The IT Imperative – For IT projects it is no longer sufficient to measure success based on ‘in time, in budget’ (as if they were all achieving this in any event). There has to be a direct and credible connection between investment and results. This requires an approach that combines a number of elements within frameworks that can be employed and adapted to suit different types of projects.
Lead – through strategic definition and architecture
Align – business goals and IT
Clarify – impact and responsibilities of all parties
Connect – business, system and technology elements
Sharpen – focus on objectives and outcomes
Structure – reporting for maximum comprehension
Support – the process once underway
This pattern has already been used in various ways for different types of projects, each with the same intended outcome; driven to successful completion by providing clear and demonstrable value to the business, with traceable linkage to the resources involved at each stage.
Planning – Have business needs been fully understood and an actionable and flexible plan put in place that will deliver them? Critically, complexity and cost should be well understood and under control as these most often undermine IT projects.
Delivery – The link between benefit and investment needs to be absolutely clear and interdependencies well understood and clearly documented. Only by adopting a structured approach can success be achieved.
Recovery – Already off-track, out of scope, over budget or over time? Focus and momentum that has been lost can be regained by employing firm direction and leadership. Objective decisions need to be taken and structure re-applied.
Business integration – This might be the re-alignment of different business units, Mergers and Acquisitions or simply IT ‘sprawl’. Vital to understand the scale of the challenge, risk profile and executive support and then plan to keep control of costs and minimise user impact.
Business transformation – Often driven by the relationship between the business and IT. Services not based on business need or able to change as those needs evolve, or there might be a complete disconnection between the two. Dependencies need to be understood and firmly managed and resources freed up to be more effectively deployed. Strong and dispassionate leadership is required.