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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Processes, Engineering and Organisations

I reflect on my miniscule career of eight years and some management studies and I find myself thinking about how i would want to do business or run an organisation, I understand profit is the basis for any business being brutally factual about it , but my point is as profit increases and businesses grow rate of returns decrease due to scalability and efficiency issues. As I start my rant I have to mention there is a clear difference in engineering process and quality processes. Processes which are used to engineer a product are different from processes using to perform business. Trying to smudge one with the other in the name of organisational vision is in itself a game most service providers play and the IT industry is full of such innuendos , does any organisation care to mention what engineering processes are going to be used in there project tenders, I guess not.. some how the most important things for engineering which is the task in hand fail to make the list of priorities. We are too busy to pay attention to detail and want the bare bones in place.

I have been working on improving engineering processes for sometime now and have been at both ends, creating and consuming processes. Some organisations use the fixed cost project model and would probably say I will pass as the stakeholders are only interested in there projects and not the engineering process itself, however what they do like is a accreditation such as ISO etc. Even though the PMO as a functional body exists, it doesn't really work as a unified body other than trying to sort out dependencies and integration issues and they wonder why most projects are over budgeted and running longer they should be , If these organisations join the bandwagon of adopting a process like Scrum, Prince or CMM they are not going to find much mileage unless they have there fundamentals sorted out , simple things like infrastructure, configuration management and engineering processes some how manage to get to the list of requisites of a project only at the end of a disaster, or in some cases where you have outsourced your development in a Root Cause Analysis, the funny thing about the RCA is in my experience no one bothers or cares to look at it and there are no lessons learnt either, funny the person who has to come up with it also has mask the most obvious factors which increase cost..

To run an organisation with innovative engineering and quality processes takes more than training a bunch of individuals on some process and asking them to get on with it, Organisational leaders such as CTO’s and CEO’s need to understand that unless it is pipelined form the top in the form of actions, they are not going to maximise return on investment. Unless they do so , PMO' bodies will not action anything because at the moment every organisation is so concerned about short term goals and profits that they have laid the rules of sustainability in business to rest, It is not that organisations don’t do enough , it is just that they try to do something only when the eggs are rotten..

Oh i work in IT so the references to CMM/ Scrum/ Prince you can take anything for an example Six Sigma, ISO, TQM , I am on a train at 10 in the night and this is so not what i should be thinking about

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