Designing IT Processes to deliver business value – quickly!
Regular readers of this blog will know how often I focus on delivering business value and implementing repeatable processes.Â I was reminded the other day that delivering quickly is also important.Â Faced with a challenging set of process improvements necessary to meet business goals and nervous about being too disruptive to IT AND the business, a new CIO looked at our recommendations and asked if they could be spread out over a couple of years. Our standard answer to this is always that IT change initiatives that are planned for longer than one year are at much higher risk of failure than those planned for less than one year for the following reasons:
- Changes that span more than one financial year had better deliver value in the first year or they will struggle to get refunded in the inevitable new year budget planning;
- One year is a long time to keep IT folks focused on an initiative when so many other things can change in that time;
- New CIO’s need to show they are making a difference in that critical first year;
- Established CIO’s need to get past the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” inertia to show that any initiative that costs money is justified by quick business value improvement
All of this reminded me of an article in the February 28 2011 print edition of Information week magazine by Chris Murphy, “IT is too darned slow.”Â Murphy interviewed a number of CIO’s who asserted their belief that IT projects need to deliver value in six months or even three months. Delivering business value at this sort of speed is one of the reasons that agile software development has become so popular.Â Not only does value emerge quickly but having the customer involved means that business value is SEEN to emerge quickly. This property of agile is one of the reasons that DCG has adapted and adopted an agile approach to our consulting projects.Â Moreover, we advocate our approach to our clients for managing other types of IT project that do not necessarily involve software development. Mike Harris DCG President