Triptych - 3: Why don't ICT projects create construction drawings in AutoCad?

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 visualizations and models is also an opportunity to force the project to think about issues such as functionality, feasibility, scalability, etc. in every detail. In ICT projects, why don't we actually use autocad to create a blueprint? 

Highberg's proposal is to introduce 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 views the visualization of an ICT project and the next step How to proceed. Points 1 and 2 will be covered in two separate blogs. 

Visualization of IT projects 
Structural improvement of IT 
Independent Architect

Visualization ICT project

Reports of ICT projects can be insufficiently comprehensible because of their content specialty and complexity. Clients and members of steering, project and other groups may have difficulty in adequately comprehending the often voluminous amount of information and all the aspects involved. 

This is why there is a trend to use visualizations, artist impressions, illustrations and models to provide a visible and clear representation for everyone (including laypersons) of something that exists in the mind at the time of design or is being worked out in reality or is planned to be built. 

Visualizations can be used as a design and communication tool. They make it possible to provide overall insight into the ways in which the objectives of the ICT project will be realized, how the system will work and how the improvements will be implemented. Visualizations can help to clarify the understanding of the consequences in decision making and helps the decision makers in their judgment. It also allows the environment to see what is going on. 

For the Information Management Architect and the Specialist Team, working with visualizations makes a crucial contribution to getting a clear picture of the requirements package and the operation of the system. In fact, creating visualizations requires precision in working out what is being conceived and is therefore a perfect tool for sharpening the thinking and development process. 

Just as when designing buildings and setting up environments, 3D visualizations (three-dimensional, depth, width and height) provide a good representation of the future situation, the same can be done with regard to designing and building ICT systems and their operation. To achieve structural improvement, all kinds of visualizations should become part of the ICT project's toolbox. 

Finally, the next step: How to proceed

ICT and computer science are still young fields that are in full swing and development. Many places still lack knowledge and expertise. The gap between policy and implementation is even more pronounced in the field of ICT. The perception in ICT is greater than the reality of facts. The three gaps between a) knowledge and skill, b) policy and implementation, and c) perception and reality, are an extension of each other. 

When the multitude of issues and problems at play are lined up, the ICT domain could use a boost of innovation. Beyond taking steps to improve the approach to ICT projects, there should be a movement to initiate a structural improvement in the entire field. The changes resulting from the proposed recommendations will not develop by themselves 

Initiatives to bring government, business and science together in partnership are being considered so that structural renewal can be worked on together. Highberg will work on this itself and is available to participate in and contribute to initiatives. 

All kinds of stakeholders are asked to seize the momentum to initiate such an initiative and bring the field of Informatics and building ICT systems to a higher level. This will benefit us all. 

Will you participate? Then get in touch with me! 

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