uGovernIT

A Practical Approach for IT Governance

A Lesson in IT Management – A Confession (Part 2)

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I strongly urge the reader to review “A Lesson in IT Management – A Confession (Part 1)” prior to reading this blog.  To recap, I had a partially completed backyard and non-trivial demands from my better-half to finish the project.  I decided to manage the project myself on a T & M basis (Time and Materials).  I also negotiated the rates and payment was to be made weekly.  I developed a detailed Work Break Down Structure (WBS), a simple tracking system (in Excel), negotiated work loads and estimated completion times.

The challenge in management is that mistakes are not solitary – they are generally made in bunches.  The T&M paradigm with estimated schedule was great, but the contractor realizing that he could easily extend schedule by complaining on the work done by his predecessor.  While the quality was very good, the project took twice as long.  There were some scope changes (not redesign), corrections for poor work, and delays in procurement.  None of these however could account for the schedule slippage by two weeks.

It reminded me of IT management as these challenges were also part of many IT projects.  I was able to cope with them because I knew the domain.  The challenge here was lack of expertise in landscaping.  I did bring in some outsiders (neighbors) who had completed their landscaping.  It was a relief to hear that the actual costs and schedule were not outliers, the problem was the original contract I had negotiated.  Like many outsource engagements, in the IT field, I had simply negotiated a completely unacheivable  contract.  The old adage “you get what you pay for”  resurfaces in project management over and over again.

Too many mistakes but many lessons learned as well.  Please wait for Part 3.  I will share photographs, costs and a quick project sunset report including an assessment from my better-half.

Written by Subbu Murthy

June 16, 2011 at 12:57 am

Posted in IT Governance

One Response

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  1. Hi Subbu,

    Highly enlightening stuff!

    Would you agree then – that in IT outsourcing engagements, the customer who tries to negotiate a “unrealistic” contract is as guilty as the desperate vendor who accepts it!

    After all, if your landscaping contractor had put his foot down & taken the efforts to explain/educate you about the “domain”, you probably would have drawn up a more realistic WBS, and your tracking excel been more accurate.

    Prasad K

    June 17, 2011 at 12:45 am


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