When all of the best and brightest thinkers in the agile arena get together in one place, there’s no doubt you are going to learn a lot from one another and have fun. This year’s Agile2017 conference in Orlando was no exception. Great breadth of topics that loaded me up with ideas to bring back to our Dominion clients and our company itself. I want to share a few of the areas that top my list.
Making Time for Innovation is Good for Everyone
The innovation theme was prevalent in many conversations and areas, and there is a good reason – because it is important. Innovation is how people, products, industries, etc. get better. Allowing our developers, engineers and leaders the space to innovate will build higher performing teams and organizations. I spent Open Spaces time with some great agilists hearing about the innovative ideas they have implemented at their respective companies. This has fueled my fire to get this going even more at home.
Here at Dominion, we are currently building an internal application that will allow us to better track new business opportunities. Simultaneously, we are exposing more of our staff to agile and continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) principles. Among the many concepts we are trying to inculcate in our team is the “layer cake” user story.
The layer cake idea has been around for over a decade. However, I’ve found on nearly all agile engagements that I’ve been on, teams either discard this idea early in the project or completely ignore it from the outset. It is up to the triumvirate of the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Business Analyst to ensure that the scrum team writes user stories in such a manner that the outcome of each story is working software that delivers tangible value to the end user. (more…)
Dominion Consulting stays in the forefront of Federal IT modernization efforts by encouraging our employees to hone skills and stay current on issues and initiatives impacting government agencies. We are active in several organizations that promote fiscal accountability and technology through government and industry collaboration. One of these organizations is the Association of Government Accountants (AGA). Dominion is very active in the AGA, attending conferences, training events, and providing expert advice on advisory committees.
In July, the 2017 AGA Professional Development Training (PDT) conference brought over 1900 participants, 50 exhibitors, and almost 200 speakers from both industry and government to Boston to discuss emerging issues, initiatives, and technology solutions. Conferences such as this serve as an excellent training platform and allows Dominion to showcase its broad range of services and capabilities. We are able network with former colleagues, clients, and prospective clients, catching up on the latest developments. Representing us at the AGA PDT conference were Todd Barber, Jim Levitan, Howard Campbell, Matt Duffy, Ted Kozlow, and Megan Powers.
The lineup of speakers at the conference is always impressive. This year, they included Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, Comptroller General of the United States Gene Dodaro, and Deputy Controller at OMB Mark Reger. Topics included finance, accounting, and technology initiatives.
You’re an experienced Scrum Master beginning a new project. You meet with your Product Owner (PO) for the first time and hear him or her say any or all of the following:
- “I’ve never worked in this role before.”
- “I’ll do my best to be on-site as much as possible.”
- “I’ve completed Certified Scrum Master training, but I’ve never applied it in practice.”
- “I’m the Product Owner for your team, and nine others.”
Your spidey sense is now tingling. You are going to be working with an inexperienced and/or overextended PO. Fear not, however. Here are some methods and remedies you can apply to get your PO up to speed.
This week I attended the 2017 Alfresco Government Summit here in DC. It is part of Alfresco’s rotating 1-day summits that they hold around the world during the year. Alfresco held this year’s DC event at Nats Park, a great location for the great weather. When attendance is good, it is a solid event full of productive discussions about information governance.
This year was a good year.
As a former Alfresco employee, it was enjoyable to chat with old friends to learn what has changed, and not changed, since my departure. More importantly for Dominion Consulting, it was great to hear directly from Alfresco executives what their priorities are and their vision for tackling them. Enterprise content management (ECM) is constantly evolving so as a leading vendor in the space, their opinion matters.
Based upon what I saw at the event, Alfresco’s priority is enabling digital transformation for organizations.
IT departments are continually being asked to do more with less. They’re also working to meet the increasing demands of their customers. Clients who are accustomed to Amazon-like IT interactions outside of the workplace.
The IT Service Management arena is no exception. In an effort to continue to improve our ability to meet the needs of our clients, Dominion Consulting is now a ServiceNow partner. Our partnership with ServiceNow strengthens our ability to bring best-in-class solutions to our clients looking to overcome these challenges.
To further our partnership, last week I attended Knowledge17, ServiceNow’s annual conference in Orlando, FL. Over 15,000 ServiceNow customers, partners, and associates gathered together to exchange ideas, experiences, and advice. The mixture of keynotes, labs, customer success stories, and demos ensured a little something for everyone.
Have you ever participated in a project where you felt there was no direction, no path forward? Have you asked yourself, How can we apply a process to our decision making? Here at Dominion Consulting , we had experienced this numerous times with clients and within our own internal projects. Our experience always led us to a solution but we wanted a better, more consistent, way forward.
Drawing from our efforts, we captured a series of best practices and lessons learned. Then, we created a model that would identify, assess, and road map a “problem solution.” We saw a need for a fixed period, firm fixed price assessment methodology that would provide our nonprofit customers cost certainty. After substantive development, we created a diagnostic framework that we have successfully applied internally and externally with our customers.
We introduce you to the Assembling, Assessing, Aligning, and Acting Diagnostic Framework. Or more simply, A4. (more…)
Last week I had the pleasure of jumping up to Boston to present at ARMA’s Boston Chapter. The topic was a familiar one, Information Governance in the Age of Digital Transformation. I updated and expanded my keynote from the 2016 Information Governance Conference to allow the attendees to receive the latest insights.
As expected, it was a great event with a lot of good conversations about how we can take a fresh approach to Information Governance. This is a real need as many organizations are still struggling to make strides more than two decades after beginning this journey.
Over the past couple of years our technologists have been spending much of their time reading blogs around technology and studying release notes from Apple, Amazon, SAP, Mulesoft, and other technology giants. This could fill our entire week keeping up the amazing capabilities and innovations in Cloud, Analytics, the Internet of things (IoT), machine learning, etc. that every organization can adopt to save money and improve their mission effectiveness.
Then we meet with our clients and talk about their plans for leveraging these new capabilities. We usually hear they don’t have the time or resources to use these new capabilities. We also hear it’s not on their strategic plan or even worse, they don’t have a plan. How do you prioritize without a plan? When did you last update the plan? Are you living your plan? How fluid is the plan? Most people can’t really answer these questions.
From our perspective, if you don’t have a living strategic plan for technology that is fiscally informed, then you are not just behind, you are wasting the little money you do have to enable your mission. The importance of making informed decisions around IT spend and direction should be every IT leader’s top objective.
Another year and another AIIM Conference in the bag. It was a good year as the industry seems to be slowly coming to the realization that while content is a problem, the solution is to solve the business problem, not necessarily the content problem.
The industry entered AIIM17 with a debate over whether Content Services or Enterprise Content Management (ECM) should be the default name for the industry. The speakers, and attendees, basically uttered a massive, “Who cares?” We are solving problems and learning how to make sure that not just information can be found. Valuable information can be found.
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- Working to Innovate at the Agile 2017 Conference
- Delivering Value Using Layer Cake User Stories
- Dominion Leaves its Mark at AGA’s 2017 Professional Development Training Conference
- 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s
- Working With An Inexperienced Product Owner
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- A Hand’s On Approach to Giving Back: Our Night at The Children’s Inn
- Alfresco Pushes Content Services for Digital Transformation