Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University

Digital Library


Enterprise IT: How to Avoid Mediocrity

  • May 2017
  • By Jørn Ølmheim (Statoil ASA)
  • This talk outlines why large enterprises attract and cultivate mediocrity and suggests some measures that large organizations can take to avoid this phenomenon.
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
  • This presentation was created for a conference series or symposium and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.
  • Abstract

    Enterprise IT organizations attract and foster mediocrity. This is a fundamental reason why large enterprises don't outperform leaner organizations even though they have more resources. This talk describes a fictional organization (albeit slightly inspired from reality) with huge cultural problems to illustrate how bad enterprise IT can be and how it came to be this way. In the first half of this session, we describe the mess we're in and how we got there; in the second half, we consider how we could have avoided this situation and how we can get out of it. Our premise is that a solid culture of learning and continuous improvement as well as a focus on good software architecture and practices could have prevented the mess, and that it is not too late to turn it around. I promise an entertaining talk with a lot of humor, and possibly some insights that you can take back to your organization so that you don't end up in the same mess (if you aren't already there).

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SATURN 2017 Presentations