I recently read an OSS Vendor market assessment by Gartner. I noticed in this report that no vendor scored Very Strong in Products and Services (aka Delivery). So why is that?
As the report mentions, “Many of the vendors profiled...have been going through numerous merger and acquisitions activities” which certainly impacts the effectiveness of solution delivery teams as the acquired adjust to a new way of operating and new delivery strategy.
In previous posts I’ve also shared my thoughts on some aspects of project delivery such as Requirement Definition and a tongue in cheek look at project success criteria.
But in reading the Gartner report, it struck me that another major factor that it is important to consider is how skilled is the team being used in the deployment. And by “skilled” I am not just limiting myself to the technical Java or Vendor product knowledge, important though that is. Delivery success requires much more than that.
For example, how skilled is the team in:
- understanding the business objective of the project and staying true to it
- previous implementation experience
- communicating delivery feasibility, perhaps after a different expectation was set in the sales cycle
- properly understanding the nature of project delivery and project management as opposed to project administration
- effectively managing the project through test cycles to acceptance
- knowing when to say No to a customer to strengthen the success of the project, but equally when to be flexible
- understanding the importance of delivering any aspect of the project on time – do what you said you would do when you said you would do it (DWYSYWDWYSYWDI)
to name but a few.
You may say this all seems like common sense – and perhaps it is - but in my experience absence of these skills is common to the failings of projects that don’t deliver.