Government projects that stray past their time and budgetary constraints need not fear crucifixion-by-media, so long as the project leader focuses on the benefits before a project gets underway, according to the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance strategist Terry Wright.
"I speak to project managers who are over time and over budget, and ask them 'what are the benefits?' If they say it'll deliver revolutionary change, then I say tell people about that [instead]!" Wright said, adding that every project needs a comprehensive document detailing benefits to quell "sensational" media reports.
He told ZDNet Australia that he'd seen projects delivered on-time and on budget that had no measurable outcomes and everyone gave the project team a pat on the back for it. He thought it was ridiculous.
Wright, speaking at the 2010 Gartner Symposium, said that unless a department can produce a single page document detailing a project in layman's terms, they shouldn't be paid anything to start it.
Wright presented the audience with the strategy used by the Victorian Government to keep projects on the rails: under the department's Investment Management program, project heavyweights meet with government analysts in two-hour sessions to determine the absolute aim of a project.
According to Wright, the key to the success of any project is understanding exactly what needs to be delivered and how it can be achieved before the project starts.
The 2010 Gartner Symposium wrapped up yesterday with a locknote address given by advertising guru and ABC TV's Gruen Transfer panelist Todd Samson.
The 2011 Gartner Symposium is set to take place on the Gold Coast.