The project see-saw

Most organisations have separated their IT function with IT offering their services at a price. There are good reasons for this, but it is not without its issues. Prashant Ghandi has written some good stuff on this. All too often the separation is more a divorce. This manifests itself in the “business” creating projects (hopefully with clearly defined benefits) and throwing them over the fence to IT to deliver. This would not be an issue if the project is founded on a solid benefits case, with benefits matched against project costs. But all too often the relationship is like a see-saw, with benefits and costs bouncing up and down and focus on the business case is lost. Far better to work together in partnership, building the business case together, focussing upon delivering strategic value to customers rather than balancing the project on a fulcrum of mistrust and compromise.

Project in balance


  1. Mike · Monday, 13 November, 2006

    You take something out of the bag and it gets heavier???

  2. Pat · Monday, 13 November, 2006

    And it doesn’t only happen with the business and IT. Frequently I see it within the IT organisation (Development, Sys Admins, DBAs, etc).

    Even outside the organisation (think outsourcing) – it’s a common phenomenon.

  3. Anonymous · Tuesday, 14 November, 2006

    Your point, which is to encourage co-operation to my understanding, is fine. Drawing is fine, but that picture for that point is lame 🙂

    In fact, I don’t see “benefits and costs bouncing up and down” to be a problem at all, and it shouldn’t lead to “focus on the business case is lost.”
    By having business and IT work in partnership and, of course, doing an agile project, they will do see-saw anyway, i.e. Business value the feature, IT estimate the cost and Business pick/prioritize them.

    Do I miss something here?

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