I've been in the IT business for more years than I care to count, and I can't recall a time when the economic situation at most companies has been more uncertain than it is now. Sure, the early 1980s were bad; but back then, IT spending was only a blip on the corporate coffer's radar. These days, it's sometimes the biggest item on the balance sheet, and spendable dollars are scarce –­ to say the least.

To make the most of those precious IT dollars, many organizations are getting really good at figuring out ways to tighten project plans and cut any unnecessary steps from the path to project completion. To a certain extent, I can understand that.

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