nc360°-Titelbild zum Artikel »Testmanagement in agilen Softwareprojekten«

In traditional software development, final tests are planned in advance. During the test period, test and troubleshooting phases alternate until the finished product is finally ready for installation and use. Agile software projects run differently and challenge this step-by-step approach. Combining classical (software) test management with the requirements of an agile organisation is a methodical challenge, but also holds many opportunities.

IT teams are currently under pressure from two sides: the business demands new and complex solutions that drive the digital transformation process, while at the same time the existing infrastructure must be kept up-to-date and operated smoothly. The lack of IT specialists is blocking staff growth, and outsourcing alone is not always the way out. In addition, the pressure in IT departments is increasing and employees are as dissatisfied as the longer queues of customers at the door.

It sounds simple, yet, it is of central importance: Software that functions without any error is good, as software errors cost time and money. That applies to standard software, but of course also to custom applications such as those used at many companies in day to day business. Through automated tests, it is possible to continuously measure and assure software quality. Undesired side effects of software changes can be directly identified and avoided through automated tests.

 

Steady growth and mergers present human resource departments with enormous challenges. On the path from "administrating" to proactive consulting in terms of human resource management, the requirements posed to modern human resource management processes as well as analysis and planning functionalities are growing. As such, AGRAVIS - with the help of noventum consulting - initially started to look for an HRM standard solution with the objective of being able to take care of a large share of current and expected future requirements. Once the fitting solution was found with PERSIS, additional requirements were implemented, for instance with the "digital personnel file", the "employee life-cycle" process, and the integration of processes that are usually foreign to HR. Today, the AGRAVIS human resource department works with a modern solution for the quite often automated mapping of the human resource management processes.

With its collaboration software SharePoint, Microsoft has been working since 2001 on combining under one roof a lot of functions that - to date - are operated separate from one another at companies: Intranet, extranet, content management, document management, personal cloud, business social networking, business intelligence, workflow management, web content management, and a lot more. The collaboration software - which has to potential to shape business communications as a whole - has arrived in day-to-day business at a lot of companies. Yet, the implementation of SharePoint technology is still a big challenge and a lot of implementation projects fail.

 

To those who deal with IT quality management, the questions „what is IT quality, actually, where and how is it measured, and where is it created?" very quickly arise.

According to the IEC 2371 standard, quality is the correspondence between the observed properties and the previously defined requirements of an observation unit. In the case of IT quality, the observation unit typically either is an IT component (server, switch, router, etc.) or an IT service.

Even still today, IT is merely a means to an end at a lot of companies. The history of in-house IT is long and twisted, the basic technical facts are confusing, and only comprehensible to „old hands“ at the company. IT serves merely as a tool for the core business and does therefore not receive the attention of a strategic factor in the planning that is decisive for success. At the same time, IT costs a lot of money and has to prove that it has an up-to-date cost/benefit ratio. This is the moment for a paradigm shift: the end of reaction and the beginning of strategy and planning. Hartmut Ossowitzki, management consultant at noventum consulting, has been working as an IT specialist for more than 20 years and advises heads of IT regarding the setup of a strategic EAM (Enterprise Architecture Management).

Communication in large hospitals takes place through innumerable channels. In addition to the already highly complex issue of data communications, this does also and still affect the classic area of telephony. The use of mobile end devices is a matter of course in day-to-day hospital business, but here is where problems and challenges occur that are owed to the special hospital situation and that require special solutions. Extraordinarily heterogeneous systems as well as radiation-sensitive areas on the hospital grounds are just two of the numerous topics that an integrated solution must take into consideration.

 

WGZ BANK, Geno Bank Consult and GAD did, with the support of noventum, jointly develop a new solution for credit risk reporting. In this, it was possible to show that an automated data management system and a standardised report template do not necessarily have to represent a contradiction to bank-specific requirements.

Be it floods, technical accidents, or complete power outages: nobody is immune to catastrophes and ever so often companies are affected as well, whose production stagnates as a result or even comes to a grinding halt. In this, the survivability of a lot of business operations is dependent on continuously available IT services and their underlying IT infrastructure.

Just like the call for order, safety, and planning, the call for quality in IT is always topical. This applies when large changes are ahead as well as when realignments and problems occur in normal operations. Each and every major change is followed by a consolidation, be it after a merger, a spin-off, an insourcing or outsourcing, or after periods of severe cost reduction. The next step is the call for an increase or reestablishment of quality.

 

The CHAOS Report of the Standish Group has been telling us for 20 years already that IT projects in a clear majority of cases do not achieve their objectives. Be it 16 % achievement of objectives in 1994 or 39 % in 2012, IT projects are not a safe bet and whether the increase by 23 percentage points of the last 20 years is actually the result of a stronger focus on objectives can definitely be doubted.

 

How often do you hear the familiar saying "Only that which can be measured can also be managed"? Managing includes three central tasks: setting objectives, determining paths, and achieving objectives.

The work environment is changing permanently and will, in the years ahead, become completely different from what we have known in the past. These are not trends that come and go but rather a true change of the rules of the game.  Even though today traditional work is still common at a lot of companies, this model is approaching its expiration date. The young generation of „digital natives“ and an unstoppable change of values in society are reaching the work environment more and more.

Everybody is talking about outsourcing, scenarios for sourcing models are state-of-the-art. 

If the internal IT service provider decides to outsource parts or whole areas of its provision of services to one or more external providers, i.e., to initiate an outsourcing project, then a lot of framework conditions are changing for it.

 

IT is the backbone of the modern enterprise, not just another function within it. For businesses to continue to succeed in an increasingly technology-dependent world, CIOs must assume a strategic leadership role and drive change throughout the enterprise. Driving business strategy is not an entirely new role, but it is an added responsibility to the traditional CIO job function. While many CIOs possess the skills and ambition to impact business strategy, existing IT operational models and an aging infrastructure are holding them back. CIOs who have been successful in bridging the divide between IT and the business did it by first accelerating IT transformation.

noventum consulting is conducting Business Intelligence Maturity Assessments based on a methodology that is utilising the Information Evolution Model to identify and measure an organisation’s current level of BI maturity. With this information, you can increase the value driven by Business Intelligence Investments and also achieve a competitive advantage.

Interview: Dr. Matthias Rensing and Marco Nielinger (noventum consulting) with Prof. Dr. Gottfried Vossen (WWU)

Increasing internationalisation, constantly growing IT requirements and increased cost pressure force companies to review their IT strategy with respect to integrating cloud computing. In addition, cloud computing promises high agility, flexibility, reliability, security, availability and efficiency.

Business decisions are based on data. It is quite a challenge to manage data cross-departmentally, to protect it, to use it profitably, and while doing so, to adhere to statutory requirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Basel II or HIPAA. According to a 2008 Gartner study, only 10 % of all businesses succeed in their first attempt to implement efficient processes that master this challenge.