Thursday, November 8, 2007

Managing complexity in business and IT strategy and architecture

(the need to manage complexity better in business and IT strategy and architecture)

A working group from The Royal Academy of Engineering and The British Computer Society - looking "The Challenges of Complex IT Projects" (ISBN 1-903496-15-2) - noted [comments in square brackets are mine]:
  • Complexity is increasing: the challenges associated with complex projects is increasing rapidly. These are fuelled in large part by the exponential growth in the capability of hardware and communications technology, and the corresponding inflation in people’s expectations and ambition
  • Unprofessional practice is common: A striking proportion of project difficulties stem from people (customers and suppliers) failing to implement known best practice. This can be ascribed to the general absence of collective professionalism in the IT industry, as well as inadequacies in the education and training of people at all levels. [e.g. about what class of tools to use for managing complexity]
  • IT doesn't learn well from more mature professions: There is a broad reluctance to accept that complex IT projects have many similarities with major engineering projects and would benefit from greater application of well established engineering and project management procedures e..g risk management is poorly understood, systems architecture is not appreciated.
  • Managing complexity requires new methods, processes and tools: problems relate to the people and processes but further in developments in methods and tools is required to support the design and delivery (in particular regarding effective management of complexity)
[See how other industries organise things: by analogy, by example ).

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