We have made good progress in Project Management
Changing Operational Processes via a Transformation Process is a difficult task.
Changing the Transformation Processes themselves, with the aim of making them more efficient is even more difficult because they are more complex.
A lot of projects suffer from bad project management: Phases are not formalized, deliverables are not provided, the schedule is incomplete, the assignment of actors is not anticipated, reporting is forgotten about, decision are not formalized, incident monitoring is random...
To manage this complexity, we have formalized project management: governance, schedule, budget, resources, communication...
Organizations which define methodologies, like CMMI or Open Group (TOGAF®), have gone very thoroughly into the Transformation Management Functions. Enterprises have noticeably improved by leveraging this trend and by controlling Project Management ever better. We have gone from a time of improvisation to a time of continuous improvement, which is clearly demonstrated by the levels of maturity of the CMMI, which defines how an Enterprise progresses in its project management.
But we still do not control Transformations well: why?
Despite all these efforts, the success rate of Transformation Projects is still poor (see the results published by the Standish Group).
And the recommendations from the Standish Group are mainly recommendations of good Management:
- Commitment from management
- Involvement of users
- Experience of project managers
- Formulation of business objectives
- Scope restricted to the main requirements
- Normalized technological infrastructure
- Precise and stable specifications
- Formal methodologies that are used
- Reliable and rigorous estimations
- Others: dividing up deliverables, Competence of staff, etc.
We have to continue down this path of improving Management, but not to excess: too many Management tasks prevent the project manager from spending his/her time on Engineering Functions.
Our analysis is that we can Manage well the project of a badly Built Solution.
In other words, it is not enough to manage the project and its resources well, we also have to ensure that the new Model is a success. Engineering is as important as management.
But we have not managed, as yet, to successfully Model Engineering Functions: how to define the Goal, how to design a new Offer, how to Architect a Solution, how to reuse Components, how to Build a Solution that supports different Organizations. There is still a lot of progress to make in this domain.
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