I published a post on the PMI Voices on Project Management blog a couple of weeks ago; Is This Your Project Stakeholder?. The post outlined a scenario and provided two options for readers to respond to.
- Option one was to focus on stakeholders and value with an enhanced probability of technical failure (running late and being over budget)
- Option two was to focus on the ‘iron triangle’ of time cost and scope.
A surprisingly high number of comments from people in the IT industry chose ‘option two’ – just do the job, a focus on short term technical achievement. Whereas managers with a broader perspective tended to select option one for a range of reasons.
You will have to wait a few days for my second post outlining my views on the best answer and why (I have just finished writing it and its now being edited). So check the Voices blog ‘home page’ in a few days or follow my posts.
In the interim though I have to say I was amazed at the number of IT practitioners who still seem to believe IT is somehow disconnected from the overall business of the organisation. I would suggest 99% of IT projects involve changes to business processes and will never deliver their full value if the people working in the business don’t embrace the changes.
Further, I would suggest probably greater then 50% of all IT projects are specifically instigated to support a business initiative or change. Projects in this category are integral to the value creation process – if the IT project team alienate key stakeholders the whole initiative could easily fail to deliver value to the organisation and become a waste of time, effort and money.
Based on the responses to the PMI blog, there’s still a lot of work to do to convince IT practitioners that being on time and on budget are not directly related to value. Value is created when people (ie, stakeholders) actually use the IT implementation to generate wealth.