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Projects Managed, Alligators Defeated, Swamps Drained…

Projects Managed, Alligators Defeated, Swamps Drained…

Another challenging week. I somehow managed to be the other end of the country from the snow for a change, so haven’t had any travel problems to deal with (well, apart from a sheet of black ice between my hotel and work yesterday morning, which was interesting!).

So for once I’ve been totally free to concentrate on what I do for a living rather than how I’m going to get there to do it.

My project for my current client is to bring some order to their IT department. I’ve only been here a few weeks, but the basic problems are blindingly obvious – at least, they are to someone like me looking from the outside. Basically, as I said to them yesterday, I look at the whole department, which is full of busy and dedicated people, but I can’t see what the **** is going on.

They don’t record time spent against projects and only roughly against support work, project plans for major pieces of work are held on personal folders where I can’t see them, project initiation is casual (to be kind!) and project closedown is close to non-existent. They complain about lack of resources but to be honest they don’t really know what resources they’ve got, so that’s hardly surprising.

They are also implementing ITIL in a big way, which is a very good thing in a Service Management environment such as this, but they’ve made the classic mistake (well, to my eyes, at least) of not identifying up front what services they offer to the business. So there’s my first task, to define a usable Service Catalogue for them and from there derive some workable and simple Service Level Agreements for the business.

I’ve also had a bit of a go about getting proper project reporting in place and I was genuinely pleased to see the various line managers taking that on board. You get the impression they know what’s wrong but need a bit of a shove to do something about it. It’s a bit like the old one about when you are up to your waist in alligators, it’s a bit hard to remember the job is to drain the swamp.

Perhaps that should be my new logo – “Projects Managed, Alligators Defeated, Swamps Drained”…

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Image: BrickArms MGL prototype (left) by Dunechaser

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