I’ve talked previously about taking on a project that’s well underway. Whilst this has presented many challenges, in getting the team together, getting them re-motivated and re-focused, it has also provided me with a fantastic reminder of what is important in large development projects.

With a very limited timescale, with pressurized resources I’ve had to go back to sheer basics. We’ve had no time for luxuries, for “blue-skying” – oh how I have come to hate that phrase – or for having teams of analysts poring over details. We’ve had to operate much faster than any of use would like, and in doing so we’ve had to get the team as lean as possible, as fast as possible and to achieve that we’ve had to talk to the business in ways we may not have considered before. We’ve had to be much more accurate in choosing those in the user base we speak to, something both they and us appreciate. We’ve had to be very efficient in those discussions, again appreciated by all parties. And finally the business has had to react to our requirements and to our sign-off timescales when otherwise they may have proved too constrictive otherwise.

But whilst getting sign-off to extremely tight deadlines is highly appreciated, and by me more than anyone, the business has also been woken to the need not just to sign the requirements documents but fortunately to ensure that they are happy with the requirements. This adds to the time pressures we’re under, but ultimately can also only add to our chances of delivering this project in time.

So far I’ve been very happy, the feedback is detailed in the extreme. It’s been very positive, the effort put into it by the various business area’s has been immense. It’s also failed to highlight any major problems. It’s challenging all our timescales, even just dealing with all the feedback, but for the first time since taking on this project I am getting a feel that we may just, possibly succeed.