I love it when talking to groups when someone says “well, this just common sense.”  I often wonder about the paradox this presents because if it (what ever “it” is) was so logical why aren’t we already doing it?  Does this mean that we were then doing some activity we knew wasn’t common sense on purpose?

Cost overruns in technology projects have led information technology departments and companies to add to costs to implementing technology and somehow manage to charge customers for the privilege.  When IT projects first started to miss target dates and budgets we got project managers, business analysts, scoping, business requirements, etc. to help manage costs.  The reality is these things added to costs and customers get less value work done.

Customers now have the added benefit of paying for a “good IT project manager” to see a project through.  This project manager mostly harasses the developers for dates of completion, disrupts the flow, and the customer pays.  I am often shocked when an IT project is completed and the software doesn’t work, scope was managed over value, but the customer says you managed that project well.  I have to believe this is because of the face-to-face relationship between the project manager and customer, easy to blame the operations people on the customer side and the developers on the IT side.

The problem really is all the buffers we have created in IT to keep the developers (the ones who can create value) and users (the ones that understand the problem or need) separated.  We here things like we are trying to keep the costs down and have a less expensive resource interpret the requirements and the expensive resource (developer) can code.  Except for those multitude of calls back and forth for clarifications that the developer has to do to get information that will help them.

So, by developing plans with robust dates to be sure that costs and schedules aren’t missed.  The problem winds up being that IT customers get less for what they pay in information technology for all the Gantt charts and business requirements.  Common sense has left us.

Leave me a comment. . . share your opinion!  Click on comments below.

Make the new decade a profitable and rewarding one, start a new path here.  Download free from www.newsystemsthinking.com “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about how to get started at [email protected].  Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbittor LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.

Tripp Babbitt is a columnist (Quality Digest, PSNews and IQPC), speaker, and consultant to private and public service industry.