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Updated: 2016-03-09T18:42:39+01:00


How to reignite economic growth, and why management is a waste of time.


(This is sort of a summary of some important points from earlier posts. Seems like the world is waking up to a new reality, so time for a recap) Economic growth in the mature economies is lacklustre. That’s annoying at...

The inverted U - death by a thousand applications


Productivity is a good thing, it translates to more and better results using less resources. That way it even makes for a very "green" argument, plus it has a decidedly positive effect on corporate profits and government budgets. We obviously...

Unhealthy healthcare organisations


Or the act of hammering a round peg into a square hole without even knowing it. To drive the flow, to enhance the value creation the creator and maintainer of the product must be connected to the user so she/he...



The CIO and CTO titles have been around for a bit… And I can sympathise with that, after all IT used to be something magical hard-to-grasp stuff for many in the upper echelons of the organisations. And much of that...

Innovate in four short steps


Innovation: "Make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, products or technology" Everything we do is based on assumptions, most of which are never questioned. That's how we're stuck with bad ways and mediocre products, and that's...

The information age fallacy


Humanity has developed by leap and bounds - when we learned to fish the new ample source of protein increased the human chance of survival and forwarded our development, we became smarter and stronger over time. With fire we started...

Hand washing, IT and Flow Technology


One day in May 1847 at the First Obstetrical Clinic of the Vienna General Hospital Ignaz Semmelweis instituted washing hands between autopsy work and the examination of patients using a chlorinated solution, and almost immediately maternal mortality rate due to...

Let the managers go


Fire the managers and purge the language of the term "management". Long live leaders and let everybody manage themselves. Most people manage themselves with great success: they manage to get out of bed in the morning, they manage to get...

Where's Waldo?


Go back to your student days and try to remember your best textbooks... They always started out with the basics, then went deeper and deeper. Each chapter led you stepwise through a concept, using examples, painting a picture then rounding...

Say goodbye to the organisational hierarchies please


It all started by John Tropea's post, then the discussion moved onto Google+. My first comment was "I'm still puzzled why all still accepts "organisational hierarchies" as a given... after all they're nothing but frameworks for work processes, of the...

Gamification, dashboards, search and enterprise failure


Ooh, I love a good disagreemnt, and when my friend JP Rangaswami who's views I respect highly, writes a post that I heartily disagrees with I'm tickled pink! It was his views on Gamification and Dashboards in the enterprise that...

Evidence vs. belief and enterprise software


Just recently "evidence vs belief based management" has been raised again, and that's good, it should be in the forefront at all times if you ask me. The whole thing seems utterly unbelievable, the indisputable fact [sic] that hugely important...

Strategic software vs non-strategic software


I can just as well be upfront about it and invite ridicule at once: There is no business / enterprise software that is first and foremost built to enable strategies, and thus could be termed "strategic". Let's look at some...

Stifling growth? Challenge some assumptions!


McKinsey Quarterly has an article in their May edition - "Preparing your organization for growth" - that yet again reminds me about the total inability to ask the right question. Or question any assumptions at all. If you live in...

Enterprise software's wrong focus


Let me start by refining my earlier "who's you customer" post: Primary customer/user: This is where your value delivered is appreciated. It's the daily users and the real reason why you have a business at all. But alas, they often...

Software and the Complexity Excuse


I am a bit fed up with the (mis)use of the term 'complex' as an excuse for not doing the right thing. Especially in Enterprise Software: Costs, implementation times and unwillingness to make me something bespoke - "it's because enterprise...

Social Media - Nouns but no Verbs


Practical use of Information Technology seems to follow the same maturity trajectory as languages. But being a young phenomena IT still has a way to go: It has the words in place, i.e. the data model is often precise enough,...



One recent buzzword that I hear a lot is "gamification". Especially gamification of utterly boring Enterprise Software and consumer experiences in commercial transactions. A heroic attempt to solve one of life's mysteries; why work sometimes drifts towards boring and in...

On Productivity


"Productive effort, measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input" And I bet you that the next word that is popping up in your head now is efficiency: "Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or...

Social Business and the Command & Control Excuse


A few days ago I had the usual pleasure of reading one of Euan's posts, where there was one paragraph that triggered something in my mind: "On the same day I get an email from a senior official in a...

Work is Communication


Work relies on, no, consists of two things: brains and hands communication Brains and hands: The appropriate and best-possible ability must be available, that's a good start. But what can brains and hands do unless they know what to do?...

Get rid of the Calendar, and the Watch too


Those are leftovers from the industrial age and the biggest impediment to an effective society. Before I hear the protest I can just as well agree that sometimes it's needed; like when I'm to meet somebody for a spot of...

Strategy, Business Model, and Who's Your Customer


As a vendor or SI you can approach the delivery of enterprise software in two ways: The good old and safe way; accept the premises, scope their processes and ways, then deliver something that makes the existing more efficient. Do...

"Business" is nothing but "Social Networks"


We have a plethora of hugely successful cloud based social networks, but why only fulfil banal social needs? Those way up in the Maslow pyramid kind of needs. Why stop there? [This was inspired By @dahowlett's post the other day...

Don't touch the core


Or how SAP chooses stability over change. Sounds smart on the surface until you start to think: Change is the only possible path to survival, stability can only be temporary, that's a law of nature. Now back from yet another...

Romans, Barbarians, and Innovation.


Yesterday, Thomas Friedman of NYT quoted from the historian Lewis Mumford’s book, “The Condition of Man,” about the development of civilisation. Mumford was describing Rome’s decline: “Everyone aimed at security: no one accepted responsibility. What was plainly lacking, long before...

