Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Commitment to delivery

Most technology groups are cross-functional with lots of projects to deliver, and find themselves inundated with new requests, status update meetings, change requests, and the like. Given that technology teams can get very busy, its important to make sure a project will drive to conclusion.

If you want a project to stall, one sure way is to have noone on the team committed to delivery. There needs to be one person, just one, who will drive the project to conclusion as obstacles mount. Without this person, the team will sense there a lack of owner (and no reward for outcome), and shift their focus and priorities to other projects.

This is reasonable behavior, and to be expected. After all, your teams are often being asked to do too many things, and need some mechanism for prioritization. The issue is that the project may be important and beneficial, and you'll need to get someone on the team to "own" it.

Make sure all your projects have "owners" on the team, those who'll stake their reputation on getting it delivered.

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