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People, process, technology – still the 3 keys to successful application development projects

If you have found yourself in a situation where the process seems to change, accountabilities are uncertain and deadlines are missing, then perhaps you have a people, process and technology problem. Getting all 3 aligned is absolutely essential to ensuring a change process will work.

And they have to be resolved in that order.

1. People – what are the key issues: who owns the process, who is involved, what are their roles, are they committed to improving it and working together and importantly are they prepared to do the work to fix the problem

2. Process – a process can be defined as starting with a trigger event that creates a chain of actions that results in something being prepared for a customer of that process. Starting at high level and identifying the key big steps is important to see the process from end to end. Then moving into more detail to capture the various layers involved and various exceptions. Focussing on the high frequency (Pareto principle) transactions can have significant benefit to standardising the process. But also remember that it can be the non-standard transactions where service is slipping most or the potential for significant failure in the process may exist.

3. Technology – Now that people are aligned, and the process developed and clarified, technology can be applied to ensure consistently in application of the process and to provide the thin guiding rails to keep the process on track – to make it easier to follow the process than not do so.

Of course there is much more to getting a technology project right – but get the above 3 sorted out and you will be a long way down the path to project success.

Got any experiences or tips you’d like to share? I am keen to hear from you, so please add a comment….


8 thoughts on “People, process, technology – still the 3 keys to successful application development projects

  1. Hi are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to
    get started and create my own. Do you need any coding expertise to
    make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Hi, you can use which will give you a free site – and then you don’t need to worry about the technical side. If you want to get to something more sophisticated you can go to a site like Mediatemple and use their hosting service, which is what I use.

    Good luck!

  3. Can you supply a reference, or suitable reading relating to the “People Process Technology” paradigm. I have used this model for many years to understand organizations and their functioning. It was first explained to me by a consultant engaged by my employer but I’ve never seen any “books” or scholarly works on the topic? Anything out there?

  4. Hi Bernie, thanks for the question. I have read a lot of books – however it really came from direct experiences and that of a client that was particularly successful in the approach they took to the process. I found “Workflow Modelling” by Sharp and McDermott was a really good book for an overview of how to develop successful software including getting people along for the ride with process definition and change. It is one of the more expensive books I’ve bought – however really very good, and one I’ve read several times.

    Part of the success I think is being a successful facilitator – to let the people in the team help redefine the process – which leads to ownership. The challenge is knowing when to intervene – or not!

    Hope that helps!


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