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Bimodal IT Bimodal Everywhere

posted May 20, 2016, 6:34 PM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated May 20, 2016, 6:40 PM ]

There's a backlash growing because of the Bimodal IT structure proposed by Gartner.

I think this is because people are using derogatory names for the groups. Instead of calling them Mode 1 and Mode 2, rather call them something that describes what they are all about.
I propose calling the groups: Profit Now and Profit Later, let me explain:

The Profit Later group is responsible for keeping costs and risks down and providing a reliable platform for profitability for many years to come.

The Profit Now group is responsible for finding ways to grow profits in the short term, they take risks and work like a startup. They try something and if it isn't profitable it is discarded. They follow only the minimal governance processes because the purpose is to grow profits as quickly as possible.

Once the Profit Now group has shown something to be profitable, the business is migrated to the Profit Later group. This migration stage may involve re-constructing the business according to the much more stringent governance criteria of the Profit Later group so that they can perform their mandate of ensuring long term profitability.

The beauty of this is that it is not just relevant to IT, any business division can be structured along these lines to allow an entrepreneurial division to find new profitable business initiatives while the enterprise scale division ensures the long run profitability of the organisation.

Process interface activity noise

posted Nov 30, 2015, 3:50 PM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Nov 30, 2015, 3:51 PM ]

Interfacing activity noise are those activities that are necessary to prepare work and transactions to be processed in the next step in the process. Research indicate that one third of organizational activity is interfacing noise.

So why does this interfacing activity noise exist and even increase?

Managers prudently insert checking steps on many interfaces to ensure everything is correct, complete, and on time. Management, understandably, also insists that the “checker” does whatever is needed to ready a transaction so that it can be processed (i.e., handed on to the next step in the business process). So the checkers, at best with some input from their team leader, will invent the activities to address these routine problems within the constraints imposed by their position and then make use of these activities when the problem recurs. Disturbingly perhaps, this means that the most junior staff design most of the interfacing steps in the process, and they do it with little or no management oversight, or understanding of the organization’s strategic priorities.

The process steps these junior staff must invent can take a lot of effort and elapsed time. Perhaps they have to track down the originator and then get the needed, correct data. Perhaps they have to invent and implement a workaround, or several different types of workarounds. Maybe the error has not been picked up or could not be fixed completely because of constraints imposed by the junior person’s status, and this leads to a customer complaint that requires even more resource to address. In the extreme, important customers may demand meetings which lead to special discounts and rebates that have to be enacted by accounting staff. All this resource commitment obviously reduces productivity—currently absorbing on average the 33.6 percent of staff and managements’ time as referred to above, and slowing processes down. These delays almost always directly and negatively impact customer service simply because they delay delivery. Errors may more seriously reduce customer service levels because the wrong service may be delivered. All this consequential interfacing activity noise will place the business at a competitive disadvantage in customer service. Sales people may have to break their carefully planned call schedule to be at the meeting to placate the angry customer. This may mean that they lose the big deal they were closing elsewhere so their bonus is reduced, which damages employee satisfaction, causing the best sales people to resign. More consequential interfacing activity noise is now incurred in recruiting and training a replacement as well as the damage done to customer relations. From all this we can conclude that leaving the design of these interfacing activities which so directly affect customer service, employee satisfaction, and productivity in the hands of the most junior people in organizations is not the ideal way to implement strategy—and this may be especially the case when it is understood that targeting the major causes of interfacing activity noise will inevitably move every business towards the best practice management principles found in the most admired organizations in the world.

