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Technology  

"Not all business projects have a technology component, but for the ones that do, this can be another black hole. Technology, by its sheer complexity, can pose many problems for a rescue manager. Fortunately there are some techniques for reducing risk in this area, as we discuss in this section."

Common Problems

"The table below identifies some of the common problems within the technology category, some key considerations, and some suggested questions that can be included in your assessment questionnaire."
Problem Description
Considerations
Suggested Questions
Impossibilities
Some technology combinations cannot do what the business wants them to do. Another organization that uses the technology in a similar way provides strong comfort in the direction of the technology. A proof of concept, early in the project, to validate the technology, under the unique constraints of the project, offers confirmation of the direction with minimal up front costs.
What criteria were used to select the technology architecture? How do we know that the technology architecture is the correct one to use? Which other companies use this architecture? Can we afford this technology? Is there something we can reuse?
Incompatibilities
Incompatibilities can exist between different types of products. Product version incompatibility is a common problem. Need to have confirmation that a certain technology architecture is incompatible before accepting that direction.
How do we know that the different tools can work together? What versions of the products are being integrated? How do we know that they can work together?
New technology
Examine the proven record of the new technology that is being considered for the project. Determine the training needs of the resources that will be using the technology. Evaluate the organization's ability to accommodate new technology. How successful have they been? How well do they learn from their mistakes?
Why is new technology required to meet the business objectives? How can the learning curve be reduced?
Incorrect usage
Use the right tools for the right job. Is the technology being used for the right purpose - for example, why use a high-powered desktop for simple testing?
How do we know that we are using the right tools for the job?
Limitations
Understand the limitations of the technology, perhaps through the proof of concept, the reference sites, or by "interrogating" the supplier. Include activities in the project plan to deal with the limitations. You may need to define a contingency in the event that a limitation in the technology cannot be circumvented.
What are the thresholds of the different parts of the technology architecture? How can we expand the limits? What happens if a limit cannot be removed?



The above is an excerpt from a book written by Sanjiv Purba and Joseph Zucchero, published by McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2100 Powell Street, 10th Floor, Emeryville, California 94608 U.S.A. Sanjiv has over 20 years of experience managing large projects and many years engaged in rescuing ailing projects.