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  Project Specificities
What makes projects specific?

The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the project's time. The last 10% takes the other 90%.

Anonymous


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Large projects, especially IT projects, act as fantastic revealers of a situation calling for Strategic Simplification. IT Cortex is often called to assist a company while a strategic project is well underway... and encountering what can prudishly be called "issues".

IT Cortex recognizes the specific nature of projects and fully integrates that specificity into its methodology. Understanding what makes projects so prone to failure is the first step in the process of building the conditions toward their success.

Actually IT projects were an essential source of inspiration to IT Cortex when it designed its Strategic Simplification methodology that enables companies to achieve true synergy between IT and organization taking into account their business environment.

bulletAll projects have a lifecycle. They start by pulling together resources - people, machines, material, capital - and end when their predefined goal is reached - or .... when they are killed (as soon as they appear to fall too short of their initial expectations).

Contrary to "regular" business, the goal of a project is not to grow endlessly, but to deliver at some point in time.

bulletProjects are mounted when an innovation is required - otherwise their result could be bought right "off the shelf". Learning is inherent to every project. At the outset the project team has but a partial knowledge of the final solution and of the way to reach it. Key investment decisions have nevertheless to be made before and during the project lifecycle.

Contrary to business operation, not everything can be predefined at the outset of a project.

 

bulletProjects require a significant amount of creativity and face therefore a significant amount of uncertainty. Risk is inherent to every project. There is no such thing as a risk free project. There exists risk free routines but this does not mean that all endeavor rising above routine activity should be curtailed. Projects - even after a bumpy ride - can turn out to be highly profitable investments.

Contrary to experiments in "exact sciences", project outcomes are never guaranteed.

bulletProjects create a new value - distinct from the exploitation of that value. As soon as this business value is created by the project team, it needs to be surrendered to the operation team and/or the maintenance team. Delivering a project means primarily that those who need it can use it and that it improves significantly their life.

Contrary to regular business, no project ever gets a chance to settle and get into "routine" mode.

bulletProjects have to deliver something that works and any result short of that is a failure. No project is set up to build something that "could have worked". No project is an attempt and should ever be considered as such. They would not be worth the hassle - and they would not have been allowed to start in the first place - if they were geared toward such a petit objective.

Contrary to a study, a project has to deliver something "that runs".

bulletProject deliverables can not be cut in pieces in such a way that the pieces can be later assembled without significant additional integration effort. In all projects, the whole is more than the sum of the parts. There is always a highly non linear relationship between a project size and the effort required to build the project solution. Moreover the timeframe of a project can not be reduced by adding resources in proportion of the expected elapsed time reduction.

Contrary to a mechanical process, a project requires a holistic approach.

bulletAll projects are different. There does not exist two identical projects - even when they are geared toward the same result, when they use the same tools and when they take place in similar environments. Projects are brought to life by people, animated by people with different backgrounds and are immersed in a specific corporate culture.

More than everywhere else, the human factor is decisive in projects.

IT Cortex 

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