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Mike Tarrani
Linda Zarate
Kate Hartshorn

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Notes from the Field

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Dan Gilmore
Robert X. Cringely
Jakob Nielsen
Julian Bond
Deborah Branscum
Lisa Rein
Ed Yourdon


Friday, February 08, 2002


If you're initiating process improvement you'll want to read American Productivity & Quality Center's whitepaper titled Benchmarking: Leveraging Best-Practice Strategies. You'll find that it's a good fit with the material on process improvement that I've posted in the last two entries. If you're interested in knowledge management and how it enables business processes and process improvement you'll also want to download the PowerPoint presentations from APQC's September 2001 conference on Next-Generation Knowledge Management: Enabling Business Processes.

I also recommend e-Newsletter of Practical Process Improvement if you want to read insightful articles about process improvement.

If you are pursuing improvement in project management or program management practices you'll want to check out NNH Enterprise's earned value project management papers and associated earned value definitions.

On 17 January Linda and I each addressed the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) in Notes from The Field. One of the key issues (and there are many) that we have with UCITA is the restriction against criticizing a product. This extends to reviews, statements of fact concerning shortcomings and the like. If you want to see justice before UCITA check out the short article from The Register dated 7 February 2002 headlined as NY sues NAI so you can say McAfee sucks. If UCITA were in force McAfee would have prevailed. Food for thought. If you're not up-to-speed about UCITA do take the time to read Linda's and my 17 January comments, as well as InfoWorld's UCITA briefing page and Ed Foster's incisive thoughts in his Gripeline article titled The Bride of UCITAstein.

Another legal issue (actually a raft of them) that affects our profession and the businesses that we support concerns intellectual property. I won't go into my thoughts about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) today because I'll wind up writing a tome instead of making a weblog entry. I will recommend that you read Bill Zoellick's excellent book titled CyberRegs: A Business Guide to Web Property, Privacy, and Patents, which succinctly captures the essence of the thorny legal issues and the laws that are being passed to keep pace with our web-enabled, information-driven world. I reviewed this book on 25 September, and my friend Kate Hartshorn also reviewed it on 8 November. Kate's review is interesting because her expertise is competitive intelligence (a fancy word for corporate spy), and her comments place the issues in a different perspective than the rest of the reviews.

One site I frequently visit for news regarding intellectual property issues on the web is Info Anarchy. This site's stated mission is to cover: reviews of file sharing/anonymity tools, announcements of new releases, ideas and concepts, legal proceedings, statements and other relevant news. Along these same lines, Deborah Branscum's weblog is a worthwhile resource. Her views of UCITA, Microsoft follies and related topics are completely in line with mine. The difference between Deborah and me, though, is she does not sugar-coat her opinions.

Closing items are odds and ends that are valuable to IT managers:

TGIF. Tomorrow's entry will address more security issues and provide some documents and resources that you may find especially valuable for refining your security posture.