Cascade #2 – "a project does not exist in a vacuum"

From previous post


Projects are hard. Many years of doing projects, often unsuccessfully, has led the IT world to focus on how to do projects successfully. Project Management has emerged as a recognized discipline, and many smart people have provided many methods and methodologies for delivering IT solutions.


That is all well and good. What I have known since early in my career is that a project does not exist in a vacuum. Change does not happen in an orderly manner, one project at a time; it rushes at your company, lots of change happening all at once. That means many projects at the same time.


Do any of the following situations ring true for your company?


ØA large portfolio of installed of information systems and underlying technology is being used, some of which is decades-old.


ØA large back-log of requested changes to that installed base of systems has grown over time, overlaid with a long list of problems/bugs in the systems that the business is currently ‘working around’ until they ever get fixed.


ØA large number of current projects are being carried out, that no one can remember when they started and, even if some target date has been set, no reasonable expectation exists that they will end soon.


ØThe projects are being executed by a group of IT staff that has remained the same size in numbers, or has been reduced, while being charged with doing more work than ever. Each person is probably assigned to many of those current projects, juggling the work and trying to determine what they should really be working on.


ØAn “IT Strategy” has been developed that describes in glowing terms how the above problems will be remedied by moving to some new method or tool or one enterprise system… if the budget and resources can ever be freed up from fixing and changing the current systems.


ØSenior management has a split-view of IT, that most of it is a waste of time and money, except for the work each manager wants for their own department/division.


I am writing this book in order to show you that the situation described above can change, and you had better get to it because it can get changed for you by outsourcing or other drastic options available to senior management.

 In Cascade #3: “what can you do?”


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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