Advisors provide a continuous flow of information on the topics covered by each practice, including consultant insights and reports from the front lines, analyses of trends, and breaking new ideas. Advisors are delivered directly to your email inbox, and are also available in the resource library.

Look Beyond ROI in Early-Stage AI Projects

Steven Kursh, Arthur Schnure

Nearly all software projects are premised on understanding user needs and requirements. In our experience with clients, we typically address this phase by working with prospective users to develop use cases. What are some common use cases? Well, it depends on the company, but we’ve seen use cases primarily fall into four categories for early-stage, toe-in-the-water AI compared to full-scale ML efforts:

Market and consumer intelligence

Sales and marketing

Pricing and optimization

Customer care

5 Tips for Fostering Self-Directed Teams

Bob Galen
Self-direction doesn’t just happen because you adopt Scrum, Kanban, or another Agile variant. Or because you say “Agile” 20 times to your teams. It needs a fertile space to grow. It needs to be watered and fertilized. It needs an honest and open environment. In far too many cases, this is simply not happening. So, what are the elements of self-directed space? This Advisor explores five that come to mind.

Diversity in Tech: Are We Moving the Needle or Just Idling? — An Introduction

Viola MaxwellThompson

Two challenges have plagued corporate America wholistically and the technology industry specifically: the presence of workforce inequities experienced by people of color and the lack of meaningful and sustainable actions addressing these inequities. Statistics representing the number of women of color, Black, and Latinx professionals working in the tech­nology industry overall, not to mention those holding leadership positions, remain in the single digits.

Architects Must Look "Beyond the Hill"

Pierfranco Ferronato
The professional life of architects is tough, often dealing with tasks typically not performed in everyday non-IT life. They always must support a “future state,” a situation not yet in existence that users or stakeholders can’t predict if not stressed with the proper questions. This Advisor explores how architects look “beyond the hill” and impose superstructures and patterns that may appear unnecessary today but are useful when things ultimately change.

Where Are Government Agencies Applying IPA?

Curt Hall
Government agencies were investing in automation long before COVID-19. But as the pandemic has dragged on, they are increasingly turning to RPA and IPA platforms whose capabilities are bolstered by artificial intelligence technologies in order to better meet the expectations and demands placed on them by citizens. This Advisor identifies some of the more popular IPA applications in government.

The Chief Product Officer: A Growing Necessity

Bhaskar Ahuja
The CPO role is emerging as the business’s product portfolio equivalent of the CTO on the technical side of an organization. The CPO leads the product development team and oversees the product portfolio. This Advisor looks at the CPO role and discusses how and when companies—even smaller ones—can benefit from establishing the CPO position.

Beyond Agile: Management Methods for Solving Large-Scale Problems

John Heintz
When companies grow beyond a handful of individuals or teams, many changes will affect the organization of work and people. At small scale, and for a limited period of time, a team can organically "remember" its own history. This Advisor explores mechanisms beyond that small scale that encourage learning and sharing across the organization.

Architecting Across Organizational Boundaries

Whynde Kuehn
Working in partnership with many other teams across the strategy execution lifecycle, business architects play an important role to translate business direction into an actionable future state vision that everyone can work toward. In this Advisor, we explore a few scenarios where business architecture is being used or emerging in practice to architect across organizational boundaries.

Using Business Architecture to Build a Sustainable Future

Giovanni Traverso, William Ulrich
In a recent webinar, Cutter Fellow William Ulrich and Giovanni Traverso explored the circular economy, the strategic challenges it presents, and business architecture’s role in transitioning an organization into becoming a player in the sustainable economy. This Advisor shares the Q&A session that followed the presentation. We hope the advice will spark some new ideas for how your organization can participate in the circular economy.

4 Key Attributes of Successful Analytics Projects

Benjamin Porter
Ensuring that analytics projects create value for the business is easier said than done, and expensive, complex data projects are prime targets for (the wrong kind of) management attention. In this Advisor, we identify the four fundamental requirements for successful analytics projects (sponsor, tools, team, and project/problem). These key attributes can assist project managers in setting priorities.

Challenging the Social Context of Risk Management

Robert Charette

For many decision makers in gov­ernment and industry today, practicing robust risk management is still seen within their organizations’ social context as providing little if any positive upside, but instead possessing potentially large downside conse­quences for them personally and professionally. Many decision makers skeptically view rigorous risk analysis as akin to future blame analysis for something that might go wrong rather than a way to increase career or organization success.

