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Comment Auto industry has been there, done that (Score 1) 467

The auto industry is long-known for having taken the "Beat the supplier over the head with price" approach. It was a monumental failure and the Japanese auto makers, who collaborated with their suppliers on various price improvement mechanisms, were monumentally successful in quality and price. This will fail and Walmart will crash. The question is who else will go down with them riding the coat tails.

Comment Re:Greater impact? Yeah right. (Score 1) 148

People used to stay at companies for far longer than the 29 months being celebrated here. The turnover rate today is a joke. Then again, so is the fact that employees are no longer treated like people, but instead like commodity resources that can be exchanged as the wind blows.

After decades of work at a fair number of places I've discovered there are companies who offer jobs (employee=commodity), and some who offer careers (employee=person). Interestingly I landed at one of those Top 50 To Work For companies and never really want to leave as long as the culture remains high on value of the employee. Previously I'd never considered looking at lists like that for where to go but if I ever left here that's where I'd start.

Comment Re:Can anyone keep up all these bullshits? (Score 1) 166

I guess I'll say DevOps is hard when done right. I live in a space which has app devs, dev ops, and ops. Since none of that OP's Signs apply maybe we're doing it right. But I would argue it does work well. In reality, Ops is a shared service. Dev isn't. DevOps is a hybrid model and facilitates the challenges of the other two disparities.

As for this off-topic bent on Agile or whatever, be cautious about its evaluation. "Agile" is often just cowboy programmers using that as an excuse for no planning or design at all. And no commitment that has the needed parties in agreement. This is especially painful for shared groups like security and infrastructure.

Agile, waterfall, critical chain, side-by-side, blah, blah are all tools. The best places use those for specific reasons to improve likelihood of successful results. But some kind of planning is required if a business wants to actually create an annual budget and develop projections. Marketing actually needs to know when new products and services will be available MONTHS in advance in order to properly prepare the marketplace. These are facts, not PHB silliness. I suppose if you're a small consulting software shop some of that might not matter, but I suspect most here don't sit in those seats.

Comment Not a technical problem (Score 1) 209

The problem isn't: ERP customization or bolt-ons. The problem is that your organization has failed to understand how an ERP is implemented. It is NOT a IT project, it is a business project that should have the expectation that in nearly every case your organization will align its business practices to what the ERP offers. The ONLY exceptions are those where your company has a genuine competitive edge and they should be few and far apart.

I have been a part of both SAP and Oracle ERP deployments as an insider (never a consultant). Companies fail at these when they are not actually willing to change how they do things. That change must be driven by the CEO/President him/herself.

Comment Forum admin disput (Score 1) 310

I wrote an application once to constantly update my Supermoderator forum signature with the Internet Safety Foundation's definition of theft. It did this every 3 seconds.

The reason? I discovered the Admin was mining passwords of users and taking over their accounts on other sites because the logins/passwords were the same. This was more than 10 years ago, when common logins/passwords were less taboo than today, for you young'uns.

Ultimately he was forced to ban me and others he perceived to have morals and who knew what was going on. However he had, in the past, sent the forum membership email with all the addresses in To: so I simply advised the entire community directly about what was going on. Within a month everyone had left.

Comment Re:You don't understand Google (Score 1) 274

This betrays a very basic misunderstaning about how Google got where it is, and how it stays there.

Yes, pagerank is a great idea, and it was perhaps an improvement over what was being done before. But that wasn't why people abandoned the likes of Lycos and Yahoo(!) for Google back in the late 90's. Back then all the other search engines had gone to practices that were quite frankly user-abusive. Adds were placed all over the place, including an indeterminate amount of the top hits on your search. The search screens themselves also existed mostly to pump ads at you, and were really clunky, with a large amount of confusing options right there on the main search page.

Google, by contrast, had a main search page with no options whatsoever. Just a text box and a couple of buttons. "Breath of fresh air" doesn't even begin to describe how wonderful to use this was compared to what we were used to. On top of that, the search results were clearly delineated from the ads, so you could trust the results. The "don't be evil" motto was obviously infused into the whole effort. Every competitor was just a giagantic pain to use by comparison. "Page rank" or whatever wifty algorithim used for all this was something that nobody but extreme techies (and marketers) really ever gave a crap about.

So if you've got something that you think competes with Google, you'd better be talking about how nice and clean the interface is by comparison, how much easier it is to find real results without having to wade around ads, and how trustworthy the provider is wrt not allowing marketing weasels to buy their way into my search results. If you aren't talking about any of that, frankly nobody gives a crap.

