Industry Standards: Why Your Organization Should Care
October 7, 2021
Hosted by William Ulrich
Long ago, U.S. states set their own standards for railroads, meaning tracks did not align as trains traveled cross country, creating more than an inconvenience. The technology industry also requires standards, which underpin a wide swath of technical and analytical work at organizations. Standards dictate how data is exchanged, business processes are structured, software is designed, mobile phones work and governments stave off cyberattacks. Is your manufacturing, financial services, insurance, transportation or telecommunications company engaged in standards work? As a rule, the answer would be no. Standards tend to be created by a small number of technology companies and, while many vendors donate time on behalf of their customers, self-serving elements are at work. Ever wonder why certain, widely practiced disciplines like requirements definition, customer journey mapping and “high-level process” design lack standards, or why your requirements tool does not integrate with other tools? There are 100s of thousands of business professionals engaged in these disciplines, yet few if any standards support their work. In spite of these factors, the majority of companies across multiple industries are not involved in standards development, even as their work products continue to be misaligned or poorly defined, driving up costs and degrading the customer experience. This episode of The North Star will focus on the important, often overlooked role of industry standards and discuss why organizations should get involved in standards creation. William Ulrich welcomes Steve Nunn, CEO of The Open Group, and Dr. Richard Soley, CEO of the Object Management Group, two global industry standards associations that have a greater impact on your organization than you might imagine. The discussion will explore the current state of standards work and why more organizations should get involved. Check out this episode and get a behind the scenes look at this critically important, yet largely ignored topic.
The North Star
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The North Star takes a deep dive into the topic of strategy execution, often challenging conventional wisdom for achieving an organization’s strategic vision. The host and thought leaders from multiple fields explore concepts that include rethinking innovation, increasing enterprise agility, transitioning to the circular economy, managing enterprise risk and becoming a cognitive enterprise. Setting sights on one’s “north star” is only half the story. Decades of experience point to the headwinds organizations have faced in pursuit of their strategic vision. To that end, the North Star examines how organizations can more effectively deliver on critical business strategies in these uncertain times. The show tackles intractable challenges that many organizations have historically sidestepped, such as optimizing major program investments and untangling high risk technology deployments. While the show often points toward the road less traveled, that road that can make all the difference.
William Ulrich is President of Tactical Strategy Group, Inc., Cofounder of Business Architecture Associates, President and Cofounder of the Business Architecture Guild and Cutter Consortium Fellow. As a management consultant for more than 40 years, Mr. Ulrich continues to serve as advisor, mentor and workshop leader to corporations and governments worldwide. He is a thought leader in strategy execution, business transformation, business architecture and transformation oversight. Mr. Ulrich has the unique ability to engage executives and practitioners across business and IT boundaries to facilitate and streamline ecosystem-wide transformation. His transformation workshops and lectures have been widely attended by organizations worldwide. Mr. Ulrich blends his IT transformation expertise with his extensive business architecture and business transformation experience to deliver end-to-end solutions that are fully aligned to business strategy. He has authored or coauthored multiple books and transformation methodologies and was an originating contributor to “A Guide to the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge.” Prior to founding Tactical Strategy Group in 1990, Mr. Ulrich served as management consultant, spending the bulk of the 1980s with KPMG where he helped mature its software reengineering practice. His latest writings focus on the cognitive enterprise, transitioning to the circular economy and business-driven IT architecture transformation.