Dutch General Accounting Agency Reports ICT Project Execution Improvement Factors

Photo at blog from webmaster - 30/09/2010 - 11:29

The Dutch General Accounting Agency has recently published a report containing advice to improve the management of ICT projects. From now on, projects can be controlled, if the advice is taken seriously! Or?

The reports gives 4 points of improvement:

  1. The project sponsor needs more ICT know-how.
  2. A project should have 1 or more milestones.
  3. Before a project is launched a business case should be established.
  4. An organization should have project portfolio management process.

Of course many people have published their opinion on this advice. And who am I to stay behind? It is very difficult to find someone who agrees with the 4 points. The most consider point 1 valid, and consider the other 3 as old news, already part of the day to day operation.

And that challenges me! Let us discuss them.

1. The project sponsor needs more ICT know-how

I do not think so. Why should a business manager know which tools he should use for what. It is required that he knows his business, and that he knows his Key Performance Indicators (KPI's). And he should have a CIO that act his change agent. A production architect would be ideal. But ICT knowledge? Should he also need construction knowledge if he wants to move to another building?

2. A project should have 1 or more milestones

This makes sense. Actually it is a business requirement, and has nothing to do with ICT. Crawl, walk, run: That is how I learned to propel myself forward. So define the result for next period concretely, and less exact for the time thereafter. Turn that into for the business significant phases. Define separate streams for not directly related activities like innovation, maintenance, control or what have you.

3. Before a project is launched a business case should be established

Yes! And not 1 business case. you need a business case per period. While the project is running, things change. So you need to revisit your business case to be able to make good decision at the next mile stone.

4. An organization should have project portfolio management process

YES!!! The best advice! It should have been the first step. Because only if you treat all your important project the same way, you will be able to manage your assets.

So to wrap it up: I think the General Accounting agency has written a reasonably good advice, only they should have used a different order. And I am still unsure why they wrote this down. But the result counts!

Do you believe in project portfolio management?

Let us know!

Contact Hans Lodder at Results2Match.com.


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