Creating a new business: The old way or the smart way


@jobsworth tweeted the other day "Whenever I hear talk about business models, I am reminded of Peter Drucker's wonderful cautionary words: People make shoes, not money" I would venture that it's because the term "Business Model" today is mostly understood...

Who killed big corp innovation?


The Product Manager. Look no further, that's the one, the main Big Corp innovation killer. OK, do take that with a pinch of salt. It's not personal either, if you're a PM, it's not your fault. But please read on,...

Enterprise Software Innovation - mostly Spray Paint and Fast Food


As Vinnie puts it, "Big Tech is Broken - badly". And broken needs fixing, but is the patient ready for that? I wonder if the issue is a semantic issue; how the fix, the innovation, is understood. If you don't...

Business Software is in need of some leaps and bounds!


Most business software is created to help you do what you do today, in the same manner, but hopefully better, faster, and with less effort. Efficiency is the siren call. But alas, the usefulness and ROI of upgrading have a...

Unlearn or Challenge?


What's the diff? David Heinemeir Hansson of 37signals and Ruby on Rails fame spoke at Stanford the other day - Unlearn your MBA! Good concept of course, provocative title for a talk for business students, and old stuff is old...

Summer and all that


Been quiet for awhile now, and not because I've had a spot of vacation, quite the opposite. Delivery-time now, meaning programming, helping to build a new business model (and delivery using Thingamy of course) for a very interesting and ambitious...

Simple errors and big consequences, same procedure as always.


Hat tip to Eapen Thomas who pointed me to this year's commencement speech at Stanford’s School of Medicine given by Atul Gawande. Here is an excerpt of what he told the graduating class: We’ve been obsessed in medicine with having...

Three types of GUIs - past, present and the future


There are three types of Graphical User Interfaces: First we had to interact with our early IT tools, as on our Apple IIs with Visicalc, then we had to face an ever increasing number of apps that made our screen... There are three types of Graphical User Interfaces: First we had to interact with our early IT tools, as on our Apple IIs with Visicalc, then we had to face an ever increasing number of apps that made our screen into a messy desktop, and lately, the front end of process snippets on new and often smaller screens. I'll call them TUIs, DUIs and PUIs. TUI, the "Tool User Interface" is the mature one. We're now used to what we were served at first, as can be seen from the cries of protest when Microsoft moves an edit button from one place to another. Usability inevitably being measured by how easy it is to navigate by an old MS Word scribe. In essence the TUIs' purpose is similar to a well sorted toolbox when you go about repairing your car, or when taking apart your laptop to replace the hard drive. Sorted, "logical", find stuff in the usual place with minimum effort and disruption to the task at hand. It's the UI of word processors, presentation kits, image manipulation tools, blogging interfaces and every other single task tool.   A TUI as we know it. DUI, the "Desktop User Interface" is still not quite mature, hence the theme of a million blog posts, thousands of UI web sites, "expert consultants" and even conferences. Now it's about making the tool cabinet full of toolboxes easy to navigate. In essence its purpose is to take a cluttered desktop with all kinds of tools, papers and sorting boxes and making them virtual onto a single screen so you can find the right toolbox, the right files and get going with whatever task you choose with minimum effort and no confusion. It's the UI of multi task "systems" like CRM, HCM, ERP, personal organisers etc., and not to forget operating systems. Now, all business is about process and multiple tasks, hence the importance of DUIs. Problem with the current crop of multi task systems is that they have little or no process built in, it's usually a matter of do-it-yourself - hence the need for all possible and impossible options being present at all times. A DUI with about 150 clickable "buttons". PUI, the "Process User Interface" - so far the area of simple OS processes like "Install new printer"; pure step by step process, but as of lately, quickly spreading in the form of iPhone (and other mobile devices) apps. Now it becomes interesting as a process can be delivered in a different format; one step at a time, no need for all options at all times and the interfaces can be two buttons, three choices or some fields to fill in - all with a "Next" or "Submit" button on the bottom leading straight to the next interface - yours or somebody else. Some PUIs It changes the whole understanding of what a UI is even if some have touched upon it: Google; one logo and a simple search field in the middle of a white screen. Twitter began with a list of messages, a reply button, a message field, send. Wait for somebody else to reply. OK, not much process there, but two or three st[...]

SAPPHIRE Now - huge surprise, good stuff and a couple of important issues


I have to admit I went to Orlando and this year's SAPPHIRE Now with lower than normal expectations. Boy was I surprised, and in a good way. Overall I found a turbocharged and far, far nimbler SAP. To the extent...

Plans, Budgets, Deadlines, not what you think


You know the stuff that makes the corporation hum and spin it's wheels, the workflow mechanism, the process framework activities and not the value creation work per se: Plans, Budgets, Deadlines, Rules, Meetings, Reports... Are they as efficient as they...

How business hoodwinks itself


When you create a new company you have an idea, some sketches, then you develop a product or a service while trying to understand your potential customers by listening and testing. Then the production/service org gets cranking, channels established and...

Fixing Greece


I've been chirping about how automating the flow part of workflows, by adding a proper IT based process framework to BRPs, would suggest a possible 67% increase in World Wide GDP. But I completely forgot an important issue; Corruption and...

Disregarding BRP is like being long on subprime CDOs


Now and then. If you, as a developer and vendor of products, create a new product that has the promise of value for your customer you're onto something. Say going back a few years starting up Facebook or creating the...

Organisational Effectiveness vs. Personal Efficiency


Wherever you turn you'll find that Enterprise Software is on a never ending quest to increase your personal efficiency. It says so on the vendor's site, it seeps through in discussion about User Interfaces, one is constantly reminded how good...