Business do not worry

    Most of the IT projects I've seen in life have been very successful. They were performed in different companies, on various platforms, by completely different people. But success always came, with rare exceptions.

    Every time I wondered where the IT teams had such purposefulness, a subtle sense of strategy and its implementation, an understanding of the situation and an iron will to follow the chosen path? Is there any secret of success?

    I looked, analyzed, and made a list of algorithms that successfully lead IT projects to the goal. Let's start with goals - so what is successfully achieved?

    Attention . This article is only for people from the IT world. If you are not from IT, or, God forbid, any director or owner, you'd better not read this article. Otherwise, you ruin everything for us.

    And once again attention. This article is not sarcasm, not an attempt to crush someone, not a gradation of the market and not raising someone else's CDS, including mine. I, like any IT specialist, and the company in which I work, like any other IT company, fit the definitions from this article.


    I will try to clarify the objectives of IT projects. Not fictional, announced in papers, at rallies or in the richly furnished offices of generals. Real goals.

    The goal, its awareness and understanding, are of paramount importance in any activity. And here it does not matter whether the true goal in the value system is good or bad. If one goal is declared, and in reality, or even in the subconscious, another sits , then it is the other that will be achieved.

    But, unfortunately, the wrong stereotype has been established in IT and business relations. It is believed that most IT projects are failures. Some analysts collect statistics, calculate something, then write devastating articles about how IT does not help business, does not achieve its goals, breeds surrogates, taking millions from any unfortunate companies in any currency.

    The mistake of these analysts is very simple: they are judged by the business. Automatized, not automating. Evaluate projects not in the same system of coordinates in which they were carried out. They look at achieving goals that someone, for some reason, at the very beginning, for some reason, said or wrote. And about the real goals do not know.

    There are four real goals of IT projects, to summarize:

    1. plant;
    2. to cement;
    3. squeeze;
    4. to learn.

    Jump on yourself

    Planting is all projects for the implementation of 1C. This is also automation on any poorly distributed framework or software. Here is the govnod, "in which only I will figure it out."

    Having implemented 1C, the client always sits down on the so-called. "Information and technological support." In Russian, this is a subscription fee for access to updates. The need for updates is pointless to challenge - it is being thrown up by the state. 20% VAT, various types of federal law, online cash register, USAIS, etc. - all this is reflected in the 1C programs and, therefore, must be updated.

    Similarly - Bitrix. Whoever builds a website on it, you have to pay for updates and technical support.

    Similarly, any online service, whether it is an electronic document flow, maps, reconciliation of settlements, or checking counterparties. Most of them require some work on incorporation into the corporate system, and the more money and effort spent on it, the more difficult it will be to refuse.

    The time during which the client is hooked up, works against him and on the success of the software vendor or services. Even if they take only updates, without modifications to the order, the amount paid increases every month, and the rejection of the software or service will mean that the money is thrown to the wind.

    The goal is simple - to make the client, having once worked with you, even if on a small task, never jumped off, and continued to order new products and services from you.

    With the right approach, it works better than that of dragdilers - at least there you can change the “supplier”, the product is the same. But if you wrote to the client, for example, “optimized unloading of goods onto the site,” but you didn’t forget about obfuscation, and used some clever constants set only in this particular database, then the client is yours.

    It is important, as they say, to climb . To catch, at least for the edge.

    Planting is perhaps the most common goal of IT projects.

    To cement

    Cementing is the favorite goal of internal automation. The difference between factory programmers, or fixed, is that they do not receive income from the implementation of projects. There are, of course, awards, but if you smear them for a year, you get a miser. Salary is much easier and more stable, besides there is always the possibility of part-time work.

    The factory programmer thinks like a soldier who sleeps and the service goes. Therefore, the natural desire is to increase the efficiency of your work day. Remember what efficiency is? This is the cost of producing the result.

    The result is the same - the salary. Costs are effort. Salary can not be increased, and efforts to reduce - can be. This is how efficiency increases.

    The simplest way is govnokod, "as much as possible reflecting the requirements of users." Under govnokodom here refers to the code itself, and metadata, and "a button right here." No analysis of requirements, compliance with the overall architecture and strategy, "just to work."

    When “working” is cement. Everyone is afraid to touch what “works” - both programmers, users, and managers. Any revolutionary who starts screaming “we need refactoring” will be expelled, disgraced, humiliated, accused of wanting to grow and spoil business’s life.

    If the "works" - all is well and the programmer is well done. He keeps getting his salary. The more areas in the information system that “work”, the less work a programmer has. Only support remains - answers to the same questions, demonstration of the same forms and tools, solution of the same problems. Simple and stable, like a soldier.

    Automation projects by an external contractor, especially in the end, are not averse to cementing. For example, it is necessary to sign the act. Two months did "as expected", but the director from the center requires money, otherwise he will stop paying his salary. It is urgent to make the client satisfied. How? Cemented as factory programmers. Govnokodom.