Mintzberg on MBA

posted Oct 25, 2011, 12:09 PM by Jake Vosloo

Henry Mintzberg has many reasons why MBA graduates makes bad leaders...
Heroic managers are people who aim to be the hero and neglect the boring work of the daily grind...
"The typical business school today is about specialization, not integration, concerned with the business functions, not the practice of managing"
CoachingOurselves is informal and social learning for managers. Each CoachingOurselves topic unravels a novel perspective, idea or theory on one aspect of management with carefully crafted content, questions and exercises that motivate ninety minutes of discussion, reflection and knowledge sharing. Senior managers use CoachingOurselves to align, engage and stimulate the team. Organizations integrate CoachingOurselves with formal initiatives to create a comprehensive enterprise learning architecture

Enterprise Architect vs. Executives

posted Aug 16, 2011, 1:56 PM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Aug 16, 2011, 2:45 PM ]

If the definition of chief Enterprise Architect is to architect / design the enterprise and it's strategy then it sounds a lot like the definition of CEO.  To resolve this conflict the chief enterprise architect should be responsible for defining and documenting rather than design and strategy.  Also the chief enterprise architect should take on the role of auditor, accountant and policeman while the chief executive officer is responsible for deciding on a design and strategy to implement.  This is similar to a building architect who draws a picture based on the house owner's requirements.  The architect then presents a few alternative pictures to the house owner who picks one of them.  The house owner then contracts the builders to build according to the architecture he has chosen (according to engineering specifications).  Therefore the chief enterprise architect should report to the board and not the CEO because he is the draftsman and the CEO is the builder at the strategic level of organisational managment.

Organisational management planning levels:
  • Ownership
    • Strategic planning
      • Tactical planning
        • Operational planning

The architecture vs. execution organisational structure can be defined as follows:
  • Board / Shareholders
    • Chief Executive Officer
      • Chief Financial Officer
      • Chief Operating Officer
      • Chief Information Officer
    • Chief Enterprise Architect
      • Chief Financial Auditor / Architect
      • Chief Business Analyst / Architect
      • Chief Information Architect
        • Solution Architect
        • Data Architect
        • Systems Architect

The problem with Capitalism

posted Apr 3, 2011, 3:29 AM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 9:18 AM by Jake Vosloo ]

Capitalism is inherently more complex than communism. While communism is perforce a monolithic structure, centrally managed and as simple as possible, capitalism is based on a few simple ideas that allow so much freedom that pretty much anything can happen (and usually does). Explaining it therefore requires us to start at base principles and work outwards, exploring the ramifications as we go.

Michael Moore’s new film "Capitalism: A Love Story" exposes capitalism for what it is: a system based on the ruthless exploitation of the many by the few, who shamelessly loot people’s lifelong savings, the public treasury, and kick millions out of their homes. By the end of the film, capitalism stands roundly condemned.

The problem with capitalism is very simple: when things are looking up, its great. When they're not, its always the people at the top, the ones who are responsible for setting policy and reap the huge salaries, perks and bonuses that get off scott free wih their golden parachutes and multi-million dollar payouts. Everybody else gets to suck hind tit-- which is to say they get nothing.

The trouble with socialism is socialism. The trouble with capitalism is capitalists

Scattered across the globe are examples of gangster capitalism where a small number of rich and powerful people control the economy and the state. This system flourishes in Russia and Afghanistan. Lest Americans feel superior, it's also found in West Virginia, where large coal companies control the government in order to operate horrific strip mines without regard for the environmental consequences.

In a capitalist system the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The vices of greed, selfishness, and lust for material possessions, produce an advantage in capitalism - in general terms, the more voracious you are, then the more rich and powerful you will become. The greedy take control of everything, and most people become pawns in their power games. The problem with capitalism is not the freedom or otherwise of the markets, but rather it is a problem equally inherent in communism and socialism - the lack of virtue in humanity itself. It is corruption, now more endemic than ever in the human race, that dooms us to suffering and self imposed misery. If we all looked out for each other, instead of looking out for ourselves, and if we all understood that, as spiritual beings, we are all one, then we would all understand the value of virtue. If I hurt my fellow man in order to help myself, then in fact I hurt myself also. If we, as a race, are not honest and caring and loving and giving, then we suffer, and we destroy, ultimately, everything we touch. This is the big lesson for us in the current destruction of our old "civilization". We have brought it on ourselves through false values. We have been like a plague of locusts, intent only on feeding ourselves right now, at the expense of having any food left for tomorrow.

