How many times have you heard, “We picked the wrong tool!” when referring to a project management or portfolio management or just about any other kind of tool for the IT organization?  I’ve heard that many, many times over my 30 year consulting career.  So, it’s time for a couple of uncomfortable truths – expressed as “Merlyn’s Rules of IT Tools”:

  • Merlyn’s Rule #1:  You will always pick the ‘wrong’ tool.
  • Merlyn’s Rule #2:  If you focus on the process being automated or supported, and the management of organizational change, you will probably find you actually have the ‘right’ tool.
  • Merlyn’s Rule #3:  If you focus on the process and management of organizational change and still want a different tool, then switching to a new tool will be trivial.

The Cobbler’s Children

All IT people know the three rules above.  You would never allow technology to be applied to a business process without reengineering the process first.  And yet, when the “customer” is the IT organization, all the conventional and hard-earned wisdom goes out of the window and into the shredder!  I’d like to explore why this is, but frankly, I don’t know.  I guess it is a syndrome that all professions are prone to – hence the ancient proverb.

Image courtesy of USDA Agricultural Research Solution

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