Changing risk profile

It is interesting to look back over nearly forty years of being engaged in business improvement projects with differing roles and responsibilities at different stages.  The profile of the IT elements of projects has changed significantly over this time.  Technology environments have evolved and involved:

  • mainframe
  • client-server
  • web-based
  • service-oriented
  • mobility
  • cloud based

Solution design and development has evolved through:

  • Various generation languages (remember 4GL?)
  • Bespoke software development
  • COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) software
  • Configurable COTS
  • Cloud hosted configurable COTS

and many other different dimensions and variations!  Each stage of development has built products and capabilities that embed the previous level activities into the platform, moving platforms from operating systems to cloud-based configurable solution platforms such as those offered by  A recent demonstration of a system for a disability entity indicated how reliable the underlying platform has become, enabling the development to focus much more on business need and business functionality.

The resource and risk profile for projects has changed considerably!  In the early years, the largest resource and risk was the software development activity. Now?  Well, now it’s the business change activity – determining how customers and staff can utilise the new digital service offerings, helping them to develop new skills and capabilities and transitioning to make most effective use of the new, dynamic digital work and customer spaces being created.

And so …  what were once software development projects, progressively became IT projects, and now are business change projects.

I wonder whether program and project risk registers reflect this shift in resource and skill demands?


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