Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Christoph Schell, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Matt Brickey, Mehdi Daoudi

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT

Microservices Expo: Article

Question: Why Is IT Project Failure Always an Option?

Answer: Because we won’t grow up!

You'd think that we'd be smarter about IT projects by now.

You think that we'd be tired of the horrifying rates of failure, and the crushing consequences of those failures.

But if you are not spending more time understanding your customers - and developing tightly scoped requirements to make great software to meet their real needs, not some imagined "needs mash-up" cobbled together by the squeakiest wheels in your organization - you're part of the problem, and you're accepting failure as an ever-present option.

It's time to stop the madness.

It's time to reduce the waste of multi-million dollar projects that get scrapped1, it's time to reduce public IT scandals (see a recent lawsuit claiming racketeering by SAP and Deloitte)2, it's time to step away from billions in cost overruns inpart from "inadequate requirements management."3

Most IT executives are familiar with the data on project risks, including overages and failure to meet business needs.5 But it's even worse than that. The risk described by Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzierin the September Harvard Business Review is that one out of six IT projects incurs "a cost overrun of 200%, on average, and a schedule overrun of almost 70%"6 - overages significant enough to cause austerity-inducing budget deficits for government, put corporations out of business, and end careers.

It's time to get smarter about great software, and one way to do this it to take a strategic view of requirements. A strategic view ofrequirements is not merelyconcerned with improvingrequirements or improvingprojects; it incorporates a direct connection between customer needs, IT spend, and strategic initiatives.  It's requirements for grown-ups, and it involves maturing requirements.

The maturity model isn't just for app dev - it's for requirements as well. While most organizations follow an ad hoc methodology for portfolio management and controlling project scope, a "requirements mature" organization will find that all of IT understands the strategic  value of every project (which means that IT is aligned with internal AND external customers) and can make daily decisions based on those values.

So, just what might this maturity process look like?

It might look like a Requirements Center of Excellence. Here's one model for the increasing stages of maturity:

Stage 0: Ad Hoc. There is no requirements maturity. Requirements are created ad hoc, project scope is based on "squeaky wheel"direction. The RCOE vision is laid out; influencers and strategy stakeholders are identified.

Stage 1: Individual. Although individual efforts may align with business strategy, there is no consistent measurement of business return.

Stage 2: Team. Teams now share an understanding of business objectives; some individuals may share an awareness of strategy. While individual projects may be measured for return, there is no organization-wide validation of project return yet.

Stage 3: Business Unit. There is strong portfolio management across multiple teams. Teams and finance consistently define and evaluate the project return across the portfolio. More than one business unit may be at this level of maturity.

Stage 4: Organization. Throughout the organization, there is strong portfolio management based on organizational strategy. The scope of projects is aligned with the strategy, and the entire portfolio is regularly analyzed for business return.

The end game: maturity, and iterating on nirvana.

I've talked about IT failures, and how knowing your customer leads to better requirements leads to better software leads to better business outcomes. It is possible to get there. By making requirements strategic and by incorporating business strategy into requirements, not only will requirements mature faster, but those more mature requirements processes will lead to consistent business benefits.Which means great customer experiences, which come from great software.

Resources

http://www.seilevel.com  "Requirements Defined"

http://methods-and-tools.blogspot.com/

http://enterprisesto.blogspot.com/

http://requirements.seilevel.com/blog/

References:

1 http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/why-software-fails

2 http://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/33555/marin-county-claims-racketeeri...

3 http://www.zdnet.com/blog/projectfailures/department-of-defense-it-years-late-and-billions-over-budget/11123

4 http://hbr.org/2011/09/why-your-it-project-may-be-riskier-than-you-think...

5 http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/why-software-fails/0

6 http://hbr.org/2011/09/why-your-it-project-may-be-riskier-than-you-think/ar/1

More Stories By Hollis Tibbetts

Hollis Tibbetts, or @SoftwareHollis as his 50,000+ followers know him on Twitter, is listed on various “top 100 expert lists” for a variety of topics – ranging from Cloud to Technology Marketing, Hollis is by day Evangelist & Software Technology Director at Dell Software. By night and weekends he is a commentator, speaker and all-round communicator about Software, Data and Cloud in their myriad aspects. You can also reach Hollis on LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/SoftwareHollis. His latest online venture is OnlineBackupNews - a free reference site to help organizations protect their data, applications and systems from threats. Every year IT Downtime Costs $26.5 Billion In Lost Revenue. Even with such high costs, 56% of enterprises in North America and 30% in Europe don’t have a good disaster recovery plan. Online Backup News aims to make sure you all have the news and tips needed to keep your IT Costs down and your information safe by providing best practices, technology insights, strategies, real-world examples and various tips and techniques from a variety of industry experts.

Hollis is a regularly featured blogger at ebizQ, a venue focused on enterprise technologies, with over 100,000 subscribers. He is also an author on Social Media Today "The World's Best Thinkers on Social Media", and maintains a blog focused on protecting data: Online Backup News.
He tweets actively as @SoftwareHollis

Additional information is available at HollisTibbetts.com

All opinions expressed in the author's articles are his own personal opinions vs. those of his employer.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
From personal care products to groceries and movies on demand, cloud-based subscriptions are fulfilling the needs of consumers across an array of market sectors. Nowhere is this shift to subscription services more evident than in the technology sector. By adopting an Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) delivery model, companies are able to tailor their computing environments to shape the experiences they want for customers as well as their workforce.
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
If you read a lot of business and technology publications, you might think public clouds are universally preferred over all other cloud options. To be sure, the numbers posted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure platform are nothing short of impressive. Statistics reveal that public clouds are growing faster than private clouds and analysts at IDC predict that public cloud growth will be 3 times that of private clouds by 2019.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
For over a decade, Application Programming Interface or APIs have been used to exchange data between multiple platforms. From social media to news and media sites, most websites depend on APIs to provide a dynamic and real-time digital experience. APIs have made its way into almost every device and service available today and it continues to spur innovations in every field of technology. There are multiple programming languages used to build and run applications in the online world. And just li...
If you are thinking about moving applications off a mainframe and over to open systems and the cloud, consider these guidelines to prioritize what to move and what to eliminate. On the surface, mainframe architecture seems relatively simple: A centrally located computer processes data through an input/output subsystem and stores its computations in memory. At the other end of the mainframe are printers and terminals that communicate with the mainframe through protocols. For all of its appare...
"Peak 10 is a hybrid infrastructure provider across the nation. We are in the thick of things when it comes to hybrid IT," explained Michael Fuhrman, Chief Technology Officer at Peak 10, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Data reduction delivers compelling cost reduction that substantially improves the business case in every cloud deployment model. No matter which cloud approach you choose, the cost savings benefits from data reduction should not be ignored and must be a component of your cloud strategy. IT professionals are finding that the future of IT infrastructure lies in the cloud. Data reduction technologies enable clouds — public, private, and hybrid — to deliver business agility and elasticity at the lo...
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.