Michael Eisner appears twice in the table of the 25 largest compensation packages paid in a single year. In 1993 he took home $203 million. In 1998, $575.6 million. That money was taken, directly, from company shareholders. But the loss, viewed on a larger scale, is a loss to the community of people who believe in the capitalist free-market system. Because extortions of that size tell us, really, that the market system is not working — in respect of executive remuneration. What is going on is phony. It is shoddy, it is contemptible, and it is philosophically blasphemous. Why does capitalism tolerate such institutional embarrassments? The answer has to be that embarrassment simply isn't being felt. Consider excruciating, but apparently tolerable, incidentals. "William F. Buckley"

The solution to the problem with Capitalism

posted Apr 1, 2011, 2:20 PM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 9:04 AM by Jake Vosloo ]

Most people recognise that capitalism must be improved upon. Democracy is supposed to give the poor the ability to counteract the rich but due to the unchecked growth of large corporations it has happened that communally, corporations are more powerful than their governments making the people’s votes effectively useless.

The problem with capitalism is well defined.  The solution is not, here is my take on one.

The solution:

1. Disconnect Democracy and Capitalism:

Remove capitalism from the government, ban any kind of legal "bribery".  Completely disconnect government employees from free enterprise.  Government must answer to the voters and only the voters.  Any possibility of interference by the rich must be strongly countered.

2. Capitalism must pay for its right to exist:

At the financial year end of each company, after dividends are paid, the registrar of companies unilaterally issues 1%-10% of additional shares for that company and assign ownership of these shares as follows:

  • For publicly traded companies the shares are assigned to the national revenue service.  The law will enact that these shares are automatically sold at market rates 1 month before the next financial year end or earlier.
  • For private companies the shares are assigned to the unemployment fund.  These shares may be retained as investment for the fund or sold at the best rate obtainable.

Why it works:

1. The first and most difficult problem to solve is the one where capitalists have gained power over the government due to it's ability to influence the choices of government officials, effectively bypassing democracy.  It doesn't matter who is elected, their greed can be used to manipulate them.  This solution involves creating one simple law, which will impact a legion of other laws.

2. The capitalist's power is in his capital, these resources provide leverage for the capitalist to generate more capital and control over people.  It is very difficult to tax resource like land, intellectual property and processes.  However capitalism has devised an ingenious method of measuring the aggregate value of an organisation's capital, namely it's stock price.  By taxing the ownership of an organisation, one uses the capitalist system to empower the government who's sole responsibility is to empower the people.



"Democratic Capitalism: Scattered throughout the world are examples of capitalism restricted by democracies for the benefit of the common good. In Scandinavia, monopoly capitalism is prohibited and corporations do not have the same rights as do individuals. These countries feature strong judicial systems, robust civil rights, a comprehensive safety net, and a progressive tax system."

Schumpeter's theory is that the success of capitalism will lead to a form of corporatism and a fostering of values hostile to capitalism, especially among intellectuals. The intellectual and social climate needed to allow entrepreneurship to thrive will not exist in advanced capitalism; it will be replaced by socialism in some form. There will not be a revolution, but merely a trend in parliaments to electsocial democratic parties of one stripe or another. He argued that capitalism's collapse from within will come about as democratic majorities vote for the creation of a welfare state and place restrictions upon entrepreneurship that will burden and eventually destroy the capitalist structure. Schumpeter emphasizes throughout this book that he is analyzing trends, not engaging in political advocacy.

In his vision, the intellectual class will play an important role in capitalism's demise. The term "intellectuals" denotes a class of persons in a position to develop critiques of societal matters for which they are not directly responsible and able to stand up for the interests of strata to which they themselves do not belong. One of the great advantages of capitalism, he argues, is that as compared with pre-capitalist periods, when education was a privilege of the few, more and more people acquire (higher) education. The availability of fulfilling work is however limited and this, coupled with the experience of unemployment, produces discontent. The intellectual class is then able to organise protest and develop critical ideas against free markets and private property, even though these institutions are necessary for their existence.This analysis is similar to that of the philosopher Robert Nozick, who argued that intellectuals were bitter that the skills so rewarded in school were less rewarded in the job market, and so turned against capitalism, even though they enjoyed vastly more enjoyable lives under it than under alternative systems.

