Hatred and Despair

Short and sweet this week. I always worked on the assumption that any project would have an additional life cycle phase after, during or occasionally before, go-live. After Dev, Test, Imp etc comes, in my opinion, the most important phase of any project methodology, the phase whose length dictates whether a project is ultimately a […]

SLAs – Are They Just a Defence Mechanism ?

Continuing with my thoughts challenging existing IT practice I thought I’d have a stab at the Service Level Agreement (SLA). As usual, all points are made in an attempt to provoke debate. The SLA is a contractual issue that I have spent many hours debating – and I have often questioned the point. When the […]

Don’t Look a Gift Horse…

Many retailers (both bricks and pure plays and everything in between) have dabbled with a gift registry service. Like most things, there are a variety of success stories and some not so great implementations. The benefits are clear – even from a short term perspective, the service can drive additional revenue. If done properly it […]

Get Rid of IT!

As my career continues, I ponder the constant pre-occupation that some corners of the IT community have with ‘business’ integration. The mere fact that the phrase “IT & the business” is used builds the perception of a barrier between two sides at war. Are there groups of accountants sitting around asking themselves how to get […]

Omni-Channel is Not Just About Customer Service

We are implementing omni-channel strategies as this is the modern customer expectation – though probably an expectation we have created. There are however sensible benefits for the retailer. A retailer managing seasonal product is fundamentally focused on selling the most product at the highest price before entering a cycle of margin threatening markdown activity. A […]

Is Stock Loss Important?

Well, it is – I just wanted a compelling headline, however from an operational perspective awareness and management of Stock Accuracy should be the dominant concern. When I raised the issue of Stock Accuracy several years ago, at the beginning of the multi / omni channel journey, I often had to explain the difference between accuracy […]

Are Sales a Valid Measure of Success?

The traditional measure of retail success is sales. This should be viewed as the conversion of demand to ‘cash’ and is the ultimate measure of the chain of events that got the shopper into the store, convinced them to buy something and fulfilled their demand. Sales are reported in variety of ways and with different […]

Leadership, Luck and Cricket

I was saddened to hear of the death of Richie Benaud yesterday. When I was growing up (cricket mad) Richie was renowned for his commentary but my Dad told me about the tenacious Australian all rounder and the astute captain that he was in his playing days. His importance to Australia is evidenced by the […]

The Need for Appropriate Governance and Exceptional Substance

Of course, every project needs control and a sensible governance structure but have we gone too far? We do not advocate chaos, but in today’s world the word ‘governance’ is often used as an excuse for inactivity and can easily kill any hope of innovation and rapid deployment. Do projects with extensive governance structures deliver better […]

The Role of the Programmer

I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with the software industry and the growth, and misguided reliance on testing and Quality Assurance. Don’t get me wrong, these functions are vital to the production of software of ‘engineering quality’ but, as an industry, we seem to have forgotten about the need to produce quality code in the first place. The […]