Author: Karen Schemmel

Better, Not Bigger!

After working as an IT Analyst in the same organization for over twenty years, it became apparent to me that every year our project load got bigger and bigger.

Just when you thought that someone was going to stop the madness, every new year we ended up out-pacing the previous year’s project load. It wasn’t just the shiny, new initiatives coming on the scene. There was a cumulative effect when a few of the previous year’s projects would spill over, creating a nice overlap effect. Unanticipated architecture changes halted project progress and impacted deadlines. The end-result was an overwhelming dog pile of projects that over-consumed resources and frustrated many.

Year after year, it was like Ground Hogs day, where we relived the same vicious cycle. While strategic planning did occur, strategic project selection was based on which got the most votes by upper management. Most of the time IT resources did not see project requirements until projects were launched.

Moreover, strategic projects did not include system or application upgrades, those of which consumed large portions of IT resources.

The trouble for me was that I knew there were better ways to manage the project capacity load, and thus avoid the relentless chaos. The ways to achieve more was not to add more on to the plate! After spending the past five years learning Business Analysis tasks and techniques, I knew there were recipes and ingredients for counteracting and avoiding the various problems we faced.

Imagine that the organization described above chose to hire a Business Analyst to help address the project chaos. With the skills and discipline that a Business Analyst can provide, this company could have transformed their chaotic project life-cycle into a well-oiled machine. With a revamping of their project processes, this company should be able to better focus on the priority strategic initiatives that provide the most value, rather than spreading itself thin with the vast number of projects