The big projects at LifeLabs, as at most companies, were always the ones that got the attention and resources. But that never made the smaller projects any less necessary. Maurizio Laudisa, CIO of LifeLabs, created the Release Management Strategy to guarantee delivery of enhancements for smaller projects on a regular schedule.The strategy works on a three-month cycle, and is enforced by being built into the IT team's incentive plans. Before the beginning of each quarter, the IT group calculates the resources that will be spent on break-fix issues and on strategic projects during the coming quarter, and what resources will be available beyond that for the other requests the business feeds through the help desk. These latter needs are analyzed as they come in by a team in the IT group that estimates the time and resources necessary to complete them and matches those requirements with what is available. When the resource "bucket" is full, IT stops accepting requests and writes up what it will deliver at the end of the determined quarter. This allows the team to work on and test similar projects at the same time, which increases efficiency and productivity. It also boosts morale because developers are being told when to deliver rather than how to do their work. For the users, Laudisa admits it was a hard to sell the end of the instant service these types of requests once elicited. The trade-off has been near-guaranteed delivery, thanks to the planning and incentives. After two cycles, the benefits were obvious and the buy-in followed quickly, Laudisa says.Download the Small-Project Delivery Strategy.