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Hollis Tibbetts

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Top Stories by Hollis Tibbetts

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. The tired and over-worked development team struggles with how, or even if, it can meet the new requirement. They are concerned that the new feature will break the existing product and predict a lengthy development cycle. Schedule overruns, tired staff, and difficulty in changing or adding f... (more)

Twenty-Thousand Men Pregnant Because of Bad Data

Nearly 20,000 British men were pregnant in 2009 and 2010 - according to the UK's National Health System. 8,000 of them had office appointments with their gynecologists, and a total of 17,000 of them were admitted to hospitals to undergo various obstetric services related to their pregnancies. As a big believer in equality across all genders, faiths and genetic backgrounds - I was initially very enthusiastic about this medical breakthrough. But my excitement was short-lived as I shortly found out that it was simply a matter of bad data introduced as data were manually re-entered f... (more)

$3 Trillion Problem: Three Best Practices for Today's Dirty Data Pandemic

In survey after survey, about half of IT executives consistently agree that data quality and data consistency is one of the biggest roadblocks to them getting full value from their data. This has been consistently true all since the Chinese invented the abacus. I suspect it will be true long after quantum computing has solved every other problem that humanity faces.   Incorrect, inconsistent, fraudulent and redundant data cost the U.S. economy over $3 Trillion a year - an astounding figure that is over twice the amount of the 2011 Federal Deficit. Similarly, many experts estima... (more)

Why Infrastructure Technology Is Challenging

I like writing about "Infrastructure Software." One of the most challenging things about being an advocate for a broad horizontally applicable technology is that it does not solve a particular business problem. Instead, it solves about 100,000 business problems. That was an admittedly uber-geeky joke I made on my column "Integration Edge" on ebizQ in an article about Legacy Modernization. Although I was making light of the situation, the impact for a technology advocate is real.  The problem with writing about infrastructure software is that everyone is impacted by it, yet nobody ... (more)

Question: Why Is IT Project Failure Always an Option?

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... (more)