While preparing last month's column, I started to write about the importance of understanding business processes when defining system requirements. Then I reconsidered. Other people have formal methodologies and even academic degrees in such areas; who am I to present my own ideas as if they matter? I wrote a column on customer data management instead.
However, not a week had passed before a former client called and described a current project he feared was headed for failure. The more I heard, the clearer it became that the project was indeed likely to go nowhere. After pondering how to diplomatically approach the client's boss with an offer of assistance -- without, of course, suggesting he had made any mistakes -- I found myself writing a brief summary of project management advice based on 20-plus years in the trenches. Then I decided, what the heck, this is worth sharing with the rest of you because the best advice I could give had nothing to do with formal project management theories and everything to do with common sense.
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