Leading IT Projects: Knowing when to Speed Up and when to Slow Down

Dateline: May 1, 2015

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

How fast can IT make something happen?  In most organizations it’s never fast enough.  “Slow” is not the adjective we want associated with IT (or for that matter, with any process).   However, to minimize risks and project failure, projects must go slow enough to insure success.

A thoughtful blog written by Bent Flyvbjerg, Professor at the University of Oxford, and Alexander Budzier, a PhD student, titled IT on Steroids: The Benefits (And Risks) of Accelerating Technology, explores this paradox of going fast and slow at the same time.  They suggest,

One might argue that viewing IT projects solely as budget items on a calendar is too much of an abstraction to capture the intricacies of decision-making and delivering IT projects. Yet, we observed that IT projects are planned and supervised with very scant information. Basic budget and scheduling data are important signposts to steer the IT project organization. A CIO must know when the IT organization can and ought to go fast and when it is better to push back against the powerful forces that demand IT to deliver faster and faster. In short, strategic IT leadership in a high-speed world is about mixing fast and slow.

How do you decide when to push for a faster schedule and when to slow down?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a fantastic weekend.

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