Friday, March 08, 2002

Tidying Up. Today is one of those days when I feel as though I'm simultaneously juggling and trying to move forward. The problem is that for every two steps forward I'm being pushed one step back. Worse, some of the items I'm juggling are dropping. My solution is to take a deep breath, smell the roses and clear my mind. Before I enjoy the beautiful day here in Azusa, California, bathed in sunshine with the majestic San Gabriel Mountains as a backdrop, I want to share the fruits of my research during the past few days.

Manifestations. Kate Hartshorn's recent entry in Postcards from the Revolution is one of the clearest explanations of competitive intelligence I've read. Her supporting material on competitive intelligence, knowledge management and intellectual property law is overwhelming. Coincidently I was also reading about competitive intelligence earlier this week and want to contribute one more document to the impressive collection that Kate has shared: Applying Business Intelligence.

Directions. Mike has taken both weblogs into a direction that neither of us planned when we started this one and Postcards from the Revolution. This weblog was going to be a jumbled collection of documents and links that we wanted to share as we came across them in our research. Postcards from the Revolution was intended to be our soapbox from which we were going to preach professional improvement. Instead, both have become showcases for themes. The current theme in Postcards is the Zachman Framework, and the coming theme here is going to be policies, processes and procedures. That theme is good for a week of Mike's entries because he has much to share in the way of knowledge and experience on the topic.

Architecture. Some of the material I've amassed this week will support Mike's and Kate's entries. In particular, architecture, which plays nicely into Mike's Zachman Framework topic. The Action Guides for the Enterprise Architect, which I downloaded from Bredemeyer Consulting site, blends process and systems architecture into a coherent approach. Another source of architecture information that takes the same approach is Enterprise-Wide IT Architecture (EWITA).

Business Issues. Regardless of how deep we get into the nuts and bolts of technology we need to remain constantly aware of the business aspects. IT exists to enable business processes and to support users. Period. To that end I have four documents that will refocus attention on business issues:

  1. Winning the E-Race
  2. Making a Business Case for E-Commerce Project Selection
  3. E-Commerce Success Models
  4. Quality of Experience
On the Process Front. We never stray far from software engineering in this weblog, and I don't intend to make an exception today. Among the documents that were caught in my research net this week are:Additional documents include: a PowerPoint presentation on ISO 9000:2000, and the differences between it and the 1996 version, a best practice in the form of a PowerPoint presentation that describes SAIC's change management practices, and a Software Risk Management Guide in MS Word format.

Project Management. When projects are correctly managed careers light up. Ed Yourdon's 246-slide PowerPoint presentation titled, Managing Internet-Time Projects has advice that can propel you into the fast track. If, on the other hand, your career is looking shaky because of a project gone sour, Nightmare on Project X is a PowerPoint presentation that shows how to get projects back on track. It might just contain the redemption you're seeking.

Odds and Ends. I'm going to end with two documents that don't fit anywhere else: Introduction to Erlang B and C, which is essential to managing queues. You'll need to thoroughly understand the concept behing Erlangs if you model help desk staffing, telecommunications capacity and any other model that involves queues (including how many checkers are required in a supermarket for a given number of shoppers). If you're in QA you'll appreciate the two PowerPoint presentations on regression testing. They cover the process of regression testing, and how to prioritize regression test cases.

I'm off to enjoy the sun and the rest of the day.

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