Scope creep. Just saying the words out loud is scary. It sounds like the name of a monster from a horror flick. The scope creep monster IS able to destroy good intentions (and careers) in a single bound.
But seriously, despite all the fears these two words can evoke it is a topic that ignites plenty of debate.
In the past week I have spoken to many IT executives about this topic and the responses vary from those who say that it's a necessary evil to meet user requirements, to far less favourable assessments which I cannot reprint here. But whatever your views, the end goal is always the same and that is to successfully deliver for your organization.
To do this IT executives are increasingly relying on consultation from their peers and using end-user forums to share insights and lessons learnt. This method is winning favour over hideously expensive analyst reports and fat-fee consultants.
Evidence of this trend first emerged in the US with the formation of the CIO Executive Council.
The council, which is a collection of CIOs sharing their knowledge and know-how, has been hugely successful.
Its formation was accompanied by complaints from IT veterans that they were tired of interviews with pimply-faced analysts who suck them of information then repackage it as research. This 'research' is then sold back to them.
This assessment may be a tad harsh but Gartner's recent acquisition of the Meta Group means "independent" information has become a highly sought after commodity.
The good news is that the CIO Executive Council of Australia is being launched locally. Members will have both online and telephone forums as well as face-to-face interaction through regular events.
There will be council member case studies and a searchable database of Council membership. Pretty exciting stuff!
To keep our finger on the pulse and have direct contact with this new body, the council's executive director Con Colovos will have his own monthly column in Computerworld. This column debuts next week in these pages. Tell me about your IT monster at firstname.lastname@example.org