Monthly Archives: May 2015

Pay Attention, Dammit!

As part of a tool selection project, I’ve recently sat through several vendor presentations. In some of them, the vendor showed up with several people to present several different parts of the software suite.

It was amazing to see how the account manager would be checking his phone, completely oblivious to the presentation his experts were giving. Similarly, one expert was obviously not listening to his colleague’s presentation, leading him to repeat information we’d already been given.

If you want to sell your software, is it too much to ask that you can focus on your customer for a couple of hours?

Do You Want to be Safe or Agile?

I increasingly come across Scaled Agile Framework, which is normally given the reassuring acronym SAFe. This is an attempt at fitting Agile methodologies into an enterprise setting, and has been met with withering criticism from some sides.

Let’s face it: Agile does not scale. It’s a team methodology that works great on projects that can be divided into team-sized chunks, but agile is being touted as the solution to every people and process problem in IT. It isn’t.

There is a reason why IT developed enterprise architecture. It’s the same reason why armies develop regulations and nation states develop bureaucracies. The reason is that ad-hoc “let’s talk about it” methods do not work when enough people get involved. By all means be flexible and agile in small teams. But don’t run your business that way.

Security Awareness (and lack thereof)

I now know the admin password to the cash registers at my local grocery.

It’s not because I have installed network sniffers on their network, or have been installing secret cameras. No, the friendly staff freely shared the admin password with me and about twenty other people.

They weren’t planning to do this, and in the situation they probably didn’t even notice that they did it. It was a holiday, and the shop was full because many other shops were closed. And all three cash registers were down, causing an ever-growing line of impatient customers.

That’s when a staff member shouted across the shop to another: “I need to reboot. What’s the admin password?” And got the password shouted back.

Have you drilled everyone in your organization well enough that they remember proper security procedure, even when under pressure?