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Many moons ago, as an impoverished student, I had the life-enhancing experience of selling timeshare on a part-time basis on what came to be known as a zero-hours contract. The job involved calling people as they were leaving for work or having their dinner, with the aid of an enthusiastically-worded script, to encourage them to attend some kind of seminar.

 

COBIT 5 – IT governance is corporate governance

Governance has become increasingly important in our information-centric enterprises. There are many examples from the corporate world that reinforce the view - information needs to be properly managed and controlled. The collapse of Enron and Worldcom which led to the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in the U.S. is only one example, albeit one of the best known. Many products now trumpet support for information governance and provide tools which allow for higher levels of control.

PRINCE2 Agile - a match made in heaven or hell?

How many of you find that in order to satisfy everyone involved, the procedures of PRINCE2 and Agile often run parallel to each other on the same projects? We can all admit to having used a Gannt chart to show senior management that the project will be delivered on time, yet still operate in sprints and keep a product backlog. Having identified these common denominators in many project teams, AXELOS is launching a new PRINCE2 Agile qualification which aims to blend the best methods of each to produce a best practise guide and qualification.

Case study: Achieving joined-up development - Scrum at Incommunities

This social-housing provider based in Bradford uses its development team to deliver its own in-house corporate business systems. At the time, Incommunities were having trouble being able to align the needs of the business with what the development team were realistically able to do. This is why they decided to give Scrum a try.

 

Why do we like Agile?

We've been reviewing the recent 'State of Agile 9', the annual survey carried out by VersionOne which gives us a real insight into the adoption and popularity of Agile. Scrum is still the most popular kind of Agile with 56% of companies who participated in the survey using it.

We thought we'd hone in on the findings about what improvements that Agile ways of working have made to the people who took part in the survey.

COBIT 5 - IT control objectives, how to do it properly

About four years ago when I was deep in thought about the Strategy phase of ITIL®, I was pondering a question from a delegate regarding where the policies that are discussed and the principles expounded in the guidance actually come from.

The answer was relatively straightforward but, it was what came next which we are concerned with.

Case study: An all-round approach to ITIL at Oxford Brookes

The Oxford Brookes IT department was in need of assistance in exploring the best ways to proceed with change management. They already had a process exercise in transition but wanted to grasp a solid understanding of what a workable change process should look like. They wanted to know what changes would arise in implementing adoption and which supporting fuctions would be required.

How Quanta helped:

Cyber security savvy

In 2015, cyber security should be a business' number one priority. There are UK standards for cyber security that organisations can adhere to but they are voluntary so needless to say, they’re often forgotten.

Why I've been buying straw bales for work (and I'm no farmer)

I've been designing training courses for a number of years now and as such I have a trusty process for developing them. It usually involves reading widely around a subject, speaking to as many ‘experts’ as possible, identifying the key learning objectives, writing a trainer guide and then producing some exercises for delegates to practise each of the key points. Nothing extraordinary then, until now that is…

Do we underestimate the value of the Product Owner?

When liaising with clients about adopting Scrum or other Agile practices, they're often keen to have an army of Scrum Masters. In fact, it is not unusual that their response to my typical opening question of ‘What do you need?’ is ‘Scrum Master training, that’s what we need and lots of it’. Now, I’m not denigrating the importance of the Scrum Master role, or the development team for that matter, in any way, but why is it that the Product Owner (PO) role doesn’t seem to have gained the same traction in our industry's imagination?

Scrum and shipwrecks: simulation at its best

When we said in last month's blog article that agile thinking has many applications outside of software development, we failed to mention that you can even use it to salvage a shipwreck. This is the objective in Raise the Terror, the latest ThirdBrainTM simulation from Quanta focusing on the principles of scrum. After you've learned the theory of scrum, you might know how to be a great Product Owner or Scum Master, but there's nothing better than putting it into practice within a fun, stimulating setting.

Authenticity - why we distrust the political elite

We love authentic leaders; those who tell it like it is, who wear their hearts on their sleeves, those we don’t suspect of duplicity and insincerity, which is maybe why we have all grown to mistrust our political elite.

With ever-growing disillusionment in our political leadership and an election just around the corner, I believe that a lack of authenticity in those who ‘represent’ us, is what's currently missing.

Leadership in Action - unique four-day residential

What makes a good leader? There isn't one type of leadership style that works in all situations, successful leaders take several guises. This is why we've developed a unique four-day residential leadership course like no other you have ever experienced.