Bob Lewis on IT Projects, Part 7

In the book, There’s No Such Thing as an IT Project: A Handbook for Intentional Business Change, Bob Lewis and co-author Dave Kaiser analyzed and discussed the new ways of thinking about IT and business management.

These are some of my takeaways from reading the book.

In the “The Seven Change Disciplines” chapter, Bob and Dave discuss the seven disciplines organizations need to master to make the intentional change both real and sustained.

Leadership: Leadership is the art of getting others to follow the leader’s vision.

Business Design: Business design is about creating a concrete answer that can realize the leader’s vision. The design should be complete enough to articulate the vision in the terms where everyone involved can understand both the change itself and their role in it.

Technical Architecture Management: Technical architecture establishes the design and engineering guidelines needed so that the collection of applications, data repositories, and underlying infrastructure assemble logically and efficiently. The goal of technical architecture is to support the organization’s processes and practices.

Application Development / Application Integration and Configuration: The key point to remember is this. When it comes to achieving intentional business changes, the goal of IT is to avoid being the bottleneck.

Organizational Change Management: It would be wrong to assume people naturally resist change – people naturally resist change they expect will be bad for them. As a leader of the organization and to the extent possible, the leader should design every business change, so it leaves employees better off than they were before the change happened.

Implementation Logistics: Start every business change implementation with a well-chosen pilot. The pilot affects relatively few people but otherwise includes most of the complexity of the actual rollout.

Project Management: Projects are how change happens, so a solid project management discipline must be part of any effort that manages an intentional business change.

To make it all work, Bob and Dave believed that mastery in isolation is not enough. The seven disciplines must come together as an integrated whole, whose practitioners actively collaborate to make intentional change happen.

So, what can be done to address “The Seven Change Disciplines” opportunities and challenges? Fortunately, Bob and Dave have some solid suggestions laid out at the end of Chapter Seven. I highly recommend the book.