Wipro CEO Interview, Innovation, CMM Level 5, Input Bias, Workspace

  • eWeek Interview with Wipro CEO – interviews with offshore execs are always interesting. They’re becoming less defensive in response to the usual “you’re taking away jobs” question/claim, instead suggesting that it’s not their fault, but the fault of the country that’s leaking jobs, for example,

    To every one of the millions of unemployed people in the U.S., that job created in India looks like that was “my job.” So, there is an issue of a job lost here is a job created there. As a result, there has been an enormous magnification of how much impact outsourcing has had. The second is, as a result of the type of economic recovery being made in [the US], companies are not willing to open up the gates to hiring. Now you take that circumstance that in a political year it becomes a platform issue. It doesn’t matter whether it’s right or wrong, it’s a political platform. You will see this issue being politicized because of the perception of “that’s my job sitting over there.”

  • “The Offshore Proposition” – in a related column, Lundquist brings up the point that all this IT stuff might be too expensive (thus, prone to lower costs by offshoring) by design:

    Somewhere along the line, service stopped being, well, a service and started being a profit center. Once the bean counters took hold of the equation, they started to look for ways to charge users more for service while having their company pay less for it. The next thing you know, you’re talking to someone in Manila about your cranky computer. Designing systems that don’t need service because they work as expected would be the best service offering vendors could develop.

    And, as alluded to in the above interview Vivek Paul, if offshorers can create such services, they’ll start their own product lines,

    Once the offshore companies realize they have the business development, design, manufacturing and service skills, they’ll begin asking themselves just what their U.S. partners are bringing to the table. This will bring about the emergence of new competitors among companies that were once partners, which, I predict, will be a hallmark of the technology market over the next year.

  • Bursting the CMM Hype:

    [W]hat matters is what’s behind the impressive-looking number. Is there a verifiable commitment to quality, process and training? Can companies demonstrate improvements they’ve made over time in customer delivery times, developer productivity and defect density? Will the project managers that went through the assessment be assigned to your project? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then a CMM Level 5 isn’t worth much.

  • Bias Beware – an interview discussing “input bias,” how the selection of information you’re given can lead to incorrect results. The ideas mix well with the bike shed by committee problem, for example,

    People’s judgments often depend on how easy it is to evaluate something. If it’s easy to measure the outcome, we may not rely on input measures. If someone is performing in the Olympics, their time is a clear measure of how they did. But in other cases, such as judging how innovative a pharmaceutical company is, it’s harder to reach a decision. So you might rely on whatever objective measures are available, such as how many patents the company has. But in reality, that’s not a good measure because more patents are filed for small modifications of existing compounds, and there aren’t really that many big blockbuster drugs involved.

  • Workspace Survey – most people give their workspace a C.