I readily agreed when Ramasubramaniam VP of Chennai PMI Chapter asked me to speak on ‘Cloud Computing’ – obviously. ! But, I realized the twist only later. The topic was ‘Cloud Computing and Project Management – Impact on Global Delivery Model’. :-(! Hmm.. project management is not one of my favorites but having agreed to speak in the event, I had no choice but to give a hard thought on this topic.
Simply put the way I have internalized Project Management at the activity level is the PDCA model i..e Plan – Do – Check – Act. But what really matters is the end result that a project manager produces i.e. delivering the project by working on Cost, Quality and Time.
However, the paradox is – out of those 3 only 2 can be tweaked. So, it is never possible to have faster, better and cheaper. It is almost always only 2 is possible. Period. This is also commonly called as the ‘Project Triangle‘. Simply put – these 3 don’t intersect.
Sounds like a dead end, right? No, there is a way out. Change the paradigm! Sounds confusing… Let me give an example in the ‘Transportation’ industry. 100 years ago horses were used to travel. Then came automobiles – cars. Horse and Car are 2 different paradigms in transport. The cost, quality and time of traveling in HORSE paradigm can be beaten in the CAR paradigm. And, surely cost, quality and time of traveling in CAR paradigm can be beaten in the PLANE paradigm. Let me give only one data point. It’s approximately 20,000 miles from India to USA and it costs $1,000 to travel one way costing only 5 cents per mile. In India the cost of travelling a mile in CAR is 25 cents i.e. 5 times expensive than air travel. And, we know for sure the quality experience and time factors are far better in PLANE esp. if you have to travel from India to USA.
Back to Software Development and Project Management. Mainframe Apps, Client-Server Apps, 3 Tier Apps are different paradigms in our world similar to horses, cars and planes. The cost, quality and time play outs in those paradigm are apparent. How do Project Manager’s get the same effect of 5 cents / mile? Is there a new paradigm that can help them? Luckily there is an answer. Project Managers have to switch to the ‘Application Platform-as-a-Serivce (APaaS)‘ paradigm. Gartner coined the term APaaS. Garnter Analysts Eric Knipp and Yefim Natis go on to say that APaaS is the killer app for the cloud. Hence, unless project manager’s adopt this new /next paradigm they can’t achieve radical break through with Cost, Quality and Time for developing business applications.
It’s pure coincidence that Ashish Bhagwat, developed these 2 slides a month ago which came to my mind and I thought it is perfectly relevant to post this here.
Hmm… I see what you are thinking – No I didn’t use any slides when I spoke in the PMI Event. .