Software companies have been using waterfall methodologies for decades now. Agile has made major inroads in the product development area but still its a long way to go for non product development related IT projects. A classic example are software vendors with commercial off the shelf (COTS) products. They have been using implementation methodology with their customers for a long time and it seemed to work until so far. But the cracks are emerging and there is a growing noise to do something different. Change is never easy or without problems so before a company embarks on the agile journey thinking of it as a silver bullet to solve its miseries, a thorough analysis of the current challenges is essential.
Jul 26, 2012
Levi Strauss started to upgrade its informational technology system to a single SAP system across geographies for a proposed budget of approx. $ 5 million. After roll out the problems were so severe, the company had to a take a $192.5 million charge against earnings to compensate for the several problems created by the project. A $5 million project leading to a loss of $200 million is not logical and not acceptable. The percentage of failed projects not able to meet their fundamental objectives of budget and schedule is as much as 25%. This paradox is baffling but no so much when we take a look at two of the most interesting phenomenon which are at play during and after the estimation cycle.
Jul 23, 2012
The License Application Mitigation Project (LAMP) initiated by the state of Washington, US aimed at automating the state's vehicle registration and license renewal processes. The project began in the early nineties and was supposed to be online in 1995. It planned to create a relational, client-server system using IBM's MVS/CICS architecture. Initially budgeted at $16 M, the project cost climbed to $41.8 M in 1992, $51 M in 1993 and was last estimated (March 1997) at $67.5 M of which $40 M had been spent without result. In 1993, LAMP faded when it became clear that it was doomed to be a colossal money-waster and in 1997, the project was abandoned. Even if the plug had not been pulled it would have been much too big and obsolete by the time it was finished. LAMP was turned off in 1997, after legislators calculated that the project ultimately would cost $4.2 million more annually to run than the state's $800,000 per year incumbent system. Though not as drastic, the situation is very typical and a common one in many companies.
Jul 13, 2012
Project success depends on the turnaround time and efficiency of tasks circulating between managers and executors. Whether or not you, as a manager, communicate effectively with your team and get timely feedback will affect your ability to meet deadlines. The task becomes even more complicated when you have to deal with remote teams, clients or stakeholders. You will need to use project management and process execution tools that are crucial to define and track tasks, note task dependencies, and identify the mission-critical chain of events also called workflows and processes.
Jul 9, 2012
Risk management is an important and integral part of planning for any business or project. The process of risk management is designed to reduce or eliminate the risk of certain kinds of events happening or having an impact on the business. The much awaited London Olympic Games are not very far and Olympic authorities are leaving no stone unturned to minimize the disruption to business operations in London.
By Hrishikesh Karekar