Adopt Rational Team Concert (RTC) and RTC Enterprise Extensions (RTC EE) faster and better (Part 2/2)

April 8, 2014

This is the second article of series of two dedicated to Enterprise tooling adoption. In the first article, we’ve discussed some core concepts and results borrowed from social psychology field. We’ve noted how familiarity with a new tool is important to minimize resistance to adoption.

In this second article, we provide some supporting material depicting how to keep the right focus when adopting some new Enterprise tooling. First from a general stand-point and then for the specific adoption of:

These latter ones should be seen as extra layers coming on top of the initial layer of Enterprise tooling adoption.

Choice of a radar screen presentation…

The radar screen format is self-explanatory and introduces the intuitive idea of refining cycles and continuous improvement. Which is exactly how adoption should be conducted, i.e. each of the points on the radar should be reviewed on a regular basis.

Intent for me is not to comment on each item of these charts (*) but rather let them “as is”. For now, this rather comes as a “big picture” that you may find of a good support when either discussing with your local IBM team or business partner or when preparing the next steps for making adoption at your company progress.

(*): that would be done in a live meeting between yourself and a subject matter expert (from IBM or a Business Partner).

Note: If you’re looking for something more prescriptive on how to deploy RTC/CLM, please check the Reference links below.

… and how to use it.

Before deployment, you should wonder if there is an action plan against each of the points on your radar. If yes, what will be the impact of each action plan on the resistance to change (R.T.C) ? If no, what will be the impact of this lack on the R.T.C. ?

During deployment, you can make a retrospective of the impact of your actions plans on the R.T.C.

At the end of each deployment iteration, you should perform a retrospective to identify what actions were the most effective for reducing R.T.C.

1. Adoption of Enterprise tooling: radar screen for success

EnterpriseToolingAdoption

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Order of adoption: RTC or RTC EE first ?

Shall you start adopting RTC in your distributed or in your mainframe teams ?–> A sound approach is to start with the most critical to you !

2. Adoption of RTC: radar screen for success

RTCAdoption

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3. Adoption of RTC EE: radar screen for success

RTCEEAdoption

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References:

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Simon Washbrook for his review and always useful remarks.


3 Things to know for facilitating Enterprise tool adoption (emphasizing the human and change management factors) (Part 1/2)

April 4, 2014

In my recent engagements with mainframe customers (and especially with the project managers in charge of the in-house deployment of Rational tooling), I identified a common pattern where we start speaking in-house processes and numbers (of developers or teams), their IT architecture, etc. but where – at some point of time – we take a step back and start discussing how the adoption of their new Enterprise tooling went so far, how it was implemented and the possible concerns that remains.

A common pattern… and one point which needs to be emphasized.

Innovation is a fact ! As is the resistance to change by end users and the necessity to respect company policies. These are the biggest hindrances to a successful (Enterprise) modernization. To mitigate these risks, an appropriate strategy (including adoption, management of expectations, roll-out, training, etc.) is the key for avoiding shelf-ware or rejection.

 A series of TWO articles…

In the first article, we will discuss some core concepts and results from social psychology field.

In the second article, we will elaborate on how customers could keep the right focus when adopting some new Enterprise tooling. From both a generic perspective and in the context of the specific adoptions of IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) and IBM Rational Team Concert Enterprise Extensions (RTC EE) respectively.

Core concepts from social psychology

The purpose of this section is to leverage some core concepts and results from social psychology space. We want some valid terminology  clarifying what one could feel to a certain extent… but yet in a fuzzier way ! Note: to this regard, this post shares a common viewpoint with a previous blog post.

The couple of definitions and concepts I found useful to exhibit in the context of an Adoption process are the following:

  • Effort Expectancy (E.E.) aka “perceived ease of use”
  • Performance Expectancy (P.E.) aka “perceived usefulness”
  • Resistance to Change (R.T.C.)

In the context of a Learning process (borrowing from the field of pedagogy), you can think of:

Writer’s note: as you’ve certainly figured out, there is some overlap in acronyms: “RTC” and “EE” could be interpreted in two ways here… To disambiguate, I shall using the orange color for terms coming from social psychology. That way, Rational Team Concert (RTC) and Resistance to Change (R.T.C.) should not be confused. Same thing for EE and E.E. !

