Whole-of-Life Project Management
Traditional project management focused on the development component of the project life cycle. As shown in Figure 3.3, eXtreme project management adopts a whole-of-life perspective.
Figure 3.3. Extreme project management perspective
In traditional project management, as the project progressed through feasibility study to implementation, recording of costs, duration and effort, and reporting of these process metrics was common. However, after postimplementation review, tracking and reporting mechanisms were stopped as the project was finished.
As a result of this development focus, few organizations accurately tracked either the support costs or the actual realization of benefits. The absence of ongoing measurement in the production cycle has left many business people with little hard evidence of the value added through new products or information systems. It has also enforced the view that many executives have of IT and other project groups as cost centers.
Moreover, the focus on development effort, cost, and duration often resulted in the compromise of long-term project success (see later) with short- term cost and deadline emphasis. For example, the tracking of development progress reveals that the project is behind schedule and over cost. To get the project back on schedule and to reduce the cost overruns, the project manager and team deliberately degrade quality and de-scope the project's requirements by cutting back on testing and documentation and by dropping what they perceive to be nonessential functionality.
The project is now on schedule and within budget and potential long-term benefits and support costs have been compromised.
The project tracking reports show that the project is now within budget and on schedule, but in reality, the project is back on track for failure. This paradox is explored in later chapters.