Thought Leadership

Velocity: An Elusive Metric in Scrum

Jim Effinger | Delivery Leadership | February 6, 2017

When I interview candidates for a position in an Agile/Scrum development project, I often ask: “What is your team’s current velocity?” The candidate might think the response needs to be a high number, but it doesn’t matter what the number is. What matters to me is that the candidate knows the number.

Velocity is an important metric in Scrum for measuring how well a team is working together. This is what I want to assess when asking this question. Unfortunately, the term has been misconstrued to mean something else: a measure of a team’s speed or productivity, often with the assumption that the number—whatever it happens to be—should increase infinitely over time.

When velocity is misused this way, it can be detrimental. For one thing, it gets discredited by the team it is meant to benefit. For this reason, it’s important to understand what velocity is, when and how velocity is useful, and why misapplying it actually puts the performance of Agile teams at risk.

The State of Mobile Pay and Why It Matters

Joey Shevelson | Digital Experience and Mobile | January 25, 2017

The moment of transaction is critical for mobile experiences. Any technical or user experience issue has the opportunity to derail a sale. Fortunately, developers no longer need to roll their own payment solution, as a number of highly capable and trusted third-party services exist. Several recent acquisitions and partnerships have shaken up the mobile pay space, resulting in consolidation and competition between a few large competitors and a shift in how enterprises should approach mobile payment in the future.

Here are the key players in mobile pay today:

Technical Program Managers Innovate, Lead, and Solve Complex and Interdependent Technology Problems

Chris Upham | Delivery Leadership | January 6, 2016

The days when a “large IT project” effectively meant “enterprise-wide system installation” are long gone. Businesses today deploy large scale systems using services and micro services throughout their organizations. With systems being woven together in a complex tapestry, technology projects and initiatives demand incredibly precise coordination, especially to make large scale changes.

Fortunately, the Technical Program Manager (TPM) role has evolved to meet this need. TPMs combine superb technical skills with program/project/process management skills to dig into thorny, critical issues and lead teams to solve large and complex technical problems.

Docker and Containers: Do They Make Sense for Your Enterprise?

Bala Pedapalli | Application Development | December 1, 2016

Containers are like an undiscovered band that’s played the same venue and the same old songs for many years but suddenly finds a stunning vocalist and vaults to the top of the charts. Their exciting new lead vocalist is Docker, and they’re embarking on a worldwide tour.

Modular Programming for Android Using Swift

Yuri Brigance | Digital Experience and Mobile | November 17, 2016

Built from scratch with modern technologies and released in 2014, Apple’s Swift has gained a lot of momentum and credibility as a programming language. Initially launched for iOS, Apple has positioned Swift to eventually replace its stalwart language, Objective-C, but has recently made it open source. In some ways, this move makes it a genuine competitor to Java on a number of platforms, especially within the mobile development community.

Clarifying QA Roles: Making Sense of an Array of Job Titles and Responsibilities

By Jason Luke | Application Development | September 23, 2016

QA roles and responsibilities in software development can be confusing. On message boards, even ones specific to testing, questions such as “What’s the difference between a tester and an SDET?” and “Is an SDET the same thing as an automation

Pokémon Go: Lessons in “Experience” for Mobile Apps and Digital Strategy

Joey Shevelson | Digital Experience and Mobile | August 19, 2016

Released on Wednesday, July 6th, Pokémon Go has been out for about six weeks and has experienced the most rapid rise to cultural relevance seen by a technology product since Twitter; in fact, it managed to overtake Twitter in daily active users. It outpaced Candy Crush, Tinder and Snapchat too. Indeed, in terms of time spent on the app by users, Pokémon Go is doing better than Facebook. One week out of the gate, SurveyMonkey Intelligence claimed that Pokémon Go is the “biggest mobile game in U.S. history.”

IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS: Which is Right for You?

Chris Sihon | IT Infrastructure | August 16, 2016

While most modern enterprises use the cloud in some fashion, many still don’t understand how best to leverage it for their flagship applications and IT infrastructure. Choosing the appropriate model or models to serve your organization’s vision requires careful planning and understanding of the drivers, benefits, and challenges of each.

Native or Hybrid – What’s the Difference and Which is Right for Your Mobile App Project?

AIM Consulting | Digital Experience and Mobile | July 18, 2016

When you decide it’s time to invest in a mobile app, your next big decision is to choose how it will be developed. Should you choose Native development or should you go Hybrid? Like so many technology solutions questions, the answer will depend on your goals and resources. Each path can lead to success, and you can increase the odds of a great outcome by understanding the opportunities and costs associated with each choice.

Gaining Executive-Level Buy-In for Data Governance Strategy

Cristina Nitescu | Data and Analytics | July 11, 2016

Data governance initiatives are inherently complex because they affect one of the organization’s most critical assets: information. In addition, at their core lies a mandate for company-wide change. As a result, buy-in and enthusiasm is needed across the organization, starting with executive leadership.