Five Communication Actions for Project Success

Shasheela Devi Karuppiah, Ezuria Nadzri, Govindan Marthandan
This Advisor explores five communication actions that will help propel a team toward project success: refine the content, select the methods, manage the velocity, review the process, and define the frequency. These insights may be useful while considering the structure of a project communication management plan.

Amid the Pandemic, IPA Adoption Accelerating in Healthcare

Curt Hall
The adoption of automation in the healthcare industry has really taken off since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Advisor, we look at a few examples of how healthcare and medical organizations utilize IPA to enhance and improve operations.

3 Perspectives on Project Management

Vince Kellen
In this Advisor, we discuss statistical project management through three perspectives: the rational view, the behavioral view, and the complex adaptive systems view.

Measuring the Value of Enterprise Architecture

Scott Whitmire
The value provided by enterprise architecture (EA) is in the identification and understanding of the links between operational execution and strategic intent and their influence on business outcomes. This Advisor explores how to trace business outcome changes back to work done under the banner of EA.

A New Security Target: Dynamic Resilience

Jon Geater
As the security focus switches from confidentiality to integrity and authenticity, we must change our approach. Instead of trying to predict and avoid every possible threat before embracing connectivity, we must move to accept that risks are unpredictable and dynamic, and that the best defense is to be alert to changes in circumstances, adaptive to changes in risk, and resilient in the face of failure.

Ingredients for Enterprise Agility, Part VIII: Why Progression Metrics Deliver Focus for Agile Teams

Jon Ward
This Advisor explains how monitoring progression metrics can help teams see if their actions are moving toward success. Additionally, as Agile uses value throughout the definition, backlog refinement, and activity prioritization processes combined with incremental delivery, teams can determine early on if their activities are having the desired result. If not, then they can apply the Agile proverb “pivot without mercy or guilt.”

Managing Delegated Organizations with a Tenant Approach

Konrad Pfeffer, Nick Bartlett
Delegating administrative activities within a CIAM solution can allow your business products in a B2B context to grow and scale without having to worry about user management. As we explore in this Advisor, the tenant concept is one approach for managing your delegated organizations.

Optimizing Business Models for the Circular Economy

Giovanni Traverso, William Ulrich
Business model optimization plays an important role in transitioning to the circular economy. Using an example from an automotive manufacturing company, this Advisor explores how business architecture enables this transition while concurrently enabling organizations to streamline costs, increase revenues, and achieve related strategic objectives.

5 Underhyped Technologies That Could Shape the Future

Steve Andriole
Research organizations love trendy “celebrity” technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, cybersecurity, distributed clouds, and privacy technology. They’re easy to identify and hype. Many are, in fact, impactful in any given year. But what about the “underdogs”? Can they become “wonderdogs”? In this Advisor, we take a closer look at five underdog technologies that might have a major future impact on our personal and professional lives.

The Case for Environmental Intelligence Solutions

San Murugesan
Environmental intelligence (EI) is an effective combined use of data science, AI, and other digital technologies such as IoT to provide the meaningful insight needed to address these challenges and mitigate the effects of environmental change. This Advisor examines how EI can help in collecting and analyzing environmental data to understand the cause and impact of environmental changes and to predict potential environmental risks facing us.

How AI Subfields Are Advancing Product Development

Michael Jastram
There are many artificial intelligence subfields that have the potential to help us overcome the limitations of current product develop­ment approaches, each at a different development level. This Advisor explores four of these subfields: natural language processing, machine learning, interactive AI, and training data.

Changing the Way Your Business Operates with AI

Bhuvan Unhelkar
As businesses strive to maximize customer value, many are moving towards the adoption of AI to enable better organizational agility and flexibility to meet customer demands. This Advisor explores the value propositions and considerations for businesses contemplating AI adoption.

Simplifying Architecture in an Agile Environment

Avinash Malik
Many Agile processes place architects too far from the development activities. This Advisor explores the roles of engineering lead, solution architect, and enterprise architect, and asserts that if we allow some grey area between the roles of an architect and an engineering lead, two roles work better than three.

Optimizing Business Processes with Intelligent Document Processing

Curt Hall
According to a Cutter survey examining the adoption of intelligent process automation (IPA), nearly 60% of organizations identified accelerated document processing as the number one use case for applying IPA in the enterprise. If you think about it, this makes sense because document processing is a huge bottleneck for companies across almost every industry and for most government agencies. This Advisor explores the adoption of IPA including the goals, benefits, industry developments, and major automation vendors who have added intelligent document processing to their platforms