Avoiding Project Disaster: Titanic Lessons for IT Executives (Lessons from History) Review

Avoiding Project Disaster: Titanic Lessons for IT Executives
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When I first saw the title of this book I had to smile at the thought of the big IT projects with which I have been associated that subsequently sank as though they had run into an iceberg.

An example though of how this book approaches comparing the Titanic with an IT project: One way to get an advance notice of an iceberg ahead is to pull up a bucket of sea water and get its temperature -- it's colder around the iceberg. A sailor was assigned to do this. He was observed filling the bucket with tap water, as the rope he was given was too short to reach the sea. The IT meaning - set up tests, but make sure the tests are real and that the results of the tests are based on real data not what is easy to obtain or pre-determined by other means.

This book is an easy-reading, light-hearted approach to illustrating some real truths about how projects (not only IT projects) really work. You'll pick up a few ideas about why the last project was so late and over budget, and perhaps your next project will go better.

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Product Description:
Titanic's maiden voyage was a disaster waiting to happen as a result of the compromises made in the project. This book explores how non-IT executives can take lessons from a nuts-and-bolts construction project like Titanic and use those lessons to ensure the right approach to developing on-line operations. Looking at this historical project as a model cuts away the layers of IT jargon and complexity. Avoiding Project Disaster is about delivering IT projects in a world where on-time and on-budget is not enough. It will help you successfully maneuver through the ice floes of IT project management in an industry with a notoriously high project failure rate. This book outlines the stages involved in creating mission critical services and the underlying environment to support these. Specifically, the book provides the non-technical manager a step-by-step guide to the deliverables that the IT department should produce at each stage of the creation process. The book enlightens the non-technical manager to the fact that a considerable part of the effort is in realigning the organization and procedures rather than technology. Knowing the rationale for and the timing of deliverables enables the non-IT manager to be a full participant in the creation process. The book leaves the reader with a simple philosophy: namely, focus your IT investments on getting your organization and procedures aligned and you can get best-in-class results from your technology. The book uses close to 90 figures and more than 40 tables for clarification of major concepts through detailed models, e.g., Change Management (9-step model) and Problem Management (4-step model).

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