Triptych - 2: Design a solution in ALL its details!

By Wilbert Enserink

Last late summer a Dutch governmental committee released a report with the title "towards grip on ICT" and is commonly referred to as “the Elias report”, because of the chairman. The report was released to address the problem that ICT projects are not in order. The report gives an important recommendation of the establishment of the BIT: Bureau ICT Testing. The advice to create a new control instrument, the BIT, raises many questions. Within the suggested recommendations, Highberg advocates the position and role of an independent Information Provision Architect. In addition to this role, the use of a Specialist Team in complex projects is also an opportunity for greater success, an opportunity we should not miss!

Highberg's proposal is to implement a coherent system of three recommendations. The recommendations are based on a triad of expertise, independence and transparency.

The three recommendations are:

  1. Introduction of independent Information Supply Architect
  2. Establishment of a Specialist Team
  3. Visualization ICT project

In this blog, I explain how Highberg interprets the establishment of a Specialist Team. Items 1 and 3 will be covered in two separate blogs.

Role of the Information Provision Architect 
Independent experience experts in IT

Establishment of Specialist Team

The purpose of setting up a Specialist Team is to further strengthen the function of the Information Provision Architect. After all, ICT projects are characterized by complexity with a multitude of different aspects. Nobody can be a sheep with 5 legs so you automatically need a team of experts in complex projects. 

In the current situation, ICT projects are set up with an extensive project structure of all kinds of consultative bodies (steering committee and project and working groups etc), according to agreed principles such as Prince2. A characteristic of this set-up is that people generally participate in these from a certain position of responsibility for or towards the ICT project. By definition, this does not mean that these persons are experts in building ICT systems and are regularly involved in the execution of ICT projects in their daily practice. Often they are individuals who sit in intermediary positions and speak on behalf of customers, users and involved organizations. 

Therefore, at the front end of the process, the idea is to bring together all kinds of independent experience experts in the field of building ICT systems in a Specialist Team in such a way that all the aspects involved in such a project are sufficiently covered, such as consequences for the organization, analysis of the work processes and the influence of automation on them, carrying out cost and benefit analyses, drawing up and monitoring financial frameworks, designing ICT systems, determining the choice of development methods, calculating function points, measuring product results, determining technical infrastructure, preparing and carrying out tenders, determining management, formulating requirements for privacy and security, complying with information policy, dealing with legislation, etc. It is also important to involve people who are directly affected by the operation of the ICT system, such as a citizen, someone from a company, an employee of the organization in question, etc. 

In short, all sections are present in the Specialist Team to support the Information Provision Architect in designing and realizing the ICT project and ensuring its proper design and implementation. In this way, the Information Provision Architect can actually bear full responsibility for the design of the solution in all its details! 

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