Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Architectural "Perfection" : implications for IT Projects

This is hot off the press and appears relevant esp. the part about “Architectural Perfection”. Some of it is the usual “consultant-speak” and would be preaching to the choir but I’m sure there are some nuggets to be gleaned.

McKinsey surmises that the key to success lies in mastering four broad dimensions, which combined make up a methodology for large-scale IT projects that they call “value assurance.” The following elements make up this approach :

• focusing on managing strategy and stakeholders instead of exclusively concentrating on budget and scheduling

• mastering technology and project content by securing critical internal and external talent
• building effective teams by aligning their incentives with the overall goals of projects
• excelling at core project-management practices, such as short delivery cycles and rigorous quality checks
According to survey responses, an inability to master the first two dimensions typically causes about half of all cost overruns, while poor performance on the second two dimensions accounts for an additional 40 percent of overspending.

Not surprisingly, the urge to seek Architectural “perfection” is indicated as a cost/timeline over-run driver. Brings back memories to me of some conversations with team members on “satisficing” vs. “perfect” solutions!

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