Hi, my name is Jonathan Experton I'm a technical director and information technology advisor
I help companies start, plan and execute
software development projects to deliver on time, on scope and on budget. Are you starting a software development project?
Then, you probably already know what you want. Maybe you already have a launch date in mind.
You can easily communicate your vision, tell why it is the right thing to build, and why now.
There are some facts you should know, though.
I'm busy, show me the short version. What can I do for you? To start the project: Direct business requirements gathering, estimate features, and design a technical solution. During the project planning phase: Build the project roadmap and the production planning, anticipate issues and dependencies. During the project execution phase: Set up a software development life cycle, document and teach such a process to the development team. Most organizations fail at delivering IT projects
What am I talking about?
Despite more than 50 years of history and countless methodologies, advice and books, IT projects keep failing. — Susan Moore, IT Projects Need Less Complexity, Not More Governance. Gartner. 2015
Yes, IT projects often fail:
68% of companies are unlikely to have successful projects. — Keith Ellis, Business Analysis Benchmark. IAG, 2008
It sounds pessimistic. Tell me more... 70% of digital transformations fall short of their objectives, often with profound consequences. — Patrick Forth, Tom Reichert, Romain de Laubier, and Saibal Chakraborty, Flipping the Odds of Digital Transformation Success. BCG, 2020
Failure happens a lot, with heavy consequences:
The average overrun was 27%. Fully one in six of the projects we studied was a black swan, with a cost overrun of 200%, on average, and a schedule overrun of almost 70%. — Bent Flyvbjerg and Alexander Budzier, Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think. HBR, 2011
Sometimes, consequences are worse than just a project overrun:
17% of IT projects go so bad that they can threaten the very existence of the company. — Michael Bloch, Sven Blumberg, and Jürgen Laartz, Delivering large-scale IT projects on time, on budget, and on value. McKinsey, 2012
It's not IT projects only:
81% of organizations fail to regularly deliver successful projects. 70% are unlikely to deliver projects on time. 64% are unlikely to deliver projects on budget. 56% are unlikely to deliver projects that meet original goal and intent. — KPMG, AIPM and IPMA, The future of project management. 2019 Main causes of failure are known
In 2009, a IDC report
already noticed an interesting fact about failed IT projects: 2 Surprisingly to some, technical challenges are the least-cited factor at 3%. — Joseph Gulla, 7 Reasons IT Projects Fail. IBM Systems, 2012
One might think technical projects fail because of technical challenges, or because of a lack of technical skills. But it's wrong, most of the time.
According to the
PMI Pulse of the Profession 2021 report, primary causes of project failures are: Poor requirements gathering Poor upfront planning Ineffective risk management Poor change management Poorly managed dependencies
To achieve success, there's definitely many strategies to explore before adding more technical skills to a team.
Most software development teams could tell you that:
Technical projects don't fail because of technical challenges. So how can I help you as a technical advisor? Especially if main causes of failure are not technical challenges.
For the past 13 years, I've been working with frontend, backend, mobile and cloud technologies on a wide variety of projects, with budgets ranging from thousands to millions of $.
As a technical advisor, I can help you start, plan, and successfully execute your software development project. 1. I can help you start your project
To set up conditions of success at the early stage of your project, I can help you:
Direct a business analysis process and a comprehensive requirements gathering process.
Companies that succeed at delivering projects are the ones that use requirements gathering as a discovery process to define and understand the project scope from the beginning.
If your people and processes in business requirements are only AVERAGE, rather than excellent, this lack of excellence will consume approximately 41.5% of the IT development budget for people (internal and external) and software on strategic projects. — Keith Ellis, Business Analysis Benchmark. IAG, 2008
The image below is an example of a specification document produced during a requirements gathering phase:
Modelling of user interactions through mobile application interfaces
Estimate features complexity, design a technical solution according to the project budget and schedule, and according to the development team capacity.
Once the project functional scope has been defined with high-level functional specifications, the project schedule and technological scope can be drafted with rough estimates.
How to estimate with "t-shirt sizing"
2. I can help you plan the execution phase of your project
Once functional requirements and rough estimates are known, you'll have a better idea of how much resources you need to execute your project. During this planning phase, I can help you:
Build the project roadmap and the production planning according to the available resources and technical dependencies.
This step will establish the development team needs and the delivery milestones.
Identify risk, uncertainty, and define strategies to adapt the project roadmap.
If targeted milestones cannot be reached, because of a lack of resources or a technical challenge, consequences have to be anticipated.
3. I can help you execute your project
Two things will inevitably happen in the course of your project:
Some people will change their minds and they'll ask to change what has been decided and planned. Some people will leave the team, and others will join it.
To execute your plan and manage change, I can help you:
Set up an iterative software development life cycle that integrates requirements gathering and planning steps.
This allows postponing critical decisions until the project scope is better understood. It also allows to continuously refine the project functional scope and planning, with the lessons learned from previous iterations.
Software development life cycle simplified
Define, document, and teach such software development life cycle to other team members.
This will help to align practices and processes of the whole team, and quickly onboard new members.
Software development life cycle
I can help you make a plan and navigate through the complexity of a software development project. Get in touch
If you want to know more about how I can help, reach me on
LinkedIn or by email at Montreal, Canada · GMT -4 Some of my latest articles about IT and software development
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"A Vercel-like PaaS beyond Jamstack with Kubernetes and GitOps" series.
Before diving into technical details, I'd like to give some context
on why I've built this setup when managed solutions already exist.
Feb 11, 2022
If you've ever worked with React function components and the useEffect hook,
there's a high probability that you've faced this warning.
Apr 14, 2021
Read more articles 1 If you need help to refine what you want or to shape your vision, I have friends who can help you. ↑ 2 I couldn't find a public link to this often cited 2009 IDC report "Improving IT Project Outcomes by Systematically Managing and Hedging Risk" by Dana Wiklund and Joseph C. Pucciarelli. ↑