Accept a Project is Never Completed


Additional thoughts on my recent blog about “Project Trust is a Two Way Thing”.

There are two clear ways to look at a project delivery.

• It is finished (only sign off when every detail has been addressed).

• It is at one of its iterative stages (accept that sign off is for each iteration).

One problem with ensuring a project is not signed off until completed is that this can take time, it takes testing, it takes user adoption and the delivery point can be extended with very simple small changes of specification or understanding. In fact, quite often users or customers are not included in the delivery until every single item has been checked and signed off.

So what about agreeing from the start that whatever is delivered is not finished, simply an agreed phase of constant iteration? Get the users and/or customers involved from the start. Get them to acknowledge that this project is a phased delivery … never completed.

The startup community of Silicon Valley has an agreement that a product is never done. It is now the norm in modern thinking IT companies that the first delivery is the minimal viable product with the express purpose of getting user/customer feedback, and then iterating to the next version or phase.

Based on this feedback the product can be steered through its next iteration in the direction that will please the user/customer and then produce much faster releases quickly and regularly. Analysis has shown that the best performing digital companies embrace this “test and learn” approach that values speed of delivery over perfection.

As LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman once said, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”

Here at DSCallards we like to adopt this approach wherever we can agree this method with our customers.

It’s impossible to know in advance how a delivery in either development or a BI solution will be embraced. It is so much better to launch sooner with reduced features and learn what works from the user/customer feedback.

By doing this you can show speed of delivery but also the delivery infrastructure is in place to make the next iteration even quicker.

Posted By Ray Kemp, Technical Director, On 23rd November 2015
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