Centre for Development Informatics Seminar: A Social-Technical Toolbox for Product Development in Digitally Rich Environments'

Time: 12.00-13.00

Venue: Room G0.35/36 at Arthur Lewis Building, UoM

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For economies to stay competitive there must be a shift from the large project/waterfall methodologies to something nimbler. The pace of modern product development is extremely fast, and our product development methodologies are not keeping up. There is an emergence of new ways of doing software product development which is truly cross-discipline. Techniques from social science, computer science, psychology, and manufacturing are used to get faster, cheaper and more reliable. In the past the good of the organisation or the shareholder was paramount. These days it is the customer that should be the centre of things. This means a Copernican change in the way we do things. Underpinning this revolution is cultural change. Drucker said that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. What in the past looked like a production process has turned into a toolbox of different techniques and methods and individuals must decide how to incorporate it. Based on our research and practical experience at Standard Bank, the presentation will introduce what such a toolbox of techniques and methods could look like. The toolbox is still a work in progress, but evidence will be offered to support the rationale for the appropriateness of a toolbox-approach for future product development vis-à-vis the process-approach used in the past. We will pay specific attention to the human resource development or social psychology aspect of the socio-technical toolbox for digital change.

Who is Josef Langerman?
Josef is the Executive Head: Information Technology Organisation Transformation & Software Engineering at Standard Bank of South Africa. In his professional career he played almost all significant roles in IT including Programme Manager, Software Development Manager, Enterprise Architect, Chief Technology Officer, etc. He is currently responsible for application development and support of over 800 applications and a staff compliment of close to a 1000 developers; the budget for this function is more than £700M. His most recent achievement in this regard is the successful transformation of Standard Bank Group IT into a high velocity customer-centric Agile Organisation. He is also a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Johannesburg where he teaches postgraduate courses on software engineering and systems development as well as supervise postgraduate research. His research is focused on various aspects related to software system development methodologies, including Agile and DevOps. Josef’s vast practical experience positions him ideally to bridge ideas between industry – particularly in developing country contexts – and academia. For more information about Josef’s work and interests see: https://langerman.co.za/