Sunday, April 18, 2010

Butt covering, incompetence, bribery, face saving - and lack of an "honest broker"

I saw this "Gareth Morgan: Don't let big suppliers drag us down" -

And was pleased that someone with credibility started saying something.

I agree with the analysis - that the cause is: risk aversion (butt-covering), incompetence (or the unwillingness to think), the offering of gratuities (trips, entertainment etc.) and the ability of IT to bury the dead (i.e. anything to avoid losing face).

I would add to that that the "independent" consultants are often not independent i.e. once upon a time consultants advised - and others implemented - this mean the consultants could be regarded as relatively independent. Now some of the consultants advise, often implement and sometimes operate systems - so it is little wonder that solutions that have significant implementation and operational costs are chosen by these "independent" consultants".

For example one leading consultants always seems to pick one brand of ERP system. Then rather than following the advice to adapt the business to reflect the best practice (i.e. minimise changes to the system), they advocate significant changes, which they of course do.

Having done these changes they become just about the only people who understand how the system runs and are locked in.

I have no idea how these people sleep at night - but they do. Presumably on very expensive cushions.

No one in their right mind would select a new fleet of cars - pick Mercs and then decide to change them to better fit the business - lets add a few more doors, move the engine to the back etc. Unless of course the cars were picked by hot rodders wit the assistance of the "independent" mechanic who would end up doing the modifications.

Actually few people would pick a Merc as a fleet car because the marginal utility of having a better car doesn't justify the extra cost (and for few organisations is vehicular transport a business differentiator). The same is true with accounting systems for most organisations.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

EA Emperor's new clothes and scared cows.

This was a presentation to academic community on Enterprise Architecture (EA). Its aim was to stop them being complacement about how they doing EA - and to try and get them focused on looking at needs to be done for them to actually be successful (rather than pretend what they were at present was useful or well regarded).

Essentially it suggests we need to do things differently
- "An inconvenient truth" and "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" - EA doesn't have a good reputation, and isn't doing a good job.
- "Show me the money" and "Give the business what it needs"
- "From cave painter to strategic planner", "Cast out the beam in thine own eye", "A call to arms" - what EA needs to do to be effective.

It outlines why ROI's are intrinsically difficult and made more difficult in IT by some thinbgs - and changes needed to the: people, processes (frameworks), technologies.

The presentation was published here ( - Some of the presentation relies on animation in the slides - if you want the presentation just email me.