Sunday, April 19, 2009

IT Projects Success - Principle #8: It’s the Deliverable (that matters), not the Task.

8. It’s the Deliverable (that matters), not the Task.

The final deliverable is the Information System ready to be used effectively by the Business. If you can jump from ‘Start’ to this final deliverable in one “Task”, then power to you. Some people can do this; most cannot. This is again where a team of specialists is most effective on an average project.

This means that the project work will be divided into many tasks, sub-tasks, etc. . . . Once assigned a task, it is the goal of a specialist to produce a deliverable/result/artifact that can be used by the next specialist to further the progress of the overall project. Unfortunately, this simple idea has been the starting point for literally hundreds of IS delivery methodologies, many which spend an inordinate amount of content explaining how to do a task, how to amass all the tasks in Phases, and often insisting that its way is mandatory for success.

What this can lead to is an over-emphasis on the how of IT project tasks, to the detriment of actually completing them with all due speed. Here we see the task that is 90% done for weeks, or the infamous ‘analysis paralysis’ where a project cannot seem to get past Requirements. Ends do not justify any means, but Ends must be delivered.

About Me

Ontario, Canada
I have been an IT Business Analyst for 25 years, so I must have learned something. Also been on a lot of projects, which I have distilled into the book "Cascade": follow the link to the right to see more.