Happiness@work – Spread a little happiness Ascent magazine: A magazine into the future of our ever-more connected planet Zero email, how to get things done! Part three: The last mile, becoming Zero email Ascent Lookout 2014 What is your future in this ultra-connected world?

Watch this space: How to improve your cloud?

Atos - Watch this space: How to improve your cloud?The world of cloud computing is rapidly evolving into the world of platforms. For consumers this is already taking shape. You are either Google, Apple or Microsoft. Your email, your agenda, your appstore and your identity are part of the chosen eco-systems and switching between the platforms is difficult at best; it requires a different login code and your data is not automatically synced. A meeting in Outlook.com will most likely not be visible in your Google calendar.

There are several reasons for this situation; most of them are driven by the vendor’s lock in scenario which they like, although you as a user might not like it. it is the result of the free-services model; you give up some privacy and freedom to choose and in return you get access to the system of your choice.

In the context … Continue reading …

Agile Myths: You Will Deliver Faster and Cheaper

Atos - Agile Myths: You Will Deliver Faster and CheaperProbably the two most widely cited sources for the Agile-is-faster-and-cheaper myth are “The Agile Impact Report” from QSMA and “How Agile Projects Measure Up, and What This Means to You” from the Cutter Consortium and written by Michael Mah. Both studies indicate that Agile development results in higher productivity and faster delivery, when compared to industry averages.

The Agile Impact Report concludes that:

  • Agile projects are 37% faster to market than industry average
  • Agile projects experienced a 16% increase in productivity compared to industry average

The report from the Cutter Consortium highlights two impressive examples of Agile delivery:

“In summary, we have two companies employing two vastly different styles of implementing agile software development and both succeeding in highly dramatic ways. Follett used normal-sized teams and built applications fast, with half the defects, simultaneously saving

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Agile Myths: Predictability Lost

Atos - Agile Myths: Predictability LostThere seems to me to be a fairly common view that an Agile approach to software development is less predictable than a traditional (waterfall) method. Steve McConnell’s comments in his post on the business impact and business benefits of Agile are typical of this sentiment:

“True agility – which means adopting a posture that allows you to respond rapidly to changing market conditions and customer demands – conflicts with predictability. Some businesses value agility, but many businesses value predictability more than they value the ability to change direction quickly.”

In practice I would question how much predictability traditional methods offer. For example, PRINCE2 requires an early up-front estimate to be produced for how much effort it will take to complete the project. The estimate is required both to ensure the business case is valid (and hence allow the project to … Continue reading …

Watch this space: On which platform are you making money?

Atos - Watch this space: On which platform are you making money?Platforms, or ecosystems, are the virtual malls of the (near) future. We have the Google, Apple and Microsoft platform – although one could argue that these three are already surpassed by the likes of Facebook and Amazon, who put the big three in the (undesired) corner of ‘technology providers’.

Let me explain; a mall is a location where different vendors and providers come together and each contributes to the overall experience of the customer, while retaining their own business model. Some malls put this under 1 brand, creating a store-in-store concept, while others are more like traditional markets where farmers used to come together to sell their produce.

When we move from the physical to the digital, we are able to create digital, virtual stores and this has already developed into a billion dollar business. A new development, and outlined … Continue reading …

Agile Myths: Change Without Cost

Atos - Agile Myths Change Without CostWay back in 1981 Barry Boehm published his book Software Engineering Economics. In it he included the Cost of Change Curve (which he had previously published in a 1976 IEEE article) which showed that the cost of change grows exponentially as software development progresses through the stages of requirements, design, code, test and production. It indicates that making a change after software is released will cost 150 times more than making it at the requirements stage. This is the main reason that traditional approaches to software development try to minimise the amount of change that occurs in the later phases (by, for example, completing all design work before coding starts).

But modern techniques call in to question the validity of the Cost of Change Curve. As Uri Nativ puts it in this post:

“When you incorporate techniques like

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