So long as it's theoretical, you're OK because nobody will know if you were right or not. But once the change actually happens, that's another story. If it turns out you took the company in a bad direction, your career is toast.
Developers have an entirely different problem. They're pinball players -- they need the free game so that they can keep playing, but in order to do so, they have to deliver software that satisfies the requirements and meets the specifications.
So they do, and they're safe, as long as it doesn't actually get put into production. Putting software into production is risky for the developers because it could turn out something is seriously wrong with it.
Luckily for them, it won't happen. The business executive is more likely to happily declare it to be completely useless. The developers can then happily complain that the spec was wrong. The business analyst, caught like a chestnut in a nutcracker, points out that the business executive had no real idea of what he wanted the software to do.
Thus, the business executive gets to maintain his reputation as a bold, visionary leader, safe in the knowledge that his plans will never be tested, while the developers maintain their reputations as people who can persuade the computer to sing, dance, and play the tuba.
The business analyst? We all know business executives are clueless about technology, so there's no beef in that regard. Ultimately, everyone wins -- except the business, which invested in an IT project and didn't end up with any benefit.
Really, it got what it deserved, because -- all together now -- for enlightened businesses, there are no IT projects.
This story, "Bad news for traditional techies: There are no IT projects," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bob Lewis's Advice Line blog on InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.