071 SA Engineering to Thrive SAICE Railways and Harbours -- by Dr James A Robertson PrEng

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The application of the principles that I have developed and successfully applied in the business information systems and IT arena to the broader technology arena in South Africa with regard to the challenges being faced in the South African economy with a view to developing an initiative to turn the economy around from a technical perspective

See also http://www.James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.com/

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071 SA Engineering to Thrive SAICE Railways and Harbours -- by Dr James A Robertson PrEng

  1. 1. 1 South Africa -- Engineering to Thrive SAICE Railways and Harbours Division Dr James Robertson PrEng
  2. 2. 2 Is South Africa facing relegation? I w “South Africa is facing relegation” Clem Sunter and Chantal Illbury in their report “The World and South Africa in the 2010’s”
  3. 3. 3 Quo Vadis?
  4. 4. 4 What is an engineering approach?
  5. 5. 5 What is NOT an engineering approach? The art and science of engineering -- systematic, rigorous -- failure is exceptional, ... Some things are possible and some are NOT Just because you can imagine it and describe it that does not make it practical
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. 7 Engineer against failure
  8. 8. 8 Engineers do not design bridges to stand up, they design them not to fall down...
  9. 9. 9 Closer to home
  10. 10. 10 What is strategy?
  11. 11. 11 Strategy Doing the right things Professor Malcolm McDonald
  12. 12. 12 Tactics Doing things right Professor Malcolm McDonald
  13. 13. 13 The relationship between strategy and tactics Strategy -- doing the right things Professor Malcolm McDonald Tactics -- things right Thrive
  14. 14. 14 The relationship between strategy and tactics Professor Malcolm McDonald Survive Strategy -- doing the right things Tactics -- things right
  15. 15. 15 The relationship between strategy and tactics Professor Malcolm McDonald Die Strategy -- doing the right things Tactics -- things right
  16. 16. 16 The relationship between strategy and tactics Professor Malcolm McDonald Die slowly Die fast Strategy -- doing the right things Tactics -- things right
  17. 17. 17 The relationship between strategy and tactics Professor Malcolm McDonald Die slowly Survive Die fast Thrive Strategy -- doing the right things Tactics -- things right
  18. 18. 18 What is strategy? The essence of why an organization exists and how it thrives
  19. 19. 19 The time dependency of strategy Not a forecast Forecast ? ? ? Today + n Years
  20. 20. 20 The time dependency of strategy Not an objective Objective Today + n Years
  21. 21. 21 The time dependency of strategy Strategic plan -- the path to competitive advantage Today A realistic trajectory of continuous improvement Objective within business constraints + n Years
  22. 22. 22 The trajectory from good to great Gilette case study “From Good to Great” by Jim Collins page 24 1986 Hostile takeover thwarted 1991 Mockler retires 1996 End Study 1975 Colman Mockler Appointed CEO US$14.92 Gillette General US Stock Market
  23. 23. 23 Causes of information technology investment failure
  24. 24. 24 Causes of information technology investment failure Information technology mythology (30%) Lack of executive custody and inappropriate policies (20%) Lack of strategic alignment (15%) Lack of an engineering approach (12%) Poor data engineering (10%) People / soft issues (8%) Technology issues (5%) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 65% Remember that technology is value inert
  25. 25. 25 Causes of information technology investment failure And ... Remember ... Technology I.T. is ALL about PEOPLE! Information technology mythology (30%) Lack of executive custody and inappropriate policies (20%) Lack of strategic alignment (15%) Lack of an engineering approach (12%) Poor data engineering (10%) People / soft issues (8%) Technology issues (5%) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 65% Remember that technology is value inert
  26. 26. 26 The critical factors for success And ... Remember ... Technology I.T. is ALL about PEOPLE! 59% 25% -- Executive Custody and Policy 18% -- Strategic Architecture 16%-- Strategic Alignment 14% -- Business Integration and Optimization 12% -- Project Schedule, Budget and Resource Management 10% -- Data Engineering and Information Management 5%-- Technology Components 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
  27. 27. 27 The critical human foundation Business Competence (Knowledge and Experience) Technology Competence (Knowledge and Experience) Personality Profiles and Related Human Traits Solution Knowledge Solution Experience Communication Other Human Factors 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Paradigms, culture, generations, history ...
