≡ Menu

Table of Contents for “Boiling the IT Frog” (and 44 IT Secrets)

Introduction: We’re Off to See the Wizard
Pulling Back the Curtain

  • Who Should Read This Book
  • This is not a technical book.
  • How to Get the Most Value from this Book

Chapter 1: Poof, There It Is!
Magic in IT isn’t a Good Thing

  • Secret 1: Technology that crosses the line into magic leads to unreasonable trust, illogical thinking, and inappropriate wizardry.
  • Secret 2: New technology always disappoints before it succeeds.

Chapter 2: In IT We Trust?
Without Trust, IT is Useless

  • Secret 3: Information Technology is all about infrastructure, projects, maintenance, strategy, and trust.
  • Secret 4: If your company doesn’t have a mutually trusting relationship with its IT organization, then IT won’t be successful.

Chapter 3: The Stuff Inside Your Walls
IT Infrastructure

  • Secret 5: IT infrastructure is just like the stuff inside the walls of your house.
  • Secret 6: There is no “right” amount of money to spend on IT infrastructure.
  • Secret 7: Almost any software and hardware will work in the short term, but you’ll see the difference in the long term.
  • Secret 8: The fewer Information Technology products you have, the better off you’ll be, as long as you’ve chosen good products.

Chapter 4: Keeping the Pipes Clean
Optimizing your IT Infrastructure

  • Secret 9: Keeping software users up-to-date on current versions is much more difficult than you’d think.
  • Secret 10: If you’re going to use off-the-shelf software, then use the business processes that come with it. Otherwise you’re just paving the cow paths.
  • Secret 11: The biggest revolution in Information Technology in years is in the area of middleware, integration broker technology, and web services.

Chapter 5: Think of a Number Between 1 and 1,000
Picking the Right Projects

  • Secret 12: A key to successful IT projects is selecting the right projects to do. A bad project selection process will lead you to the wrong projects.
  • Secret 13: Using Return on Investment (ROI) for project selection is a ticket to failure unless some stringent rules for calculating ROI are put in place.
  • Secret 14: Adding strategic alignment to the project selection process ensures that IT projects move the company in the right direction.

Chapter 6: You Want It When?
Making Projects Successful

  • Secret 15: Good project management is asking the right questions.
  • Secret 16: All projects have risk. Good projects deal with it, and bad projects just hope for the best.
  • Secret 17: Most projects fail for the same reasons.

Chapter 7: It’s Not Just Like Tuning Up the Car
Maintenance — Keeping up with Business Change

  • Secret 18: Software “maintenance” follows different rules from hardware maintenance, and should be planned and budgeted differently.

Chapter 8: Are We There Yet?
Creating an IT Strategy

  • Secret 19: An IT organization without an IT strategy is like a sailing ship without a destination; it’s anybody’s guess where you’re going or when you’ll get there. But pick a destination, and you’ll begin to see progress.
  • Secret 20: The IT organization should actively participate in setting business strategy in order to leverage their technology expertise for maximum business benefit.

Chapter 9: Can Nine Women Have a Baby in a Month?
QCSS — Pick Three

  • Secret 21: When you define the requirements for a project, you can’t specify quality, cost, schedule and scope; only three of the four can be required, and the other variable is dependent on the process being used for the project.
  • Secret 22: Adding more resources to an IT project (especially one that’s running late) can make it take longer.

Chapter 10: How’d We Get into this Mess?
Why isn’t Information Technology Simple?

  • Secret 23: Information Technology seems more complex than it has to be.

Chapter 11: Simple, Simpler, Simplest
How to Simplify Information Technology

  • Secret 24: The easiest way to simplify technology is to not use it at all.
  • Secret 25: Lack of focus leads to unnecessary complexity. Follow the 80-20 Rule to focus on the important things, and your IT will be simpler.
  • Secret 26: Systems are unwieldy and complex because we let them get that way. To make systems simpler, keep project scope under control.
  • Secret 27: Systems that are built in layers are much easier to manage and change.

Chapter 12: Your System was Bad Today
Building a Partnership

  • Secret 28: The Information Technology organization is your partner in creating and managing systems and data, with shared responsibilities.
  • Secret 29: Emotionally, it’s more difficult to deal with a system problem that you inherit in a new job.

Chapter 13: Parlez vous Anglais?
Dealing with IT People

  • Secret 30: IT people are very focused on the how, not on the what. The most common mistakes they’ll make are errors caused by doing the wrong things, not by doing things wrong.
  • Secret 31: The best way to communicate with an IT organization is to talk to members of the organization as if they’re from a foreign country and don’t speak English very well.
  • Secret 32: Motivate an IT organization the same way you’d motivate any other organization, by measuring its contribution to business success.

Chapter 14: Sprechen sie Business?
Dealing with Business People

  • Secret 33: Although business people want long-term success, they easily get caught up in the apparent urgency of shorter-term goals. The most common mistakes they’ll make are errors caused by a focus on inappropriate shorter-term goals.
  • Secret 34: Like IT people, some business people are also somewhat focused on the how, but often inappropriately so. Overly-specific definition of system requirements by the business is a leading cause of excessive IT spending and low IT morale.
  • Secret 35: Good IT analysis work can ensure that the real problem is being solved – not just a symptom. But a business focus on symptoms will prevent work on the real problems.
  • Secret 36: Telling someone in the IT organization about a problem doesn’t mean that the IT organization is committed to fix it; but business people tend to see things that way.
  • Secret 37: The best way for IT to communicate with a business user is by using the language of the business – not the language of IT.

Chapter 15: Have Your “Guy” Do It
Should IT be Outsourced? Offshored?

  • Secret 38: Parts of IT can be outsourced or offshored, but it’s a business decision, with risks and rewards.

Chapter 16: Who’s the Designated Driver?
How to Improve Your IT Organization

  • Secret 39: When you look past the technology itself, IT is all about change: changing the business in ways that make it more efficient and effective.
  • Secret 40: To increase the effectiveness of an IT organization, align direction, leadership and resources.
  • Secret 41: Achieve your IT objectives faster by focusing on what’s truly important. Focus includes preventing work on things that aren’t relevant or productive.
  • Secret 42: To increase the efficiency of an IT organization, optimize people, processes, and tools.
  • Secret 43: To achieve IT objectives which are important but not critical, take advantage of your company’s “wind direction.”

Chapter 17: Putting It All Together

  • Secret 44: We wouldn’t be where we are if we’d planned it; but now that we’re here, we don’t have to stay.




About the Author

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. For more information on the use of cookies on this web site, see http://blog.makingitclear.com/cookies/