Author: Gary Garris

Show Me the Artifact! Process Heavy Output Can Give a False Sense of Successful Execution

Working on technology projects whether you are on the business or IT side of the house often becomes a labor of intensity around producing hundreds if not thousands of pages of documentation. Churning iterations of documents in order to comply with your software development lifecycle processes remains an age old struggle for most organizations.

The adoption of methodologies baked in heavy rigor around process components and an accompanying set of templates is intended to serve as validation of the completion of a stage or step in the lifecycle of software development; signaling the ability to move on in sort of a sequential build out of the next set of templates and documents that will eventually contribute to the actual creation of a “thing”. It doesn’t matter what development methodology you use, it can at times feel like teams are in the document production business versus the value creation that is needed to enable stakeholders with the capability to successfully execute.

These artifact production requirements, when combined with what I call the Process Capability Index (PCI) of your software development organization, requires the right balance between an overly prescriptive mandated approach and one in which insufficient controls exists to ensure that software products are being delivered with a high degree of quality, security and business value.

Organizations with centralized IT resources and a fairly junior resource pool of Project Managers will gravitate towards a document laden process that involves templates and guidance to help foster skill development and consistency of delivery. This approach makes sense as a temporary measure but must be backed up by a concerted plan to introduce a curriculum based training program that seeks to enhance the skillsets needed to organically grow the capabilities of the team lessening the need to police document development.

Hence, the first component of the