    Squeeze is the goal, as a rule, for those who are unsure of themselves. For example, there is a small bit for the implementation of 1C. Interrupted by minor work on updates and printed forms, selling cheap boxes, fire advice kiosks during the reporting.

    And then - bang, happiness rolled. Project. Know where from, probably - by mistake, shrazhke is trusted to implement a big and serious decision. What to do? There is no experience, so are no specialists.

    Trying to stupidly grab the maximum. Payment - by the hour, or in short acts, not more than a month. No peg payment to goals, business indicators, completeness, and the like heresy. Minimum risk, maximum money.

    Experts who are not experts come in the same way, but they got to work in a decent place - for example, with a high salary. They try to inflate their cheeks, do not betray their incompetence, never go into details, all the time they postpone making decisions and starting work.

    For example, in one of the companies, the CIO took a person who had never seen 1C. And they took to solve a specific problem - the implementation of 1C. At the interview he managed to throw dust in his eyes, he was taken to a decent salary, and he lasted a year. Only when the wall was plugged in - admitted that he did not know 1C. Just quit, and went to look for the next company, which can be squeezed out.

    To learn

    Rarely, but it happens. The young company wants to break into the market of ERP-systems. Or the old company wants to develop a new direction. Or, in general, the strategy is to train new specialists by throwing them into the thick of it.

    It sounds nice - throwing into the thick of it. It seems like a famous parable about how to learn to swim, throwing it into the water. But in fact, if you do not lie to yourself, we simply train our specialists for the money of the customer.

    To be honest, I myself have been in a similar situation. Only a month has passed since I first saw 1C in my eyes, and here I am on the project for the implementation of the most complex (at that time) configuration - “Manufacturing Enterprise Management”. Just because the product is new, just appeared, and the project to introduce it to the company is the first. Moreover, he and the city - the first, and maybe in the region.

    Of course, I learned a lot from that project. And the customer paid for it all. It was enough for the project manager at the meeting, where they represented me, to nod an affirmative answer to the question “does he know the eight?”.

    I do not condemn such an approach at all - especially since I myself have often used it, and I continue to practice. The customer, as a rule, in the shower does not know which specialist understands what. The cost of an hour of work is the same for both a novice and a bison. A newcomer will do a week, a bison - two hours. The customer will pay a week. What's wrong?

    There are other projects to learn. For example, the introduction of a new, newly developed product. It also happens that the customer receives this product for free. Maybe even implementation services, or part of them. I myself use this approach. Free is good - it eliminates the risk.

    Combinations and Transformations

    The objectives of the project may change in the process of its implementation, depending on the situation. This is a normal, lively process.

    Above, I gave an example of how a project with a view to planting can begin to cement — when it is necessary to sign the act. This usually happens when a project is threatened.

    However, it is not necessary to cement, you can squeeze. For example, the situation - during the implementation several stages started at once. Somewhere there is training, somewhere testing, somewhere test operation. And then there was a general threat to disrupt the project - you never know, the decision maker has changed.

    Part of the steps can be cemented if possible. Cementing is likely to provide the full amount for the project phase. But it happens that the stage is only at the development stage, even if it is a step away from production - then the customer is still far from cementing, the customer hasn’t even seen a prototype. Alternatively, you can try to squeeze - sign the act on a part of the amount. Suppose, only for the development, adding the phrase "for the time already actually spent."

    It happens and the reverse transformation - started as a "squeeze", figured out in the course, and doing "plant on yourself." Or they are cemented in such a way that it is the time to squeeze out the remains and run.

    Now that you know these goals, look at the IT projects you saw. Did they even achieve one of them?


    Believe it or not, the article was born spontaneously. I sat down to write a text about how many integrations affect the complexity of business change.

    And then I thought - why chew snot? Again, to suck out some good for unhappy customers, and how do we, IT, deprive him of this good? Is not it better to do reality?

    Reality is thousands of information system implementations, developed websites, connected services and a large fleet of equipment.

    Yes, in most cases, the customer whines that the IT project has not reached some of its goals.

    It resembles a romantic girl who dreams of walks by the hand with a gentleman, in blooming meadows, with a wreath of dandelions on her head, and so that the sun shines brightly, and he is wearing a snow-white shirt, smiles, and he doesn’t need anything, just to be with near me, swimming in the bottomless ocean of the charm of my youth, beauty and purity, and the whole world was created just for me, and He too, for me ...

    No, my dear. He has another purpose. And you know how. He will achieve his goal. If not with you, then on the other. And more than once.

    Why fantasize if there is reality? Yes, there are projects that improve the efficiency of customers. Yes, customers and profits can grow - either by increasing income, or by reducing costs. But most IT projects - to plant, or cement, or squeeze, or learn.

    So why fantasize, blame for injustice, call for change and change, believe in good and fairy tales? It is better to figure out how to sit down more, cement less, not squeeze at all and learn in the process.

    I propose to do this. If you do not mind.

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