Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Self-Inflicted Wounds

The reasons for project failure are endless... and always the fault of forces beyond our control. Some real excuses from IT executives:
  • "Senior management set impossible deadlines."
  • "The users keep changing their minds."
  • "Those developers, are artists; I don't understand them at all."
  • "Finance wants to offshore to save money, we have no choice."
Grow up. For those who need to learn to artfully say no, I suggest Bill Jenson's book "The Simplicity Survival Handbook" (http://amzn.to/dfmoOF). For those who need a refresher in risk management, you could do worse than read Hugh Clare (@intsystemdesign).

Sure project failures are sometimes beyond our control, but these reasons are rarely heard: the budget was withdrawn, we lost the team to a plane crash, the Internet went dark for a month, ...

As technology professionals, we must take accountability to say no artfully, and we can refuse to work for organizations that hire leaders who fail to take accountability.

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