I don't think "the next BIG search thing" needs to do better at interface design and marketing control. Instead, they need to match Google there and provide something novel of which we not thought.

Comment Had that several times (Score 1) 524

At one shop, when it was taken away, it was done as the company transitioned from being a private, all-engineers company to a corporate entity run by bean counters. Short-sighted as there were quite a few leaving as a result in the slash-and-burn of culture from trust to thumbscrews.

Last place I was at had pop, mostly for customers. I always found it directly at odds with the regular drum beat of people losing weight and staying in shape to keep health costs under control.

Comment Re:Not always (Score 1) 161

but more often it means trying to steer management towards implementable solutions and being able to suggest things that give the other CXO types options they didn't know existed.

This. I have dealt with enough of c-suite to know they can't focus on details, and they can't be told "no" except in very sparing circumstances. What they want is options. They have told you, directly or indirectly, what the business wants to do and you and your team need to figure out how to do this.

The CIO does this at the pinnacle of strategic levels. Directors do this with a touch of execution mixed in. Project managers/managers do a heavy dose of translation from strategy to execution, and business analysts/programmer analysts finish the job of translating into details. Its a continuum.

To me, the worst leaders are those who do exactly opposite of what many of you pine for: Stick their noses in details well beneath their level, resulting in micro-management. That is a reflection of distrust and "mightier than thou" which does nothing but piss people off and murder morale.

I'd wager heavily that a desire for CIOs who know the finer details and talk through them often haven't worked for one. I have and it was THE single worst working experience I've had.

Comment Re:Legislative, Executive and Legal (Score 1) 405

If the government fixed itself, the other things that the government is in charge of would get fixed. Problem is, too many people "believe" in the political "process", when it clearly hasn't worked.

Moving the power from Federal, to local would help, rather than the current trend of the other way around.

Yes, legislative elections and process at least. The basics of gov't are messed up. The rest are ancilliary, driven by the basic legislative process.

Comment From a project viewpoint (Score 1) 455

I've been doing enterprise software project management for 10 years. Here are my experiences with 2 ERPs and numerous other large-ish projects.

The open concept works for the very early period when you're collaborating with your business folks, figuring out the roles and responsibilities, the design, and the team. The more closed-in (and remote work) approach works much better in the build phase, when the contributors are most effective uninterrupted. This latter point is one reason, often, that ERP deployment teams are sequestored to a separate facility and not allowed to continue legacy support. Execs/management recognize that as a success factor. So, yeah, both sides are right. You need each environment for a different purpose.

I've been running worldwide projects for a bit as well, which is almost a perfect picture of work-at-home effectiveness because the foreign teams NEVER are in the office. Frankly, communications are extremely strained (misinterpretations from lack of body language and emphasis), balls get dropped often, and there is very little in terms of team culture. That latter point is huge to PMs who know what it takes to deliver stellar project products: a cohesive, fun-loving team.

Even celebrations, which I feel are crucial to keeping you star tech folks, are difficult if not impossible. Again, you're missing the team opportunity.

There was a concept I got the joy to work in at Purdue University (as an employee) where individual office cubes (no doors) were set in a star pattern around a common area with table. The common area was the visioning, planning, and design point. The offices were the concentrated, individual work centers. It really was a great environment. But they ran out of space and so the "pod" environment disappeared.

Lastly, managers have offices with doors for lots of reasons. Promotions, raises, disciplinary action, confidential executive discussions, constant phone calls and meetings (which many of you likely hate). All those, done in a public environment, are disruptive at best and acidic at worst. I never had one of those offices, so its not like I've got some vested interest, either.

Comment Re:So what else is new? (Score 1) 137

A lot of people forget that the population of China is what, 1/5th the world's population?

As such it would make statistical sense that around 1/5th of attacks they see are from China.

This is a figure that tallies roughly pretty well with attacks I've seen on every net facing system I've bothered to monitor. I wouldn't say there are proportionally more attacks from China relative to their share of the world's population than anywhere else. Given the US' population, Russia's population, or a number of South American and Eastern European states whose names I've seen popup a fair bit it's actually the case that I see disproportionally more attacks from these states relative to their population.

That correlation doesn't hold, I think. A more appropriate one would be to compare learned users of each country's population that can access the Internet. My understanding is that the majority of China is poverty-stricken and not using the Internet. And by this same position, I would expect the cracking attempts from US-based locations to vastly outnumber all other states in sheer number, but I don't believe that's the case either.

Another poster had the right angle, I think. The number is greatly influenced by state-sponsorship or lack of law enforcement.

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