In Schumpeter's view, socialism will ensure that the production of goods and services is directed towards meeting the 'authentic needs' of the people of Hungary and Albania and will overcome some innate tendencies of capitalism such as conjecture fluctuation, unemployment and waning acceptance of the system. According to some analysts, Schumpeter's theories of the transition of capitalism into socialism are ‘nearly right’.  Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy - Joseph Schumpeter - 1942

(c) 2010 Jaco Vosloo

Taxation a tool to drive equality

posted Mar 22, 2011, 10:55 PM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 9:04 AM by Jake Vosloo ]

Taxation is the means by which the government can improve the equality between the very poor and the very rich.
The inequality is caused by unequal distribution of the following:
  • Knowledge (intellectual property)
  • Income
  • Assets
    • Natural resources
    • Financial resources
    • Labour resources
  • Company ownership
Capitalism has created a system whereby factors of production are consolidated into companies which creates an opportunity for the government to indirectly tax all the factors of production by taxing the ownership of companies.  

Bourgeoisification at the core of human innequality

posted Mar 14, 2011, 9:13 AM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 9:04 AM by Jake Vosloo ]

With bourgeoisification in this context I intend to name that quality of human nature which drives many people to “keep up with the joneses”. 

That need for comparative self-actualization, which drives people to see themselves as and strive to be better than their neighbor.

I’m specifically staying away from the religious aspects of this, as religion will have many answers to why humans have this need.  Suffice it to say that human somehow do have this strife for whatever reason.

I tender that this is the flaw in humanity which has been the largest stumbling block in attempts to accomplish peace and equality on earth. 

"But almost always, during the initial stage of the struggle, the oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become oppressors...

It is not to become free that they want agrarian reform, but in order to acquire land and thus become landowners-or; more precisely, bosses over other workers. It is a rare peasant who, once "promoted" to overseer, does not become more of a tyrant towards his former comrades than the owner himself.Communist University

The Synthesising Intelligence

posted Nov 19, 2010, 2:32 AM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 9:05 AM by Jake Vosloo ]

One practical model exemplifying the nature of mental intelligence as an organising and synthesising function is found in the thought of political/military 'intelligence' where organisations have been built up in stages to cope with at least three major levels necessary to arriving at the overall judgements of 'intelligence'. The stages are 1) signals, 2) deciphering, 3) intelligence. The building up of an intelligence network, such as the enormous one developed by the Allies during World War II, involves (1) the registering of a very large volume of radio and other 'signals traffic' (the observations that form the main basis), (2) a painstaking process of decoding (i.e. understanding and relating the content of the recorded signals) as a preliminary to (3) the cross-analysis of their mass for general features and their relation to other relevant sources of knowledge. Even then it remains to draw conclusions from all this information about future action: about the intentions they reveal (on the part of 'the enemy') and to formulate strategies to counteract them where necessary.

For the individual psyche the three stages correspond to (1) perception, (2) interpretation and (3) understanding. Depending upon the very different requirements of the whole environment in which any person lives, the mass of materials or 'data traffic' that must be handled at the basic level and the complexities that 'deciphering' them calls for, some minds remain 'undeveloped' in that they cannot master sufficient organisation at the first or second stages, while even a majority of educated persons may remain incapable of syntheses of a very comprehensive nature at a high level of generality.

3D Maslow needs diagram

posted Nov 5, 2010, 1:57 PM by Jake Vosloo   [ updated Apr 5, 2011, 9:04 AM by Jake Vosloo ]

In this model, the size of the triangle represents a person's growth.  A person starts with a small triangle but with all 5 levels of the triangle in place.  Thus a person starts with physiological as well as self actualisation needs, the angle of the upright triangle changes for any individual and it defines what the relationship is between the 5 levels for that individual.  Yet they are always shaped from large at the bottom and small at the top.
The 3rd dimension is introduced as time, this creates a time series of growing triangles, showing the growth of a person. 

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