Five Links: Pattern Recognition Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

When I was a reporter in Livingston, Montana, I wrote a story about a massive infrastructure campaign that was just kicking off — new sewer and water lines across town, changing traffic flows and redesigning streets, new green spaces and public art. I interviewed the primary architect, and he told me that the designs were influenced by A Pattern Language, published in 1977. That book has fascinated me; from the placement of a single window to the layout of an entire central business district, it breaks down the patterns of human behavior and then analyzes design techniques that best reinforce the desired patterns for a given space. It doesn’t say what should be done; it simply uses patterns to say if you want to accomplish Goal A, use Design Technique B.

In a roundabout way, this week’s series of links look at patterns and how they influence behavior.

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Data and Architecture: Business Architecture and Capabilities

Does your organization talk about connecting the execution of work to its strategy? Are you building a roadmap on how to get there and achieve desired goals? To help your organization achieve the strategy and goals, model the business architecture by understanding the organization’s strategy, communicating business outcomes, and aligning these outcomes to the appropriate business capabilities.

Business architecture is illustrating what the business does and how the business operates. Gartner defines business capabilities as  “what the business needs to do to achieve the business strategy.” Business architecture uses business capability modeling, to visualize and influence people, processes, and technologies needed to maximize stakeholder value, achieve organizational goals, and execute on the business strategy. This model should map out the future state capabilities needed to support where the business is going over multiple years, as defined by the organization’s strategy.

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Five Links: Culture Is the Way We Do Things Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

True story: I was at an OpenStack conference a couple of years ago, and on a whim, I signed up for a contest to install OpenStack in a certain configuration. I did it on a whim because I wanted the T-shirt, but I found out later that this was a huge deal — guys had been prepping their automated installs for weeks leading up to the event. I went to the organizer and tried to back out, and he got this panicked look and begged me to stay, just to show up — he had already told his manager that they had their first woman in the competition ever, and if I just showed up, no matter how badly I did, I was guaranteed the “diversity prize.” Long story short, I did terribly, but I got a T-shirt and a Venue 8 Chrome tablet.

I mention this, because I have stumbled across probably a half dozen stories on diversity in IT departments in the past couple of weeks, which seemed like an oddly-specific trend in articles. But that’s not all I’ve been seeing! I have hit a lot of really great articles on team work and productivity in general — attributes of healthy teams, setting effective priorities, and managing your talent.

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Five Links: Dusting the Bookshelf Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

There really isn’t a trend to the types of articles I’ve been hitting this week; there’s been a cornucopia of different topics, from security to leadership.

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Image credit: Quotes n Thoughts

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Enterprise investment management simplified: Budget efficiencies

With a finite budget, resources, and capacity for change, your enterprise is challenged with how to effectively manage budgets. Prioritization within the enterprise portfolio is key to optimizing the right spend for the right initiatives. Using key prioritization data for the portfolio helps with determining what to focus on.

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Enterprise investment management simplified: Prioritization

To build on investing in the right things, at the right time, the enterprise should prioritize top strategic initiatives within the enterprise portfolio. Using data to inform prioritization decisions is key. Executives and senior leaders want top initiatives to align to strategy, objectives, measurable business outcomes and financial factors (defined in the business case, which was covered in my previous post).

A Prioritization Scorecard calculates priority data that is needed to inform decisions, which are strategic drivers, or key values that align to strategic goals, and detractor information, key values that take away from the project. The data attributes for the key values should be taken directly from the business case. The key outcome is using this scorecard data to generate collective buy-in from senior leadership on top strategic priorities.

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Enterprise investment management simplified: The business case

How can you help your department invest in the right things, at the right time? The way you develop your plan can help clarify what your priorities and goals are — and having clear goals is an important part of being able to achieve those goals.

Start with the basics. The foundation is a business case. You want your company’s senior executives, to all levels of employees, to clearly understand what you are trying to achieve with an initiative for a product or service offering.

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