By one measure, the US presidential primary season is off to a rough start. In a small state, counting the ballots became a challenge. Wasn’t technology supposed to solve the problems of past confusions?
Yet the mechanism seemingly failed—again! How is this different from the Boeing Max 8 disaster? In one sense it isn’t.
Disclaimer: The only information this author has on the recent electoral IT problem is publicly available and he is not aware of anyone involved in that process that he may know personally. This piece is only an opinion about a technology issue.
Technology Adoption Process
App developers strive to get to MVP as rapidly as possible. Wikipedia defines a Minimum Viable Product as, “A version of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development. Gathering insights from an MVP is often less expensive than developing a product with more features, which increases costs and risk if the product fails, for example, due to incorrect assumptions.”
Speed is of the essence in software development. Yet, a rapid time to market should not sacrifice adequate analysis and assurance the software is robustly ‘stress tested.’
Apps are moving from simple tools designed to call an independent driver of transport or order a burger. They are now integral parts of enterprise solutions with broad implications if they fail. This changes the fundamental project development process and benchmarks for release. This is true for all App developers, even if their employee base is one or the development process is outsourced entirely.
Most new technologies start is some’s ‘garage.’ Whether Steve Jobs’ or 3M, the processes are ad hoc and getting a so-called ‘Alpha’ product is the goal. Those third parties who accept and test it know their risks and exposure. Such customers would never use that release in a production environment.
Other maturity models include Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) by NASA and the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations.[i] At a minimum, testing must assure it is fit-for-purpose and that the product can ‘scale’ to meet the expected demand.
Technology vendors to ‘critical infrastructure’ sectors such as oil and gas often express exasperation at the sometime slow take up of new solutions.[ii] Individuals that take excessive risks deploying new technology may literally be putting their career at risk as well as their critical processes. Therefore, they tend to be risk averse.
There are many examples of what not to do rolling out new technology. This month’s primary election is just the latest. The adage, ‘no one wants to make the front page of The Wall Street Journal’ has a lot of truth to it. Make sure you and your customer get media coverage for the right reasons.
How Do You Know Technology is Ready for Enterprise Wide Deployment?
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For more information on Cross Cultural Engagement, check out our Cross Cultural Serious Game
You can contact the author as well.
Critical Mass: Value from the RBC Framework
Nuclear physicists define the term, “critical mass” as the amount of fissile material whereby a nuclear reaction is self-sustaining. From that original definition, the construct is further developed along societal and political terms as a function of the environment and number of adopters and their interdependencies that create enough of a consensus for individual actions that sustains an undertaking.
In 1996, the author published the first of several case studies on a societal interaction model based on the Relationships, Behavior and Conditions (RBC) construct among economic actors. Previously the model was only in the domain of academia.
This blog addresses contemporary issues from the RBC perspective and whether in the present state they are sustainable or not. Many readers may be familiar with the “Innovation Adoption Curve.” RBC seeks to enlighten the causality of behaviors that cause movement towards the critical mass that generates movement along this diffusion curve.
- The Tyranny of the Blank Sheet of Paper July 28, 2020
- Home for a While? July 24, 2020
- Technology Assessment in the Era of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) June 30, 2020
- Next or Back to the Future? June 16, 2020
- Agility, Resiliency, Sustainability May 14, 2020
Other Blogs by Dr. Shemwell
Dr. Shemwell is an author/contributor for the following 3rd party blogs.
So, You Want to be an Entrepreneur
Dr. Shemwell is a member of the Global Energy Mentors (GEM) Leadership Team. Every month he or one of his colleagues is posting timely tips to help entrepreneurs navigate the energy start up sector. Check out the Landing Page.
Governing Energy Blog
BTOES Insights is the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news. Dr. Shemwell is a contributor.
Consult 2050 connects organizations with a wide range of consultants all around the world. The firm operates an online marketplace for consultancy services.
Essays on Business and Information
This two volume set covers a series of newsletters and opinion pieces published circa 2002-2009, including Bug Lore–Lessons for the Online Economy that addressed real time systems vulnerabilities from Y2K (1998-99).
About the Author
Dr. Scott M. Shemwell has over 30 years technical and executive management experience primarily in the energy sector. He is the author of six books and has written extensively about the field of operations. Shemwell is the Managing Director of The Rapid Response Institute, a firm that focuses on providing its customers with solutions enabling Operational Excellence and regulatory compliance management. He has studied cultural interactions for more than 30 years—his dissertation; Cross Cultural Negotiations Between Japanese and American Businessmen: A Systems Analysis (Exploratory Study) is an early peer reviewed manuscript addressing the systemic structure of societal relationships.