Vol. 22, #38 - September 18, 2017 - Issue #1149
WServerNews: Reader Feedback - Should we end large IT projects?
- Editor's Corner
- Remembering Jerry Pournelle
- Reader Feedback - Should we end large IT projects?
- You can't escape Murphy's Law
- Self-importance is to blame
- There are no IT projects!
- There's a limit to how granular certain projects can be
- A few more observations
- Send us your feedback
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- IT Pro Fitness Corner
- Factoid of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- This Week's Tips
- Windows - Administering BitLocker
- Windows - Missing some security updates, are you?
- Windows - Changing the lock screen
- Events Calendar
- HOT! Register for IT/Dev Connections early and save!!
- More upcoming events
- New on TechGenix.com
- Recommended articles from TechGenix.com
- Tech Briefing - SharePoint
- SharePoint + Web Application Proxy - 2016 Edition
- PowerShell leveraging WEBDAV to get listing of files in a SharePoint 2013 Document Library
- SharePoint Search: "Why are my results so bad?" Part 2 - PDFs vs. Office Documents
- Test-SPContentDatabase : Automating missing feature removal
- Visio Viewer / SharePoint 2016 Workaround
- Other Articles of Interest
- Android apps on Chromebooks hurt appeal as thin clients
- The top enterprise mobile security systems to have in place
- GeekOut 365 is live!
- Free Microsoft Press eBooks July 2017
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- 10 Mind Blowing Optical Illusions
- Eric Jones Coin Magic
- What Does He Get In Return?
- Dogs Make Life More Awesome
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- Free Tool: Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory
- Free Tool: Permissions Analyzer for Active Directory
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
Remembering Jerry Pournelle
Jerry Pournelle passed away last week at the age of 84. Some of our older readers may remember Jerry as a popular science fiction author during the 70s and 80s. I remember him best as the writer of a long-time column in Byte magazine, a popular and influential IT magazine that was widely read during the 80s. I used to subscribe to Byte in those days and whenever I received the latest issue in the mail, the first page I'd turn to would be Jerry's column where I eagerly read the stories of his latest struggles with the annoying foibles of early PC hardware, MS-DOS, and later various versions of Windows. Jerry's observations were always enjoyable and entertaining, and his insights and workarounds usually gave me something to take away I could use in my own battles with computers. When Byte magazine folded it was a sad day indeed for both hobbyists and IT pros, but fortunately Jerry carried on recounting his antics on his own website with a column called Chaos Manor, and basically inventing the concept of blogging by doing so. You can still find Jerry's blog here so feel free to drop by and share your condolences with his friends and family:
Reader Feedback - Should we end large IT projects?
Last week's Issue #1148 Should we end large IT projects? generated a ton of feedback from our newsletter readers so we decided to dedicate this present issue to sharing and thoughtfully considering some of the observations and suggestions we received from our readers. If any other readers would like to offer their own thoughts or recommendations on this subject you can email me at [email protected]
You can't escape Murphy's Law
Reader Tom Gueth offered the following take on why large IT projects often fail:
Most large IT projects fail for a number of reasons. While I think that more recent large projects face a greater risk due to technology shifts and new methods (I don't use "new" technology as in most cases "new" simply isn't -- this could be a long topic on its own), in most cases the issue is time to complete. The longer the project, the more likely it will grow in scope, run into technology shifts and competitive changes. So the problem with large IT projects is simply they take too long to complete.
Lack of feedback from the targeted end users. It simply amazes me how often the end user is kept out of the loop. The best code in the world is useless if no one wants to use it. Won't necessarily make a project perfect, but it will get much closer faster if the end user is involved.
And finally, create what the user needs not necessarily what they tell you they need. I have listened to and read great specifications for project. And the programming staff takes off the build what they are told. But what is required and usually lacking is the ability to "understand" what is asked for and translate that into actual code. The ability to translate is so lacking in IT, and in reality most projects of any kind. There is this belief that projects can be mechanized. And in fact much of programming or development can be. But the creative ability to understand what is wanted, not just simply state a fact of what is wanted.
Small messy projects have a better chance of success than detailed, long term, giant projects. Murphy's law just makes large projects hard to do.
Self-importance is to blame
There are no IT projects!
David Hendrickson, a retired project manager who holds the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, offers a different take on the whole idea of what an IT project really is:
In my humble opinion, the moniker "IT project" is part of the problem. It tends to put the blinders on focusing only on the IT solution without continuing to monitor impacts to the rest of the business. This tends to be more prevalent the larger the "IT project".
Projects are (should be) related to business strategy. Technology can, and many times is, part of the solution to a business problem.
Projects normally referred to as IT projects should be called business projects with technology as part of the solution. This change of perspective tends to keep all stakeholders engaged. Additionally, focus is on the total solution, not just the technology portion (hardware/software…).
Therefore, I recommend that we start a trend to do away with the term "IT project" and keep the focus on furthering business strategic objectives with technology as part of the solution set.
