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Michael Krigsman
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This is great -- love this post :-)
Thanks for the nice photography comment! I have now spent time with the Lytro camera and, unfortunately, consider it to be something of a toy in its current form. Here is why: 1. I question the fundamental value proposition of allowing ordinary users to change focus points after the fact. There are many point and shoot cameras that can keep virtually an entire image in focus, if that is important. To me, changing focus after the image is taken sounds cool, but becomes boring quickly. In addition, I just do not see the point of "interactive photographs" such as those presented by Lytro. Admittedly, I may be short-sighted here, however. 2. As a photographic artist, I place focus points precisely to convey a particular effect or composition. Honestly, I want the image to look a particular way and I do not want anyone screwing with it. 3. The Lytro software is limited and does not support editing options (as far as I could tell). Image editing is akin to printing a photo in a darkroom -- for serious photography it is often a required step, even if only to adjust sharpness or contrast. 4. The Lytro camera hardware is well-built and easy to understand, but actually hard to use. The screen is tiny, I find the zoom hard to control, and the two modes - everyday and creative - are confusing. 5. The whole focus thing is quite confusing - to get it right the user must understand how the camera software handles focus points and also how the lens handles close focus distance. The zoom and close focus capabilities vary based on camera mode, which turns the point and shoot learning exercise into a required study, if you want to get the most from the camera. Despite all these issues, the technology is fascinating and I suspect will have a rich future as it matures. However, in its current form, the camera will likely remain a plaything for well-heeled photographic experimenters, especially since one can buy great point and shoot cameras for less money.
The suits occur on a regular basis, but I have not seen stats about whether they are on the rise. Maintaining a record of IT failures and lawsuits would be an interesting project. However, it also presents some challenges, not the least being the level of effort required, which is why I have not started such an initiative. In general, these failures and lawsuits are tracked by several groups: -- Folks like myself who chronicle the stories. There are a few people out there who write about the topic regularly, from one perspective or another. -- Journalists who cover enterprise software. Chris Kanaracus, from IDG News Service, does a good job digging up enterprise software lawsuits about which to write. He wrote the article on Lawson Software referenced in my earlier comment. -- Authors researching past failures. For example, there is a book called "Glitch" that presents stories of failures resulting from software errors and bugs. I'm quoted in that book :-) -- Academics studying failure, who typically research past failures to draw generalizable conclusions. The current issue of Harvard Business Review includes results from one such research study. It's always worth remembering that the ROI of addressing IT failures is huge, which is one key point of your post.
Toggle Commented Sep 11, 2011 on The End of Big at The Cloud
Thanks for the kind comments. In the study of troubled IT initiatives, we should also consider mismatched expectations among customers, software providers, and system integrators. As a an example take a look at this recent article describing a dispute between a software vendor and its customer: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/239641/lawson_software_customer_embroiled_in_erp_project_lawsuit.html Here's the key quote: --- Overall, the legal flap appears to be a case of "mismatched expectations" between the software vendor and its customer, a dynamic that has marked other disputed projects of late, said Michael Krigsman, CEO of Asuret, a consulting firm that helps companies run successful IT projects. ""We have to ask the question of why the expectations are so far apart. Where was the adult supervision early in the project?" "No vendor wants to be in this situation any more than the customer does, and therefore the likelihood of pure misrepresentation seems lower than the possibility of substantial misunderstandings between the parties," he added. --- We should also be aware that understanding customer business goals and managing expectations is equally applicable to both cloud vendors and on-premise software companies. These are not primarily technical issues, but rather focus on communication and collaboration between vendor and customer. Combining modular projects with careful expectation management is truly a winning formula for success.
Toggle Commented Sep 9, 2011 on The End of Big at The Cloud
Thanks for writing this intriguing post and also mentioning me. The behavior of complex systems is quite tricky, as the paper to which you refer so eloquently points out. I would also add the notion of "normal accidents", as described in the book by Charles Perrow -- here is a link to that book: http://www.amazon.com/Normal-Accidents-Living-High-Risk-Technologies/dp/0691004129 In addition, take a look at this Financial Times article, which links this concept of normal accidents, which was originally used to describe nuclear power plants, to the conditions that create the recent economic downturn: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/cea7b256-1def-11e0-badd-00144feab49a.html#axzz1B9eu55RO My interest in this topic is to examine why large IT projects fail. Are these systems inherently complex to the point where we can anticipate some minimal failure rate? I posed that question in a blog post and received mixed comments: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/projectfailures/erp-train-wrecks-failures-and-lawsuits/12055
John and I had a spirited and fun debate, which I hope comes across in the video. We don't agree on all points, which actually makes the conversation interesting and rich. Reid, you asked why I strive for objectivity and neutrality. In most contexts, objectivity is associated with accuracy, which is valuable on its face. Don't you agree?
Toggle Commented Nov 22, 2010 on A Debate with the Doctor of Failure at The Cloud
Vinnie, welcome back and keep those posts flowing!
Vinnie, Thank you for sharing this superb reminder of why we must continue to study IT failures. Unfortunately, things today have changed little since the time you witnessed that sad story. I have blogged about this here: http://blogs.zdnet.com/projectfailures/?p=8816. However, we must clarify an important point. Accurate root cause analysis depends on careful assessment of factors that cause problems. In my experience, that blame must be shared by customers and vendors, including consultants and system integrators, alike. I disagree with those who put most blame on customers just as I disagree with people who say the vendors are primarily at fault. After all, it does take two to tango.
Toggle Commented Mar 10, 2010 on The IT Industry's Shame at deal architect