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IT Leadership

Don’t Commit before you Define – A Two Stage approach to #ProjectManagement #CIO

Don't Commit before you Define - a Two Stage approach to Project Management

Why should I read this?

This presentation describes a best in class approach to managing your projects so as to avoid wild guesses or assumptions that lead to inaccurate planning, disappointment, failed prtojects and damage to the reputation of the IT Department. Approaches similar to this have been used for a number of years by companies such as IBM, Hewlett Packard and Ford Motor Company.

What is the approach?

What normally happens in IT is that we keep trying to guess the cost and timeline before any form of design has been completed and we are normally badly wrong! The approach is similar to building a house, you specify what you need and get an Architect to draw up the plans, only then do you ask the builder to estimate the cost. The two stage approach copies the house building example, we break the project into two distinct projects:

  • Stage 1 – Requirements and high level design
  • Stage 2 – Detailed design, Construction, Testing, deployment

This allows you to make a small investment up front and then determine what it will really take to complete the project, and allows you to properly evaluate the business case in order to decide whether the Stage 2 project should go ahead.

Why do it?

  1. Encourages increased accuracy of project estimates for timing and cost
  2. Better control of both projects (easier to project manage)
  3. Stage 1 projects can be used pre budgeting, with Stage 2 in the new budget year
  4. Removes ambiguity from Stage 2
  5. Improves the reputation of the IT department!!!

Click the link below to view a pdf of the presentation:

Martin Davis – Two Stage approach to PM – Project World Presentation – Nov 2014 v6

This presentation was first presented at PM/BA World Atlantic Canada, Nov 2014, by Martin Davis and Don Moore.


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