Application to Information Science and Technology

Here I’m relaying some previous results from the following source: “Resistance to change and the adoption of digital libraries: an integrative model” [JASIST’2009]

  • «A user’s intention to adopt a new technology is influenced by a variety of beliefs and perceptions
  • «Domain-specific R.T.C. is both a direct and indirect antecedent of users’ E.E. and P.E.»
  • «Understanding the role of R.T.C. in user adoption can help designers and managers create a better fit between systems’ design and their intended users’ personal characteristics.»

Encourage familiarity with the new tool…

  • «To encourage users who are high on R.T.C., new systems should be designed such that they are not perceived to embody a lot of change. This can be done by retaining as many characteristics of older systems, computerized or not.»
  • «Systems’ implementation and users’ training could be better done if users did not perceive a new system as embodying much change.»
  • «When a new system is introduced, familiar aspects of a new system could be highlighted to mitigate users’ resistance.»

… and demonstrate benefits […] in the context that is important to adopters.

  • «Illustrate to users the potential benefits of the system, and how these can be demonstrated.

by using testimonials, by linking resources to course listings,  and in any other way that will enable users to demonstrate the benefits in the context that is important to them. »

Conclusion

The content of this article could appear far from IT space in the first hand. In the second article, we will elaborate on how customers could keep the right focus when adopting some new Enterprise tooling. From both a generic perspective and in the context of the specific adoptions of IBM Rational Team Concert (RTC) and IBM Rational Team Concert Enterprise Extensions (RTC EE) respectively. Keeping in mind the concepts and results from social psychology…

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Direct access to Redbooks/redpapers on mainframe and z/OS: improve your learning curve!

November 17, 2013

When digging further (or simply jumping) into Mainframe and z/OS world, one faces new terminology, concepts and tooling. Literature is pretty vast in the area and one could spend some time figuring out the right resource to consider…

As far as terminology is concerned, if you just need to understand a term, the “Glossary of z/OS terms and abbreviations” is certainly indicated. For a mainframe concept, you can check this InfoCenter entry  and for a z/OS concept, this other Info Center entry

If you need a broader understanding (e.g. how the pieces articulate with each others, etc.) then the Redbooks/Redpapers targeting Mainframe and z/OS are good starting points.

In my personal experience during the last couple of months, I found the following content very useful. In the following tables,  you’ll be one click away from the right material (in PDF format). While I’ve never taken time to read all of this content (at least not yet), I’ve referred to it in an “on demand” way, with a pre-established topic in mind for which I was interested by getting a clearer idea on.

Adding that “a picture is worth a thousand words“, so they say, I personally found the summary slides and architectural diagrams (generally located at the beginning of sections) particularly handy and enlightening. Enjoy !

[Redbooks] “ABCs of z/OS Systems Programming”

Vol. 1 Intro to z/OS and Storage concepts, TSO/E, ISPF, JCL
Vol. 2 z/OS Implementation and Maintenance 
Vol. 3 Intro to DFSMS and Storage Management
Vol. 4 Communication Server, TCP/IP, and VTAM
Vol. 5 Base and Parallel Sysplex, Logger, GRS, Operations, ARM 
Vol. 6 RACF, PKI, LDAP, Crypto, Kerberos and Firewall
Vol. 7 InfoPrint Server, LE, and SMP/E 
Vol. 8 z/OS Problem Diagnosis
Vol. 9 z/OS, UNIX System Services 
Vol. 10 Intro to Z, LPAR, and HCD 
Vol. 11 Capacity planning, performance management, RMF, and SMF
Vol. 12 WLM
Vol. 13 JES3 

Other Redbooks:

Batch Modernization on z/OS (July 2012)
Introduction to the New Mainframe: z/OS Basics (March 2011)
System z Mean Time to Recovery Best Practices  (Sept 2010)
System z End-to-End Extended Distance Guide (Nov 2013)

RedPapers:

Rethink Your Mainframe Applications: Reasons and Approaches for Extension, Transformation, and Growth (May 2013)

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