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Emerging Economy: 26 hours with too many reminders
Posted by Tony on 20th February 2014 at 13:09:35
1. Small is better. The attendance at Steve Else's presentation to the special "public" Emergence Meetup Tuesday evening more than made up in quality anything is might have seemed to lack in quantity. I've been railing against the overuse of Agile methodologies ever since we did just that a decade ago at my last client, but also recognise that what is nowadays dismissed as Waterfall only ever worked for greenfield projects. (That also talks to the #EWfail disaster but lets not go there now.) Steve's presentation of Enterprise Architecture reveals a productive middle ground which successfully scales to "Enterprise" levels when it has buy in from the top. Of course it isn't oversimplified enough for many of those who have kicked their way to the top. But, where the politics of advancement has been a bit more discerning, EA provides a way of maintaining an active evolutionary relationship between organisational purposes and ever-changing external factors. And that facilitates quantifiable deliverables.

2. Wearing my Docklands Science Park hat a bit more publicly than usual, I made the second last of a series of brief presentations to Productivity Commissioners as part of their necessarily rushed inquiry into Automotive Manufacturing in Australia. It wasn't the place to go on about the problems overemphasis on local efficiency can cause for global viability, let alone productivity. But it did give me a chance to at least illustrate that point by focusing on the way our supposedly successful banking and finance system fails to support scaling up of preproduction testing in the way new technologies need on the way to delivering wider benefits, or to failing for reasons that will only be revealed at scale. And I was able to close with a comment for the record about new inner urban freeway construction being no help to automotive nor wider productivity.

3. Having booked my aged freebie escape to Mt. Gambier before it runs out at the end of the month, it was on to the quarterly meeting of Brimbank's Economic Development and Transport Committee. This I consider to be some of the most productive time I've spent on anything as it brings together a group excited by the same opportunities from complementary perspectives. Again we were appropriately focused on manufacturing industry transition. While manufacturing is big in Brimbank, it is also diverse and less vulnerable to the shocks from auto assembly and other major closures. All levels of government have useful programs in these areas at a lot less cost than the social support that would be necessitated by their failure. It also gave opportunity to fly the flag for incentivising making vacated industrial premises available for incubators. With Regional Rail Link construction peaking, transport also stays very much on the agenda, especially the absence of a rail project pipeline to retain and build on expertise developed for the RRL after decades of worse than stagnation. Building on the Wyndham presentation to Saturday's Metropolitan Transport Forum, we highlighted the West's urgent need for better North-South connections ahead of anything to the faraway East.

Ultimately these involvements very much rest on my choice in 1982 to join Computerworld Australia as a way to learn more of the computing industry to balance what I already knew of the technology and saw as the potential of the online world, only now being internalised more widely. And they rest on being reawakened to public transport in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics. Yet today they have to compete with other overriding interests: what I mostly call Emergence/Systems/Complexity in think space, and the environs of a couple of personal-sized waterways on the ground: Cumbo and the Creek.

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