Archive for the ‘IT Service Delivery’ Category

3 Best Practices That Could Have Saved the Galactic Empire

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Great article from John Friscia that appealed to my teenage viewing preferences and inner nerd:

Accelerating IT Success – 03 Sept 2013″

May the [PMO] force be with you….

Navigating Technology Change

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Everyone has their favorite GPS or “SatNav” story. It used to be a weekly occurrence, for example, to hear of large intercontinental trucks getting stuck down narrow country lanes in the south of England as European drivers used their SatNav systems to try to get to remote farms and businesses for the first time. This is the first Management of Change lesson for any IT department:

New technology used “blindly” out of the box without any practical guidance or best practices can often end up costing more than the old method.

In another example closer to home, I increasingly find myself at a loss when setting up informal meetings with potential vendors at local coffee shops or deli’s: Where I would normally assist with directions by providing instructions like “turn left and go for about half a mile. It’s on the right with the green and white awning”, I now end up having to supply the exact street name and number for the visitor to plug into their GPS device. More often than not, I don’t know those specifics and have to look them up or call. This brings up lesson #2:

New technology may make your life easier, but it may also incur additional effort or inconvenience for others.

The solution in both cases is to ensure that you consider the complete end-end business processes of not only the target organization, but also their internal and external partners, suppliers and customers. What is good for one organization may not be good for the broader relationship.

At the same time, organizations can also get so focused on the tool or technology itself that they forget about the need to also change the way in which the organization operates to take advantage of them. This brings me to lesson #3:

New technology used in old ways will rarely yield significant operational improvement.

This goes beyond providing training on the new technology. It requires a complete understanding of all contributions to the process and each organization’s business requirements. These requirements are often poorly defined or contradictory, and it becomes IT’s job to join the dots and fill in the gaps to create a consistent and holistic process that the new technology can support. In some cases, this may also require overcoming the internal politics of change with senior management.

New Technology release is relatively easy. Effective adoption is not. However, if the business process is allowed to lead the technology, and historical barriers from organization charts and governance models are removed, you will be able to map out the big improvements you’re looking for and reach the right destination.


Similarly Different

October 12, 2009 1 comment

“One ship drives east, and another west,
With the self-same winds that blow;
‘Tis the set of the sails and not the gales,
That decides the way to go.

Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
As they voyage along through life;
‘Tis the will of the soul that decides the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.”

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I’ve had that quote on a plaque in my office for many, many, years to remind me that even given the same exact environment, different people – or teams of people – can produce significantly different results based on the way they read the environment, make adjustments, and coordinate the resources at their disposal.

The delivery of projects is no different.

And that’s what I hope to contribute with this blog:  To look at the delivery of projects as a holistic service is potentially quite similar to many other contributions to the industry. This one, however, is hopefully a little different in its focus on the environment supporting the projects, rather than the project delivery per se.  ie The Process of Projects.  Similarly Different.

At the same time, I’ve always been charmed by metaphors and analogies that help illuminate complex topics by shining a light on them from an unconventional direction. I hope that my posts will do the same. Time will tell!