How often do you see projects that fail to get deployed or where the implementation costs are greater than the value the solution provides?
It is perennial concern, one that most large IT departments seem unable to resolve. I have, in my career, produced endless business cases, cost justifications and ROI projections. I have championed project management methodologies and striven to place emphasis on the value of the initiatives in comparison to the project costs but in my experience there is a high chance of failure to deliver real value from IT led projects.
I am happy, to report, however, that times have changed!
Since joining Axispoint some two years ago, we have built up a global Business Process Management practice. We focus on opportunity cost and have developed a highly iterative methodology that is designed to start to deliver an ROI within 90 days.
Opportunity cost is a big issue for most companies as the amount of IT projects is always greater than the resources available to deliver them. So when projects are ill-conceived, you end up wasting time, effort and budget; valuable resources that could have been used to deliver a more useful project.
Successful projects create a mutual dependency between IT and the Business, requiring an unprecedented amount of team work and process definition. Too often, I see the business stakeholders in a project delegate the modelling process to IT – this is a disastrous move and one that will suffocate downstream innovation.
You hear a lot of people banging on about bridging the gap between IT and the Business but it is clear that using a cost based model simply drives a wedge between the two and makes business alignment more difficult. The goals should be:
- To get buy-in by getting the Business involved and helping them understanding the overall cost and effort much more regularly.
- Ensure your Subject Matter Experts define and map the business processes
- Initially focus on one process, iterate and deliver early. You should aim to get your first process into production within 90 days.