Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spinning Sensation of IT Projects

It seems like IT departments go round in circles revisiting the same issues of projects over and over again. As you go around again and recognize the same issues, will you have enough energy to tighten the circle so that next time and issues are less? The spinning of project issue repetition is a symptom of lack of a comprehensive understanding of information and technology interaction. This spinning does not happen overnight, it builds up slowly as more projects are retrofitted into system as a whole.

More integration headaches equal less vision of information architecture. Why is this? Because someone said we need to consolidate system X with system Y without thinking through the issues of having corrupt information. Information’s worth is how well it is connected, but what happens when connections change leaving orphaned content and obsolete metadata? Nothing happens until someone says, “Let’s safe money by consolidating” or integrating or adding functionality, etc.

How does IT stop the spinning of issues?

At the core of any spiral, you don’t spin, but you see everything that is. With this perspective you can understand the forces at work, for example, a department that is feeding the spin by adding content that is not described accurately and extensively enough-rotation is increased. At the core, you can see this by analyzing reports which show trends. Also, anytime you think through how to export a cross section of your content and information you will expose the issues which cause your dizziness. The export exercise can be a low cost way to analyze how well the information architecture is designed. For example, does the information make sense on its own, are standard descriptive terms used to describe the content, are there accurate dates of execution of the information, could it be accurately imported into another system?

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