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Tag Archives: project success

Performance agreements when you are on projects

I was happily running a class when someone asked about how performance agreements work if you are on projects.

“Really well” I replied, “you just need a new one for each project you are on.”

My answer didn’t seem to go down well though. After all, who wants yet another piece of administration to do?

Then we discussed the problem that both permanent staff and contractors often have with projects. Contractors get no real feedback on how they are going until their contract ends, while permanent staff have to have a series of discussions based on a document that bears little relationship to what they are doing on their projects.

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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Business Analysis, Testing

 

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It is more important to deliver value than to deliver on-time and within budget

I have placed a link below to an article written by Tom De Marco.  It raises some very interesting issues.  I think one of the most important issues it raises is pertinent to my thoughts on how important it is to have a proper, and is far as is practicable quantified, business case for any software project.   Please please please establish the business case before attempting to estimate the cost/effort of a project.  I also feel the article presents a strong argument for agile approaches (please note the small a) to the development process ….. processes that are nimble, flexible, collaborative, non-bean-counter-driven, focussed on delivery of value

Check out this article from Computing Now:

http://www2.computer.org/portal/web/computingnow/0709/whatsnew/software-r

Also: a reminder … have a look at this link (first posted by Shane)  http://www.cio.com.au/article/205313/why_projects_fail_part_three_wrong_targets

Posted by John Watson

 
 

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The importance of WHAT not HOW when stating Scope and Requirements

Have a look at following two references from CIO magazine.

They support my arguments about the importance of using scoping techniques like the Context Diagram and the B5 technique. We should use these techniques, of course as part of understanding the “as is” business, but more importantly as a way of describing the business’s or system’s goals. this often can lead to the uncovering of additional opportunities to improve the value of the business.

The key factor when scoping and when understanding the “as is” (I prefer the term “what are we trying to achieve?” over the term “as is”) is to focus on the what and not on the how. Too early a focus on the how is as bad as committing the crime of premature design.

http://www.cio.com.au/article/309384/self_evident_truths_project_management_truth_10_success_comes_from_being_excellent_what_how?fp=39&fpid=26092

http://www.cio.com.au/article/308478/self_evident_truths_project_management_truth_9_-_value_management_makes_sense_project_governance

Posted by John Watson

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2009 in Agile, Culture, Project Management, Testing

 

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More on “Failure”

CIO Magazine has an article on the Chaos survey results in which they identify that many of the “failed” projects have been cancelled because of recession-related factors (funding removed, staff gone etc).  It says “Johnson [Standish Group chairman] estimates that 20 to 25 percent of the failures during the past two years were caused by the economy forcing project cancellations”

The trend is actually for better results in the “challenged” projects: “When we look at challenged projects, we’re seeing fewer overruns, and the waste to value ratio didn’t look too bad even given all the cancellations”.  Cost and time overruns are actually less than in previous surveys. 

The full article is here: http://www.cio.com.au/index.php?q=article/309383/recession_causes_rising_it_project_failure_rates&fp=&fpid=

Posted by Shane Hastie

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2009 in Agile, Project Management

 

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Software Project Success Going Downhill!

I don’t know about you, but I am sceptical about the methodology used by Standish Group to produce the Chaos Reports.  That said, the report content since 1994 has tended to support my subjective observations of the state of software production:  I did think we were improving and I do think we are now getting worse.

 Is it just me that is unsurprised by the latest update to the report that shows we are going backwards?

 I think an agile approach (with a small a please) is a good thing.  Wholesale adoption of Agile (note the big a) by organisations that have little understanding of the skill and discipline required to make it work is surely a bad thing.  I wonder if inappropriate use of Agile is what is taking us backwards.

 What do you think?

 Have a look at:

 http://www.galorath.com/wp/2009-standish-chaos-report-software-going-downhill.php

Posted by John Watson

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2009 in Agile, Project Management

 

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