If you follow the news, you’ll know that high profile IT projects constantly run over budget. Waaay over budget.
This phenomenon isn’t unique to government projects or other large scale IT projects. Ask anyone who’s worked at an average agency – or their clients. Technical projects fail to hit their mark again, and again, and again. A consulting firm will overspend the client’s budget, miss the deadline and still not have actual working software.
Several factors contribute, but bad planning is the main culprit.
Software development is hard – and if you don’t set clear boundaries it can consume vast resources.
An interesting thing, though, is that it’s easy to change software in production. That means you don’t actually need a finished product to launch – you just need a working product.
There’s a concept I love, called Continuous Delivery. It’s an approach to software development that aims to develop (and test) software using short cycles to ensure there’s working software at any time.
Continuous Delivery is seldom adopted at the beginning of a project, or by a consulting firm. Yet the approach allows for a much higher level of control over the project. It also ensures something workable is available when deadline strikes.
Continuous Delivery forces you to prioritize the most important aspects of the end software.
The very first task of new projects should be to setup the release process.
Build the simplest working version of each important feature, then refine them one at a time in descending order of importance. Once high value features are in place you may start work on lower value features.
No matter how far you’ve come when deadline strikes, there will be something to show for your efforts. You might not have every feature polished or up to specification – but the software will work. A process will be in place to finish swiftly.
Hi, I'm Christoffer Lejdborg! I believe software has tremendous potential to transform your business in amazing ways, but people are too focused on the technology instead of the business case.
I've worked with companies such as BDO, Grant Thornton, Nobina Technology, Run My Security and Whenever.
+46 70-218 17 24