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I.T. Projects – predictably unpredictable August 7, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Management, Technology.

For more than 20 years I have been involved in I.T. projects, large and small. I estimate that I’ve been part of over 100 projects in that time. For many of them, I was the project leader. If there is one thing I learned over and over it is that no matter how well you plan ahead and no matter how prepared you are, things don’t go exactly as planned. Unpredictable things always happen when working with technology.

I remember reading the Chaos report about ten years ago and I can’t help but wonder if I.T. projects have improved since then in the areas of being on time, on budget, and within spec.

Now, I am not suggesting that I.T. projects I’ve been involved in have not succeeded. Far from it. It’s just that a lot of blood, sweat, and tears were required (and a lot of lost sleep) to insure success. And, when problems arise in the middle of implementing major projects, it always took some creative thinking to solve them. More than anything, I like solving puzzles. So, being involved in projects (or an industry) that requires creative problem solving on almost a daily basis gets me up in the morning. I know some people would go crazy doing this kind of work, so I suppose it takes a special kind of person or a certain type of personality to be in it for the long haul.

If you are an I.T. professional and if you are involved in a new technology rollout or doing a software migration or network upgrade, rest assured, there will be surprises that will stop the project dead in its tracks. And, that is the time to relax and say, “I knew something unexpected would happen.” Then, consider all of your options and begin to think creatively about the best way to solve that problem.



1. Chris J. Davis - August 12, 2006

This is one of the things I value most in working with you. The fact that you approach a problem looking for the solution, not being mired down by the problem itself.

I find myself being mired down in the complexity of a situation, which makes it difficult to see the simple, intuitive answers.

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