Just say “no”


Just say no

We need to press the “no” button more frequently.

Readers of this blog will know I am frequently out and about with customers looking at their IT processes. One thing is becoming abundantly clear – we don’t know how to say “no”.

As we move through the lifecycle we see, more and more often, our upstream colleague handover of incomplete, inaccurate, unapproved, unfunded, unplanned, non-compliant, non-conforming, exception-based information. And we take it. We then spend countless hours (which we should start to count) getting the information into a form that we use so we can do our job. But these hours take away from our planned time and we end up rushing and our content and quality suffer and we do the self-same thing to our colleague downstream.

And no one says “no”.

I met with an organization recently who told me that requirements could be “Accepted” or “Accepted with Comments” – there was no “Reject” option. Another client said that projects were either “Approved and Funded”, “Approved and Not Yet Funded” and “Pending” – and some projects were pending for more than a decade.

A development manager told me that 20% of her team’s time was spent refining requirements with the business analyst and the user. A test manager told me she expected 2 to 3 turnovers from development but usually got 6 to 8. A project manager showed me statistics that proved they had never missed a date by more than a week and that also showed they usually drop 30% of the original, approved, content in each project cycle.

Would the CFO accept a balance sheet that didn’t balance? Would the Order Entry Specialist accept an order for goods that we don’t sell or ship to a non-existent address for a customer who hasn’t paid their bill? Would HR give you a pass on signing the corporate confidentiality agreement? No. No. And thrice, NO!

So, my friends in IT, it is time to step up and say the word. Your job is hard enough without you compensating for someone else’s lack of diligence. Let’s fix this problem at the source.

And make sure YOU are part of the solution.

About these ads

About Kevin

In the past year Kevin has spoken at 20 conferences and seminars on a range of leading IT topics, including methodologies, business analysis, quality assurance techniques, governance, open source issues, tool interoperability, from the mainframe to distributed platforms to the web and mobile and embedded systems. He is a much sought after speaker, recognized around the world for his provocative and entertaining style. Kevin is a 30 year industry veteran, holder of three technology patents and today is VP and Chief Evangelist at leading Application Development vendor Serena Software. He started his career as a software developer and rose to lead the engineering team as VP of R&D at Serena Software, a role he held for 8 years. In the past five years he has been crossing the globe and has met with over 4,000 people. At Serena he works closely with industry analysts, the press, customers, partners and employees to exchange ideas about industry direction and business issues. Today he is leading the Value Engineering initiative at Serena bringing measurable benefits to their customers. He was born and educated in the UK and lives on a boat on the San Francisco Bay and works in Redwood City California.
This entry was posted in Business and Technology and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s