As mentioned in our prior post, the outcome from promise -v- delivery can be determined by a roadmap defining a way to success -v- flying low and by the seat of the pants. Unfortunately, all too often, the second of the two options is taken. People wonder why delivery wasn’t as promised. Taking the time to create an IT roadmap that points the way to the end result, in most cases, will provide that desired deliverable. I say in most cases because execution is critical too.
Defining an IT roadmap requires first and foremost an understanding of the current situation. One must gather the necessary information to fully understand the current environment and situation to be sure that the end result, defined by the roadmap, is the best end result. If I create that roadmap taking me to California but I need to go to New York instead, then having even the best roadmap to California will still result in a delivery that is undesired.
One of the marketing folks that has worked with my company said that he just didn’t see any value in assessments or recommendations. The assessment is a definition of the current situation. The recommendation is the roadmap based on the assessment. This person just didn’t see a value add in these items. To say it differently, this person didn’t see a need in understanding a customer’s environment and needs before putting a solution in place that may or may not meet the needs of the customer or may or may not work at all. Unfortunately, that view is prevalent and an approach taken by many.
Keeping costs to a minimum is a key objective by most companies. All too often the value in this roadmap approach is ignored in lieu of saving costs. It is one of those items that is “you can pay now or you can pay later.” Later is always more expensive. What would you prefer? Do you prefer that the time, effort and expense be put into ensuring that the right roadmap is created? Do you prefer to take a chance, more of that “crapshoot” approach, and see what happens? Well, most will say do the homework up front. Take the time. Ultimately taking that time will keep the costs to a minimum in the long term. Making an investment earlier rather than later is required to ensure that goals, objectives, and technology needs are met.
Using alternative approaches such as Open Source and IT managed services will be discussed in the coming days. It is even more critical that the roadmap as described above be developed when taking the cost saving approach of implementing Open Source and Managed Services. You can have BIG IT at the cost of small IT. Open Source and Managed Services will be a key driving factor in achieving that success.
What is your organization doing to ensure that IT projects, or any project, is delivering on its promise? What are you doing to ensure that costs are kept to a minimum over the long haul?