The Problem with Large Scale Digital

We went back through over 70 years of software engineering, academic and industry literature, and discovered that the patterns of success and failure reported matched our own empirical observations of the last 20 years.

The root causes of Large Scale Digital Project success and failure are almost always the same. And the causes follow a Pareto distribution.

Solving the critical top 20% of problems

We researched what the solutions to the recurring problems could be (and how to leverage project and programme strengths).

Cross referencing that data with client and stakeholder interviews, we discovered a shortlist of pivotal points in every Large Scale Digital project—the top 20% of issues to address.

We then set about looking at some methods to enable:

  • rapid identification of these problems
  • precise assessment of the urgent changes required
  • prevention of issue escalation or impact

These highest risk, critical points of failure on all Large Scale Digital projects are addressed by implementing the following five services.

Contact us to find out how, or to recieve a copy of our draft white paper “It’s time to deliver large scale IT better.

Strategic Pitch Support

The Strategic Pitch Support service assists teams in winning important pitches – both internal and external.

One of the root causes of large scale digital project failure is lack of (senior) stakeholder buy-in.

On a large scale project time is often limited and there are few opportunities to make that important pitch to key decision makers.

Projects and programmes are supported by preparing and presenting your pitches in the best light possible.

Strategic Pitch Support helps teams communicate business value, obtain investment, gain stakeholder buy-in, align goals, and improve collaboration.

Rapid Discovery Lab

Alignment of vision throughout the project and programme cycle is another key contributor to success. Reducing risk and making efficient use of budget and time are outcomes of a Rapid Discovery Lab.

Clearly defined goals, outcomes and objectives are a natural deliverable of a well run Rapid Discovery.

Requirements are clarified, planning is facilitated and resources are allocated towards solving the correct problems.

Training and onboarding of teams is facilitated as is buy-in across organisations.

In just 4 weeks your team can realign their understanding of the project and programme vision and communicate key information.

Via selected best practice methods for Discovery, teams extract the most important concepts and decisions to accelerate progress and reduce risk.

A hi-fi prototype looks and feels to most stakeholders like the real thing. The costs and time elapsed are a fraction of a standard development cycle.

Rapid Hi Fi Prototyping

Hi fidelity prototypes are an underused tool on many projects and programmes.

Their use enables demonstration of applications and deliverables in a fraction of the time and budget. Stakeholders can make key decisions and critical paths can be unblocked via proper hi-fi piloting.

Programme wide Hackathon Bootcamp

Analysing the most common factors for large scale project success, regular co-creation across the wider programme contributes to many positive traits within teams that delivery effectively and efficiently.

The goal of a project or programme Hackathon is not merely innovation or ideation but a means of communication, team building and ongoing stakeholder motivation. These latter attributes are less tangible but are essential ingredients for successful long term delivery.

Momentum is sustained across the duration of the programme via the type of communication that a Hackathon encourages.

Every large digital programme ought to have a number of customised Hackathons regularly scheduled in their project plan. The evidence suggests that this breadth of stakeholder collaboration is vital for communication, accountability and trust.

Project and Programme Playbooks (or Service Manuals) are an essential basic input for all phases of project delivery – from service strategy, to service transition, to operation and continual service improvement.

For general management, service management and technical management a playbook and service manual is an essential part of any programme.

Programme Playbook and Service Manual Creation

It is in the nature of large projects that people come and go throughout the project’s life. Lack of documentation, limited knowledge transfer or silos of project information should not be a problem to have to solve because of inevitable and natural churn.