Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Why Bad Things Happen"

"Why Bad Things Happen To Good Organisations: Part 1" - Jonathon Kendall is a very interesting.

Based on a study of public sector projects:
- only 44% of spend on capital projects is inefficient, with 31% completely lost
- only 13% of programs met more than 65% of targeted objectives. 
- only 59% of $100m+ programs longer than 5 years were delivered; 60% of those delivered were de-scoped or fragmented into other programs, and 22% were not delivered at all – none were delivered as per the original specification.
- 87% of IT programs go beyond schedule and budget, with an average overrun of 52%.
- 99% of all +$100m/5 years projects were significantly de-scoped, re-dimensioned or re-focused
- 2.25% is the average return of Corporate Service programs (they have worst return but made up over half of all capital projects undertaken.

They identify these factors embedding inefficiency:
- Lack of measurable, outcome-oriented performance metrics and reviews.
- Actual deliverables are not measured against promised or projected deliverables.
- Deliverables are not clearly articulated, defined or documented. 
- Gross over-estimation of program benefits compounded by gross underestimation of capital costs and risks. 
- Zero incentive for improved delivery performance. 

They recommend:
- Outsource Delivery Management
- Outsource Commoditised Services.
- Divest Commoditised IT Services, Invest In Specialised IT Services.
- Adjusted Benefits & Costs (to be realistic)
- Reduce Program Delivery Intervals. 
- Re-orient All Program Deliverables To Service Outcomes. "All capital works programs deliverables should be intimately equated with policy, legal, regulatory or directed outcomes."

A better approach to Requirements management - where the Requirements are directly expressed in terms of: policies, outcomes, KPIs and the capabilities and behaviour of the organization is in practice critical to many of the recommendations.  It allows you define in a common way the business requirements to be met by all outsourcing (delivery, commoditised services); clearly define specialised services (based on the specialised aspects of the business architecture)

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