Our CIO during a recent global IT infrastructure web-cast asked those attending to ponder the question “is Project Management dangerous for IT”. I tried to post a question to the CIO before the session closed but did not get a response to my question. What I had tried to ask was if he could elaborate on such a question. Had he meant his question to be regarding “risk” in delivering what the sponsers of an IT project MUST have as opposed to what the stake holders current must have. His question to us all seemed rather “loaded”, not allowing any to respond immediately. It had a negative tone suggesting to me in not allowing a project to take its appropriate course but where the sponsers know it would never fly in the full court of public/stakeholder opinion….thus calling it dangerous to a “secret agenda” from the sponsers. Just a very unusual comment from a CIO to make to 500+ people
I’ve never personally heard “dangerous” used in connection with IT and project management. I have listened to a fair number of complaints by IT folks at several levels who disagree with having non-IT experienced project managers running IT projects, despite being qualified PMs who had experience in other fields. (Fair disclosure: I’ve heard the same complaint with engineers vs. non-engineering PMs, accountants/financial analysts vs. non-accounting/finance PMs, etc. I’ve also heard non-IT PMs complain about IT personnel, projects, communication & work styles, etc.)
From past experience, it hasn’t always been successful applying pure PMI practices to certain IT projects due to factors such as: 1) lack of familiarity among IT stakeholders with PMI process; 2) fluidity of IT workflow; 3) rapid change environment; and 4) dissonance between expectations. I’m not entirely sure about your company or department’s present situation, but it reads as though your CIO feels somewhat threatened by project management… perhaps a threat to his autonomy, influence, or status quo?
It may be that this refers only to the potential development that a realistic project approach, including resource allocation, timeline forecasts, and true prioritization, would somehow negate the possibility of performing ad hoc projects on a more free wheeling basis.
Maybe just a historical approach of having IT resources available for late breaking or “pet” projects?