The Enterprise Initiative lifecycle - as executed

Companies create Enterprise IT initiatives to support moving into new businesses, when adjusting to new regulation and audit rules, or when they want to merge systems across acquired companies or divisions. These multi-year efforts can involve hundreds of people, dozens or hundreds of cooperating systems, and millions of lines of code or configuration. 

The public perception of these projects and how they actually operate can be very different.  Major software projects or IT initiatives often have more complexity than anticipated.  They can be under-sized to get funding. The project's goals almost aways change between the enthusiasm phase and the implementation phase.  Scope changes during the project as more is learned or the market or requirements change. Planning often includes optimistic assumptions about the target state complexity or how fast the project can move. Senior management does not often have true visibility into the current state, the current goals, or the complexity of the tasks.

Let's walk through a typical scenario.

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