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Prescriptive methodologies, such as Sure Step, are double-edged swords. They are aimed at increasing repeatability, consistency, traceability, manageability and more of your projects, yet they seemingly increase overhead and contribute to an inflated project price tag.
As a result, companies sometimes offer excuses such as: it would be too expensive for the customer, or we would lose the project to the competitor, because our price would be too high.
In my opinion, this kind of reasoning is just wrong.
What are the benefits of project methodologies, anyway? Projects are more repeatable, more traceable, more transparent and predictable, there is less slack; all of this leads to more effectiveness, which leads to less costs. Also, projects follow best practices, there are less risks, there are more chances of project success, all of which are tremendous benefits for the customer and the implementer. This is theory.
Then why do companies so often give up on methodologies, instead of embracing them? I believe the answer is simple: they fail to learn from them.
If you don’t learn from something, dismissing it is much easier. And it’s that other edge of the sword at work here: when you fail to learn from methodology, you’ll only see it add overhead and bureaucracy, instead of value.
Sure Step is no different. It’s a sword. Learn how to wield it, and it’ll work for you. Wiggle it carelessly, and you’ll get hurt.
How can you learn from Sure Step, and make it work for you, instead of against you? Here are the steps that you need to follow on different levels of your Sure Step maturity:
Jumping ahead is the most common mistake you can make. You can’t reuse your intellectual property if you haven’t built it first by following the methods. You can’t start improving if you don’t understand processes, you can’t start optimizing if you haven’t been able to reuse and improve.
Only as you gradually climb the ladder of Sure Step maturity, your work will be more efficient, and you will notice that there is less bureaucracy and more value in every single Sure Step process you apply, and every single document you create. Otherwise, your hasty approach might easily backfire. Using the tools that one doesn’t understand isn’t the smartest thing around, is it?
Invest into learning and mastering Sure Step. You’ll get it back, every dime.
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