Solving IBM i Skills & Knowledge Transfer Challenges

Heidi SchmidtHeidi Schmidt draws on science to solve one of the biggest issues facing CIOs today—how to transfer knowledge of core business applications and processes to younger developers, while fostering new skills that lead to innovation.

At the CIO Summit in Dallas, March 23, 2020, Heidi will share her experience with collaborative learning and other techniques that aid generational change and find untapped potential within development teams.

The Challenge

It’s the timeless conflict between old and new ways, short-term productivity vs. innovation, stability vs. risk.

Especially in IT, clinging to old ways is far riskier than managing innovation. Over time, applications stagnate, and technology falls behind. When IT fails to innovate, warns Heidi, business departments “bypass IT, and the business ‘entrepreneurs’ create expensive shadow IT.”

Digging down to the root causes of stagnation, she sees development organizations prioritizing daily business over learning. Well-meaning developers focus steadfastly on their long to-do lists, breaking away only to respond quickly to the urgent-request-du-jour. There never seems to be a good time to refactor code or figure out ways to streamline processes, let alone learn and use new skills.

This is particularly problematic for IBM i development teams, where the stability of systems and undocumented, decades-old code—combined with notoriously small staffs—can create an endless cycle of patches and extensions.

When management allows day-to-day work to overshadow a culture of innovation, they inadvertently feed the problem.

In Heidi’s experience, companies can increase the performance of their teams by over 30%.

The Solution

Instead, Heidi says, “IT executives must understand the forces at work in this context and learn how to counteract them. The Limbic system offers valuable clues to creating a positive culture of innovation that unlocks energy and collaboration within development teams.”

The ideas she will share at the CIO Summit, developed through her work as managing partner of PKS Software, are based on real-life application. In Heidi’s experience, companies can increase the performance of their teams by over 30%.

To learn more from Heidi, special guests from IBM, and peers, request an invitation to the CIO Summit for your CIO or IT Director.

The CIO Summit, hosted by Alan Seiden, is free to qualified attendees.

Additional Reading

Alex Woodie explores this topic further in this IT Jungle article, based on an interview with Heidi and Alan.

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