means you are surrounded by risk. Fortunately, every project manager, program manager, portfolio manager, engineer, and team lead has an incredibly powerful tool to help them deal with uncertainty. That tool is risk management.

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Put Security Into a Realistic Perspective

You might have heard that National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently published a new Cybersecurity Framework for critical infrastructure. The framework is not perfect, but it sets the stage for further improvements to protect critical assets. Even though some of us believe this is progress, keep in mind, there are and always will be detractors who feel that another "

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Understanding ITIL and the Service Lifecycle from a "Non-IT" Perspective - Part 5

Over the course of the last month, we've had a great time at Harbaugh's restaurant. As a reminder, I created Harbaugh's Restaurant to help readers understand the ITIL Service Lifecycle in relatable, "non-IT" terms. The owner, Jim Harbaugh, and his staff (Jerry Rice and company) have gone through the first four stages of the Service Lifecycle, bringing us to the final stage, Continual Service Improvement. Let's briefly review the first four stages:

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Software Cost Estimation: Why an Accurate Cost Estimate is Essential

Do you know your return on investment (ROI) for modifying current software applications, or a new software project? I'll bet you don't. Even if you do, I would wager that you are not as comfortable or confident with that number as you think you should be. Why is this important? Simply because: Information Technology continues to influence the future growth and competitive advantage of nearly all industries now - and in the foreseeable future.

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Successful Organizational Change and a Rule to Live By

Casey Stengal was an American Major League Baseball outfielder and later became a manager who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966. The baseball almanac has an entire page devoted to Casey Stengal quotes. One of my favorites is: "The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengal.

How does this apply to OCM?

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Improve Project Intelligence: Know What You Need to Know

There are several unhealthy management scenarios that may befall a project when it decides to invest resources towards tracking cost, schedule, and performance. The catalyst for these situations arising is largely dependent on the maturity of the project's management processes and the proficiency of the individuals responsible for implementing those processes.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started With Security Governance

If the word "

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Cask Presented at ICEAA Central VA Chapter

Brad Ellis of Cask spoke at the ICEAA Central VA Chapter Meeting on February 20th. He discussed "Analysis of Joint Strike Fighter Cost Growth," as featured in the Winter Edition of The Estimator.

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Understanding ITIL and the Service Lifecycle from a "Non-IT" Perspective - Part 4

Welcome back to Harbaugh's! In case this is your first time stopping by, the last several weeks we've been learning about the different stages of the Service Lifecycle in "non-IT" terms, to help someone who is unfamiliar with ITIL conceptualize the Service Lifecycle. In order to do that, we have gone through the first three ITIL Service Lifecycle stages: Service Strategy, Service Design, and Service Transition by dining at our favorite restaurant, "Harbaugh's". In the Service Transition stage - we trained employees, built, tested, released, and deployed the services (or menu offerings) that we designed in preparation for moving us into the fourth stage of the Service Lifecycle, Service Operation. Now, we eat!

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Understanding ITIL and the Service Lifecycle from a "Non-IT" Perspective - Part 3

The last couple of weeks, we have learned about the first two phases of the Service Lifecycle in "non-IT" terms. In case you're just joining us, we are comparing each phase of the ITIL Service Lifecycle to the different aspects of the dining experience at a restaurant. For the purpose of this series, the restaurant in review is called "Harbaugh's" (after Jim Harbaugh - the NFL's greatest coach). At this point, Jim and his team have developed strategy and have designed his restaurant (service, food, and atmosphere) according to his requirements and desires. Now lets move into the third phase of the Service Lifecycle, Service Transition...

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CIO Summit on IT Governance

Jason Rosenfeld of Cask has been invited to participate in theCIO Summit on IT Governance where he will be discussing the importance and guidelines for effective IT Management.

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People, Process, Technology and INFORMATION: The four components of a successful business strategy

A few weeks ago, a fellow Cooper (Portfolio and Project Management SME) and I (Enterprise Architect) were enjoying some good, Cooper-colloquy regarding the role that data and information play in organizational strategy. The following day, he forwarded me an invite to participate in a LinkedIn group discussion. The discussion started with one of the participants stating that Enterprise Architects need to have a better appreciation for the value and importance of information in regards to strategic transformation.

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