February 16, 2017

The Arc-E-Tect's Predictions for 2017 - Product in, Project out [7/10]

The Arc-E-Tect's Prediction on Products and Projects

It's 2017, meaning 2016 is a done deal, and most of my predictions for 2016 I made about a year ago and never got around documenting in any form have proven to be absolutely bogus. Which leads me to come up with my predictions for 2017 and properly document them. So continue your effort reading this post and hopefully you'll enjoy reading them. Unfortunately we'll have to wait for about a year to find out to what extent I got it all right, but for now, ...Products.

Why Products? Because products are supposed to outlive the projects that created them and 2017 we finally see that value creation is the sole reason why we do IT.

Products in, Projects out

It shouldn't surprise you, but I'm not a big proponent of projects and instead love to see it when organisations switch to a product focused approach. But in 2017 it will turn out that I'm not the only one.

The main difference is that we'll see IT as a product and we'll be delivering products to users. We might be doing this in projects, but organisations will switch from a project oriented organisation towards product oriented organisations. The main impact will be organisational. Of course, but organisations are (becoming) ready for this. For one teams will become responsible not only for the creation of solutions in a project, but also for operating those solutions. There won’t be a developer and an operator in those teams, but people doing both. These teams will be responsible for the products they create. That’s a responsibility towards the user. Secondly the these product oriented teams will be considered business teams as they are creating business value with the products that are developed. Accountability for the success of the products in a business concern. Mind that in 2015 we already started to consider security and compliance to be business concerns and not an IT concern. In 2017 we’ll start to see the success of our products and not only its security, to be a business concern as well. The gap between IT and business will be benign.

I can be short about projects, they won’t disappear in 2017. There will be more than ever, but their impact on the business will be less interesting from this year forward. As the overhead of doing projects is increasing almost exponentially because of all kinds of reporting requirements, there is a necessity to increase the size of projects in order to make it worth our while to run a project. This is spiraling out of control and to put a hold on it, we’ll see organizations drop the heavy duty control mechanisms like Prince2 and adopt extremely lightweight governance structures in place, which in turn requires tiny releases, often. And this puts it all in place to develop products feature by feature. Hence… Products in, Projects out. Which automatically means that the Product Owner will be the hero of 2017 and the Project Manager is no longer there to save the day, something that can be read about in another post.

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