The IT consulting field has a longtime reputation for over-promising and under-delivering. When I worked at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in the early ’90s, I was on a project that delivered two years late. When I worked at Solo Cup company (now Dart), I watched as a consulting company repeatedly extended our go-live, finally launching our new Customer Management System 21 months late. This reputation is so prevalent that seasoned executives who hire IT consultants have learned to always apply significant buffers to the dates (and costs) promised by their consultants.
This morning I was reminded of how unusual it is when IT projects are delivered on time. After a 12-month engagement, we’re about to launch a business automation system for one of our national association clients, on time and on budget. This morning I received the following email from our client:
“…we have a minor issue that we hope you can help us with. It seems Jeff didn’t put the maintenance contract in this year’s budget — thinking at the time that we probably wouldn’t launch on time.”
So how did this project deliver on time? Primarily by calculating our Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) uniquely.