Data & Intelligence

Introducing the Concept of Practice IP

On the agenda of every Practice Center of Excellence must be:  “Implement and formalize IP identification and development”.

The first step in establishing a program of this type is to clearly understand the concept of “practice intellectual property” – keeping in mind that the “traditional” concept of IP is mostly outdated. Practice leadership must understand how to identify and embrace the “IP opportunities” that exist today based upon this new thought process.

New Concepts

Today the industry has evolved the concept of IP far beyond the idea of a “secret recipe”, algorithm or body of work and a talented practice leader will be able to leverage this “capital” into concrete value for the practice.

Originally, the objective was to “protect” something that was considered integral to maintaining the competitive advantage of an organization. Today, practice leaders know that the focus should be “cultivate and grow” not “protect and restrict”.

The Categories of Practice IP

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The Intellectual property of a practice will generally be categorized as human, relational or (the more traditional) structural.


Human IP will be individuals or designated teams within the practice that possess “extreme” or “unique” skillsets, experiences of great depth or breadth or attitudes and aptitudes that represent the practice’s.

Identify, reward and nurture these resources!  These individuals should mentor and promote their talents within the practice and should be marketed and promoted as part of the practice within the industry at conferences and with white papers and blogs.


Relational IP will exist within the practice in the form of key relationships with parties outside of the practice, the ability to access key individuals within the industry, customer contacts, vendor relationships and memberships, partnerships and organized groups. These relationships should be leveraged; network and introduce additional members of the practice to those industry leaders and vendors. Encourage practice members to become part of organized groups and affiliations. Solicit partners, customers and vendors to speak and present to the practice. Do “field trips” and “meet and greets” so the industry knows the team.


Structural IP is the most common kind of IP. This will be the actual program code, models or modules, design patterns, algorithms (possibly expressed only in pseudo code), policies, guidelines, advice, best practice templates and documents and/or tools and utilities.

There may seem to be more obvious advantages to this type of IP, so most practices will have some grasp of what the “value add potential” here is – but keep in mind” (1) don’t focus on anything that’s easier to recreate than reuse and (2) be forever mindful of the effort that may be required to inventory and support a large “library of IP”.

Educate and Promote

Not all organizations will initially embrace this new idea of “Practice IP”. It will be the role of the practice leader to educate and advocate to the executive team. Keep in mind again, that this will be a voyage with many challenges but well worth your efforts.

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Jim Miller

Mr. Miller is an IBM certified and accomplished Senior Project Leader and Application/System Architect-Developer with over 30 years of extensive applications and system design and development experience. His current role is National FPM Practice Leader. His experience includes BI, Web architecture & design, systems analysis, GUI design and testing, Database modeling and systems analysis, design, and development of Client/Server, Web and Mainframe applications and systems utilizing: Applix TM1 (including TM1 rules, TI, TM1Web and Planning Manager), dynaSight - ArcPlan, ASP, DHTML, XML, IIS, MS Visual Basic and VBA, Visual Studio, PERL, Websuite, MS SQL Server, ORACLE, SYBASE SQL Server, etc. His Responsibilities have included all aspects of Windows and SQL solution development and design including: analysis; GUI (and Web site) design; data modeling; table, screen/form and script development; SQL (and remote stored procedures and triggers) development and testing; test preparation and management and training of programming staff. Other experience includes development of ETL infrastructure such as data transfer automation between mainframe (DB2, Lawson, Great Plains, etc.) systems and client/server SQL server and Web based applications and integration of enterprise applications and data sources. In addition, Mr. Miller has acted as Internet Applications Development Manager responsible for the design, development, QA and delivery of multiple Web Sites including online trading applications, warehouse process control and scheduling systems and administrative and control applications. Mr. Miller also was responsible for the design, development and administration of a Web based financial reporting system for a 450 million dollar organization, reporting directly to the CFO and his executive team. Mr. Miller has also been responsible for managing and directing multiple resources in various management roles including project and team leader, lead developer and applications development director. Specialties Include: Cognos/TM1 Design and Development, Cognos Planning, IBM SPSS and Modeler, OLAP, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Forecasting and Planning; International Application Development, Business Intelligence, Project Development. IBM Certified Developer - Cognos TM1 (perfect score 100% on exam) IBM Certified Business Analyst - Cognos TM1

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