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Hollis Tibbetts

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Top Stories by Hollis Tibbetts

You'd think that we'd be smarter about IT projects by now. You think that we'd be tired of the horrifying rates of failure, and the crushing consequences of those failures. But if you are not spending more time understanding your customers - and developing tightly scoped requirements to make great software to meet their real needs, not some imagined "needs mash-up" cobbled together by the squeakiest wheels in your organization - you're part of the problem, and you're accepting failure as an ever-present option. It's time to stop the madness. It's time to reduce the waste of multi-million dollar projects that get scrapped1, it's time to reduce public IT scandals (see a recent lawsuit claiming racketeering by SAP and Deloitte)2, it's time to step away from billions in cost overruns inpart from "inadequate requirements management."3 Most IT executives are familiar with ... (more)

Legacy Modernization

IT exists to support the business - and in best-of-class IT departments, this truism is embedded deeply into the departmental culture. Yet in so many cases, this self-evident truth gets lost in the mayhem of building, maintaining and supporting the myriad of complicated and brittle legacy application systems that have been put together over the years to support the enterprise's business. Legacy Application Modernization is a transformative initiative that has the potential to not only change the way IT supports the business, but to change the very nature and culture of IT. IT Cu... (more)

Software Quality Best Practices: Healthy Software

Consider the following scenario-typical in many application development organizations. A major new release of an application has just gone into production. Although the development and QA teams endured many late nights of coding and testing, and consumed large quantities of delivered pizza, the project missed its ship date. Still, customers are happy with the product and are giving positive feedback. By many definitions, the team has produced a quality product. Then, a new, large business opportunity requires the rapid implementation of a significant new feature in the product. ... (more)

Worst Product Management Practices: Part 1

I’ve kept this tattered Dilbert cartoon strip on my office wall since 1996.  It’d be a lot funnier if it weren’t so true.  Every marketer strives to be sales-driven.   However, that doesn’t mean that you should embrace a product management discipline that includes changing the product every time a new sales opportunity surfaces In my past experiences, 90% of those “if you just change your product, we’ll buy it” sales opportunities end up imploding by the time the changes in the product are complete, anyways. Worst Product Management Practice #1: constantly shifting product priori... (more)

Steve Jobs: Software Hero

I’ve been using Steve Jobs and Apple as examples in my software blog dedicated to the creation of Great Software. Although Steve Jobs is thought of as being the Mac/iPhone/iPad/iPod guy, he’s also a software hero. At least he’s one of my software heroes. Steve Jobs’ Apple doesn’t just build products. They understand the market and the consumers better than anyone else. And then they create something that defines and totally owns that market. Their deep understanding of the needs, wants and priorities of the consumer and their “make no compromises” approach allows them to do this... (more)