Beyond Methodologies: Reflections on 5 years with Reboot

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We’ve had almost 5 years since Thought Ensemble published Reboot and our Four Things Framework.  And since then, we’ve applied it at approximately 30 companies.  We’ve learned quite a bit along the way.

One of our key findings is the relationship between these 4 Things and the success of an individual project.  We all know that IT projects are notoriously likely to fail.  The traditional answer to solving these delivery problems has been to invest in adopting a better development methodology (Scrum, Agile, Lean, SAFE, etc.)  And (as you can see in the graph below), these kinds of methods can in fact have a measurable impact on the reliable, successful delivery of projects.

Resolution

From The Standish Group’s 2013 CHAOS Manifesto

However, as you can also see, despite our methodology improvements, we still see far too many projects miss the mark.  Our experience indicates that we are reaching the natural limit of how much improvement we can get within our projects from methodology changes.  In other words, we’ve gotten most of what we can out of methodology improvements.

What then, can we do to improve the performance of these projects?  Must we accept this level of project failure?

Our experience shows that there is something else we can do . . . We can work to make sure that we’ve aligned four key things: Strategy, Technology, Delivery Models and Organization.  Delivery Models (like Scrum, Agile, etc.) can only do so much.  Our book Reboot talks about the process and framework for how to align these components and we’ve seen marked improvement in organizations who’ve taken the effort to go beyond delivery methods alone as they seek to improve overall technology performance.

How likely is your next project to be successful?  You’ve probably thought in detail about the methods you will use, but have you and your team taken the time to make sure those methods line up with the rest of the environment?

 

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