Mired in methodology

Mired in methodology

Summary: A colleague of mine and I often use the term M&Ms when describing an IT organization or a component of one – as in "They are just a bunch of M&Ms." When doing so, we aren't referring to chocolatey goodness but to organizations that are Mired in Methodology.

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TOPICS: Government
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A colleague of mine and I often use the term M&Ms when describing an IT organization or a component of one – as in "They are just a bunch of M&Ms." When doing so, we aren't referring to chocolatey goodness but to organizations that are Mired in Methodology.

You know what this M&M is: When a group has decided for whatever reasons that process is an end unto itself. When methods are what drives the work and not the product.

I see this quite a bit in government, particularly regarding project management, which is often seen as a panacea that can cure all of an IT project's ills. So the organization adopts a project management framework designed to launch the space shuttle and then requires all its projects - both large and small - to fit this framework. These managers fail to realize that project management methodology needs to scale with the size of your project. The result? Projects that may or may not be successful but take forever to be completed.

Want to know how to suck the enthusiasm out of both your staff and the clients of your services? Burden them with unnecessary and overcomplicated processes and procedures in order to get anything done. Soon you will have nothing but a bunch of automatons going through the steps and clients who refuse to deal with you. On top of that you will develop a clientele that wrongfully hate all project management and any other processes and procedures because they equate it with your inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

Are you an M&M? If so, it might be worth taking a hard look at your processes and methodologies and see where they can be streamlined and improved. Make sure you're doing project management for the sake of the project not for the sake of the methodology - and by all  means ask your customers how they feel about it. If you dare!

Topic: Government

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