This certainly is a welcome change of perspective and a good example of thinking outside the box. I'm sure a lot of problems with larger IT projects are due to not properly understanding how they fit within the larger scheme of achieving the strategic objectives of the customer involved.
There's a limit to how granular certain projects can be
A few more observations
Roy from Ontario, Canada says:
Send us your feedback
Got feedback about anything in this issue of WServerNews? Email us at [email protected]
Recommended for Learning
Virtual lab: Deploy and manage Windows as a service
Heard about Windows as a service but don't completely get it, yet? This online lab teaches you how Microsoft will update Windows 10 with new functionality and how you can manage that process. Concepts in this lab include everything from deferral policies in Windows Update for Business to managing updates in Windows Server Update Services.
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Microsoft IT Uses Predictive Analytics to Improve Sales Processes and Forecasting
IT Pro Fitness Corner
Factoid of the Week
Last week's factoid and question was this:
Britons are the most lactose-tolerant people in the world. Do you experience lactose intolerance? What do you do to counteract the discomfort?
Since we didn't receive any responses to that question and because it involves nutrition, we're going to carry it over to the Nutrition Tip of the Week section of our next issue of FitITproNews, so stay tuned!
Now let's move on to this week's factoid which should be pretty easy for those of you who are movie buffs:
Question: What movie begins with a scene showing this happening?
Email your answer to us at: [email protected]
Until next week,
GOT ADMIN TOOLS or other software/hardware you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
Free collection of VMware, Hyper-V and Veeam stencils for Visio. Create well-organized and polished visualizations. Gain better visibility and improve your business process efficiency.
Monitor and be alerted to performance, availability, and capacity of your Microsoft Exchange severs with SolarWinds® Exchange™ Monitor Free Tool.
This PowerShell script shows information from a computer system like installed applications, Windows patches, Office patches, drivers, and other information in an HTML page:
Log Parser Studio is a utility that allows you to search through and create reports from your IIS, Event, EXADB and others types of logs:
This script lets you split and restore files without the need to download additional software:
Windows - Administering BitLocker
Windows - Missing some security updates, are you?
Do you know of any other IT conferences or events that you think readers of this newsletter might be interested in knowing about? Email us at [email protected] with the name, date, and location of the event along with the event URL.
IT/Dev Connections on October 23-26, 2017 in San Francisco, California
Add Your Event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 100,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Collecting empty Active Directory sites using PowerShell
By using the PowerShell script provided in this article, you can collect a list of empty Active Directory sites not associated with any user subnets.
Change of direction: Oracle cloud strategy puts containers and Kubernetes front and center
Oracle's cloud strategy is changing with its acquisition of Wercker and its partnership with CoreOS, all in an attempt to catch industry leader AWS.
Google-Citrix partnership extended with announcement of new offerings
The Google-Citrix partnership that began in 2010 has been extended with a new goal of helping businesses access and secure digital workspaces in the cloud.
Server virtualization trends: Is there still room to grow?
Research firm Gartner says server virtualization trends point to a market that is slowing down. Is this really happening, and if so, why?
Heeding the call: Old-line carriers expand virtualization techniques
Telecoms are hoping to grab a slice of the IoT pie. But can old-line carriers expand virtualization techniques and transition from obsolete technology?
SharePoint + Web Application Proxy - 2016 Edition
PowerShell leveraging WEBDAV to get listing of files in a SharePoint 2013 Document Library
From SharePoint Thinks, Links and Clinks
SharePoint Search: "Why are my results so bad?" Part 2 - PDFs vs. Office Documents
From Eric Dixon's Search Blog
Test-SPContentDatabase : Automating missing feature removal
From the FromTheField blog on TechNet
Android apps on Chromebooks hurt appeal as thin clients
All future Chromebook releases will support Android apps, which brings concerns regarding their security, management and overall usefulness as thin clients. Learn about some of the security concerns, and if EMM can help.
The top enterprise mobile security systems to have in place
There's more to enterprise mobile security than just mobile device management. Today, IT has more security tools at its disposal, from identity management to analytics. Take a look inside to discover seven secret mobile security tips IT should know.
GeekOut 365 is live!
Check out GeekOut 365, a new online home for independent, expert driven video content on VDI, storage, enterprise mobility, and the cloud.
Free Microsoft Press eBooks July 2017
From time to time, Microsoft Press offers free eBooks to interested readers for their download and use. Recently, Sales Director Eric Ligman posted an offer with a total of 252 titles in this list of free Microsoft Press eBooks. Inside you'll find the links to pdf versions of those free eBooks.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
10 Mind Blowing Optical Illusions
Eric Jones Coin Magic
Dogs Make Life More Awesome
Man's best friend makes our life more awesome!
WServerNews - Editors
Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of WServerNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. Mitch was lead author of the bestselling Windows 7www.mtit.com.Resource Kit and has been author or series editor for almost fifty books mostly published by Microsoft Press. Mitch is also a ten-time recipient of Microsoft's Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his outstanding contributions in support of the global IT pro community. Mitch owns and runs an information technology content development business based in Winnipeg, Canada. For more information see
Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of WServerNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. Ingrid is also manages research and marketing for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program.