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The Right Blueprint for Your IT Project

Businesses want what they’ve always wanted – they want value. But the method of delivery has changed radically. Requirements change, along with organizations, and a “one-track mind” approach to delivering software is a surefire way to miss crucial opportunities for improvement. In an article for The Csuite, Chris May explains why developers need a blueprint for IT projects:

A project which is unable to identify and adapt to changes which are genuinely valuable to the business runs the risk of delivering a solution which is exactly what they thought they needed, months and months ago, but in fact delivers no value to the organisation as it is now.

Tentative Plans

May offers a dramatic example of how the company Flickr, which started by hosting an online game with an added image library, switched their entire business platform after it was discovered that the image gallery was far more popular.

If you want to play violin at an expert level, you wouldn’t book a famous concert hall ten years in advance, and then narrowly start practicing until that date arrived. You would start small by playing for friends and family. What if you decided classical music wasn’t your thing after only a few months? Was the long-term commitment worth it? Similarly, IT professionals should take care to draw up more tentative plans and expectations for their IT projects.

A project should be divided into little chunks, and each of those chunks should deliver real value to the business in the short term. Failing that, the entire market climate, and hence the real business need could easily vanish before a project’s completion.

Iteration

The more appropriate approach to delivering project value in a fast paced economy is the iterative one. Systems evolve and functionality must be refined accordingly. Bringing the initial code to bear quickly is a common misstep, since, in the long run, this development accounts for only 10% of cost over the life of the software. Only a frequent, automated testing plan can ensure that software development is in sync with the needs of organizations in the fast-paced economy of the digital now.

Read the original article at: http://www.thecsuite.co.uk/CIO/index.php/strategy/279-blueprint-for-it-project-53454

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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