  28. 28. 28 Diffusion of innovation -- constraint on change
  29. 29. 29 Personality
  30. 30. 30 Competence = Knowledge and Experience
  31. 31. 31 Competence = Knowledge and Experience Every human being is a unique and complex compilation of knowledge and experience Every job requires a specific compilation of knowledge and experience Assembling teams is a challenge
  32. 32. 32 Human adaptability and wisdom Relative Adaptability at Different Ages (%) Relative Adaptability Cummulative Wisdom Twenties Wisdom % of Total Relative Adaptability at Different Ages (%)
  33. 33. 33 The exponential trajectory of developing effective technical expertise (e.g. engineers) Shaped -- first five years Developed -- next fifteen Moulded and matured -- next twenty Lead large projects -- age forty plus Required engineer demographics -- sixty plus years 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
  34. 34. 34 Essential business knowledge Every organisation has a fundamental reason it exists Money is only a medium of exchange and measurement Only humans create, destroy and determine value Ways of being create or destroy value Ways of doing create or destroy value Service or supply to others creates exchangeable value The rest -- technology, assets, etc 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
  35. 35. 35 Paradigms A mental model of the world -- knowledge and experience Paradigms are neither good nor bad they are JUST DIFFERENT
  36. 36. 36 Paradigms -- the different views of the mountain Impossible Objective = the real rainbow nation Hard but we will make it What a deep gorge A few challenges but nothing insurmountable Easy
  37. 37. 37 Paradigms -- the different views of the mountain x Objective
  38. 38. 38 Paradigms -- performance factor scoring 0 = Abysmal - could not be worse anywhere in the world 1 = Extremely weak 2 = Very weak 3 = Weak 4 = Mediocre 5 = Average - could be better / could be worse 6 = Acceptable 7 = Strong 8 = Very strong 9 = Extremely strong 10 = Exceptional - could not be better anywhere in the world
  39. 39. 39 Paradigms -- factor scoring The challenge -- you do NOT know what you do NOT know and if you do not know what you do not know then ... 1 0 Absolute world scale 0
  40. 40. 40 The challenge of our paradigms -- mountains 1 0 Absolute world scale 0 Mount Everest -- highest mountain in the world Bowling Green -- absolutely FLAT -- ZERO SLOPE
  41. 41. 41 1 0 The challenge of our paradigms -- living conditions Absolute world scale 0 Extreme luxury Survival under a tree ? ? Shanty town ? Concentration Camp ?
  42. 42. International Exceptional 42 1 0 The challenge of our paradigms -- business standards Absolute world scale 0 ? Shanty town ? Local High Standard ?
  43. 43. 43 Paradigms -- stretching our worldview 1 0 0 10 0 10 0 Experience Education Culture Generations -- baby boomers, X, Y, etc History -- World War II? Always had jet planes etc ) ) ) ) ) ) ) This is real -- “harder than concrete”
  44. 44. Inter Cultural Intelligence Three Colors of Worldview (c) * * (Success and failure -- the dominant view of engineering) http://KnowledgeWorkx www.jar-a.-- com Marco Blankenburgh 44 Guilt and Innocence -- North America and Europe Honor and Shame -- Asia, Middle East, some of South America Power and Fear -- Some of Africa, Asia, some of South America None of these are RIGHT or WRONG, they are a dimension of paradigms -- just DIFFERENT * * *
  45. 45. 45 What engineers know Exponential decay in the absence of constructive human investment in life generally and engineering systems in particular Tipping Point -- no return ?
  46. 46. 46 Watershed opportunity South African core infrastructure -- the infrastructure necessary for the economy to thrive sustainably for ALL South Africans Hi Road Lo Road Watershed comparable to +/- 1980
  47. 47. 47 Quo vadis South Africa? Paradigms -- the material of empowerment CHOOSE to climb the mountain TOGETHER ) )
  48. 48. 48 Call to action What is your single most important insight from this presentation? What is the single most practical action that you can take tomorrow to apply I.T. more effectively? 1. 2. New insight that does not result in action within 48 hours is wasted
  49. 49. 49 Acknowledgement and dedication Clients, associates and staff Father and mother Angus and Thelma Children Alexandra and Struan Fiona, Ingrid, Sandra and Helene To the glory of the Eternal Creator Psalm 136:5 "To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, for His mercy endures forever;"
  50. 50. 50 James@JamesARobertson.com 083-251-6644 Finding the missing pieces of your I.T. and strategy puzzles

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