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Pushing value throughout the development process


Siddharth Sethi

March 09, 2009

Value is talked about very often when initiating a project. However, somewhere down the implementation process, the focus on delivering value is lost. After the project gets approved and the budgets are in place, the focus shifts to just getting the projected implemented and out the door. Value or no value.

A project that can really create value has to be focused on creating value at every step of the way. Not just at the budgetary approval stage. Your typical IT vendor talks about value all the time when trying to win the bid. After the bid is approved, even the IT vendor is most concerned about just getting the first phase done. The value part, moves to the second or subsequent phases.

IT vendors and project managers at the client need to keep value in constant focus at all times. There is an imperative on both sides to keep value at the core of the project implementation.

Exploration, planning, implementation, deployment and even maintenance phases need to have in place measures that can effectively determine value delivered. Project needs, requirements change and they change quite rapidly. Value measurement tools can help the team keep track of what is accomplished and what needs to be accomplished to make the project a true success.

Measures that show whether value has been accomplished can be as simple as things like cost overruns, time overruns, feature creeps and feature deferment.

The first three measures are quite straightforward and more obvious. However, feature deferment is a measure that can show whether what you set out to accomplish has been or will be accomplished or not. A project that does not have the required, must-have features can not deliver value. If your feature deferment is so high that the end result does not even have the most basic of features that you set out to build, you can safely consider your project to not delivering value, even if you complete it on time or budget.

To reiterate, the value that a project delivers directly defines success or failure of the project. Keeping it in constant focus should be a priority task.

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