About Me and My Approach, My Value
3 Questions the CEO, CIO, IT Director & CFO
need to ask themselves
1. How can we go faster by going slower?
2. How can we spend less by spending more?
3. How can we avoid mistakes that could cost us our jobs?
By Sid Bursten
I've never yet met a CEO, CIO or IT Director who didn't want to succeed. And I've rarely met one who wasn't under constant stress because things are so often spinning out of control.
There is no magic bullet, but I can help, with methodology and processes you can apply in your own organization to reduce project failures, cost overruns and missed deadlines while improving profits and customer satisfaction.
I can do it because I know not only the main reason most projects run off the rails, but what can be done to prevent it!
In real life, most engineers have it easy compare to the plight of the average CIO/IT Director. Change requests arrive not as a trickle but as a torrent, a cascade of often-contradictory, always competing requirements. Development organizations spend so much time revising and revising that soon they seem to lose track of the basic objectives. What starts out as a focused team working a carefully developed plan soon degenerates into a churning, unproductive zoo.
And who gets blamed?
Not the management that generates all the changes, but the poor guys struggling to survive under their weight.
I said before there's no magic bullet to prevent this from happening to you, but there are a few things you can do to prevent harm to you and your development organization.
Here's a short list of actions you can take now:
1. Put a business-savvy architect in control of requirements gathering
You may call that job business analyst, application architect or requirements coordinator. The title doesn't matter, the role does.
So let's talk about what this person needs to do:
Work with management, users and the development team to uncover the real business needs behind all stated requirements
Discover and graphically maps all the processes currently used to fulfill the requirements now, even those that are manual, so that management, users and develpers can all easily grasp the domain and business processes in use
Graphically map all processes in the proposed solution so that all stakeholders can easily see where and how changes will be made and how they affect other areas of the business
Workshop with management, users and the development team to ensure that all known and anticipated needs are indeed met by the proposed solution, lead them in analyzing and filling all gaps, and ensure all documentation is accurate, comprehensive and well understood by all stakeholders
Train others to do the same thing, evangelize these time- and money-saving techniques, enlist the enthusiastic participation of of people throughout the the organization to embrace and extend them and, ultimately, make them the cornerstone of all major initiatives.
Using a methodology based equally on the fact-finding traditions of investigative journalism and the architectural and development experience of the past two decades, including years as a consultant and leader within IBM Global Services, Sid Bursten can save almost any significant-sized company millions of dollars by reducing missteps, blind alleys and radical rework.
And here's the best thing: This methodology works equally well with the latest technologies, legacy systems and heterogeneous combinations. Equally well on completely new development projects and package implementation. Equally well on projects as small as 1,000 hours and as large as 100,000.
So let's summarize, by providing the answers to these three questions:
1. How can we go faster by going slower? By taking the time to ensure requirements are known as fully as possible, and well understood and accepted by all stakeholders before starting expensive coding, testing and installation
2. How can we spend less by spending more? By investing properly in the skills and time needed to ensure requirements are known and well understood by all stakeholders, and that proposed solutions will indeed meet the needs
3. How can we avoid mistakes that could cost us our job? Ensure the proposed solution is based on full, accurate and completely documented requirements that reflect the real business needs of the corporation, not just the sketchy wish list that too often masquerades as a requirements statement, and get buy-in from management, users and developers
Then . . .
Work the plan, critically assess every change request, and preserve the integrity of the project to the greatest extent possible
Be flexible but do not let the perfect become the enemy of the good, and be sure to meet all basic objectives even if you cannot immediately meet every enhancement request
Transition carefully to new systems, bringing management and users with you. Make them feel part of the team working to a common objective, not just customers selecting features from a cafeteria.
Invite Sid Bursten to meet with your senior business and development executives. Ask to see proof that he will deliver strong ROI for you. There is no cost or obligation for an initial consultation other than travel expenses to locations outside the Los Angeles basin. Call 949-226-7359 and get ready to start saving money.