Back in 1997, my first application development project was an unmitigated disaster. The sponsor of my internship (the VP of Sales) didn’t like the contract developer his boss had hired to build and maintain their Customer-Vendor system in Lotus Notes. He wanted me to rebuild it using MS Access and promised it would be easy. You can see the problem already, right? Lowly intern caught in the internal politics of a VP and his boss. I was a pawn and I had the VP of Sales defining my requirements, estimates and schedule. I was doomed from the start. Thankfully, at the last minute, the company president hired a VP of IT that covered my back and started teaching me how to manage IT projects.
Since then I have been a student of application development and IT project management. In 2007 I began a slow transition away from application development and started focusing solely on how to make IT projects more successful through the application of varied project management and business analysis approaches. In 2010 I worked with a mentor (John Borders of Omaha) that helped me fully embrace Agile development principles as a methodology to help transition an entire organization to .NET development. The experience was career changing.
Today, I work as an IT project management and leadership consultant with a small number of clients. I’ve helped them establish both Agile development and more traditional project management processes that have turned development teams into efficient coding engines. I hope the content within this blog helps other IT project leaders to discover ways to plan and execute more successful IT projects.