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Truth Revealed: People
Feb 2011

The key, fundamental failure, and most significant oversight in the IT industry is this:
A fundamental inability to see through the hype, hysteria, culture, methodology, process, practice, etc, etc, etc.......and realize that all this B.S. is about how to deal with the fact that you have a lot of not so skilled/experienced people working for you.
Let's call it what it is. It is a failure of people. And rather than fantasize that some new methodology, or some regimen of control and process will fix the fact that so many projects do not deliver to a reasonable level --- let us instead look toward mitigating deliverables in the wake of the skills-shortage we are surrounded with. Projects fail to deliver to their potential because of people. No process, methodology, whatever, can save you from this. Such things avoid the truth, ignore the truth, misdirect attention into false solutions to imaginary problems. Of course, it takes a really good management team to be able to admit this, identify, understand and put in place a good mitigation plan. It can be quite difficult to recognize, at the outset of a project, who are the good, the great, and the mediocre players on your team (without prior interaction). And so, mitigation is what we need. Not process, methodology and such, all pretending to solve the process/success issues. The issue never was about process and methodology. it has always been a people issue. I call upon the self-proclaimed experts to stop writing their B.S. books and articles, and instead pretend to be experts in people and skills management as it relates to completing projects in the most efficient and successful manner. Too much to ask for? What project managers need most is an ability to quickly identify their key players. Perhaps it's too much to ask that management be able to remove from their project the worst people, and replace them with better. If that is out of the question, then at least allow them to remove from their staff all titles and roles. Allow the PM the freedom to move people around the project, moving the good people into appropriate roles and levels of responsibility, relegate the lessor people, and promote the greats. Allow the PM to insist of having the critical mass of talent required to succeed, or accept that the project will not deliver to appropriate levels. Of course, this then puts the onus on findnig that rare breed of PM who can do all this. Or at least a PM who can recognize talent and delegate as required. If we all assume the common goal of a successful project, how hard can it be?
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